Kinmel Park Camp

Kinmel Park Camp was built in 1914 as a training camp for Lord Kitchener’s Army in preparation for serving in the First World War. It had its own branch railway line connecting to the main line at Foryd Station in Rhyl. It’s famous for the Kinmel Park Riots, March 1919, which were believed to be caused by delays in repatriation of the Canadian soldiers who on their way home from France. 5 men were killed but their story is for a separate post. If anyone has something to add please leave your comments.

A few pictures to remind us the past.

When I grew up, one of our neighbours worked at Kinmel, and so we occasionally used to visit the cinema there. I believe this picture was taken in the 1930’s.

Interestingly, although it was a training camp, and from what I believe, conditions were fairly basic at best, they used to sell postcards. I presume they were aimed at the soldiers to send home.

Because it was a training camp for soldiers in the First World War they had a trench warfare training area. There is still evidence of this area to the rear of Bodelwydden Castle.

Please add any comments to this post. It would be great to hear from someone who served or worked there.

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171 Responses to Kinmel Park Camp

  1. mike roberts says:

    the postcard picture of the cinema is well before 1930s more like 1916- 1919 it is no2 in a set of 12 postcards published by photochrom of london. they was a cinema at kinmel camp in the 1960s called the globe run by mr taylor my mum use to work there at the time.

  2. David Hughes says:

    Thanks Mike, I didn’t realise it was so early. Do you remember a Mr Edwards, from Clwyd Avenue, working there in the 60’s ?

  3. Rob says:

    Hi, would you like a 1956 photograph of a Royal Artillery training battery at Kinmel?

    Rob

    • Sure Rob. I,ve sent you a personal message via email.

    • betty mariani says:

      My husband was in the RA at Kinmel in1957 doing his National service and would like to see a photo of the camp if possible

      • David Hughes says:

        Hello Betty, your husband can see a bunch of photo’s of Kinmel Camp here http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=kinmel+park+camp&f=hp Alot are from the early sixties but will hopefully trigger memories. Hope this helps.

        David

        • I am the founder of the JTR Rhyl (Junior Tradesmens Rgt ) website it is a place for Old JTR members from Kinmel park Camp to meet ! We have over 300 members I also have a space for the RA who were there before us The Boys Battery Royal Artillery It is a free forum but needs Membership which can be done on the first page

          • edmond king says:

            i am ex JTR does anyone remember a sgt cook or sgt everitt anzio platoon or if your sur-name is MANSELL also a JTR or does anyone remember the phrase”Don’t take piss lad or i’ll ave thee down gaurd room so fast feet won’t touch floor” please comment THANK U

          • Rob.Penfold says:

            Hi Interesting tracking your site down, I joined JTR as a Junior Leader in 1972 January. What is the web site for this please?

          • Bob Harrod says:

            I was a Junior Corporal (3 RTR) in Imjim Platoon having transferred from Bovington (JLR RAC) in 1964. I left in 1966 to join my regiment in Fallingbostel.

          • Thomas Colin Thomas says:

            Hi, i was a gunner junior tradesman in 1964 J,T,R, Rhyl learning my trade as a radio operator I played football for the regiment, happy memories especially the club in the evenings. I remember Colin Price and Johnny Bathe who went to 95 commando R,A

          • Bob Harrod says:

            Hi Tom, you must have been there the same time as me, ’63 to ’66. Do you remember your company and platoon? Regards, Bob

    • James Walker says:

      Hi Rob.
      My farther was stationed at Kinmel in 1955 as an instructor. Can you let me know where there are photos of this time. Many thanks. Jim

      • Thanks for posting James. There are people here who know about these things, so you may get a good lead here.
        I’d suggest you begin by looking in his regimental archive.
        Good luck, Gareth

      • frank morris says:

        I was at kinmel 1953/55 was with a stan walker from Birmingham way any relation?

      • frank morris says:

        I was in 31 regiment kinmel 1953/55 knew a Stan Walker
        from Walsall any relation

    • Brian says:

      Hi ,Yes I would like a photo of the old barracks at Kinmal Park,I served there in 1954 learning to be a driver I remember the spider blocks well,and the cold water toilet blocks,it was a cold old place in March when I was there all the best Brian

      • Dianne Clay says:

        Brian, I have an old photo of Kinmel Park taken when my father was there (top row 4th from the right), Peter Lord.
        81 Battery, 31 T.R.R.A. He was a driving instructor.

        • frank morris says:

          Dianne note your message I was a driving instructor 1953/55 in 2mt troop 89 bty like to know what year dad was their as 89 bty was the driving school I also have photosmight have known him

          • frank morris says:

            Dianne re. my previous reply thought about this dad might have been in81 con trp which had quad vehicles which pulled the 25 pdr. guns have spoke to my comrade he knew a gunner inthis troop

        • frank morris says:

          it seems your dad wasin con. troop 81 bty. who drove morris quads which pulled the 25pounder field guns later 6 wheel albions.I am with a x gunner who is in our Royal artillery association will try and make contact with him what year was he at Kinmel

    • Anthony Milchard says:

      My father was posted to the Junior Leaders Camp at Kinmel Park I think from 1970 to 72….after having served in Germany, Munster Lager for 4 years, he was a member Royal Artilery, WO11 S.F. Milchard, 2694.. I think we lived on Coronation Close. Is there any way I can find the address of where we actually lived. We moved to Sea Road, Abergele after he retired from the Army. Does anyone remember him….

      Anthony Milchard.

      • stuart martin Anziolad says:

        JTR Rhyl at Kinmel Park Camp was not Junior Leaders it was Junior Tradesmen

      • John thomson says:

        I remember him very well , took us to Royal tournament in London, had a great sense of humour and I respected him a lot.
        He was CSM for ‘B’ company

        • John thomson says:

          Still trying to find my old pal also ‘B’ company in 1971 ‘ Jnr gunner Pete West from Doncaster ( he was also a drummer )

      • John thomson says:

        Also remember my driving instructor in 1971 was Sgt Smith ( RMP ) , he was a great guy !

