Bovington!

On 20 October 1916 Brigadier General Frederick Gore – Anley DSO, was appointed as the Administrative Commander of the Tank Training Centre at Bovington.  He was an interesting choice to take over from Ernest Swinton. Anley had no experience of tanks and, apparently, little faith in them and so his appointment did not go down well with the true believers on the tank staff.  Lieutenant-Colonel J F C Fuller described Anley as

a pleasant little man, the problem was in inverse ratio to his size. He may have been a good infantry Brigadier but he knew nothing about tanks. On one occasion I heard him say, “Little Anley is like a small china pot, floating among a lot of big iron ones; little Anley is not going to get cracked”.

On 27 October the Elveden training centre began its move to Bovington, having outgrown its Suffolk location.  Bovington was one of 2 locations suggested; the other was Corhampton in Hampshire.

In Oct 1916 Bovington had none of the luxuries that those who trained there more recently will remember.