When Aldershot became the home of the British Army in 1854, the War Department bought many acres of heath land that had been old common land and enclosed. Most of the land was used for training. Eventually a camp was established in the Church Crookham area – an Officer Cadet Training camp built under the instruction of General Haig. Built in about 1914 and characterised by lines of hutments the camp was known as ‘Haig Lines’. It was used by the Royal Army Medical corps, before being used as a reception camp for the Canadian Army personnel in World War II. The camp was demolished in the mid 1980’s to create the residential and park area that we all know and love.
‘Builders of the Haig Lines’
Credit: Fleet and Crookham Local History Group, ref PR 124
Views of the camp in 1915.
Credit: Fleet and Crookham Local History Group, ref PR 140
What’s in a name?
The park was variously known as Haig Lines, Charlie Park and Azalea Gardens Park (after one of the residential roads). It was only at the meeting to establish the Friends Group on 17th Nov 2011 that a vote was taken to formally call it ‘Azalea Park’. It was noted at that meeting that there were no actual azaleas planted in the park – a situation which the Friends have since rectified.