New group aims to celebrate Clipstone’s role in First World War

editorial image

A group which aims to celebrate Clipstone’s vital role in Britain’s First World War effort has been formed.

The Clipstone Camp Centenary Partnership group aims to promote, remember and celebrate the village’s former Clipstone Camp and educate schoolchildren about their heritage.

Clipstone Camp opened in February 1915 and was home to 30,000 troops who were trained in the art of war before heading off to the western front in France and Belguim.

Shiela Soar, group secretary, said: “As a village we need to remember Clipstone Camp, it is massively important to the village and our history.

“It is vital that we get a permanent memorial and to have a proper celebration for the 100th year anniversary.

“As a village we need to do something to join in the national mood of celebration and we need to get the community to come together as a group and support this.

“It is important that the village knows about our history, there will be a lot of people out there who have no idea about Clipstone Camp.”

Paul Peacock, community involvement officer at Nottinghamshire County Council and group member, said the importance of Clipstone Camp could not be underestimated.

“This was one of the largest single contributions to Nottinghamshire’s involvement in the war,” he said.

“Having 30,000 soldiers based in Clipstone was simply massive. I live three to four miles away and did not know about this.”

As part of the celebrations, the group plan to have a memorial monument put in place, located outside Samuel Barlow School, by February 2015.

It is also hoped that a public exhibition will take place at the school in June 2014.

Each camp line could hold a battalion of men. The lines were self sufficient and contained sleeping quarters, mess rooms, cook houses, parade grounds and a guardhouse to keep the men in check.

The area which now forms part of Sherwood Pines to the south of the camp saw rifle, pistol and machine gun ranges constructed, some of which still exist to this day.

Additional recreational activities included swimming in nearby Vicars Pond and in the Spa pools to the northwest of the camp.

Soldiers also ventured into nearby Mansfield to mingle with the local population resuling in a boom for business.

The group is now exploring possible funding opportunities through a number of organisations, including Heritage Lottery funding and the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.

If you can offer any funding support, or would like to get involved with the group, contact Shiela Soar on 01623 658703.

The next meeting of the Clipstone Camp Centenary Partnership will take place on 25th July at Clipstone Library at 6pm.