Home » 1916 » Harrowby Camp, Grantham: Machine Gun Training – 1916

Harrowby Camp, Grantham: Machine Gun Training – 1916

Grantham was a goods yard.

Belton Park and Harrowby nearby were the camps for transport and twelve machine gunner companies.

There were mules and officers’ horses and the limbers; a limber was a four wheeled cart or wagon.

The camps held, at any one time, between 25,000 and 45,000 troops.

This was the end of January or early February 1916.

There were no paths so you were always stepping into the mud just to reach your hut.

The mud as a joke; they reported that in the Camp’s Penny Pictorial and the local paper.

The other joke which did the rounds was that once interred in Barrowby Camp the inmates never left their stay seemed so interminable.

Belton Park had been offered to the military authorities when war broke out on the 4th August 1914.

Since the 1880s local volunteers, territorial and yeomanry had used the park. At first they had bell tents but in 1915 these were replaced by rows of wooden barracks. There was a standard gauge railway line using a 0 4 0 track which ran into the camp carrying supplies. It moved extremely slowly due to the weight of the goods and the steepness of the gradient. Soldiers marched the two miles from Grantham Station.

The Machine Gun Corps were based at Harrowby, the other side of Harrowby Lane immediately south of Belton.

The food was ‘Bloody Awful.’ The porridge was dreadful. You’d leave it and you got the same stuff back the next morning.


7 Comments

  1. Richard Parry says:

    I have a couple of photographs of Harrowby Camp one April 1916 (my Granfather (Tank Corp. machine gunner)and other 12 soldiers. The other I guess is Dec 1915, table laid for christmas dinner ?

    • EDITH TALBOT says:

      Hi RICHARD,
      CAN YOU EMAIL ME YOUR PHOTOS OF HARROWBY CAMP MY GRANDFATHER WAS A WARRANT OFFICER (ARTHUR MCCALLUM) HE WAS THERE IN 1916 TRAINING THE MACHINE GUN CORE AND I HAVE NO PHOTOS OF THE CAMP

      THANKS
      EDITH TALBOT

  2. Pauline Gurling says:

    My father Albert Victor Day was possibly at Harrowby Camp. He was a machine gunner and also a driver in A company 1st Battalion tanks. i have a group photo, don’t know where taken but maybe at Harrowby. Would love to see the photos that you have. Am trying to research about tanks.

  3. valerie Gorey says:

    wou ld anyone have group photos from Belton Park March 1918. My grandad (Thomas Stafford) trained there and I would love to see some photos of him with his comrades.

    • mymindbursts says:

      No photos, but I did research Belton Park in the library at Grantham and found countless photographs in archive newspapers from the period. Perhaps they are putting these online for the centenary?

  4. Hi we are holding a Grantham Remembers WW1 Centenary Commemorative Concert at St Johns Church, Station Road East, Grantham on 1 November at 2pm and 7pm. There will be a public exhibition of Grantham during WW1 from 1 Nov until 11 Nov. Anyone will be welcome to join us. If you have any photos or memorabilia you would be happy to lend for the exhibition, and especially any photos that you would be willing to share and have reproduced in a commemorative booklet please contact me on charmaine725@btinternet.com. Proceeds to British Legion.

    It is our intention to ensure those who served at Belton Camp and elsewhere WW1 are not forgotten.

  5. George Burrell says:

    My grandfather Cyril Hyde trained at Grantham. He saw active service late 1917, finally being wounded (shrapnel in his back) on 3 January 1918. Snow around at that time.

    I am also keen to see any photography and to read more. Thank you

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Categories

%d bloggers like this: