Site of army camp, Morfa Conwy
Land in this vicinity was occupied by an army camp from the second half of the 19th century to the end of Second World War in 1945. Initially the camp was used solely by Territorial Army forces for their annual summer training camps. In 1914 regular army soldiers began to stay at the camp, pictured right in 1916.
In 1895 railway sidings called Conway Marsh were built to serve the army camp and ranges. These were closed in 1929.
In August 1914, troops of the Durham Light Infantry and Royal Field Artillery were staying at Conway (as Conwy was then known) for their annual two-week summer camp when the First World War broke out. They hastily packed up their equipment, boarded trains and returned to their home depots, ready to be mobilised and sent abroad. Regiments which trained at Conway during that war included the “Salford Pals” of the Lancashire Regiment, also the Royal Engineers, who trained at the camp for much of the war. One notable visitor during these years was Robert Baden Powell, founder of the Scouting movement.
The camp had its own rifle range, where troops practised. They also carried out exercises on nearby Conwy Mountain and the Great Orme, and had physical training instruction on the beach. The camp had a mixture of permanent buildings such as mess huts and latrines. The soldiers were billeted in bell tents. The YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) provided a recreation marquee on the site.
During the Second World War, some men billeted here worked on the secret Mulberry Harbour prototype. After the war the camp was converted into a family holiday park by the Family Holidays Association. The FHA was founded by Thomas Arthur Leonard, a pacifist and early Labour Party supporter who lived in Conwy. Despite his anti-war views, during the First World War he invited troops at Conway camp to relax for a while at the holiday centre which he ran for working people in Conwy.
With thanks to Adrian Hughes, of the Home Front museum, Llandudno
Postcode: LL26 8GA View Location Map