        • Richard Sennett says:

          Was his first name Adam and used to sack you with work ticket when you made a mistake

    • John Johnson says:

      I would for my new book on the camp, was hoping to have it done by this November, still trying to find stuff fom thr 50’s and 70’s. Johno

      • G.Clayton says:

        I served my national service 1955-57 at
        KinmeI, trained as a wireless operator but took a job as waiter and barman in the Officers Mess. Can I help with the book? have some vivid memories of people and events that took place during my time there. Please mention subject ‘ Kimmel Park ‘ as subject in any emailed reply.

        • John Johnson says:

          You can contact me at Bowmanvillejohn@hotmail.com…. cheers

        • Les Hoyle says:

          Hello, I too was at Kinmel park from November 1956 to February 1957, 19 golf squad, sgt Clark, I trained as a regimental signaller going on to Chestnut Troop 1 RHA. can you remember the pub just outside, I think it was called the TYfry or something. Also a RAF jet crashed not far from the camp while I was there. Marching down the hill to the Square was a nightmare for us through that winter, I could go on, but don’t want to bore you too much,

          once a Gunner

          Kind Regards
          Les

          • Lynne Leckie says:

            does anyone remember the name Harold Mainstone he was a Sgt but then became civilian driving instructor around 1955-1960 ??

          • John Johnson says:

            Guys, feel free to send write ups….. be quick mind. Its time I put this project to bed. Many thanks for your offers. Now get writing. John

            Bowmanvillejohn@hotmail.com

          • john says:

            Hi I was in Kinmel 31Training reg in the motor cycle display team between 1955 and 1958 initially as driving instructor and later in workshop doing 406 vehicle inspections.I was interested to read about the plain crash as I also remember it I am trying to research this but there is no record
            can you remember the year,

    • annemarie says:

      I am trying to trace whether a particular person was at this camp around 1951 I think he was Royal Artllery his name was Ronald Astley is there any way of finding out please
      Many thanks

    • Ken Maley says:

      Yes. I was there from 1956 to January 1958 and married a girl from St. Asaph. We married in the parish church in St. Asaph on 21February 1959 and we are still married.

    • Brian Shaw says:

      I would love a photo of the old Kinmel Park barracks as I was stationed there in 1954,it will raise a few old memories

  4. Alison Hine says:

    Do you happen to know where the ranges were for the First World War camp?

  5. Robin Elliott says:

    My father was at Kinmel park camp I think from late 1959 to 1962? He was Sgt Reg Elliott we lived in 5 Artillery Row, he was with one of the Artillery Regiments could have been 45 Regt?

    • david rainford says:

      my father was there till 62/3, we lived in coronation close, think his rank was RQMS, think his RSM was norman angus.

    • John Johnson says:

      Hi, have you any picutres or stories that I may use in my book on the camp? Was hoping to have it finished by the November, but I need more material from the 50′ and 70’s. Johno.

  6. mandy rickett says:

    our friend Alfred shaw was in the 31st training regiment approx. 1957-1961 and would like to find john lyon, he lived in rainford lancs

    thanks

  7. David Hughes says:

    For all those looking to contact people who served at Kinmel you might find it useful to contact the Junior Trades Regiment Lads website at http://jtrrhyl.fr.yuku.com

  8. Colin Watt says:

    My Grandfather was at Kinmel Park camp in the first world war. He was pvt 6033 J.E.Bayley in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He was wounded at Ypres on the 30th Sept 1917 and admitted to the St Johns Ambulance brigade hospital at Etapler France with severe leg wound. I have two post cards from Kinmel Park and, if you are interested, will forward copies. One is called “A Soldier’s Letter To His Sweetheart”, and the other is “A Soldiers Dream Of Home”, both were sent to my Grandmother during training.

    • elliot burman says:

      My (our) Grandfather was also at Kinmel Park we grandchildren are trying to trace his movements during the first ww we have a photo of him there in 1919 but have established he (Tom Ivor Brooke pvt Welsh Fusiliers 41512 regiment 66057) was gassed at Ypres (Passendaele ?) in 1917 and was sent back to a hospital in Anglesy to recover but perhaps it was Kinmel park ?(he was eventually discharged 07/5/19 (sickness)He was conscripted on 15/8/16 he was farming before and after with his brothers in Herefordshire I have visited the Ypres salient a couple of times but have difficulty finding exactly where he would have been, any help would be very welcome.

      • Andrew Hesketh says:

        Private Tom Ivor Brooke, 41512 Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and later Private 594133 Labour Corps. I would suspect that his transfer to the Labour Corps would have taken place upon return from recover from the gassing you report. You refer to the number 66057 and a conscription date that you have taken from a Silver War Badge roll for the Machine Gun Corps. There is no reference to service with the Machine Gun Corps on his Medal Index Card, so I’m wondering if you may have mixed the stories of two men? If I can help you work this one out just let me know.

  9. Stephen Woodford says:

    I was a J/T at the camp from Aug 6th 72 – Aug 6th 73.
    There were 800 boys in my intake in Cambrian Coy for our initial training, I remember us ‘CROWS’ called this because the only uniform we had at first was a thick black tracksuit, beret (no cap badge) DMS boots & a yellow name badge.
    The ‘spiders’ (wooden barrack blocks) were indeed very basic, cold and with 36 boys to a room or leg cramped to say the least. I was in 4 platoon.
    After initial training we had a saluting test and recieved our Corps or Regiments badge followed by a recruit passing out parade.
    I then moved up to the traing companies mine was ‘B’ Coy, Kiaren Platoon & remained in the platoon firstly completing the education part of training & then on to trade training as a Radio Operator (as I was badged Royal Corps of Signals).
    At the end of the trade training there was a senior term passing out parade to see us off into the adult Army and further trade training at 8 Signal Regt, Catterick.
    I left the Army in Aug 1992.
    I have some fond memories of the camp and have been back with my wife to see what remains ie the Guardroom. Happy days.

