|Very little remains of Chiseldon Camp today which could give any hint of the fascinating story behind its existence or its role in the making of British history. |
It was a key training facility and staging post for soldiers bound for the First World War, and then the story was repeated during the Second World War.
And there is an intriguing addition to the plot in the fact that it was the very first camp in Britain to receive American soldiers, thus providing a page in a chapter of American history.
The camp had its own railway station and hospital, its own recreations, it played host to royal visitors and a legendary entertainer, it provided the people and the setting for some intriguing and tragic incidents - and it even has its own ghost.
Originally called Draycot Camp because it was close to Draycot Foliat, its Chiseldon postmark ensured it would soon become known as Chiseldon Camp instead (and even Chisledon Camp as the alternative spelling of the village persisted well into the 20th century).