WW1 Postcard - Chisledon Camp, nr Swindon in Wiltshire
An amusing little ditty of a poem about life of army recruit at Chisledon Camp in Wiltshire printed on one side of a postcard, postally used in July 1916. Almost nothing remains of Chiseldon Camp in Wiltshire today. It was set up in 1914 as a training base for up to 10,000 troops at a time, before they went to the front.
In 1915, part of it was developed into a hospital for wounded soldiers before, in 1916, it began to treat soldiers coming back from the front who had contracted VD.
When war had been declared, Lord Kitchener had warned troops serving abroad "you may find temptations, but you must entirely resist them".
He urged British soldiers to treat all women "with perfect courtesy", but avoid "any intimacy".
But the blue-uniformed soldiers who, from July 1917, were kept behind 6ft-high barbed wire fences in a special area of Chiseldon, called L Lines, were proof that for some, Kitchener's appeals fell on deaf ears.
In 1918 alone, more than 60,000 soldiers needed treatment for VD - compared to around 75,000 who were treated for trench foot in the whole of the war.
Soldiers who contracted VD would not be paid while they were being treated, and would also lose the right to take leave for a year.
Initially the army also wrote to the soldier's family spelling out what he was being treated for.
That was stopped sometime around 1916, after a Major committed suicide after his wife had been informed.