  10. Pingback: Three charming vintage Kinmel Camp postcards | AbergelePost.com

  11. Lois Dean says:

    Does anyone know if there are records for the hospital part of Kinmel during WWI? My uncle was a patient there, according to an elderly cousin.

  12. Hannah Grainger says:

    Hi my dad was in the royal Artillery 1955 to 57 in kinmal park rhyl, he mentioned he was a driver ,and the 36th (I pressure that would be regerment or something ).
    His name is Kenneth farnaby ,lived in thornaby at the time ,I was wondering if there would be any were I might find a photo please

  13. John Checketts says:

    Is there anyone out there that remembers Sargeant Button and Captain Cairns in May 1968 would like to hear from you

  14. Elva Knott says:

    We have a photo of the 2nd battalion S. Lancs. signed on the back by the 26 soldiers. It is dated 11/06/17. It was probably taken just before they left for the Western front. My husband ( now 85) remembered that his father( Fred) had trained at Kinmel Park and on looking at the postcard on the website I recognised the side of the building behind them as being the same. They fought mainly on the Somme, Fred was exposed to mustard gas and was invalided out in 1918 with shrapnel embedded in his leg which stayed until his death in 1974. He was 18 when he enlisted in the Prince of Wales’s volunteers. I wonder how many returned?

    • Andrew Hesketh says:

      Intriguing. 2nd South Lancashire were never at Kinmel – they were in France with the original BEF from August 1914. The regiment’s 10th (Reserve) Battalion were in Kinmel briefly in the summer of 1915, but that’s about it. There is no regimental connetion with Kinmel in 1917. I might be able to help with the conundrum if you could provide you father-in-law’s full name and, if at all possible, his regimental number. He must have been a reinforcement for the 2nd Battalion following training. Therefore, if he was at Kinmel, he must have originally been in the 13th or 14th Training Reserve Brigades which comprised units of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, Welsh Regiment and South Wales Borderers. It would not be unusual for a man to be transferred in such a way.

      • Elva Knott says:

        Even more intriguing. We also have a very battered envelope which has been stamped 12 times in Mar/Apr 1918 as it tried to find him and was then returned to his home address in Blackpool. This is to Pte Fred Knott ( full name), South Lancashire’s, but 2nd Battalion is in a different hand so it could be wrong. The photo is in the form of a postcard and some of the signed names on the back are L. Sinclair Sergt, E Capstick, Freddie Hughes, Reg. Benbow, William Russell, Isherwood, Boyd, Whitehead, Allison, H.L. Digby Hollows, Howard, etc . and written on the back ‘ The boys of Old S.Lancs before reorganisation of the Battalion.’ My husband seems very certain they were at Kinmel Camp.

        • Andrew Hesketh says:

          Private 50601 Fred Knott. Conscripted 17 August 1916. Discharged 19 November 1918. Reason for discharge, King’s Regulations, paragraph 392 xvi 2a, “having served his country and still of military age, and served overseas on active service, is now discharged…… on account of disablement or ill-health caused otherwise than by misconduct”. Medals awarded: British War Medal, Victory Medal, Silver War Badge.
          We’ve got little to go on, and the dates and locations are difficult to build a story from so a lot of what follows is a speculative attempt to put forward a theory that works and fits the facts.
          The first date provided is with the photo labelled “The boys of Old S.Lancs before reorganisation of the Battalion”. You say that the photo is dated 11 June 1917. Of course the photo may have been of that date, but the inscription may have been written at a later date. I have found Capstick, Isherwood and Hollows and their regimental numbers are 50551, 50568 and 50592 respectively. Fred was 50601 and I would strongly suggest that the ‘tightness’ of their numbers suggests a group of conscripts for the South Lancs being trained together in June 1917. Usually, though not always, a conscript could expect six to eight months training before an overseas posting. Given Fred’s conscription in August 1916, this photo could well be a record of the group taken towards or at the end of training when they were about to be posted away.
          So, what battalion was this? This paragraph is speculation, but I would still be inclined to suggest the aforementioned 10th South Lancs for a number of reasons. This battalion had become 51st Training Reserve Battalion of 11th Reserve Brigade in September 1916, a few weeks after Fred had joined it with the chaps mentioned above (remember the proximity of their numbers). It would be no surprise at all if they continued to refer to themselves as South Lancs rather than the new-fangled and less impressive sounding Training Reserve Battalion. In May 1917, a few weeks before the photo was taken, the battalion was altered again when the units of the Training Reserve became Graduated and Young Soldier Battalions. In this scenario, the choice of words “The boys of Old S.Lancs before reorganisation of the Battalion” now makes perfect sense – they were ‘Old’ South Lancs, and the battalion was being reorganised at the time of the photo.
          So, we have the evidence of the date, an inscription fitting in with known reorganisations, and a group of regimental numbers that are part of a close sequence.
          Therefore, as mentioned above, I can easily imagine these chaps organising themselves for a ‘team photo’ at the conclusion of their training, which had begun as soldiers of the South Lancs, and was now due to conclude with them being posted to service battalions of the South Lancs overseas.
          But we still have no Kinmel! That will come later. [Interestingly, Benbow was not posted overseas. He presumably needed more training, or was not fit enough, as he was posted to the Welsh Regiment Training Reserve which was at Kinmel. The others, including Fred, served overseas with the South Lancs (Capstick was transferred to the Labour Corps at a later date).]
          So, c. summer 1917 Fred is sent overseas with a number of his mates on the photo to be a group of reinforcements for a South Lancs Service battalion. Which battalion? I’m afraid I cannot answer this. However, the question can be answered by a visit to The National Archives and a look at the relevant Medal Roll.
          Your evidence (the letter) suggests that Fred was with the 2nd Battalion, though I understand your caution.
          However, we do know that Fred was with the South Lancs,. We also know that he was in France, that he was wounded, that you believe him to have been on the Somme, that he could not be found in March/April 1918, and that he was discharged in November 1918 “on account of disablement or ill-health”. So, here’s another speculative theory that fits the known facts!
          On 21 March 1918 the Germans launched a series of massive and devastating attacks that went on for weeks. Lines that had been static for years now moved. Many men were made prisoner or wounded and vast numbers of men were posted as missing. Battalions intermingled. Confusion reigned for a period of weeks. One phase of this huge German assault was on British units on the Somme, where you believe Fred to have fought. One of the Divisions on the Somme was 21st Division. In 21st Division was the 2nd South Lancs. You say that Fred was gassed and wounded by shrapnel. Obviously we have no date, and it could have been earlier or later in the year, but if he was wounded March / April that would help explain the curious case of your envelope that seemed to go everywhere trying to find him and, at some point, some kind soul sticking 2nd Battalion on it to help it find its way. For a period of time he may well have been ‘missing’ hence the problem with the letter.
          So, in this theory, Fred is invalided home in the spring/ summer of 1918. Kinmel had a hospital and he may have gone there to recover. This may be the point at which Kinmel fits your story. My guess is that he never returned to his battalion. He was discharged just 8 days after the armistice on the grounds of ill-health. Most soldiers overseas were not discharged until the spring of 1919.
          So, was Fred at Kinmel? Probably not to be honest! If he was, it was probably as part of his recuperation, or maybe brief training events whilst with the 61st TRB at Prees Heath near Whitchurch.
          Hope this is useful.

          • Andrew Hesketh says:

            Sorry – penultimate sentence should state 51st TRB, and not 61st.

          • Elva Knott says:

            Many thanks for all that detailed information of which we knew very little. William (Bill) Russell fought with Fred and they remained friends after the war. He later emigrated to Chile. Bill’s mother and sister looked after Fred when he was discharged from Fazackerley Hospital, presumably sent there after he had been wounded. He had to plead with surgeons not to remove his leg. We didn’t know about the medals or that he was conscripted the day after his 18th birthday and he spoke little of his experiences to his children. Kinmel Park and where he trained will remain a mystery. Your time and possible explanations are much appreciated.

          • Michael Tappenden says:

            I have an original post card from Kinmel Camp with the date 1916 written on it. The card shows my grandfather JH Arnold and two comrades – Douglas and LCpl Keley. On the reverse (address side) it reads L Cpl G Carey, 13060, A Coy, 58 TR Battalion, Kinmel, N Wales. Presumably Carey was also a comrade of my grandfather. It’s difficult to see the cap badge of the three men but I presume that it is a Welsh Regiment. I would like to know more about my grandfather’s war record but so far no luck. I do know that he was gassed and hospitalised in Southern England.

          • Wow, the depth of your knowledge about war history is phenomenal Andrew. It’s kind of you to help others like this.

  15. Andrew Hesketh says:

    No problem Elva. By the way, I would guess that the Bill you refer to was William G. Russell, who was Private 50632 and thus another of that original group of conscripts to which Fred belonged. Good luck with any further research you carry out.

  16. Dan Hughes says:

    I’m trying to find info on a Joseph Doherty / Dougherty who was based there in te early 1940s. All I know is his name. Does anyone know where I’d start to look to find more info on him?

  17. Andrew Hesketh says:

    To Michael Tappenden (above).

    Many apologies, I missed your post until now. I cannot find Lance Corporal 13060 Carey I’m afraid. If you can post any further details of your Grandfather I will see what I can do. I need his full names and, best of all if possible, his regimental number. If medals are in the family, you will find the number and his regiment inscribed in the rims. Failing that, any corroborating bits and pieces – every clue, no matter how trivial, could be useful. If you would rather do this ‘off-site’, Gareth has my email address which I don’t mind him passing to you.

    • Michael Tappenden says:

      My turn to apologise now. Only just picked up your post. There is so little information about my grandfather, no service number or medals but the following might be useful:
      John Henry Arnold. Born 18 January 1881. Have a postcard of him and two comrades sent from YMCA at Kinmel Barracks to the mysterious Lance Corporal G Carey 13060 A Coy 58 TR Battallion Kinmel Bks. N Wales (from Kinmel to Kinmel?) The card has ‘1916’ written on by hand. (so he could have been 35). They are in uniform. Difficult to see but the cap badge could be Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Happy to email you a copy
      There are photos in the family of the VAD 106 hospital at Naunton Park Cheltenham and the family story is that he was gassed. Unfortunately there are no records at Naunton Park (now a school) or the Gloucs. archives. (Can send you copies if that helps).
      In addition he was wounded by shrapnel. My aunt tells the story of nursing him in March when he had a fever and pieces of shrapnel would appear through his skin.
      He also talked a lot about an action in a wood (usually at Christmas full of whisky). And being in hand to hand fighting with the Prussian Guard. Could that have been Mametz?
      Thanks for your help. Very grateful.

  18. Valerie Donovan says:

    My Grandfather was stationed at Kimel perhaps waiting to be demobbed or going home. I only have his name Frank Taylor no regiment so can never trace him but after a lot of reading on the camp it looked a hell hole poor guys

  19. Ann Taske says:

    I am looking for information about Lily Blood who was a Nurse VAD in WW1 stationed in Kinmell Park Military Hospital on 23 April, 1917. She was transferred to France on 1 June, 1918.

  20. Rob.Penfold says:

    Further to my other earlier post the main reason why I looke up the camp was I am doing a course on WW1 and trauma, and it was entioned about the Spanish Flue Epidemic. I heard when I was at kinmel that lots of the Canadians waiting to be shipped home died as a result of the epidemic, anyone know anyting about this please?

    • Andrew Hesketh says:

      There were a number. They are buried at Bodelwyddan and the graves there are a good place to start, either personally or via the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website.

      • Rob.Penfold says:

        Hi Andrew,
        many thanks, what a sad end for them having survived all they did.

        • John Johnson says:

          Rob, read my book 100 Years of Kinmel Camp, due for release soon. John Johnson….

  21. P.J. Oliver says:

    I was stationed at Kinmel camp doing my National service in 1950, I was a driving instructer, and battery clerk, a lance bombardier. Many memories!

    • John Johnson says:

      Hi, have you any picutres or stories that I may use in my book on the camp? Was hoping to have it finished by the November, but I need more material from the 50′ and 70’s. Johno.

      • Lynne Leckie says:

        Hi John
        Sorry, I don’t – but I do look forward to the book launch!
        Regards

        • John Johnson says:

          Many thanks, will let you know when its going to be published. John

          • Bob Harrod says:

            I only have the one photo but I think I sent it to you, can you confirm? It was a photo of me outside one of the spider huts with the red sash as I was duty sgt. If you don’t have it I can send it. Regards, Bob Harrod

          • John Johnson says:

            Yes, i have it buddy many thanks, did you evsr put your think cap on? Ha

          • Bob Harrod says:

            Yes, but I don’t think the stories are printable, probably libelous!

      • Les Hoyle says:

        Hello John,
        This is a late post if you are still open for replies, I was at kinmel park in 19 golf squad 1956 to 1957. I remember a jet aircraft crashing not far from the camp in that time, and the RAF men coming on the camp and using our cookhouse, was the pub just outside called the te~ fre or something similar

        • John Johnson says:

          Les, send what you have to me Bowmanvillejohn@hotmail.com…. many thanks. John

        • john says:

          Hi Les,
          I also recall the plane crash I am trying to research it I know it was a Vampire Jet .There does not appear to be any official reports can you narrow it down IE month year.The pub is called the TY Fry,

          Thanks

          John

  22. Jerry says:

    I’ve been carrying out research for the last two years on Kinmel camp, mainly relating to it’s construction and layout of the camp during the Great War..
    I have several plans from 1938 onwards and a sketch of the camp from Julian Putkowskis book on the riots.. I have also spoken to Julian about the camp..
    I’m currently trying to locate an plan of the camp during the Great War and have looked in every conceivable place locally and out of the area, including, National archives, McAlpines, local authority, council, libraries,records offices, IWM, MOD, highways, Cadw, CPA, National library of wales, Lidle collection, Royal Engineers museum, WFA, Canada, Kinmel Camp, etc, etc..
    Would anyone have an idea where else to look.
    I’m also trying to locate photos of the camp, it’s buildings and the men who served there and would kindly ask if anyone has photos of relatives, if would it please be possible to have a copy of them..
    This is part of a large project which hopefully culmunate in a memorial sight to those who served there..

    Thank you..

  23. Jerry says:

    Sorry.. I forgot to mention that, I would of course pay for any copies of photographs..

    Thank you

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  25. David Madeley says:

    I am a collector of british postmarks, living in Ottawa, Canada
    I recently obtained a postcard of Carnarvon Castle posted at Kinmel Park Camp on 27 May 1919 (just after the riots) , from a Canadian soldier to either his sister or girlfriend in Morridburg , Ontario.

    • John Johnson says:

      Hi David, I am a Canadian living in Old Colwyn, N. Wales. I am writing a book about Kinmel Camp (One Hundred Years of Service to the Crown). I was in Ottawa last July to meet an old friend, MP Erin O’Toole, who I gave a copy of my latest book to, as well and the Prime Minister “Canadian Courage In Afghanistan”. I will be in Ottawa again next month, staying with a friend on the Quebec side. My Great grandfather left Kinmel just days before the riots and sailed back to Canada on the Olympic. Regards John PS: Bowmanvilljohn@hotmail.com

  26. Jackie Pye says:

    Hi, my Father, gunner David Pye who was stationed at Park Hall, Oswestry, spent some time at Kimmel Park (unsure of dates). He is trying to find his army pals from years ago. Is there anyone that can help please?

    • Jon Dougherty says:

      How old is he? I am 78 and was based at Kimmel from Feb 1957 to Jun 1957, training as a signaller.

  27. I came across one photo album page with four photos of Camp Kinmel (they refer to it as St. Asaph Camp. I don’t know if they would be of help to some of you have posted on here, but I’m an eBay seller and I will be posting them under the user name of Onestellarseller tonight. One shows “Mr. Patterson’s Tent and Two Camp Mascots [puppies]” another shows tents and another is a line of musicians with instruments marching past tents. The last one shows a soldier (probably the same one with the dogs) standing with a woman and some soldiers with musical instruments are in the background. A tiny news clipping is pasted to the page for Mervin Dickens who was severely injured in 1918 or 1919. Not sure what the connection is unless the photos are of Mervin. My email has been erratic lately, so I hope if you email, I’ll get it. Another way to reach me is through eBay if you view the item and then click on “Contact Seller.”

  28. Lorraine Lister says:

    Hi, I wasn’t aware that Americans were ever stationed at Kinmel. Looking at the photographs there is clearly a US flag in the background, therefore I would question the location.
    There is a St Asaph in Virginia (Va) which would be a more credible location.

  29. John Johnson says:

    They where there during WW2 for a short while. John

  30. briantemple34 says:

    sir or madam i am also looking for ex jtr lads from 1970 1972 i have tryd to do this for months but i get a man with a silly smile on y uku and they want money and the set up is so stupid i have given up trying to contact any one if you coud please help me to to do this a bit easyer thank you B Temple

    • Good luck with your search Brian. Maybe someone here from your old regiment doing the same kind of research will see your post, remember you and get in touch.

    • stuart martin Anziolad says:

      http://jtrrhyl.fr.yuku.com/ go here and join us

      • stuart martin Anziolad says:

        on registering you need to put your birthday the american way MONTH FIRST ie 12/30/1952

    • Lynne Leckie ne Mainstone says:

      My father Harold Mainstone was at Kinmel 1947 and later became civilian driving instructor before leaving 1960 when new glass factory opened in st Asaph ..Bodelwyddan was great place to grow up with the familiar sound of band practice by JTR . I was the village first carnival queen 1971 and my escort was the JTR PE instructor ..what a handsome guy ..does anyone remember Capt Martin Burton 1970-1972 who always took his beloved Labrador to work with him ? Fen he was called ?

