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Larkhill Camp

   Larkhill Camp, on Salisbury Plain was designated the School of Instruction for Royal Horse and Field Artillery. Construction began on 12 August 1914 and the camp was completed in early 1915, the buildings were mainly built of corrugated iron and the roads were constructed using chalk, the local stone. The camp was connected to the London and Southwestern Railway at Amesbury Station by a military light railway. Today Larkhill Camp is still in use as the School of Artillery for the British Army.

8th Nov 1915 18th Manchesters proceed to France  An unseasonably warm day, 18th Battalion Manchester Regiment departed from Larkill Camp, they marched to Amesbury station to entrain for Folkestone and depart for France.

16th Nov 1915 Sheffield City Battalion move to Larkhill  The 12th York and Lancs Battalion move from Hurcott Camp to Larkhill for parts 3 and 4 of the Musketry course. Each man was issued with his own SMLE Rifle and the course included firing from trenches as well as on the traditional ranges. A few days after arriving at Larkhill an order was received to prepare to proceed to France.

30th Nov 1915 Half of Sheffield City Battalion complete musketry course  With the musketry course at Larkhill completed, the Sheffield City Battalion marched to Hurcott Camp.

20th November 1916  33rd Btn Australian Imperial Force Routine Order No.116  33rd Btn Australian Imperial Force Routine Order No.116 Lt-Col LJ Morshead Commanding No. 21 Camp, Larkhill, 20th November 1916.

Part I Administration.

SCOUTS 163 The following have been accepted for the scout platoon:

No. 183 L/Sgt C Sinclair No. 2037 Pte LJ Byrne No. 2153 Pte. RE Harrison

STRENGTH 164 The undermentioned having been discharged from VD hospital is taken on strength and posted to "A" company. Pay commenced from 20/11/1916.

No.45, Pte JH Coleman

The following have been struck off the strength from this date


No. 483 Pte FE Morrissey "B" Co Hospital

No. 377 Pte G Butler "B" Co Absentee

No. 1462 Pte HMS Long "D" Co Absentee

No. 1637 Pte O Stowart "A" Co Absentee

No. 5686A Pte E Ryan "D" Co Absentee

No. 4271A Pte DC Anderson "A" Co Absentee

No.10125 Pte CT Gillan "C" Co Hospital

No. 5091A Pte JA Pearce "B" Co Hospital

No. 518 Pte AH Potts "B" Co Hospital

No. 72 Pte G Goodwin "A" Co Hospital

The following have been selected to remain behind as a rear party, and are struck off the strength of the Battalion:

No.1450 Sgt J Lawman Pioneers

No. 587 Pte OD Clarke

No. 586 Dvr FW Smith

No. 1614 Pte G Watson

No. 1519 Pte PE Anshaw "B" Co

No. 5108A Pte L Sherman "B" Co

No. 852 Pte EAC Paul. "C" Co

No. 5051B Pte WSC Hudson "A" Co

The undermentioned who are attached to the battalion awaiting transfer, will report to Lt. layton at 6:30 AM on 21 November 1916. The COs who are rationing these men will see that they report.

No. 124 Cpl PM McKillop attached to "A" Co

No. 5006A Pte J Curtis attached to "A" Co

No. 1930 Pte W Bagshaw attached to "A" Co

No. 256 Pte TO Jones attached to "A" Co

No. 5100A Pte JH Roberts attached to "B" Co

No. 2114 Pte GC McLeod attached to "C" Co

No. 2103 Pte HA Moodie attached to "C" Co

No. 2119. Pte WC Nagel attached to "C" Co

No. 2146 Pte Lance Ward attached to "C" Co

No. 5061A Pte HJ Mathieson attached to "D" Co

Pte Calloway attached to "C" Co

TRANSFER 165 The following transfer has been approved:- No. 1092, Cpl A Burkett from "D" Co. To Pioneers

GREATCOATS 166 Reference Battalion Order No.14 - that portion re greatcoats is cancelled. greatcoats will not be worn, but will be placed in packs so that it may readily be withdrawn.

PROMOTIONS 166 The following promotions have been approved:- A Company

No. 77 L/Cpl EG Gess to be Cpl. vice no. 124

Cpl DM McKillop struck off strength

No. 126 L/Cpl A Young to be Cpl. vice no. 127

Cpl AF Mayne reverted to ranks

No. 2148 Pte WP Whithill to be L/Cpl to complete establishment

No.2 Pte EP Austin to be L/Cpl to complete establishment

D Company

No. 1266 L/Sgt GD Thomas to be Sgt to complete establishment

No. 1245 Cpl WH Simpson to be L/Sgt vice no. 1266L/Sgt GD Thomas promoted

No. 2034 Pte LR Boulton to be Cpl vice no. 1245 Cpl WH Simpson promoted

No. 1197 L/Cpl TF McMahon to be Cpl to complete establishment

No. 1142 Pte WL Harding to be L/Cpl to complete establishment

ROUTE 167 Lt. Cohen will proceed to Amesbury and arrive there 6:20 am 21.11.1916 for the purpose of making all preliminary arrangements with RTO for entraining the first draft from this battalion. He will get a copy of states and full particulars of officers, other ranks, animals and vehicles and after entrainment await arrival of second draft with whom he will entrain after handing state to Lt. King. The latter officer will reach Amesbury station at 7:45 am 21.11.1916 and act similarly for second draft and in turn hand both sets of states to the Adjutant who will travel on third train.

