Library talk on Shoreham Army camp

Gail Mackintosh, project co-ordinator, is giving a talk at Shoreham Library
Gail Mackintosh, project co-ordinator, is giving a talk at Shoreham Library

SHOREHAM Library is to host a talk about life in the coastal town when it was home to an army camp during the First World War.

The talk, entitled Training for War: Exploring Shoreham Army Camp 1914-1919, will take place on Thursday, September 3, at 7pm. Tickets cost £3 and are available from the library, in St Mary’s Road, Shoreham.

In September 1914, more than 12,000 men arrived in Shoreham to sleep under canvas on the South Downs and start military training at Shoreham Army Camp.

Over the next five years, more than 100,000 men from all over Britain, Canada and South Africa passed through the camp. They came from all walks of life.

Last August, 100 years after the outbreak of the First World War, Worthing Museum and Art Gallery, in collaboration with Worthing College, started the Training for War project to explore the camp’s history, having received a £38,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and support from organisations in Adur and Worthing.

In the talk, project co-ordinator Gail Mackintosh will discuss the stories the project has brought together and tell more about what volunteers have discovered about daily life in the camp, entertainment and the local reaction to the recruits, convalescents and colonials of Shoreham Army Camp.

Gail said: “What we discovered was that by 1916, Shoreham Army Camp was not only for recruits but a convalescent depot for retraining injured soldiers and not only British troops but also Canadians and later South Africans. We have amazing stories to share about some of the individuals who came to Shoreham.”

The talk will also tie in with an exhibition which runs from September 2 to October 3 at the Marlipins Museum, in High Street, Shoreham.

There will also be smaller, pop-up versions of the exhibition appearing at Shoreham Farmer’s Market and other venues to be announced.

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