202nd Battalion Witley Camp

near Godalming Surrey


Witley Military Camp, often simplified to Camp Witley, was a temporary army camp set up on Witley Common, Surrey, England. The camp was about 7 miles from Bramshott and appears to have been set up in the early part of the First World War. Camp Witley was one of three facilities in the Aldershot Command area and possibly established by the Canadian Army; the others being Bordon and Bramshott near Liphook.

There are many references to the camp but in March 1915 one referance including the costs on the huts to the tax payer apparently £13.00 per man, of which £4.00 represented the hut and £9.00 for recreation room, stores, light, and so forth. The camp at this time was apparently under construction still.

I also recently have found a reference to the camp being discussed in parliament dated 4th December 1916

Mr. KING asked the Under-Secretary for War whether he can state the terms on which the common lands on which the Witley Camps, in Surrey, have been established have been taken over; what sums, if any, have been paid to holders of manorial rights, or what sums are so due or payable, and to whom are such sums paid; for how many years have the lands been acquired; and whether any recompense has been made, or will be made, to those who have common rights in the commons on which Witley Camps have been established?
Mr. FORSTER These commons were taken over at an early stage of the War under emergency powers. No compensation has been paid to the Lords of the Manor who generously agreed that the Department should have the use of the commons during the present national emergency without payment. The War Department, on the other hand, agreed that, on the cessation of military user, the grounds should be reinstated as nearly as possible to its former condition, and that compensation should be paid to commoners who suffered substantial monetary loss.
Mr. KING Will the same remarks apply in this case as in connection with the preceding question.
Mr. FORSTER I think so.


There is a description of the camp recorded in a book The 60th C.F.A. BATTERY BOOK
by the 60th Battery of Canadian Field Artillery. http://archive.org/stream/60thcfabatterybo00canauoft/60thcfabatterybo00canauoft_djvu.txt

WITLEY Camp, of which Milford Camp - the Artillery quarters - forms a part, had for some time
been used as a Canadian training centre. On the high ground the infantry and other units occupied
a camp which readily lent itself to efficient training ; while on the slope of Rodhill there was ample
accommodation for the Artillery, Army Service Corps and Engineers.

Witley is in an ideal situation for the training of artillery. It is surrounded by large areas of roll-
ing common land covered with gorse and heather, giving opportunities for the most extensive
manoeuvres. The soil is principally sand, easy to excavate when practising the construction of gun-
pits, and adequate cover is available for the purpose of concealment. In addition, the camp is in
one of the most attractive districts of England.

Beautiful old-world villages, and spots of historical and artistic interest lie within easy distance ; good
roads run in every direction; and on each side sweeps of rich agricultural land, picturesquely
dotted with the quaintest of farm buildings, please the eye. Witley and environs, after a sleepy,
dreary winter, presents a spring setting of unsurpassed beauty and richness.

Below are a few of the images and postcards, from my own private collection that gives a flavour of the life as the men lived and played whilst at Camp Witley.


The 202nd battalion arrived at Witley Camp on the 30th November 1916 but no quarters were availably so the battalion was split and quartered with six other battalions for one week. They were then gathered together and proceeded to Bramshott Camp where normal training commenced. On the 30th December the 202nd Battalion again moved to Witley Camp going to the 12th Training Brigade in the south camp before being absorbed into the 5th Canadian Infantry Division, 13th Canadian Brigade in February 1917 and later on the 28th May 1918 the battalion was absorbed into the 9th Canadian Reserve Battalion. The 202nd mostly ended up in the 10th, 31st, 49th, 51st Battalions C.E.F. as reinforcements to the front lines in France.





Witley Camp


Army Service Corps

17th October 1916





Witley Camp


Camp South

The 202nd Battalion

quartered in the south camp

post December 1916

(from the 202nd War Dairy)












Camp Witley




Witley Camp



Witley Church

The Canadian Colours

were deposited in

this Church


The 202nd battalion colours were
deposited at Godalming Church at Witley Camp, in the afternoon of 1st May 1917

202nd Colours



Witley Camp



Witley Church



Witley Camp



5 Heart Chapel