PIONEER 168 The Pioneer section will move off Battalion Parade Ground at 5 am 21.11.1916 and proceed to Amesbury station, where they arrive at 6:20 am and receive orders as to digging latrines etc. Provision must be made for in erecting temporary canvas screens which will be dismantled after troops have been entrained.

STATES169 OC "B" Co and OC Headquarters Sections will hand parade states for their parties or sections to OC Trains on which they are travelling. This must be done before moving off the Battalion Parade Ground at Camp 21.

(signed) RG Jones Second Lieutenant Adjutant ,33rd Battalion AIF


The regimental canteen will be closed at 6 pm today and no further purchases can be made after that hour.

Cheque for £30.6.6. being amount subscribed by officers, NCOs and men of 33rd battalion towards Lord Kitchener's National Memorial fund, has been forwarded to the Hon. Sec.

21st November 1916 33 Bn AIF leaves Southampton  Battalion left Larkhill camp for Southampton.

Battalion transport and 186 men embarked on 'Hunslet' sailed 7:30 p.m.

Battalion less transport and 186 men embarked on 'Mona's Queen'. Sailed 4:30 p.m.

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Those known to have trained at

Larkhill Camp

during the Great War 1914-1918.

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Cpl. Joseph Lamb 22nd Btn. B Coy. 8Plt. Manchester Regiment

Joseph Lamb was a stoker at Stuart St power station immediately prior to WW1 though he had previously worked in a cotton mill.

On the 1st of September 1914 he attested with the 12th Btn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps as a private No 531, but this was short lived as he was discharged 1 month later under Kings Regulation 392, 111 (unlikely to become an efficient soldier).

Evidently, not put off by this hitch, he then joined the 22nd Manchester Regiment, "B" Company, VII Platoon as a Private on the th of January 1915. His initial training took place at Stretford Rd Barracks, Hulme, Manchester. During this period the 22nd Manchester's had no billets, uniforms or weaponry and in fact returned home at the end of each day's training. The Battalion then moved to Morecambe followed by Grantham and then Larkhill Camp, Salisbury Plain.

They were then sent to France via Folkestone to Boulogne. Due to appalling weather they were billeted overnight until the sea calmed down though the sailing could not be described as calm. The battn then continued advanced training before tasting their first "active service" in trenches facing Thiepval (at that point a heavily defended German stronghold) under the watchful eye of the 1st Bttn Hampshire Regt.

The 22nds remained in France and were billeted at Fricourt the night before the opening of The Battle of the Somme. On the opening of the battle they held trenches midway between Fricourt and Mametz and went over the top in an attempt to capture/liberate the German held village of Mametz. The objective was achieved and proved to be one of the few successes of the day which saw 60,000 allied casualties.

The 22nds lost officers killed May, Bland, Mellor, Gomersall, Peak, Brunt, Swan, Nansen, Price and Gill. Officers Wounded: Lloyd, Worthington Prince, Cotton, Wood, >Workhouse and Riley wounded. 120 other ranks were killed and 241 others were wounded or missing.

In late September Joseph Lamb was listed as wounded on The Times daily casualty lists though I can find no detail of the nature of the wound. They remained in the Somme region and took part in the Battle of Bullecourt in May 1917. This battle proved to be another fiasco largely due to the failure of British tanks to reach, let alone disrupt the enemy front line.

My other grandfather was captured during this battle.

The Battalion moved to Belgium in September 1917 to take part in the 3rd battle of Ypres (Paschaendale). On the 2nd of October 1917 Joe Lamb was in dugouts in a railway embankment west of Zillebeke Lake. On the night of the 3rd the Battlion marched up to Polygon Wood in preparation for the Battle of Broodseinde Ridge. The Manchester's attacked Broodseinde Ridge early on the 4th and he was hit by a shell and lay injured in a shell hole. A German soldier was in the same shell hole and managed to dress Joe's badly wounded leg. Upon the arrival of other British troops Joe Lamb managed to talk them out of shooting the German soldier who was subsequently taken as a POW.

Joe Lamb was evacuated to Britain and spent some time at Colchester Military Hospital though by this time he had lost a leg 2 inches above the knee. He received further treatment at the 2nd Western Military Hospital on Whitworth St, Manchester. It was here on 1st of July 1918 that his artificial leg was "successfully fitted".

