Etaples – the final preparation

Arrival in Etaples

Etaples was a large British Expeditionary Force Training Camp.1  All the countries represented had their training camps and other services facilities there for managing the throughput of troops to the front line.

Image of Etaples training Camp

Map of Etaples Training Camp, click to enlarge

The image below is a depiction of Troops arriving at Etaples. The building in the foreground is the YMCA Gordon Hut. Here everyone drilled, however, did this really offer any preparation for the grim reality of the fight that would take place in trenches? 2

Image of Title - Troops arriving at Anzac Camp - Artist Iso Rae

ART19601 Title - Troops arriving at Anzac Camp - Artist Iso Rae

YMCA Walton hut - Etaples: Depicts the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) Walton hut. The building was provided and run by the YMCA as an amenities centre for soldiers in the Etaples Army Base Camp, Etaples, France.

Training in Etaples was, in some ways, the last line of preparation before the action. The notorious “Bull Ring” held a number of training exercises such as

  • Bayonet fighting,
  • bombing (grenades),
  • gas training,
  • extended order,
  • rapid fire.

The image below was taken at Etaples, France. 1916. Men of the 18th Battalion at the “Bull Ring”, an infamous training ground, kneeling behind a sandbagged trench during firing practice. 3

Image of Men at of the 18th Battallion at Etaples P02897.003 Photographer Roberts, H J W

Men at of the 18th Battalion at Etaples P02897.003 Photographer Roberts, H J W.

 References

  1. This item is from The Great War Archive, University of Oxford(www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa); © John Blackburn, http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/gwa/document/9127/4558
  2. ART19601 Title – Troops arriving at Anzac Camp – Artist Iso Rae – http://cas.awm.gov.au/item/ART19601
  3. http://cas.awm.gov.au/item/P02897.003

Print Friendly
%d bloggers like this: