Huts could not survive Gallipoli

3rd July 1998 at 01:00
It seems a pity to spoil a good story (TES, May 29), but the article on Lethbridge Road infants school, Swindon, stretched credibility to its limits. The unsuitability of the wooden huts for modern educational requirements is believable enough, and some of them may have been government surplus. However, it is extremely doubtful if they came from the Gallipoli battlefields after the First World War.

That campaign lasted a bare eight months, and I have combed the literature for any reference to huts, without success.

Accommodation was in tents or dug-outs. When the decision was taken to withdraw in late 1915, troops, munitions and stores were evacuated under cover of darkness over a period of weeks. What could not be re-embarked was destroyed to deny the Turks anything of value. Contemporary accounts mention an "orgy of destruction". It is inconceivable that huts were remaining after the Armistice, or that it was felt worthwhile to dismantle them and return them to UK especially considering the conditions and the primitive port facilities there.

It may be of interest that the Swindon Society dates the buildings to the 1930s: we have several similar ones in the London borough of Havering.

R F Latchford. Stafford Avenue. Hornchurch, Essex

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