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Hursley Park Camp in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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Hursley Park Camp

25th Sep 1914 2nd West Yorks return from Malta  2nd Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment land at Southampton on 25th of September 1914, having sailed from the garrison on Malta. They join 23rd Brigade, 8th Division, which is forming up at Hursley Park near Winchester.

22nd Oct 1914 2nd Berkshires arrive home  2nd Battalion Berkshire Regiment arrived in England from Jhansi, India. They moved to Hursley Park to join 25th Brigade in 8th Division.

22nd Oct 1914 2nd Rifles arrive at Liverpool  2nd Battalion The Rifle Brigade land at Liverpool on the 22nd of October 1914 having sailed from Bombay on the 20th of September. They moved to Hursley Park to join 25th Brigade in the 8th Division.

8th Nov 1914 2nd Gloucesters arrive in England  2nd Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment landed at Southampton at 9am on the 8th of November 1914 aboard HMT Arcadia having sailed from their pre war station of Ching-Wang-Tao in Northern China. Orignially bound for Sialkot in India, they had been diverted home to join the 81st Brigade, 27th Division. They entrained for Winchester then marched to Hursley Park.

18th Dec 1914 2nd Gloucesters proceed to France  2nd Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment marched from Hursley Park and entrained for Southampton where they boarded the City of Chester bound for Le Harve.

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Those known to have trained at

Hursley Park Camp

during the Great War 1914-1918.

  • Hindley Charles. Pte. (d.5th Feb 1915)
  • Ramsay Norman. 2nd Lt. (d.3rd Sep 1916)

All names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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Pte. Charles Hindley 2nd Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment (d.5th Feb 1915)

Today 5th Feb 2014 is the centenary 'anniversary' death of Charles Hindley my Great Great Uncle. It is strange to think of him as being a great great uncle when images of an elderly man would come to mind. Charles Hindley didn't get 'old' and he has no direct descendants to remember him for when he died he was 24 years old and single.

Charles Hindley was born in Leeds, Yorkshire to Tom Hindley and Rebecca Pinkney on the 27 Apr 1890. He was the 8th child from 12 and the second of 3 sons, all of whom served for King & Country. Tom Hindley, his father was a bricklayer who died in a tragic accident while working 'up North' in Sunderland in 1905. Life would not have been easy for his mother, Rebecca, who had also suffered the loss of 4 of her children.

Both Charles and his brother, Henry Thomas Hindley (my Great Grandfather), appear to have 'joined' up relatively early both opting for the West Yorkshire Battalion, Charles to the 2nd Btn. and Henry initially to the 1st Btn. Military records (service and pension) for both brothers are 'missing', most likely destroyed after a fire during WW2 bombings.

However, from photographs and regiment records along with medals I can assume that when war broke out Charles was serving in Malta. On the 14 September 1914 his regiment embarked for the UK landing at Southampton on the 25 September 1914 where they joined with the 23rd Bde. 8th Div at Hursley Park, Winchester. Charles and the 2nd West Yks were posted to France and arrived in Le Havre on the 5 Nov 1914.

Charles Hindley was shot through the head and died instantly in France on February 5th 1915 near Lille and is buried in Rue-Du-Bacquerot No.1 Military Cemetery, Laventie. This is a small cemetery at the back of a farm, well cared for by the C.W.G.C. I was fortunate enough to have visited a couple of years ago and wish that I could have been there today.

Charles death was recorded in the local newspaper and from it came some 'comforting' news. Corp. Henry Thomas Hindley wrote home to his family that Charles had died painlessly and that on the 23rd Dec 1914 the two brothers had met accidentally in the trenches. They hadn't seen each other for 5 years! I wonder if they took part in one of the Christmas truce football matches? Henry Thomas Hindley survived the war as did his younger brother Harold Hindley.

To Charles Hindley, today I remember you and so long as there is breath in me I shall not forget.

Melanie McKellar


2nd Lt. Norman Ramsay 16th Battalion Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) (d.3rd Sep 1916)

Norman Ramsay 1869–1916 was the 12th child of pioneer Queensland grazier, politician and treasurer Robert Burnett Ramsay and his wife Margaret Cruickshank, Norman Ramsay was born in Queensland on 14 August 1869. Although the details are hazy, it seems that he first went to school in Queensland but was later sent to Glyngarth Preparatory School in England prior to going to Harrow in September 1884 for his secondary education. Like his elder brothers, he was a fine sportsman who excelled at almost every game he played, and was particularly good at football and cricket. By all accounts, he was also a crackshot with both rifle and shotgun, a fine polo player, a good tennis player, and a competent jockey.

