Prees Health Camp was a training base for the British Army. It opened in 1915 and had a capacity for approximately 30,000 troops for the purpose of training in trench warfare. During wartime the site developed to include a supplies store, a railway depot and one mile of branch line from Crewe and Shrewsbury Railway. After the armistice the site was downgraded, however, the British Government maintained a presence for the continued purpose of training army personnel.
The Lonsdale Battalion was located here for a short period of time. They left their home training ground at Blackhall Camp, Carlisle, on the 8 May. They joined the Glasgow men of the 15th, 16th and 17th Battalions of the Highland Light Infantry, forming the 97th Brigade under the command Brigadier-General Hacket Thompson. The Borders and Highlanders remained here until 22 June when, owing to the unsuitability of the ground for Brigade training, they moved to Wensleydale in Yorkshire.
- 1939 – Becomes an internment camp for screening Austrian and German refugees.
- 1941 – Closes 4 October.
- 1942 – Construction of airfield on site completed. Opened 1 August and named Whitchchurch Heath.
- 1943 – Site renamed RAF Tilstock, 1 July.
—Cheshire Observer, 12 December 1914.
—Whitchurch Herald, 16 January 1915.
—Chester Chronicle, 6 February 1915.
Glossary of words and phrases[edit source]
The above term is listed in our glossary of words and phrases of the Armed Forces of Great Britain during the Great War. Included are trench slang, service terms, expressions in everyday use, nicknames, the titles and origins of British and Commonwealth Regiments, and warfare in general. These words and phrases are contemporary to the war, which is reflected in the language used. They have been transcribed from three primary sources (see Contents). Feel free to expand upon and improve this content.
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- Tilstock Airfield Wikipedia: the free encyclopaedia. Accessed 26 August, 2016.
- Record of the XIth (Service) Battalion (Lonsdale) - In England.