Posts Tagged ‘Army Camps’

“To fight demons, one must assume the guise of a demon”
― Elizabeth Hoyt

I recently finished reading The Soldiers Wife by Joanna Trollop and was compelled to write a few words about it because the book really opened my eyes to the fact that there were other many more victims of War than I initially imagined. The book was set locally and the army camp that the featured family were a part of is called Larkford. It seems quite simply to be a combination of Larkhill and Bulford Camps, both local to where I live.

So after going out for Breakfast with my parents I persuaded them to drive back through the army camps so I could get some shots for today’s blog – and picture the setting of the book. Joanna writes well – but she didn’t portray the characters as best as I felt she could. Nevertheless the book touched me because it highlighted the family problem.

The main character – Alexa – could be any number of the army wives around here. Her husband wasn’t killed in battle, he didn’t come home with a limb missing – he wasn’t shell shocked. Because he lacked all of these things, it was expected that he come home and they be normal once more. He had been away for six months, touring Afghanistan – but he came back so everything was expected to slip nicely into how it used to be. I never really thought about that side of the trauma of War before. When I was younger and at School my fellow classmates used to say goodbye to their Fathers all the time. Fathers because I never knew somebody whose Mother was in the army.

When I was much younger – around 6 – 8 years old – My Father went away on a police training course for one week in London. It felt like thousands of miles away, I kicked and I screamed when he left and I begged to go with him. I’d never been away from my parents before – even the kind of away that meant being at home and one of them missing.

I found it hard to understand, as I got older, how my peers could deal with the absence and on top of that – the risk of loosing their parent. Later on, when I was twelve, I learned how people might begin to prepare for such things but for completely different reasons than my peers with army Fathers were having to do. That however, is another story – a whole book in fact!

So today we went through Bulford Camp and then down into Tidworth Garrison. Army camps have everything that a small town has, pubs, churches, shops, playing fields and so on – they are better equipped than villages. Bulford & Tidworth have their own radio station – Garrison FM.

The church in Bulford is quite beautiful – very ornate and for the small community surrounding – it’s huge! This particular Church is named the Garrison Church of St. George.

The Bulford Camp – like many around here – is located on the beautiful landscapes of Salisbury Plain. The plain is a chalk Plateau that covers over 300 square miles. Within those miles is Stonehenge. Military activity first started on the Plain in as early as 1898.

There is no doubt that the army get to make fantastic use for training – of some beautiful landscapes. According to wikipedia (useful site that!) live firing is conducted on the Plains for 340 days of the year. We often hear it on Summer evenings from home.

As we drove back through Tidworth there seemed to be a very small but noticeable procession of people with placards…


Other than that – Easter Monday was a quiet one. Particularly quiet because I’ve lost the hearing in my right ear!


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