He later returned to work for the Electricity Dept as a storeman. He was never a well man after the war and died aged 47 in 1943. His brother in law (another Manchester Pal) died in the same hospital on the same day with neither widow (sisters) realising the other was there. During his recuperation Joe took offence to a grocery boy's taunts aimed at the injured soldiers. When the boy entered the hospital Joe, regardless of his missing leg stole and hid the boys delivery bike. Try explaining that to your boss!


Pte. Hector Pretoria Hindmarsh 37th Btn. (d.8th Jun 1917)

The grave of Hector Pretoria Hindmarsh

Hector Pretoria Hindmarsh was born on March 18th 1900 at 24 Rectory Road, Fulham, London and was baptised on May 6th 1900 at St. Dionis Church, Parsons Green, Fulham. He was the fourth son and seventh sibling of Thomas Henry Hindmarsh (Snr.) and Elizabeth Adelaide (nee Clarke). Hector was named Pretoria because his uncle, George Ralph Hindmarsh, was in the British Army fighting in the Boer War in South Africa and Pretoria.On September 1st 1911, Thomas Henry and Elizabeth Adelaide Hindmarsh sailed from Tilbury Docks with most of their young family, for re-settlement in South Australia. Hector was aged 11. The family sailed on the R.M.S. Orsova steamship in Third Class. The steamer arrived at Port Adelaide on November 7th 1911.

On 18th June 1916, aged 16 ½, Hector Pretoria Hindmarsh enlisted in the Army. He enlisted at Adelaide, and falsified his age at enlistment stating that he was aged 18 years and 4 months. Hector probably joined to experience more of the world and escape the boring life of a labourer.Hector was 5 feet 7 ½ inches tall and weighed 126 lbs. He had brown eyes and brown hair. He had no scars and he was of Church of England religion.

At first, Private Hindmarsh served with the 2nd Depot Battalion, ‘C’ Company, at Mitcham, in Adelaide. He stated that he had served in the Cadets (this is unsubstantiated). On August 28th 1916, Private Hindmarsh sailed on the A68 HMAT Anchises to England, arriving in Plymouth on September 11th. He was mustered with 3/43rd Infantry Battalion from 10th August for three months service.

Hector briefly joined the 43rd Battalion at Lark Hill, on the Salisbury Plain near Stonehenge. There Hector commenced training in trench warfare, at nearby Bustard and Durrington. While there, Private Hector Hindmarsh also completed route marches and regular Sunday church Parades. He also received equipment and clothing up-grades.

On September 27, the 43rd Battalion was reviewed by King George V, at Bulford. After the next three days, Divisional matches were held in sports like ‘Aussie Rules’ football, cricket, athletics and tug of war. When weekend leave was granted, Hector may have visited Stonehenge or the villages of Bulford and Durrington. One month later, on November 11th 1916, Hector was re-mustered to the 37th Infantry Battalion and this meant he relocated at Lark Hill, to the 37th Battalion, sited nearby. Hector had little time in getting to know his new troop of soldiers. Shortly afterwards, on November 22nd, he was embarked by ship to France with the Infantry Battalion to the Western Front. The 37th Battalion was next moved to Ypres area, in Belgium.

On June 8th 1917 Hector Hindmarsh was killed in action at Messines, Belgium. Private Hector was a 3rd Reinforcement for the 37th Battalion. He was aged 17 ¼ years old and he had served just over one year of service in the 3rd Division 1st A.I.F, and had been on the front line for just over 6 months. An artillery shell burst alongside him and the shock and concussion from the explosion killed him outright. His body did not show the slightest sign of injury, as mentioned in a letter received from Lieutenant Colonel E. Thregold.

Private Hector Pretoria Hindmarsh was buried at the Strand Military Cemetery, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, in Belgium, ANZAC Section, 3rd Echelon: Plot 5, Row A, Grave 12. He is commemorated on the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, on the ‘Wall of Rememberance’. His father received his war service medals: A British War Medal and Victory Medal. His death had a sobering effect upon his family.

Family Shots


Bob Hindmarsh


Cpl. Claude Henry Howard MM. 33rd Battalion

Claude Henry Howard MM.

My grandfather, Claude Henry Howard, enlisted in the AIF in April 1916. He was appointed to the 3rd Reinforcements, 33rd Battalion, AIF. He undertook his training at Armidale and Rutherford before proceeding overseas. He departed Australia on 24th August, 1916 aboard HMAT Anchises, disembarking in Devonport on 11th October, 1916. After further training at Larkhill Camp he proceeded to France on the 21st November, 1916.

He saw action at the Battle of Messines, where as a stretcher bearer he was awarded the Military Medal. He further saw action at Passchendaele and was wounded in action at Le Torquet, Belgium on 14th December, 1917. After a lengthy repatriation in England he returned to Australia on 15th May, 1919 and was discharged on 5th September, 1919. After being discharged he disappeared and no record can be found of him.

Wayne Laycock

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