Five killed in Bodelwyddan Riots

On 5th March 1919, a First World War army camp at Bodelwyddan near Abergele in North Wales was the scene of a bloody riot that left five soldiers dead and 23 injured. Kinmel Park Camp was built in 1914 as a training camp for Lord Kitchener’s Army in preparation for serving overseas. It had its own branch railway line connecting to the main line at Rhyl. There was also a trench warfare training area which can be seen today to the rear of Bodelwyddan Castle.

Kinmel Camp
Buildings at Kinmel Camp

In March 1919, some 15,000 Canadian troops were billeted at Kinmel camp awaiting repatriation to Canada. In late February 1919, it was learned that troop ships originally allocated to the Canadians had been re-allocated to the American forces – who had certainly not served in France for half as long as the Canadians – it caused understandable resentment.

Then came the news that the Canadian 3rd Division – known to the military authorities as the Fighting Division – was to be given priority over other Canadian troops. The men at Kinmel were outraged, both at the implied slander on their reputations and on being once again pushed down the list for repatriation.

Conditions at Kinmel Park were very basic. The place was a sea of mud and strikes had held up the delivery of both fuel and food supplies. As a result, the men were on half rations and as many had received no pay for over a month.
They were sleeping 42 to a hut, in accommodation that had been designed for no more than 30. Men were taking it in turns to sleep on the floor and most of them had only one blanket to keep them from the cold of a north Wales winter. Several delegations were sent to the senior officers in the camp, protesting about conditions and the way the men felt they were being treated. Nothing was done.

Eventually, tempers boiled over and the discontent became direct action. Some groups started to loot the quartermaster’s stores and the sergeants’ mess. Officers quickly established a defensive perimeter and ammunition was issued to those soldiers considered to be trustworthy and loyal. The rioters had a few rifles but, in the main, they had to improvise weapons, strapping razors to broom handles or sticks.

When 20 of the mutineers – because it was by now considered a full-scale mutiny – were seized, the rest simply charged the guardroom and set them free. Rifle shots were exchanged and, when casualty figures were later added up, it transpired that three rioters and two guards had been killed in the affair. Many others had been wounded or injured. The rioting continued until 4.30 in the morning of 5 March when things seemed to fizzle out and the officers regained control of the camp.

Colonel G.W.L Nicholson wrote in the Official History Of The Canadian Army In The First World War

“In all, between November 1918 and June 1919, there were thirteen instances or disturbances involving Canadian troops in England (sic). The most serious of these occurred in Kinmel Park on 4th and 5th March 1919, when dissatisfication over delays in sailing resulted in five men being killed and 23 being wounded. Seventy eight men were arrested, of whom 25 were convicted of mutiny and given sentences varying from 90 days’ detention to ten years’ penal servitude.”

Four of the five Canadian troops killed during the riot were buried in the graveyard of Bodelwyddan church among 117 Commonwealth War Graves Commission memorials. Most of the war graves are casualties of the Spanish flu pandemic, including 83 Canadian soldiers who died at Kinmel Park Camp. One of the rioting Canadian soldier’s gravestone bears the inscription, “Someday, sometime, we’ll understand.”

Following the riots priority was given to repatriating the Canadian troops. The affair was, as far as possible, hushed up and by 25 March the Canadians had been transported home. The tragedy is that it could not have been done earlier.

trenchThe Daily Post reported plans to recreate First World War trenches alongside the remaining practice trenches from the original Kinmel Park Camp shown here on the left.

17,013 comments on “Five killed in Bodelwyddan Riots

  1. Itís hard to come by well-informed people about this topic, but you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks

  2. You’ve made some really good points there. I checked on the net to learn more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.

  3. Right here is the right web site for everyone who wishes to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually would want toÖHaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject that has been written about for many years. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!

  4. Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and the rest of the website is also very good.

  5. Right here is the right web site for everyone who would like to understand this topic. You realize a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally will need toÖHaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic which has been written about for many years. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!

  6. Hi, I do think this is an excellent web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may come back yet again since i have saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.

  7. Hello, I believe your blog might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Other than that, excellent site!

  8. Right here is the perfect website for anyone who would like to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally will need toÖHaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a subject that has been written about for many years. Excellent stuff, just excellent!

  9. Hi, I do think this is a great website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will revisit yet again since i have book-marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.

  10. You are so awesome! I do not think I’ve truly read a single thing like this before. So good to discover someone with some genuine thoughts on this subject. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is something that is needed on the web, someone with a bit of originality!

  11. After looking into a handful of the blog articles on your web page, I truly like your technique of writing a blog. I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future. Please check out my web site as well and let me know your opinion.

  12. You are so cool! I do not think I’ve read through something like that before. So great to find another person with a few unique thoughts on this subject matter. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing that is required on the internet, someone with a little originality!

  13. May I simply say what a relief to discover somebody that genuinely understands what they are talking about over the internet. You certainly understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people really need to check this out and understand this side of your story. It’s surprising you’re not more popular given that you definitely have the gift.

  14. Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Spending some time and actual effort to generate a top notch articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I hesitate a whole lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.

  15. Iím amazed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog thatís both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is something too few folks are speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy I found this during my search for something relating to this.

  16. I was excited to uncover this page. I want to to thank you for ones time just for this fantastic read!! I definitely really liked every little bit of it and I have you saved to fav to see new information on your blog.

  17. I blog frequently and I truly thank you for your content. This great article has really peaked my interest. I’m going to bookmark your website and keep checking for new details about once per week. I opted in for your Feed too.

  18. Can I just say what a relief to find a person that actually knows what they are discussing online. You definitely understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More and more people need to look at this and understand this side of your story. I was surprised you’re not more popular given that you most certainly possess the gift.

  19. I have been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made good content
    as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  20. Hi, I do believe this is an excellent web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may revisit once again since i have saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.

  21. I blog frequently and I truly appreciate your information. Your article has truly peaked my interest. I will book mark your website and keep checking for new details about once per week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well.

  22. Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thanks, However I am going through problems with your RSS. I donít understand the reason why I cannot join it. Is there anybody having similar RSS problems? Anybody who knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanks!!

  23. Howdy! This blog post couldnít be written any better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I’ll send this post to him. Pretty sure he’s going to have a very good read. Thanks for sharing!

  24. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you, However I am going through troubles with your RSS. I donít know the reason why I can’t join it. Is there anybody else having the same RSS problems? Anyone who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

  25. After checking out a handful of the blog articles on your web site, I seriously appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I added it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future. Take a look at my website as well and let me know your opinion.

  26. I want to to thank you for this very good read!! I certainly enjoyed every little bit of it. I have got you saved as a favorite to look at new stuff you postÖ

  27. I have been browsing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting
    article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all website
    owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet
    will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  28. Hi! I just would like to give you a huge thumbs up for your great info you have got right here on this post. I am returning to your web site for more soon.

  29. I really love your blog.. Great colors & theme. Did you build this web site yourself? Please reply back as Iím hoping to create my very own site and would like to find out where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Many thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *