As we approach our Armistice Fixture against Grimsby Town this Saturday, we’ve been reflecting on Aldershot’s historical involvement in World War 1.
At the beginning of 1914; Aldershot was the largest army camp in the country. Home to two Infantry Divisions, a Cavalry Brigade, and large numbers of artillery, engineers, service corps and medical corps; 20% of the home British Army was based there.
When war broke out Aldershot’s units became the 1st Corps of the British Expeditionary Force. In their place thousands of recruits came to the huge training centre at Aldershot.
The impact on the civilian town was profound. An already severe accommodation crisis was exacerbated when the army took over many houses and schools to billet soldiers under training.
Aldershot’s role was vital; it provided the nucleus of the 1914 army, treated the wounded from the fighting, and ensured a constant supply of trained men for the fighting.
For more information on Aldershot’s historical involvement in World War 1, click HERE for more of a listen on the BBC website.
Chairman Shahid Azeem also spoke on the town’s historical involvement in World War 1:
“We are so proud of the links and relationship with the Army and in particular, the Garrison, where Aldershot Town is the home of the British Army.
“We were the first football club to sign up for the Military Corporate Covenant and the first Football club in the country to be awarded the MOD Silver Employer Recognition scheme.
“This was all in aid to support our soldiers, veterans and families, who have sacrificed so much for the freedom we enjoy today.
“We are again very proud as Aldershot Town Football Club to lead every football club in the Vanarama National League to sign up to the Corporate Covenant.
“On a personal note, the biggest achievement that I believe we had, is to form our close relationship with the Army and Tri-Services.
“We owe them so much.”