Life in ‘The Camp’ at Axminster detailed in new book

PUBLISHED: 07:02 11 October 2017

Dick Sturch's book about life in 'The Camp'. Picture DICK STURCH

Dick Sturch's book about life in 'The Camp'. Picture DICK STURCH

Archant

Dick Sturch recalls life in a Nissen hut on the newly vacated WW2 US Army military hospital at Millwey Rise

The huts and tents of the 315th Station Hospital where US Army D-Day casualties were trearted at Millwey Rise. Picture DICK STURCH The huts and tents of the 315th Station Hospital where US Army D-Day casualties were trearted at Millwey Rise. Picture DICK STURCH

‘A deserted Army hospital - With space to roam and play.

That time so very long ago still seems like yesterday.

We found a hut like other folk - A dwelling of our own.

Squatters living on the “Camp”- For many years our home.’

Life in ‘The Camp’ at Millwey Rise, in Axminster, immediately after it was vacated as a World War Two US military hospital is detailed in a new book.

Dick Sturch recalls how, in 1947, his family moved into a Nissen hut as “squatters” together with many other families - all thankful to have a home of their own in a time of little housing and even less money.

His new home had been part of the US 315th Station Hospital built to receive their casualties from the Normandy landings in WW2.

After it was vacated many families took advantage of the empty hospital buildings to make a home for themselves.

Said Dick: “Our Nissen was an empty shell until my step-father divided it into three rooms with curtains. One for living and two bedrooms. There was no running water, toilet or electricity - the nearest toilet block was nearly 100 yards away.

“Its saving grace was a large combustion stove stood in the middle of the building to provide warmth, boil water and my favourite place to sit and brown my toast.

“We moved from there into a converted dwelling. A bit of a misnomer as my father did all the conversions including the electric wiring. This building had previously been the Hospitals administration office. Again no toilet or bathroom but dad did bring running water into the hut. After living there for four years we eventually moved into a Cornish Unit, one of the new Council houses that gradually replaced the old hospital huts to create what is now a thriving Millwey Rise.

“I have so many fond memories of my formative years on ‘The Camp’. It created a spirit of community. No one had much of anything but someone would always help out if there was a problem.”

* Dick, who lives in Honiton, left Millwey Rise in the early sixties but goes back most weeks to watch them play football as he was one of the founder club members in 1958.

‘The Camp (Millwey Rise) Rhymes of Life 1947-1952’ will be available from the Archway Bookshop in Axminster and Central Stores, Millwey Rise, under whose foundations are the remains of his old ‘converted dwelling’.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 16:00

Ashdown Caravan Park also wants to implement a storage compound for up to 30 caravans as part of a site extension.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:33

Neil Parish was shown first-hand the wide range of services available for customers designed to take the stress out of the demanding festive season.

Read more
Sunday, December 10, 2017

Catch our weekly round-up of readers’ pictures.

Read more
Sunday, December 10, 2017

The family of the man who oversaw the move of Seaton Primary School from its Fore Street site to its present location have paid tribute to him, following his death.

Read more
Saturday, December 9, 2017

Red Homes provided the kits to players in the college’s U14 football team, who went on to be crowned East Devon Schools’ champions.

Read more
Saturday, December 9, 2017

Debbie Foxford, based from Devon Bluebird Care’s hub in Honiton, was announced as the winner at the glitzy ceremony in Bristol.

Read more
Saturday, December 9, 2017

A man is being supported by mental health professionals after spending hours on a bridge over the M5, leading huge delays in Devon last night (Friday).

Read more
Friday, December 8, 2017

Alfie Madge went missing from School Lane in Honiton.

Read more
Friday, December 8, 2017

Enthusiastic people wanted to help bring its newly refurbished galleries to life.

Read more
Thursday, December 7, 2017

The tot was locked in their parent’s car on the driveway of a home in Exeter Road at 9.48am.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 4°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Honiton's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications