Camp D-7 Dorchester

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Camp D-7 Dorchester

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Troops moved from their base locations, sometimes via intermediate training camps to D-Day Marshalling Areas. Where they were broken down into ship loads and moved at the appropriate time to Embarkation Areas. There were 22 Marshalling Areas, known by letters, plus the clusters of airfields where the airborne troops departed from. (Words by Chris Barrington Brown, a link added to his website below).
This is Camp D-7 in sub area X.

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Red - the camp.
Black - the vehicle park.

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Camp D-7 Dorchester

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Camp D-7 Dorchester

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Camp D-7 Dorchester

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24 June 2008

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Camp D-7 Dorchester

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The plan of Area D Overlord administrative map 1 May 1944. TOP SECRET NOT TO BE REPRODUCED.

Camp D-7 Dorchester

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24 June 2008

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Camp D-7 Dorchester

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The massive build up to D-Day started in 1942 and by early 1944, special camps were being prepared to receive the assault troops. They were brought into these camps after a punishing training regime of practice landings, blowing up bunkers & cutting barbed wire, mine clearance, loading and unloading from assault boats, etc, etc. Here they could be concentrated and basically have a short holiday, where they were well fed and watered behind a strict barbed wire entanglement. Then told what was about to happen. French money was handed out and all equipment repaired, replaced and new items added. Around June 4th 1944 they had been shipped out and taken to their embarkation ports and loaded on assault ships. They set sail for D-Day on the early morning of 4th of June. Except that after most ships had sailed, the weather was so bad that they were recalled and brought back to harbour. Then the orders were re given and they set sail on the evening of the 5th to arrive in the early hours of the 6th. Most units leaving Dorset were to head for Omaha beach in Normandy.

 

 

 

Camp D-7 Dorchester

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24 June 2008

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Camp D-7 Dorchester

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Area X covering D7 Dorchester and D4 Came Park.
D7 3,300 men, 480 vehicles.
D4 2,900 men, 410 vehicles.
EMS - Field Hospital.
RS 19 - Reception Station.
QM 134 - Quarter Master.
ENGR BR dp - Engineer Dump.
QM dp - Quarter Master Distributing Point.
QM BKY - Quarter Master Bakery.
PX dp - Post Exchange Dump.
Wading Pit - to test waterproofing on vehicles.
Petrol Pt - Petrol Oil & Lubricant Point.
Petrol dp - Petrol Oil & Lubricant dump.
RP 43 - Recovery Post (vehicle).
TP 3 - Traffic Post.
ENGR BR dp - Engineer Bridging Depot.

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Marshalling HQ.
Sub-Area HQ.

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Area of camp.

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One way route.
One way operational - two way ADM & civil.
Two way.

Camp D-7 Dorchester

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OS Map 1920

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Camp D-7 Dorchester

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This is the sort of map the Americans would have used to navigate around Great Britain. They may have landed at Glasgow, Liverpool or Bristol and would need to find their way to a small town in Dorset. People in Dorset spoke a completely different language the these American troops. If they stopped and asked the way, they would be replied to an a very strong Dorset accent. Totally at odds to good American English. Sign posts had been removed, village names signs removed. Even mile stones hidden. I do feel sorry for a young 18year old American GI, coming into a pub and asking the way to Sturminster Newton or Beaminster. Poor things.

 

 

Camp D-7 Dorchester

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24 June 2008

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Camp D-7 Dorchester

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Dorchester town with yellow the area of the British Army Camp. D-7 up on the hill in the long wood.

I believe D-7 was actually larger and parts of Dorchester Camp and Poundbury was used. D-7 M (Marabout) Part of Dorchester Camp. D-7 P (Poundbury) Between the D-7 woodland and Dorchester Camp.

High level planning.

Low level planning.

 

Camp D-7 Dorchester

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24 June 2008

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Camp D-7 Dorchester

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Looking along the Roman Road an Google, I found a concrete track on the right.

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Plan.

Camp D-7 Dorchester

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24 June 2008

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Camp D-7 Dorchester

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Seeing the track from the other direction, certainly looks like a concrete military road??

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Plan.

Camp D-7 Dorchester

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24 June 2008

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Camp D-7 Dorchester

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The Roman road continuing to the woodland on the hill.

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Plan..

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29th Inf. Div..

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1st Inf. Div

Camp D-7 Dorchester

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24 June 2008

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Camp D-7 Dorchester

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There is very little left here. A track that is well made, not just a farm track.

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Camp D-7 Dorchester

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24 June 2008

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Camp D-7 Dorchester

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There are several remains of what look like trenches.
Trenches were dug. 1: to give cover in case of air attack and 2: to get the soldiers used to digging trenches when they reach a battle zone.

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Sleeping in tents.

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Plan.

Camp D-7 Dorchester

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24 June 2008

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Camp D-7 Dorchester

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More trenches or hut base??

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Camp D-7 Dorchester

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24 June 2008

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Camp D-7 Dorchester

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It could have been an American soldiers carving?
These camps were temporary, the soldiers lived in tents and were hidden away from prying high flying photo reconnaissance planes. This was very successful as they were not located by German Army intelligence.

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Plan.

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Camp D-7 Dorchester

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WO 199-2414

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Camp D-7 Dorchester

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Air photo of Dorchester, but almost got D-7 in the frame, no it did not. Only almost. I presume the photo interpreter had a sense of humour.
"At the end of March 1944, the Battalion moved to the vicinity of Hirwaun, Wales, where it enjoyed two weeks of artillery firing on the Brecon Range. The battalion returned to Packington Park early in April, and on 11 April 1944, moved to Dorchester, England, on special assignment, to handle the Marshalling Camps for the invasion troops. The Battalion was assigned to Sub-Area X, Marshalling Area D, and from 15 April 1944 to 4 July 1944 operated Camps D-4(Camehouse) D-7 M (Marabout) and D-7 P(Poundbury). It was in these camps that the troops of the 1st Infantry Division and the 29th Infantry Division lived 'til the time of their D-day landing on the Normandy coast".

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Quonset hutting.

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Camp D-7 Dorchester

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24 June 2008

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Camp D-7 Dorchester

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Berth EAD8 Portland.