    • John Sleight says:

      Hi Brian, I was at Kimnel 1970-72 Minden Platoon B Coy,enjoyed every minute,i was in the Y.D.P. on the motorbikes,was also in the sailing club,we actually built a Catamaran,we were supposed to go on a 2week cruise in her but I got posted to Ireland.

  31. Bob Jeary says:

    I am an ex Junior Tradesmen who was at the camp from 16 Aug 1962 to 13 Sept 1964 to be trained as a driver with the R. A. S. C.
    I was in ‘A’ Company. The CSM was Sgt Major Mustard whose favourite expression was “Mustard by name & Mustard by Nature”. I also remember a Sgt Murell RASC, Sgt Berry who I believe was in the Somerset Light Infantry.
    The RSM I think was named Morgan in the RASC. Does any one out there remember them. I later met the ex RSM as a LT in my time serving with 60 SQN RCT.

    • Bob Harrod says:

      Yes, I remember all the people you mention. Mustard used to say he could make more noise banging his big toes together than we did when we presented arms!

  32. stuart martin Anziolad says:

    http://jtrrhyl.fr.yuku.com/ this is the forum address to the Junior Tradesmens Rgt from Bodelwyyden

  33. Joan says:

    I wonder if anyone can help please?

    I am trying to find out when my father volunteered for the First World War. He was Thomas Richard Llewellyn, 67621, 15th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment. He was from Cardiff, where he joined up, and underage at the time. He was sent to Kinmel Camp, confirmed at St Asaph Cathedral, trained in Yorkshire and spent a short time in Ireland before being sent to France and Belgium. He became a Lance Corporal and won the MM.

    His comrade was Robert Edward Owen, 67632, 15th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment who joined up at the same time as my father. Robert Owen was a butcher’s son who was born in Abergele and moved to Colwyn. Sadly Robert was killed in action on 20th October 1918.

    • Andrew Hesketh says:

      Joan, your father was not a volunteer. His regimental number of 67621 shows that he was a conscript and that he was enlisted at a date between 7 March 1917 and 9 April 1917 (that’s the closest I can narrow it down to I’m afraid, but if forced I would go with the first week of April). That’s not to say, of course, that he did not make an attempt to enlist voluntarily whilst underage earlier in the war, but if he did he got ‘collared’ and thrown out again!

      The 15th Battalion were a Bantam battalion, made up of men beneath the army’s regulation height of 5′ 3″ tall. In the latter stages of the war this was relaxed a little – was your Dad a small man?

      His mate, Robert Edward Owen, better known as Bobbie, was the son of Mrs. Mary Owen and the late John Owen, Butchers, Crown Bach, Bridge Street, Abergele, and killed as you say in 1918, less than three weeks before the armistice.

      • Joan says:

        Thank you so much for your response. I am intrigued by the information. My father was 5′ 11″ and I understand that the immediate family were very distressed when it was discovered that he had volunteered underage. It has long confused me how he ended up in the Cheshire Regiment, and I wonder if he could have joined one of the South Wales regiments, e.g. the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, as his older brother had, before later transferring to the Cheshire regiment.

        • Andrew Hesketh says:

          Hi Joan – as I said, the height issue for Bantams was ‘relaxed’ in the latter part of the war, so the fact that he was 5′ 11″ is no major surprise.

          As I also said, he may well have enlisted underage, but if he did he likely got caught. In these circumstances the lad would normally be sent home, but there are examples (at Kinmel Camp) of underage recruits being kept on and trained but not released for overseas service until they had achieved the correct age (18 to enlist, 19 to serve overseas).

          Because of this, he may well have enlisted into a regiment other than the Cheshires, but when recruits were released from Kinmel Camp they often went as a batch to an overseas base camp, such as Etaples in France, and then directed towards whichever battalion of whichever regiment was in need of reinforcements.

          Do you have his birth date?

    • John Johnson says:

      Hi Joan, I would like to use this short story in my book, have I your permission? Regards John in Old Colwyn.

      • Joan says:

        Hi John,

        Yes, you can use this.

        I have done some additional research and found out the following:

        I think my father (born Jan. 1899) joined the Welsh Regiment as a volunteer (as his older brother had) before Jan. 1916. He was sent to the Kinmel Camp for training (where he was confirmed at St. Asaph cathedral). Then because he was under 18 he was sent to Ireland. When he was 18 he returned to the Kinmel Camp and joined the 15th battalion, the Cheshire Regiment, going to serve in France and Belgium 1917.

        On 20 October 1918 he and his comrade Robert Owen were sent forward to find a way around a German pillbox which was holding up the advance. My father was leading and as he stepped forward Robert Owen stepped into his position and was shot and killed.

        My father was so angry that his friend was killed in his place that he ran to the pillbox, kicked open the door and took the German soldiers prisoner, for which he was awarded the MM.

        I hope this is of interest to you.

        Joan

        • John Johnson says:

          Joan, many, many thanks I will included it this evening, a shot in the dark have you a photo of him? Regards John

  34. Mike Potts says:

    Hi, I trained in the R. Signals as a J.Signalman.from March 1966 until 1968 when I posted to the Regulars in W.Germany. I was in Arnhem platoon, C Coy. Enjoyed it very much. As one of the posts said, it was a Junior Tradesman Regiment and not Junior Leaders.

    • Bob Harrod says:

      I was in Imjim platoon badged to 3RTR, not sure what Company that was, I arrived there in 1964 having transferred from JLR/RAC Bovington. Passed out in 1966 and joined my regiment in Fallingbostel, BFPO 38.

      • John Johnson says:

        Bob, have you any stories or pictures of you time at Kinmel, I am writing a book about the camp covering 1915 to present. In comeradeship John (QDG).

