IT WAS only for a few months, but 99 years ago Hampshire was full of American servicemen.

The United States had entered the First World War against Germany in 1917 and hundreds of thousands of them crossed the Atlantic to join the struggle on the Western Front.

By the summer of 1918 Hampshire was full of Americans preparing to cross the Channel to fight the Germans

The Daily Echo recently reported on the US’s takeover of the giant camp near Winchester that was created on farmland to the east of the city in the area around Morn Hill, No Man’s Land south of Avington and Easton.

Fortunately there were official photographers with the troops to take photos of their presence in Southampton.

Cpl, later Sgt Chas D Donnelly of the US Signal Corps took many photographs ranging from the American officer walking hand in hand to the docks with two local boys, to the funeral of an navyman killed on board his vessel and two local women sweeping the dockside.

Sgt Donnelly took many photos of the 342 Regiment’s departure, from marching from their base through Southampton streets to embarking onto the USS Charles and an uncertain future.

l The Daily Echo would like to thank American researcher Susan Strange for her help in compiling this article.