About the Camps
Life in the Camps
The New Zealand Rifle Brigade
Ernest Beguely - NZRB
The Archaeology of the Camps
The Great War Hut
Maps & Points of Interest

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Huts at Rugeley Camp
A Hut converted to a house

The Great War Hut

Constructing the huts

Local construction workers onsite c.1915
The soldiers being trained at the two military camps on Cannock Chase lived in prefabricated huts. These huts were under construction from late1914 and were largely built by civilian workmen who were apparently attracted to the job by the good wages.

The huts were constructed in wood with a door in each end and windows down the side. The first troops began to move into the huts in early 1915.


There were two types of accommodation hut on the camps those for officers and those for enlisted men. The officers each had their own stove and the photograph shows the hut in the foreground with several chimneys . The huts in the distance were the huts for the ordinary soldiers and they had to share one stove which was located in the centre of the hut.

Enlisted huts to rear and Officers huts in foreground at Brocton camp
Only one stove to keep them warm in the cold winters
Home for the duration of the soldiers' training

The huts were home for the duration of the soldiers' training both eating and sleeping here. They even spent Christmas here too!

After the War

The huts were dismantled and removed from Cannock Chase around 1920. Many of the huts were sold to locals who used them as workshops, houses and even as a village parish hall.

Cannock Chase Great War Camps Interpretation Centre

The hut which was to become the Cannock Chase Great War Camps Interpretation Centre spent 85 years of its life as a parish hall in the village of Gayton, around 10 miles north of Cannock Chase. It was used to host whist drives, dances, wedding receptions as well as local meetings.

In 2006 when Gayton Parish Council secured funding for a new parish hall they offered the old hut to the Friends of Cannock Chase who, in partnership with Staffordshire County Council, gained funding from the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund to re-erect the hut on the Chase. The parish hall was dismantled in May 2006, but before this was completed an archaeological building recording survey was carried out to ensure that is could be accurately reconstructed. It only took three weeks to dismantle the hut and then it was removed to a secure storage area prior to its reconstruction next to Cannock Chase Visitor Centre.

Undergoing archaeological building recording
Hut being dismantled in Gayton
The hut in its new home

The rebuilding of the hut was carried out in the Spring of 2007 and had been completed by June 2007. Much of the original hut has been preserved and the interior has been partially fitted out as it would have looked in c.1916 at the height of its life as the home to those young men who were to be sent out to war in
northern France and Belgium.

Terms and Conditions

(c) Staffordshire County Council, 2009