        • Bob Harrod says:

          Hi John, I have one photo if you let me have an email address I can send it. I suppose there are a number of stories, I’ll give it some thought. I notice you were QDGs, my troop sergeant at JLR/RAC before I transferred was Sgt Pringle, QDG. Does his name ring a bell? Regards, Bob

  35. Paul Thompson says:

    Hi John Johnson
    I was also QDG joined in june 75 and left 97, like you research kinmel
    regards

  36. Lynne Leckie says:

    Lynne Leckie ne Mainstone says:

    07/07/2015 at 00:39

    My father Harold Mainstone was at Kinmel 1947 and later became civilian driving instructor before leaving 1960 when new glass factory opened in st Asaph ..Bodelwyddan was great place to grow up with the familiar sound of band practice by JTR . I was the village first carnival queen 1971 and my escort was the JTR PE instructor ..what a handsome guy ..does anyone remember Capt Martin Burton 1970-1972 who always took his beloved Labrador to work with him ? Fen he was called ?

  37. malcolm White says:

    Can any one tell me where the records are kept for Kimmel 1917. On my uncles birth certificate it said that his father William White( my Grandfather) his occupation was private 66 T.R.B.Does any one have any information on the 66 T.R.B

    • Andrew Hesketh says:

      Malcolm, 66 TRB (Training Reserve Battalion) were formed in August 1916 from the unit formerly known as 22nd (Reserve) Battalion, the Welsh Regiment. They were part of the 14th Reserve Brigade alongside 62, 63, 64 TRB (all formerly reserve battalions of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers) and 65 TRB, formerly 14th South Wales Borderers. The entire Brigade was based at Kinmel throughout the war from its opening in early 1915. The battalion was, as the name suggests, the training battalion for new recruits and, from 1916, conscripts. Training periods varied but as a rule of thumb they were usually six months. At that point the men would be sent overseas in drafts to supply reinforcements to battalions overseas. Hope that helps. I’m more than happy to dig a bit deeper into William’s army career if you wish.

      • malcolm White says:

        Thank you Andrew for the information you have on the T R B.I would be grateful for any records you can find on William. His full name was William John White,he never used John on any records I have. His DOB was 5/4/1887 his next of kin would have been his wife Elizabeth Ann.His address in 1917 was 21 Wyndham Cresent Cardiff.
        Regards Malcolm.

        • Andrew Hesketh says:

          Hi Malcolm, I’ve had a dig around but there are several trails that lead from the information provided and it’s not clear which, if any, are the William White you seek. Can you add any further details? Ideally, his regiment and number which would be inscribed on the rim of any medals that may still survive. Failing that, place of birth, date of death, pre or post-war occupation? You have an address for 1917 – may I ask the source of this information?

          • malcolm White says:

            Hi Andrew I’am knot sure if you have this message I wrote a reply to you but I don’t think it was sent. I don’t know much about William I have a Civil Service Evidence of Age He was born in Bristol on 5/4/1887 his address was 12 Brecon St Cardiff. He died in Bridgend Hospital on 29/7/1971. I have the birth certificate of his son Earnest in 1917 that is how I know his address. In 1911he was living in 4 Avon Street Cardiff.I have no badges or medals or anything relating to the war.
            Regards Malcolm.

  38. Did 14 weeks of my national service at Kinmel park 10 Hotel squad 57/10 intakeThen posted to
    95 amphibious obs regt R A Poole Dorset Then to 3 rd ind amphibious obs Tp Hongkong for rest of service Jog any memories ?

  39. GUNNER JONES B.A. says:

    I WAS ON INTAKE 59/6 AT KINMUL PARK CAMP.TRAINED AS A SIGNALER AND POSTED TO HONG KONG TO GUN CLUB BARRACKS IN 1959 TO 1961.ANYONE ELSE ON THAT INTAKE,OUT THERE WOULD BE PLEASED TO GET IN CONTACT.

    • I was in Kowloon Whitfield Bks Feb 1958 to April 59 I was a driver op
      And our unit 3rd indep amphibious obs troop Royal artillery was to
      Provide Naval gunfire support to ships ( R N ) and others I enjoyed my time in Hongkong I made some very good friends and am still keeping in touch with them I did have occasion to go into Gun Club Bks when doing mail run as duty driver Sailed home on S S Nevassa .

  40. Margaret Thomas says:

    I hope someone can help.
    We have found out recently that my grandfather Thoams Ryan (born 1879) was at Kinmel camp sometime between February 1915 and August 1916 with the Welsh Regiment. He was then discharged unfit to serve and was awarded the silver war badge number B299615. He spent the rest of his life at Broughton House in Manchester as a paraplegic having a gun shot wound to the back. His record shows that he never went abroad so it seems that he must have been shot in some sort of training accident.
    Does anyone know of hospital or camp records that might record this incident.
    Thanks
    Margaret

  41. George Peacock says:

    Hi I was at kinmel park camp with 21 Med Rg in 1960 -1961 doing my national service . I trained as a surveyor and worked in the HQ Battery office.Played for the Reg football team,and athletics team.My good friend then was Geoff Brown who always moaned about having a friend who was National Service.He was a regular so always had more cash.From there I was posted to Colchester until my demob.Bring back National Serve I say.?

  42. Nev Shucksmith says:

    Did part of my basic training there 1957/8 as signaller in 40th field reg Ra. Had to polish boot studs in those days.

  43. Gareth Jones says:

    Hello, I am researching my Great Uncle 33322 2nd Battalion 14 platoon L Cpl Ivor Morgan South Wales Borderers Killed in action Ypres 4th July 1917. I have quite few cards and letters he sent home to his Sister (my maternal Grandmother) and his Mother my Great Grandmother. I noticed there is a card addressed to my Grandmother in Tredegar (Monmouthshire) from Ivor when he was based at Kinmel Camp in August 1916 I have photographs of him outside HUT 12, (I’m assuming it’s Kinmell) As a matter of interest on the off chance, does anyone know if there is a group photograph of his platoon or company in existence whilst at the camp or later?
    By the way for any post card collectors, I noticed earlier in the posts that there was mention of Nurses at the camp, one postcard I have has a coloured picture of a nurse in uniform with a bunch of roses ringing a doorbell. The heading is LEAP YEAR with the subscript A ring for you and I. (Picture is by Fredk Spurgin) on the reverse it says Art and Humour Publishing Co. Chancery Lane London W4 The A&H Leap year series No106

    • John Johnson says:

      Gareth, Very intereting, just about finished a book on Kimel Camp, if you would like to touch bases, there might be a story, to include. Give me a shout. Bowmanvillejohn@Hotmail.com

      John Johnson

      • Gareth Jones says:

        Hi John
        thanks for your response, how can I be of help. I have photo’s of him as a civilian, a post office worker and as a Soldier (probably whilst he was in training) I also have several letters (mostly with much the same messages) and service post cards, his bronze ‘death’ plaque, a letter from his Padre to his Mother informing her of his death etc.

        • John Johnson says:

          Brilliant, kindly send anything you wish to me to have a look through and make a story up from your items. Bowmanvillejohn@hotmail.com Many thanks, John

          • Gareth Jones says:

            Hi John

            I’ll try and put a few things together for you over the next week or so!
            Have you a deadline to meet?

            G

          • John Johnson says:

            The end of the month… cheers John

          • Gareth Jones says:

            Ok I’ll get cracking!
            G

          • frank morris says:

            John I have posted a message on site 21st December 2016about 89bty. 31 regt.if you care to read it and reply remember they were national service days two main regts.31 and 38+Reme. Acc PTI perhaps if people would say which ones would help

          • John Johnson says:

            Hi Frank Morris, just checked this site out for your message. Could not see your write up. Kindly send it to mt email address. Many thanks John.

  44. Jane Hussey says:

    My great-uncle William George Durston was sent to Kimnel Park during WW1 – 60 Training Reserve Battalion and after 6 days there he was court-martialled and sent for to Caernavon Prison for 2 years with hard labour. He was a staunch conscientious objector and friend of Keir Hardie, but the kindest man on earth.

  45. Eddie Jones says:

    Hi I have been trying to track my father’s service record but have little to go on (no service number). He joined up 1940 and was in a artillery unit, any ideas of the name of the regiment.

  46. Mrs Linda Radford says:

    I wonder if anyone can help me trace anyone who was stationed at Kinmel park in 1950 who may remember my dad James (jim) Hindson. He was with F Squad. 72 Battalion. 38th training regiment from November 1950 doing his national service. He has been reminiscing about his time there and friends he made. Would love to try and trace anyone who remembers him.

  47. carole weeding says:

    I am looking for any information on my father, his name was James Alfred Hopper, he served in the RASC at Kinmel Camp, DOB 26.4.1928, he joined up when he was 16yrs old, which would make it 1944. I would be very grateful for any information. Look forward to hearing from you, thank you, carole (daughter)

  48. frank morris says:

    have discussed your site with 3 mates whowere there in153/55 no mention at all about 31 regt. winning shooting cups at Bisley or our motor cycle display teamwho went local around Kinmel which if I remember included Abergele show and Denbigh show we discussed all photos would you be interested?if my mates agree.

  49. David Hughes says:

    Hello Frank,

    I have only recently found out that the motor cycle display team started at Kinmel. Any photo’s of the team or your time there would be of huge interest to us. You can e mail to me on cdlhughes at hotmail dot com if you prefer. Many thanks.

    David

    • Frank Morris says:

      David sorry not replied sooner hopeful to have some photos from a member of the team m/cycles were bsa matchless all with panniers and spring seats later on we had BSA gold stars on loan reg, number started ON. our star man was Eddie Crooks who came 2nd or 3rd in the junior TT Isle of man will contact you later when I get photos
      Frank

      • Charlie Williams says:

        Eddie Crooks went on, as you say to win races on the Isle of Man. His Mother had a B&B in Douglas. He started a successful Motorcycle business in Barrow in Furness and ‘Crooks Suzuki’s’ were a familiar sight on the British race circuits ridden by various riders, one of whom was Barry Sheene and, as it happens me also. The business still thrives in Barrow, run by Martin, Eddie’s son. Eddie passed away two or three years ago. (if you watch the film, Waking Ned, it was a nude Eddie who rode the bike into the distance in the final scene. the film was made on the Isle of man) On another subject, but also concerning Kimnel, I have two questions.
        My father, Reginald Williams trained on gun emplacements situated on the side of the Great Orme before being shipped out to North Africa in 1940. Would he have been billeted at Kimnel during his training ?
        Motorcycle races were held on the Kimnel site, run, I think by Wirral Hundred MC club. How many times were these races run and when exactly ?

  50. Pippa Reay says:

    Hi, I’m trying to track down the WWI service history of William Reay, who was born in 1899 in Cockermouth, Cumbria. He is believed to have served with the Durham Light Infantry and trained at Kinmel Park. He is also believed to have returned to the hospital at Kinmel Park after being gassed, perhaps on the Somme.
    He received the medals, “Pip Squeak & Wilfred”, but we no longer have these or his service number. However, there is a photo in uniform from that time but that is puzzling in that the badge on his cap appears to be of a Welsh regiment, not the DLI.
    The medal card index on Ancestry shows a number of William Reays in the DLI but one of them is stated to be of “Welsh Regiment, Durham Light Infantry”. Can anyone throw any light on this or know of any links between the DLI & Kinmel Park or suggest any other information sources for me, please?
    Thank you, Pippa

  51. Val donovan says:

    My grandfather was at Kinmel in Nov 1919
    I would love to trace him but only have his name, I believe this to be a transit camp but I don’t know how many men were left in November 1919

    Wonder if the MOD would give any information out

  52. Pingback: The chemistry of the gas helmet | Berkshire at War

  53. I was at JTR J/RSM 1968 to 1970, started regular service with 38 Sqn RCT finished service 2010 many years later. Wonderful start to life, may visit camp over weekend 23 Sep

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