The Bramshott Souvenir Magazine - 1918. (Published in England for Canadian troops.)

$15.00

Cat No.:   CA0301:

Produced as an unashamed piece of personal nostalgia, and aimed at Canadian troops on their way into action this unique and very rare publication gives us a glimpse into one of Canada’s major training camps in Europe. The magazine’s own editorial provides perhaps the best justification for its publication:

“The relatives and friends of the soldiers who are training in this area will now be able to come into closer contact with them, and when they receive this Souvenir in those Canadian homes that are so dear to us they will be able to picture to themselves what our boys are doing by means of the photographs and articles scattered throughout these pages.

This is the first Souvenir dealing with the daily life of a training area ever published in England. It has been a big undertaking and many difficulties have had to be overcome, but if it meets with the approval of the Officers and Men in this camp and if it carries a message of affection and joy to the far distant homes of the Dominion, the labour spent upon it will not have been in vain.”

Bramshott is located in the north of the county of Hampshire, just south of Surrey, in an area long associated with the British army. In fact one of the local towns, Aldershot, is nicknamed “The Home of the British Army” to this day. The area, then, was well suited to the accommodation of large, transient, populations of military personnel and the necessary specialized training facilities were already in place.

Following the traditional magazine format it is made up of numerous articles illustrated with posed pictures of uncomfortable looking fighting men of all ranks, although the officers do claim the lion’s share of the magazine’s attention. Being a war time production publishing stories about the allies fighting force, the mark of the censor is visible in that the unit numbers in most of the articles have been removed. On the other hand, the names of the individuals in the photographs - or who were the subjects of the articles - remain and a little insight will usually allow the deleted unit identification be guessed. In addition to the expected articles describing the individuals and military units in residence there are also articles on sports, and on some of the area’s stationary facilities. The magazine also provides a platform for the literary output, both humorous and serious, of the visiting troops and carries many fine cartoons and caricatures of members of the training command staff. There is even a reprinting of John Macrae’s famous, “In Flanders’ Fields.”

Even if you don’t find your ancestor’s name and picture in this magazine you will be taken to a place and time which so many of the Canadian fighting men, and women, passed through on their way to “the front.”

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