History of the Cannock Chase Camps

In 1914, two large camps (known as Brocton Camp and Rugeley Camp) were
constructed on Cannock Chase.

Together the two camps were capable of holding up to 40,000 men which probably trained upwards of 500,000. The camps had their own church, post offices, a bakery, amenity huts, and even a theatre. Early in the war the camps were used as transit camps to accommodate Service Battalions travelling to the Western Front; the camps later became a training facility, with the creation of practice trench systems similar to those on the Western Front to train the troops. (One of these trench systems still survives on the Chase.)

At the commencement of hostilities, Lord Lichfield (the owner of the land) had been adamant that no German prisoners of war would be located on Cannock Chase. However, by 1917 the War Office had allocated a Prisoner of War camp at Brocton camp (located in Brocton Coppice).

The New Zealand Rifle Brigade later made Cannock Chase their UK headquarters.

More information on the history of the Camps on Cannock Chase.

Military event on Cannock Chase September 2014