One hundred years ago during early March 1917, men from 891 Company Army Service Corp motor transport section were billeted in Petersfield together with their lorries and equipment. They stayed for three months before leaving on Friday 25 May.
Formed at the start of January that year to supply ammunition to 67 Infantry Division, 891 Company was short-lived and disbanded in mid-June after just six months. The men were amalgamated into other companies.
During their time in the town, the soldiers integrated well with local people making much use of the Petersfield soldiers’ canteen in St Peter’s Hall. Whist drives and concerts were arranged to entertain friends and lady helpers, to whom they presented a photograph of the company as a reminder of their time in Petersfield.
This picture, taken from the south eastern side of the Square, clearly indicates the soldiers and their transport but it also provides a very rare glimpse of the gap in the buildings behind on the western side caused by the demolition of the Tudor Castle House in January 1914. The gap was closed during the 1920s with the building of the Post Office and bank which still stand today.