The Romsey Remount Camp was of strategic importance during World War I being one the two closest camps to the docks at Southampton. The camp was a holding and training point for horses going to the front; it was also a place where returnees could be nurtured back to health and sent back to the front. Its presence had a marked impact on the local landscape and economy around Romsey.
Visit starts with a presentation for which there is no set script. It depends on what artefacts or subjects interest the audience. However, the material can be steered in the direction(s) desired by class teacher.
It is November 1915. Tom has worked for the Romsey Remount Service, in Hampshire since World War One began.
He is very knowledgeable about how horses are traded, cared for, trained, and transported to France as part of the war effort. He is keen to explain how the war began, and how he became involved in the Remount Service.
Working for the Remount Service, Tom is able to explain how horses were transported from other countries during World War One, before being retrained for military use. The military mainly use horses for logistical support; they are still better than mechanized vehicles at traveling through deep mud and over rough terrain. Horses are used for carrying messengers, as well as pulling artillery, ambulances, and supply wagons. The presence of horses often increases morale among the soldiers at the front, but the animals contributed to disease and poor sanitation in camps, because of all their manure.
Tom gets on very well with his commanding officer, Captain Edwards, who runs the Romsey Remount Depot. The Captain often joins Tom on his trips down to Devonport to pick up freshly arrived horses. Tom works with lots of Canadian and Australian soldiers; anyone who is a good horseman from anywhere in the Empire could be posted to Romsey Remount Depot.
It is not the animals’ fault, but injuries are commonplace when working with frightened horses. So Thomas has his own World War One First Aid Kit, which he is very keen to share and explain to his audience. Tom can talk about aspects of life during World War One to do with medicine, health, food, leisure time, clothing, beliefs, family roles, houses, occupations, and entertainments.
The Historian tells the story of Remount Camp from a wider perspective; set in the local, national and intentional context of World War I. Discover the impact of the camp on local landscape and economy; how the horses made their way to the front; conditions of service and what happened after the war.
Romsey Remount Workshops
- leisure time
- family roles
Further information on how workshops operate is found here.
More details about a character visit can be found here.