Clipstone Camp war memorial plans move a step nearer

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PLANS to unveil a special memorial to the First World War soldiers who trained in Clipstone have moved a step closer.

Members of the Clipstone Camp Partnership Group met on Thursday night to put in place an overall strategy and come up with a number of proposed commemorative events.

The group aims to commemorate and celebrate Clipstone’s key role in the training of soldiers destined for the front line during the First World War.

Clipstone Camp opened in February 1915 and was home to 30,000 troops who were trained in the art of war. Parts of the former training trenches can still be seen on the landscape today.

Stephen Thirkill, Chad news editor and group member, said: “The group is currently looking into potential memorial designs and costs.

“Once these are drawn up, they will be fully publicised in Chad with residents being able to have their say and select the design they like best.

“The involvement of the local community is something that is very important to us. We want to celebrate this wonderful and vital part of Clipstone’s history and get as many people involved as possible.”

Plans to hold a guided walk with a local historian around the site are currently being discussed.

The possibility of holding a church service, a public exhibition at Clipstone Library and other events to mark key dates in the history of the war, such as 1st July 2016 to mark the 100thanniverssary of the opening of the deadly Somme battle, are also currently being discussed.

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.