Advertisements

Tag Archives: Gallipoli

WWI 100: London’s Memorials… The Imperial Camel Corps

ww1-london-memorials-logo

Of the many WWI memorials in London, one of the more unusual is that of the Imperial Camel Corps which can be found close to the Thames in Victoria Embankment Gardens.

The Imperial Camel Corps Memorial, Victoria Embankment Gardens

The Imperial Camel Corps Memorial, Victoria Embankment Gardens

Raised in December 1916 the Camel Corps was, unsurprisingly, established for desert warfare.

Troops in the desert

Troops in the desert

The first men to join the Corps were Australian troops, recently returned from the hellish Gallipoli campaign. The Aussies were soon joined by comrades from Britain, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and India.

Band of Brothers: Imperial Camel Corps troops from Britain, New Zealand, Australia and India

Band of Brothers: Imperial Camel Corps troops from Australia, Britain, New Zealand nd India (image: Imperial War Museum)

At its height the Corps, which fought in numerous campaigns throughout the Middle East, comprised of 4,150 men and 4,800 camels. Thanks to their humped steeds, the soldiers were able to travel long distances across remote desert terrain, carrying machine guns, mountain artillery and medical support.

An Australian soldier with his loaded camel

An Australian soldier with his loaded camel

346 troops from the Imperial Camel Corps lost their lives.

The small memorial, which was sculpted by Major Cecil Brown who himself had served with the Corps, was unveiled in July 1921 in the presence of the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand. The statue is now grade II listed.

The unveiling, July 1921 (image: Manchester Guardian)

The unveiling, July 1921 (image: Manchester Guardian)

A gallery featuring images of the Imperial Camel Corps Memorial can be viewed below:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

*

Advertisements