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RAMC 1914-19


Guest Kieron Hoyle

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Guest Kieron Hoyle

I have some details of the units and operations of the RAMC during WW1 and am happy to look up details.

What I don't have are lists of names or medal rolls, but I do have a record of most RAMC units from Field Ambulances to Hospitals.

I also have a copy of Drew's Medical Officers in the British Army Vol2 1898-1960 which lists all regular army commissioned officers - not wartime commissions or TF.

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Kieron,

Thanks for the kind offer. I could ply you with a dozen questions but that would be taking advantage!! Could I get away with one?

Can you identify the RAMC unit aboard the Hospital Ship Asturias, torpedoed on 21st March 1917? Four men of my village, all but one of whom survived the war, were on the Asturias and I've never been able to pin down which unit they belonged to.

Thanks,

Andrew

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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 year later...

Hi there

May be a little late in asking, and I have yet to learn about the RAMC so please forgive my ignorance?!! Im trying to build a general picture of what 'my' soldier would have been surrounded by along his 'journey' as well as ID dates etc and wandered if you may be able to help as he was wounded along the way.

The soldier Im researching was wounded (or Ill perhaps) in Gallipoli (5th Bedfords), then is recorded on the St Albans diocese register as wounded (no dates), then was moved to the 7th Beds in France, where he was KIA 23 Mar 1918.

Can you offer any help that ay lead me towards finding the dates he may have been in the UK from your database/knowledge, the relevant RAMC unit names or locations and what RAMC units he would have been 'looked after' by (both times)?

Do these units keep diaries or similar, as the infantry did?

Also, I would be interested to learn how did they work; eg were the RAMC units attached to the Regmients, or assigned geographically?

Thank you very much

Steve

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Steve,

I can't answer many of your questions, but I am interested in the same sort of thing, broadly speaking.

What I have discovered so far (and with particular reference to a Territorial battalion) is that one Field Ambulance was responsible for an infantry brigade, i.e. 4 battalions (reduced to 3 battalions in January 1918). Having said that, the demands placed upon the system meant that in times of large numbers of wounded men requiring treatment, any facility would be used, not strictly the one 'belonging' to the brigade.

The Field Ambulance war diaries are available at the PRO and if they are broadly similar they contain much more detail than an infantry battalion diary. But, maybe I was just lucky in the one I copied last week.

Between your soldier and the Field Ambulance would have been the Battalion Medical Officer and a staff of about 6 RAMC men working under him. They would have been responsible for the day-to-day welfare of the battalion and would have been the nucleus of the staff of the regimental aid posts (RAP) set up when required. These men would be supplemented by others from the Field Ambulance when demand necessitated this.

Stretcher Bearers were appointed from within the battalion (often from members of the band) and they would be primarily responsible for carrying men to the RAP and RAMC men would take them back to the Field Ambulance. However, in times of war, these distinctions were often very blurred.

That is my understanding of the system generally and if any of this is incorrect I would welcome further input by more knowledgeable Pals.

Regards,

Ken

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Hi,

I can't add any detailed expertise, but I have recently read parts of the war diaries for the 4th Division (10,11,12th F.A.), and they are an interesting read.

Whilst they do not mention any O.R. by name, they do detail how many patients are admitted, discharged and held each day, so if you have service records for a soldier that has admission dates and then further processing dates, it may be possible to cross-reference the details to a reasonable degree.

Of the three F.A., only one of them seemed to be particulary active for the timescale I was reading - at face value it seemed to denote that one F.A. would take the lead at any one time, but not knowing enough about them, I couldn't be sure of this and would still maintain that Steve's logic is much better placed than my brief reading. The numbering of the Field Ambulances certainly relate to the brigades within a Division as the 4th Division consisted of the 10th, 11th and 12th Brigades. Kieron - can you shed any light on how Field Ambulances may have operated as a team within a Division?

as an aside, the phrase "noon-to-noon" seemed to denote sick parade/the start of a new administrative day, and was the opening line for practically every daily entry.

hope this is of use

doogal

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What I have discovered so far (and with particular reference to a Territorial battalion) is that one Field Ambulance was responsible for an infantry brigade, i.e. 4 battalions (reduced to 3 battalions in January 1918). Having said that, the demands placed upon the system meant that in times of large numbers of wounded men requiring treatment, any facility would be used, not strictly the one 'belonging' to the brigade.

Sorry Steve, I was looking at Ken's answer to your question (above) as the most likely logic of operation for the Field Ambulances when I wrote the following:

at face value it seemed to denote that one F.A. would take the lead at any one time, but not knowing enough about them, I couldn't be sure of this and would still maintain that Steve's logic is much better placed than my brief reading.

Oh well, made a dog's dinner of that posting...

