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Halton Park in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- Halton Park during the Great War -

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Halton Park

mid Sep 1914 21st Division at Halton Park  At the outbreak of war, Halton Park in Buckinghamshire was offered to the War Office by Alfred de Rothschild for use as a training camp. The first division to arrive was the 21st Yorkshire Division comprising; 8th East Yorkshire, 10th Green Howards, 14th Northumberland Fusiliers, 8th Lincolns, 12th West Yorkshire, 10th York & Lancaster and 9th and 10th KOYLI. They had their Divisional HQ at Aston Clinton House. Halton House was lent to the RFC who also trained in the grounds.

7th Oct 1914 13th KRRC arrive Halton Park Camp  13th Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps arrived at Halton Park Camp, on the 7th & 8th Oct in two halves.

14th Nov 1914 13th KRRC leave Halton Park Camp  13th Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps leave the tented camp at Halton Park on the 14th November moving into billets at Amersham (A & B Coys) and Great Missenden (C & D Coys) for the winter

15th Nov 1914 21st Division move to billets for winter  In November 1914, 21st Division left Halton Park and moved into billets for the winter. The 10th Green Howards departed for Aylesbury on the 15th of November.

1st Apr 1915 8th Lincolns on the move  8th Lincolnshire Regiment returned to Halton Park.

22nd May 1915 21st Division return to Halton Park  21st Division returned to the huts at Halton Park in April and May 1915 having spent the winter in billets. 10th Battalion Green Howards returned to the camp on the 22nd of May.

9th Aug 1915 10th Green Howards leave Halton Park  10th Green Howards leave Halton Park Camp for Witley Camp

1917   In 1917 the Royal Flying Corps School of Technical Training and the Boys Training Depot were established at Halton Park.

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Those known to have trained at

Halton Park

during the Great War 1914-1918.

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Pte. Lawrence Richards 9th Batallion Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Lol Richards was born on 19th July 1896 in Awsworth. At eighteen years of age he joined the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry on the 10th September 1914 and fought in World War 1. His regiment number was 14612. Lawrence served in the 9th (Service) Battalion

On the 29th May 1915 he appeared in the Local Newspaper:

"We have the pleasure this week in publishing the photograph of Private Lawrence Richards, son of Mr. T. Richards, who has for over 10 years been the G. N. R. stationmaster at Netherfield, and prior to that held a similar position at Newstead. Young Richards joined the King’s Own Yorks, Light Infantry last September. He was sent to Pontefract to begin his training and later Berkhampstead, Halton Park, and Maidenhead. At the latter place he was billeted for the winter months, and at the end of March he, along with his regiment, returned to Halton Park Camp where he still remains.

While at Maidenhead a local resident offered three prizes for shooting, the first being £10, the second £7, and the third £5. There were eight teams of men chosen from different battalions to compete, and young Richards had the luck to be in the team which won the second prize, and thus obtained a share of the £7, which was divided.

Private Richards is only 18 years of age, having been born on July 19th, 1896. There is no doubt that he has benefitted in health from the training, and he is looking forward to the time when he will get to the front.

Mr. Richards has another son named Tom Stanley Richards, aged 21 years, who tried to enlist but was refused by the Army authorities because he was employed by G. N. R."

Sadly 14 months later he was badly injured in fighting as reported in the Local Newspaper:

"Several local men have been wounded in the course of the great British onslaught in France, including Private Lawrence Richards, the third son of Mr. T. Richards G.N.R stationmaster at Netherfield. We understand that Private Richards was wounded in the head and leg with shrapnel and is at present in hospital in France. He will be 20 years of age on Wednesday next, and enlisted in the King’s Own Yorks, Light Infantry in September, 1914. He went out to France last September, and took part in the battle of Loos. Another brother T. S. Richards, has joined the Sherwood Foresters, and is in training at Ripon, while Fred the eldest son has been rejected."

When he travelled back on leave to see his family he would throw his kit back out of the train window as it passed his father’s house near Netherfield station and collect it later; the train didn’t stop until Nottingham, and no doubt it would have been rather a heavy load to carry from Nottingham station. There was once an incident whilst he was serving in France when he and a friend took offence to their Sergeant who had had a go at them, and they ‘smacked him one’. As a result they were both tied to a gun wheel whilst random shots were fired in their direction by the Sergeant.

Richard Waldron

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