Event date

7th July 1916


Entity info.

Taken from Luton News 13th July 1916.  Duke and Duchess Present.  Stirring scenes, illustrative of two sides of the war were witnessed at Ampthill Station on Monday.  The first scene was the departure of 800 brave Bedfordshire lads for the Front, and the other was the arrival of 100 wounded soldiers straight from the Front.  Both events were deeply touching and brought home very closely the realities of war to those who witnessed them.  The men of the Bedfordshires left about 7.30, there being a large crowd at the station.  The Duke and Duchess were among those who bade Godspeed to the men, who will certainly give a good account of themselves after such splendid training as they have had at Ampthill Camp.  They marched from the training depot to the lilting music of the drum and fife band and at the station there were touching scenes.  Hymns were sung and the band played "Auld lang syne".  The men left cheerily, determined to do their best when they join their comrades on the other side of the water.

But a sadder and more stirring scene was that in the afternoon, when the wounded arrived in a long, grey hospital train, in charge of Navy men.  A lengthy line of cars and ambulances awaited its arrival outside the station, the cars having been lent by local ladies and gentlemen.  The Duchess of Bedford was one of the most prominent on the platform, among her staff from the V A.D. hospitals and Mr Wingfield and the medical officer and others were present to receive the men.  The whole of the 100 were stretcher cases and the local ambulance detachments were ready for the conveyance of the men from the train to the waiting cars.  It was most touching to see the poor fellows lying there, some very badly wounded, straight from the trenches, with the tickets bearing particulars attached to their clothing.  With great care and every consideration for the men the staff of the train and those waiting, carried out their work, the poor patients bearing all the pain they must have suffered without a murmur.  In expeditious manner the men were placed in the cars and were quickly driven off to the Woburn Abbey and the Wrest Park hospitals.  There they will have every possible attention and treatment which skill and sympathy can supply.

Author: Diane Cullen

Add comment

Log in or register to post comments