Warfare in News

Posted on Monday 18th February

When war broke out, Cannock Chase in Staffordshire was transformed into a training facility for soldiers who were being sent to join the fighting on the Western Front. During the four years of the First World War, more than half a million men passed through en route to France.

To coincide with next year's centenary celebrations, marking 100 years since the First World War began, historians are making plans to help local people remember First World War soldiers, and the conditions in which they lived and fought.

There were two camps at Cannock Chase which could hold a total of 40,000 men at a time. A life-size recreation of the Messines Ridge, Belgium was created in order to prepare troops as fully as possible for trench warfare.

Natural England has awarded £80,000 funding to the county council to allow them to carry out an excavation of the site, a project due to to begin in August, describing Cannock Chase as one of the country's most complete First World War archeological resources.

The project will involve preparing a suitable area for use during next year's Great War commemorations, however the main aim is to excavate the model battlefield, research and record it, before it is covered once again. It is hoped that this development will encourage visitors to the area, who will be able to experience an actual or digital model of the Messines trench in the Marquis Drive Visitor Centre. Also sited in Staffordshire is the National Memorial Arboretum, meaning that the area offers itself as an area of national focus for World War One commemorations.

For more information about the Cannock Chase training camps, visit the website.

Further Reading

Growing Remembrance

Only £12.99

Growing Remembrance

(Paperback - 192 pages)
by David Childs

The story of the inspiration for, establishment and evolution of the National Memorial Arboretum is a fascinating one. Sited at Alrewas, Staffordshire, the Arboretum has become the Nation’s all year round focus for remembering and paying tribute to all who have served their country in both peace and war not only in the armed forces and merchant navy but in the emergency services as well.

Planting began in 1997 and was supported… Read more...


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