A former Prisoner of War and military camp in the Scottish Borders is poised for recognition as a ‘national monument’.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is seeking public views on proposals to recognise Stobs Camp near Hawick as a scheduled monument.

The site was used for military training and civilian internment, and is most well-known for the period when it operated as the main First World War prisoner of war camp in Scotland

It is home to the last surviving UK example of WW1 prisoner of war accommodation that is still in its original condition.

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Canmore, the online catalogue to Scotland’s archaeology, buildings, industrial and maritime heritage, note that the camp consisted of some 80 huts and a 150-bed hospital and could accommodate 4,500 men.

The military training camp also incorporated a light-railway system, YMCA (outside the fence), stores, workshops and a post-office.

The camp opened in 1902 after the Government purchased the land from the Elliots of Stobs Castle. Built at a cost of £46,500, it was grouped into four ‘camps’ lettered from A to D with the hospital at the south west end. 

During the First World War an additional hundred huts were built upslope of the main camp to house German prisoners-of-war and German nationals resident in the United Kingdom.

Writing about Stobs Camp in 2017, Allan Kilpatrick, Data Management Officer at HES, noted: “When the war officially ended in 1919, the Germans prisoners were all sent home, although 45 individuals who had died during their internment were left at peace in the camp cemetery. 

“Most of the PoW buildings were sold, but some barracks were retained and one survives to this day amongst a collection of contemporary structures. Many of those that were sold can still be seen dotted about farms throughout the Scottish Borders.

“Nevertheless, Stobs remained in use as an active training camp. It played a valuable role in the instruction of the D-Day troops and those that later participated in the Korean War; and it continued to perform this role until 1955 – the year that the Duke of Edinburgh paid a visit to a battalion of the Queen’s Own Highlanders. The land was finally sold off in 1962.”

HES said the camp gives a “unique insight” into the experience of those who served in the British military, civilian internees and POWs.

The expansive archaeological site also gives “a significant contribution to our understanding and appreciation of the military heritage of Scotland, and its contribution to the history of the British war effort – particularly in the First World War”, the public body added.

HES also propose scheduling several other related sites in the Stobs Camp environs. These include training trenches, firing ranges and a tracked target tank range. 

A public consultation has been launched to gather views on the proposal to schedule the site. It runs until March 2.

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More than 8,000 scheduled monuments are spread across Scotland, ranging from prehistoric standing stones and burial sites, through Roman remains and medieval structures such as castles and monasteries, to later structures such as industrial sites and buildings constructed for the World Wars. 

It is a criminal offence to carry out unauthorised works, or to allow unauthorised works to be carried out, on a scheduled monument, as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

Dara Parsons, head of designations at HES, said: “Designating a site as a scheduled monument is a way through which we can recognise and celebrate what makes this heritage special, along with ensuring it’s protected for future generations.

“We’re keen that people have their say as part of this process and we are encouraging anyone with an interest in Stobs Camp to take part in our consultation.”