Aerial photograph

Enlarge the image by clicking on it. Visit the Tweedsmuir Camp Exhibition (at the Rural Life Centre, The Reeds Road, In Tilford, Surrey) to see a much enlarged aerial photograph of the camp, which measures 2,438mm by 1,219mm.


This was Tweedsmuir Camp as seen from the air on Saturday, 29 January 1946.

Parked on the eastern edge of the 'dog-legged' parade ground are military vehicles. The black line that starts in the parade ground's north eastern corner is a column of soldiers marching off at the end of a parade. Since parades in Tweedsmuir were held in the morning of each day, it is very likely that the RAF took this photograph before noon.

Although it had snowed the night before the weather brought with it a cloudy but mild day, which was described in the 1 Canadian Repatriation Depot Diary as "almost spring like" as the snow began to melt. The significant subject of concern for the Canadian soldiers on the ground was how soon they would be returned home; a process that most found prolonged and tiresome.

The intake for this day was 68 personnel, comprising 23 officers and 45 other ranks. In the evening part of draft XUK/279 left to catch trains for Southampton in order to sail to Canada. For those who remained in the camp a Maple Leaf show was staged in the gymnasium.

On the day the above photograph was taken the Canadian's tenure would last a further 1 year and 23 days. 5 months after the camp saw its last Canadian soldier, it was occupied by troops from another country - Poland. The 55 Brigade, Polish Resettlement Corps arrived on 7 July 1947.

501 Basic Unit PRC had arrived 4 days later. It comprised Polish personnel employed by the War Office as clerical staff at Witley Camp.

The 55 Brigade Group evacuated the camp on 10 December 1947.

501 was disbanded on 15 August 1948, joining forces with 503 Basic Unit PRC at Institute Camp, Codford, Wiltshire. Exactly 3 months later, on 15 November, Tweedsmuir Camp was redesignated a families camp.