Inns of the Court OTC

The Inns of the Court O.T.C. During the Great War

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The Inns of the Court O.T.C. During the Great War

History: The Inns of Court Officers Training Corps (Corps used here as an abbreviation)

It was originally a Territorial Army unit based in Chancery Lane in London, near the headquarters of the Law Society of England and Wales and adjacent to Lincoln's Inn. The corps was closely associated with the legal profession, and its cap badge combined the arms of the four Inns of Court.

When war was declared, thousands volunteered for military service and the Corps expanded rapidly, quickly outgrowing its premises in London. So in September 1914 a training camp opened on Berkhamsted Common, in the west of Hertfordshire and the volunteers billeted in tents.

The camp remained in operation until June 1919 and trained around 2,000 officer cadets at a time. As part of that training, the men dug around 13 miles (21 km) of trenches across Berkhamsted Common and the evidence of which remains visible today.

Around 11,000 were commissioned and became officers in other units, three were awarded the Victoria Cross: Jack Harrison, Walter Napleton Stone and Christopher Bushell.

Due to its strong association with Hertfordshire and Berkhamsted Common in particular, the Corps memorial was erected on the Common in 1920.