Rest Camp No. 8

16th August, at sea, The English Channel

The Dorsets landed at Le Havre at 4pm, according to the war diary.

The weather was hot but previous heavy rain had made the ground wet and, with the transport struggling up the steep hill out of the city, it took nearly 2 hours to get to Rest Camp No. 8, six miles away. The main body of the battalion arrived at 10pm, with the transport still stuck along the road from Le Havre.

Orders were to stay put until further notice.

I am not sure of the exact location of Rest Camp No. 8 but I imagine it was in to the north of Le Havre, in the hills above Sainte-Adresse, where Rest Camp No. 1 was located. If any one has the exact location please let me know in the comments.


Bound for Le Havre

15th August 1914, at sea, The Irish Sea

Frank was onboard the SS Antony, bound for Le Havre in France. The British Expeditionary Force used Le Havre as its main port for the Western Front. 1.9 million British troops passed through the city between 1914 and 1919.

SS Antony wasn’t the only ship sailing from Belfast. The 15th Brigade was formed and based in Ireland and was part of the British 5th Division. The 15th Brigade consisted of the 1st Bn Dorsetshire, 1st Bn Bedfordshire, 1st Bn Cheshire and 1st Bn Norfolk regiments.

The 15th Brigade left Belfast en masse. The convoy consisted of the  SS Antony (1st Bn Dorsetshire, Battalion HQ and half the 1st Bn Norfolk),  SS Massilia (1st Bn Cheshire and the rest of the Norfolks)  and, slightly ahead on the next tide, the SS Oronsa (1st Bn Bedfordshire).

The 15th Brigade was commanded by Count Albert Edward Wilfred Gleichen. In 1917 he reverted to the more English title of Lord Edward Gleichen on request from the King. This was probably a wise move at the time. If you’ve got a Kindle then his rather droll diary from 1914-1915 is available for free on Amazon.

Image of Count Edward Gleichen in 1907
Count Edward Gleichen, commander of the 15th Brigade in 1914.