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Have you got anything mentioning Capt/major John Morris MC, killed on the 7/10/18,RAMC. Picked his MC and Victory medal up and need more info on the man.

:D

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onthecauseway

From photographs I know that my Grandfather was in the RAMC during WW1. Other than his name and DOB this is the only information I have. How easy would it be to find more information?.

Paul Scudamore

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Ali Hollington

There is some guidance on tracing relatives on the main site, did your grandfather survive the war?

You might want to try searching the online Medal Index cards at the National Archives:

medal index cards

I don't know if your grandfather has the same surname and how the uploading of these details is progressing, so hopefully this has given you a start, assuming you haven't already tried this. If that is the case, apologies.

Ali

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Bit more information on Major Morris MC he served with the 132 field ambulance- do you have information on this unit anything 1914-18 would be most appreciated

Perce :D

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hello,

I don't know if your info covers the RAMC at home, but I'm trying to find out what they were doing at Adastral House, Blackfriars, London in 1917. tThey had at least an office there. Colonel Stanistreet and Colonel Sir E Wilmington were stationed there - any idea who they were !?

(The building was built in the 1870s as De Keysers hotel and taken over by the WO during the war and renamed, it was later - & perhaps at the same time -? an RAF office, it was demolished in 1930 and replaced by what is now the Unilever Building.)

any help / info gratefully received

Julian

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onthecauseway

Ali

Yes my Grandfather did survive the war and no he has a different surname (Moulding). I'll try the link you suggested.

Paul

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  • 2 years later...

"Can you identify the RAMC unit aboard the Hospital Ship Asturias, torpedoed on 21st March 1917? Four men of my village, all but one of whom survived the war, were on the Asturias and I've never been able to pin down which unit they belonged to. Andrew"

My grandfather served aboard HMHS Asturias 1914-1917, together with three of his chums in the RAMC. They were members of the Mapperley Colliery Ambulance Brigade and all signed up on 10 August 1914 and were:

Private 7982 Harold Horsley from Smalley, Derbyshire,

Private F R Abbot from Smalley

Private William Turner from Smalley

Private 7981 Willis Fowkes from Horsley Woodhouse Derbyshire.

Harold Horsley drowned when the ship was torpedoed on 20/21 March 1917 off Start Point.

I have researched the ship and those who sailed on her but I don't know what RAMC unit they were in.

Regards

Ian

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  • 4 months later...
I have some details of the units and operations of the RAMC during WW1 and am happy to look up details.

What I don't have are lists of names or medal rolls, but I do have a record of most RAMC units from Field Ambulances to Hospitals.

I also have a copy of Drew's Medical Officers in the British Army Vol2 1898-1960 which lists all regular army commissioned officers - not wartime commissions or TF.

I have an interest in the 129th Field Ambulance formed in 1914 and attached to the Welsh Regiment. I would be grateful for any information you may be able to provide. Thanks.

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  • 4 months later...
Guest sacketts43

Hi

For interst I have two postcards of soldiers from 'A' section 129th RAMC Field Ambulance. One of the pictures was taken before they went away and the other dated 12th May 1918 has written on the rear the names of the remaining soldiers which relates to the image. It has also written on the rear "all that was left". Nineteen in all from Forty seven in the original image.

I am assuming that they were a Northamptonshire regiment as they all seem to come from Daventry or Kettering.

If anyone would like a scanned image sent by e-mail then let me know.

Ron

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello pals interested in the RAMC,

My father Arthur H. Morris was a doctor in the RAMC. I am thus both interested in the RAMC myself and I’m also a possible source of info for others. I have posted a bit of info on other threads, so some of this posting may duplicate that, but the more the better I guess.

My father was studying medicine when the war started and went straight into the OTC, but was then reclassified as Special Reserve and told to get qualified on the understanding that he would join the RAMC once he was actually a doctor. He was thus commissioned in 1918,

He did some training at Rochester Row Hospital in London and then at the RAMC Blackpool depot. (While there he was used as a spare officer to escort one draught out to France and take a group of Royal Scots Fusiliers north to Kinross.)

He arrived in France proper in March 1918 joining the 55th West Lancashire Division. He served with the following units for various lengths of time:

1/3 West Lancs Field Ambulance (for a couple of days)

2/1 Wessex Field Ambulance

1/5 Bn Kings Own Royal Lancs as MO

1/5 Bn South Lancs as MO (for a couple of days)

(He was with the 2/1 Wessex Field Ambulance in the thick of it during the attack at La Basse/Givenchy in April 1918. He was with the 1/5 KORL during the final advance and at the Armistice and went with them to Brussels afterwards.)

In March 1919 he left the 55th Division and was sent where needed. (As he put it he was involved in clearing up the battlefields etc.)

He was at the 39th Stationary Hospital when it was stationed at Ascq outside Lille.