In 1888, Norman returned from England to Queensland with his brother Douglas to work for their elder brothers Frank and Bob on the Darling Downs and around Winton. Another brother, Lauderdale, joined them in 1893. Their father, in partnership with the well-known Queensland pastoralist and politician Sir Arthur Hodgson, owned Eton Vale on the Darling Downs but had retired to England; and Frank and Bob, together with Sir Arthur’s son Edward, had bought Oondooroo Station near Winton in 1886.

In 1894, with a view to giving them a capital base, Robert Ramsay bought three 1/12 shares of Oondooroo from Frank and Bob for Lauderdale, Douglas and Norman. Thus was born the famous pastoral firm of Ramsay Bros. & Hodgson, which, some years after the premature death of Edward Hodgson in July 1896, grew to be one of the largest sheep producers in the world. Indeed, in response to a tenuous claim about an unnamed farmer in the USA, 'The Western Champion and General Advertiser' dated 9 October 1905 echoed the 'North Queensland Register' in saying that the Ramsay Bros. would, with a good season or two, “give the American a shaking for the title of biggest sheepfarmers in the world”.

Details of Norman’s movements between 1888 and 1905 are not known. However, it’s known that, as Ramsay Bros. & Hodgson’s pastoral empire expanded, he was at different times manager or acting manager of Oondooroo, Elderslie, Charlotte Plains and Burleigh stations while his elder brothers Frank and Bob remained the prime movers in the Ramsay brothers’ business dealings. Often, Norman and his four brothers would fill in for each other when one or more of them went on holiday. Back then of course, a typical holiday entailed a trip to the home country, and would last at least six months.

Norman spent many years in and around Winton in far-west Queensland, and a couple of years on Bogunda Station at Prairie near Hughenden between 1905 and 1907. It’s clear from everything that has been written and said about him that, like his brothers, he was well liked and highly regarded. Even though he never married, he was affable and popular with women despite suffering for many years from neuralgia, a disorder of the trigeminal nerve that causes frequent and intense pain in the face. Unlike Frank and Bob who seemed to be comfortable in their own company, Norman appeared at times to hanker after the hustle and bustle of city life. To that end, he moved to Sydney in about 1907 and then, with his brother Douglas, moved back to England in 1910 to join their widowed father Robert, their elder brother Frank who had retired two years earlier, and their three surviving sisters, all of whom were living in or near Bekesbourne in Kent.

Norman was still in England when war broke out in 1914. Deeply patriotic to King and country, he enlisted into the British Army even though he was by then 45. At his age and with his wide-ranging experience of life and people management, he could reasonably have asked to be a commissioned officer immediately. Citing inexperience in military matters though, he signed on as a private in the Sportman’s Battalion in October 1914. In October 1915, he transferred to the 16th Battalion Rifle Brigade, part of the Prince Consort’s Own Rifle Regiment that had been formed in 1800 as an “experimental corps of riflemen to provide sharpshooters, scouts and skirmishers”, and was immediately promoted to 2nd.-lieutenant.

With his considerable experience as a crackshot in Queensland, Norman was surely a perfect fit for such a regiment. After military training at a number of military camps in England including Hursley Park, Aldershot and Witley Camp, Norman sailed from England to Le Havre on 8 March 1916 en route to the battle front in France.

After a short time at Blaringhem, and alongside soldiers of the Royal Sussex Regiment, Norman and his fellow soldiers of the 16th. Rifle Brigade were reportedly involved in heavy fighting near Richbourg l'Avoue on 16 June 1916. A precursor to the Battle of the Somme, Richbourg was planned as a diversionary action but was actually so bloody that it should perhaps be regarded as the first of the officially designated battles of the Somme.

On 3 September, while reconnoitering German trenches from ‘no man’s land’ during one of the many other battles of the Somme, he was killed by the enemy. The details of exactly how he died or where he was at the time are not known. Sadly, he was one of many thousands of soldiers who died in the Somme but have no known grave. His name though lives on in numerous places including on memorials in Winton and Cambooya in Queensland, in St. Peter's Church in Bekesbourne in Kent, and at Thiepval in France

Photograph in Winton of the Winton tennis team that beat Charters Towers in 1904. The team included Norman Ramsay and his brother Bob. The original photograph is in the John Oxley Library at the University of Queensland.

Winton war memorial to the fallen both world wars. As can be seen near the bottom of the top right list, Norman Ramsay is among those honoured. He is also honoured on a similar war memorial in Cambooya, Queensland. Photograph by Alan Ramsay.

Alan Ramsay

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