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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

NZMC No 1 Field Ambulance


Mike88

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I am researching my great grandfather who served with the NZMC No 1 Field Ambulance. He was "shipped to France 6 April 1916" and left service 14 June 1918. His name was John Smith Gibb 8/2780, he came to France from Egypt after serving at Gallipoli with the Otago's.

I am particularly interested in his location during this time as I am planning to visit France and Belgium - and would like to see where he was.

Any help would be much appreciated

Cheers

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Hello Mike

1st NZ Fd Amb was part of the New Zealand Division, which was formed in Egypt partly using elements of the ANZAc Corps from Gallipoli and partly from new drafts.

On the Western Front it served (with distinction) in the following battles:

Somme: Battles of Flers-Courcelette, Morval and Le Transloy in Sept-Oct 1916.

Ypres Salient: Battle of Messines June 1917 (the Divisional memorial is there)

Third Battles of Ypres: Battles of Polygon Wood, Broodseinde and First Battle of Passchendaele.

Germans' Spring Offensive: First Battle of Arras, Battle of the Ancre, March-April 1918.

Advance to Victory: Battle of Albert, Second Battle of Bapaume Aug-Sep 1918

Hindenburg Line: Battles of Havrincourt, the Canal du Nord and Cambrai, Sep-Oct 1918.

Advance to Victory: Pusuit to the Selle, Battles of the Selle and the Sambre, Oct-Nov 1918.

As part of the Sambre, the Kiwis captured Le Quesnoy, possibly a unique case of a Vauban fortress being taken by assault. There is another memorial to them there.

(Source: F E Perry, Order of Battle of Divisions, Part 5A)

You can visit all the 1917 locations from Ypres, and most of the rest from a base in the Somme area, with Cambrai as a possible alternative for the Sep-Nov battles.

The War Diary of 1st NZ Fd Amb is in the National Archives at Kew in file WO95/3681. It covers Jan 1916 to Feb 1919.

Ron

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Hello Mike

1st NZ Fd Amb was part of the New Zealand Division, which was formed in Egypt partly using elements of the ANZAc Corps from Gallipoli and partly from new drafts.

On the Western Front it served (with distinction) in the following battles:

Somme: Battles of Flers-Courcelette, Morval and Le Transloy in Sept-Oct 1916.

Ypres Salient: Battle of Messines June 1917 (the Divisional memorial is there)

Third Battles of Ypres: Battles of Polygon Wood, Broodseinde and First Battle of Passchendaele.

Germans' Spring Offensive: First Battle of Arras, Battle of the Ancre, March-April 1918.

Advance to Victory: Battle of Albert, Second Battle of Bapaume Aug-Sep 1918

Hindenburg Line: Battles of Havrincourt, the Canal du Nord and Cambrai, Sep-Oct 1918.

Advance to Victory: Pusuit to the Selle, Battles of the Selle and the Sambre, Oct-Nov 1918.

As part of the Sambre, the Kiwis captured Le Quesnoy, possibly a unique case of a Vauban fortress being taken by assault. There is another memorial to them there.

(Source: F E Perry, Order of Battle of Divisions, Part 5A)

You can visit all the 1917 locations from Ypres, and most of the rest from a base in the Somme area, with Cambrai as a possible alternative for the Sep-Nov battles.

The War Diary of 1st NZ Fd Amb is in the National Archives at Kew in file WO95/3681. It covers Jan 1916 to Feb 1919.

Ron

Thanks Ron

Can I access the war diaries, what sort of information would they contain.

Cheers

Mike

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Mike

You can access them in person if you can get to Kew, or you may be able to order copies online via www.nationalarchives.gov.uk for a modest cost.

War Diaries rarely mention men by name other than officers, but ther location of the unit, and a description of its activities, is given on each day. Those of medical units do NOT normally contain any details of patients.

Ron

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Mike

You can access them in person if you can get to Kew, or you may be able to order copies online via www.nationalarchives.gov.uk for a modest cost.

War Diaries rarely mention men by name other than officers, but ther location of the unit, and a description of its activities, is given on each day. Those of medical units do NOT normally contain any details of patients.

Ron

Thanks Ron

I am in New Zealand, but am visiting England next month(this is when I will go to Ypres etc). I have got some of the war diary online - but probably need to go in to get the portions of intrest.

Thanks again

Mike

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