Then he was the MO to Area HQ at Tournai.

Then he went to the 10th Stationary Hospital when it was at Remy’s Farm (Now Lijssenthoek Cemetery)

He was demobbed in 1920.

I have various odds and ends of his that could be useful to someone else too. They include:

Rev Coop’s history of the 55th Division.

A history of the 2/1 Wessex Field Ambulance (which though a largely Devonshire unit was part of a Lancashire Division when he was with them – my father was a West Country man himself).

I even have a flag that he flew outside his various Aid Posts, Advanced dressing stations etc.

A most interesting source I am lucky to have is the letters he wrote to his mother during this time, which she kept and which I have transcribed. (It’s hundreds of letters amounting to some 70,000 words, though censorship meant they are devoid of the most useful kind of details.)

I also have several tiny photographs, some are his and some are his wife’s. (He went on leave to get married in 1919 and then later on his wife joined him in Belgium.) I also have a photograph of a reunion of some of the 1/5 KORL officer between the wars.

Last and very much least there is also my own knowledge from things he talked about, although that was understandably very little. (A few odd anecdotes about the crazy Chinese coolies etc.)

My father’s half-brother Dr Leonard N. Morris also served with the RAMC, he was invalided out after being gassed in 1917, but I know nothing about which units he served with.

Thanks as ever for all the interesting things I am finding out due to the efforts of others.

Alfred Morris

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  • 5 months later...

Hi

I have been trying to find out about Capt. John Livingston Hamilton. without much headway.

all I know is he was in RAMC born 1896 and died 1932, family say due partly to head wound from the war.

any help in where to look would be a help.

Thanks Arthur

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  • 2 years later...

I found the following simply using Google ( It is an obituary from the British Medical Journal):

J. L. HAMILTON, M.C., T.D., M.D.

Dr. J. L. Hamilton, who had had a distinguished career as a Territorial officer, and who had also rendered many years of valuable service to the St. John Ambulance Brigade, died on April 24. He was 68 years of age.

John Livingston Hamilton was born at Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, on January 29, 1889, the eldest son of Lieutenant-Colonel D. L. Hamilton, R.A.M.C., and was educated at Epsom College and at Downing College, Cambridge.

Receiving his clinical training at the London Hospital, he qualified L.M.S.S.A. in 1915, and then held the appointment of senior house-surgeon at the Albert Dock Seamen's Hospital. Soon afterwards he entered the R.A.M.C. as a lieutenant, and saw service during the first world war in Egypt, Palestine, and Syria, and was wounded.

In 1917 he was awarded the Military Cross. After the war Hamilton returned to London, and held the appointments of resident anaesthetist, senior clinical assistant, and receiving-room officer at the London Hospital. For a time he was in partnership with his father in North London, but in 1921 he set up in practice on his own account in the Kingsland Road. While there he also acted as public vaccinator for the south-west district of Shoreditch and as honorary medical officer to the Mission of the Good Shepherd, in Harman Street.

In 1928 he moved to Chingford, where he stayed for a few years until he finally settled at Colchester in 1933. He obtained the Durham M.D. in the previous year.

Hamilton had been associated with the Territorial movement for close on forty years. Returning from the first world war with the rank of captain, he was promoted major in the early 'twenties, lieutenant-colonel in 1932, and brevet ,colonel four years later, retiring from the Territorial Army in 1949. He. was awarded the Territorial Decoration in 1927, and four clasps to the decoration in 1950. During ,the second world war he was at different times A.D.M.S. of 'the 54th and 38th divisions and officer commanding the 37th and 55th general hospitals.

Last year the Queen approved his appointment as honorary colonel of the 21st 'General Hospital. Since 1922, when he became an examiner, he had given similar devoted service to the St. John Ambulance Brigade. Appointed divisional surgeon in 1926, he became county surgeon for Essex in 1932. From 1937 -to 1950, when he relinquished the appointment, he was county commissioner. In recognition of his services he was appointed a Knight of the Venerable Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and he received the service medal with two bars. He had been a deputy lieutenant for the county of Essex ,since 1950, a past president of the Colchester Medical Society, and chairman of the North-east Essex Division of the British Medical Association in 1948-9.

He is survived ,by his widow, formerly Miss Winifred M. Gunningham, 'whom he married in 1922, and two sons.

Is that any help?

Alfred

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  • 1 month later...

Hi

My great uncle Charles McCallum was killed at Ypres on 12 August 1915. He was with the 44th Field Ambulance. According to legend, he and his mates went to help soldiers trapped in the ruins of St. Martin's Cathedral when they were killed by shellfire. Could you help confirm or refute.

Ian

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Looks to me like this Guest started this thread and then went of the radar ? :blink: :blink: :blink:

Cheers

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