Morale & mutiny played a big role in the war; this was the only driving force the soldiers had. As part of the United Kingdom force, Shoreham Army Camp prepared soldiers to go join the worldwide war. Early stages of Shoreham camp, the camp only consisted of tents & non-permanent stationary. Living conditions for the soldiers was not great; it was unprepared because of the sheer amount of soldiers. The soldiers had to sleep in small tents. The tents, of which the soldiers lived in, were made out of white canvas; this was designed to reflect the sun’s heat. But in the case of Shoreham camp, this was in the middle of November where the weather wasn’t suitable for the design of the tents. The weather was freezing cold & the rain caused the field they were living in, to turn into a muddy chaos.
This setup was a fail & was not popular with the approximately 19,000 soldiers who stationed there. This was because these tents were not weather resistance- they couldn’t resist high winds & also they were waterproof to a certain state. The soldiers also had to deal with leaking tents because of the horrible winter weather; this also caused the soldiers to be constantly cold. This made the soldiers living condition to decline to a state where the soldiers couldn’t live their daily lives without the fear of dirty clothing & their health conditions.
Due to the issues with living conditions, most of the soldiers at Shoreham Army Camp did not enjoy living & training in the conditions given. These conditions caused the soldiers’ morale to deplete & made the soldiers want to do something about it either by protesting or wanting to leave.
Following the winter of 1914/1915 that caused huge mudslides in the camp, the tents were replaced, by hutment accommodations. These huts proved to be way better than the temporary tents in-place before. The huts were made out of wood & were actually able resist the harsh weather. These huts provide proper shelter for the soldiers, therefore they were getting good sleep and it was a nice & warm place for them to keep warm. This improved the soldiers’ living condition a lot & boosted the soldiers’ morale. From there onwards the soldiers’ morale kept getting better & better, they had entertainment, activities & a good living quarter.
Some examples of the activities the soldiers got up to included visiting the local cinema, watching boxing match & they also had a YMCA to visit
When the war was over, the camp was still intact & operational. The soldiers on the other hand wanted to go home to see their families- but weren’t officially allowed to. This led to the soldiers forming mutinies to protest against the authority. It was recorded in the Argus on the 6th of January 1919 that the soldiers of Shoreham & Southwick army camp decided to march to Brighton.
Around 4000-5000 soldiers contributed to this march resulting in their voice being heard. This march was to Brighton hall; this was over 8 miles from the camp. The soldiers kept a good order & were singing the whole way & they kept this up for the whole walk. They marched to Brighton hall, where the mayor of Brighton was located. This resulted in the mayor of Brighton taking actions, he stated that he hoped that things hurried up for them & added that he was glad that the protest was made so that the soldiers could receive the attention they needed. The soldiers were extremely satisfied with the mayor’s action; they went ahead and sang ‘for he’s a jolly good fellow’ & according to the report ‘re-formed fours & marched off on their return eight miles tramp’