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Remembered Today:

Commissioned from the Ranks.

n cherry

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Anyone got any thoughts on how many soldiers from the RAMC were commissioned into other units particularly infantry...

I was asked a question yesterday at the talk I gave about this....the person asking had had a relative join up into the 36th Ulsters RAMC and was later comissioned into a infantry unit.....

I said IMHO it was a rare occurence......

What does anyone else think?

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My Grandfather (see my avatar) joined the RAMC and went to France on 24/03/1915 with the rank of Private.

His occupation before he enlisted was a merchant Navy officer, why he joined the army i'm not sure. On his MIC it states he was transfered to the RNR on 8/04/1916 and commissioned first with the rank of temp sub Lieutenant then promoted on 22/10/1916 to temp acting Lieutenant. I do know that he served at some point on HMS Simoom.

His commission was returned on 29/07/1917 and he was then transfered to the Royal Engineers Inland waterways and Docks with the rank of sargeant. He was on board SS Gallier when it was torpedoed and sunk on 2nd jan 1918, he survived the war.

On his MIC his 1915 Star has the RAMC roll listed, but both the BWM and Victory medal were issued by the Admiralty.

So the short answer is yes it did happen.



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It`s an interesting question, N, as is the whole question of commissioned rankers. (Room for a book by an enterprising author? ;) ) It clearly did happen but one feels that it might happen less in the non-combat arms like the RAMC. One has to bear in mind that, unlike in the peacetime army, the majority of RAMC ORs would not be medical by trade or profession, so could be just as likely infantry subalterns as other regiments. Or did the RAMC tend to recruit/attract the less martial types? Whether they had chance, in the RAMC, to demonstrate leadership qualities as easily as infantry ORs I wouldn`t know.

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If you go to the National Archives online MIC database and type in under the following headings:

CORPS: medical

OTHER KEYWORDS: private lieutenant

It brings up 223 results. Of course it will include men going the other way (commissioned from infantry to the medical corps), and also men commisioned from the medical corps but remaining with that or other corps. But sifting through them one by one you could come up with a pretty accurate total to answer the question.


PS: Of course to be flly accurate you would have to repeat above changing Private for corporal (a further 62 possibles) and sergeant (another 183 possibles).

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