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Remembered Today:

26 Field Ambulance RAMC T (Wessex)


godwinson

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Apologies for the quality of the attached image. But it's a scan of a 20 year old (minimum) photocopy of the original photograph. I've done the best I can to enhance it and am hoping to have a scan of the original to present at a later date.

It contains my grandfather, Sergeant Norman Godwin (1890 - 1981), third from the left in the middle row, and what appears to be the officers and sergeants of 26 Field Ambulance RAMC T whose home base was Portsmouth. Date wise it's somewhere between April 12th 1915 (when he was promoted to sergeant) and 31 July 1917, when he took a gun shot wound to the head which led to him being discharged from the army in October 1917.

post-69502-0-46210200-1309065057.jpg

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  • 3 years later...

Hi,

My Grandfather was a Sergeant in the 26th Field Ambulance ( 3/1st Wessex FA) at the same time and was wounded on the same day at Hooge Chateau Wood. I have a digital copy of the War Diary and there is an entry dated 1st August...

" Returned from advanced bearer post at Hooge Chateau Wood after relief by 76th FA at 5.50pm casualties Capt J KEARNEY RAMC TF wounded OR ( other ranks) killed 3 , wounded 10, wounded at duty 14 ."

Grandfather was 457015 Sgt Stephen John Collins MM

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post-113790-0-15442500-1409420357_thumb.

This is a picture of my Grandfather back in England with a draft for the 24th FA in 1916 .He went to France in Nov 1914 with the 24th FA and after a spell back in England returned to France/ Belgium in March 1917 attached to the 26th FA. Could anyone explain the significance of the dolls/ glove puppets they are holding.

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Hi Jumpercollins, am very interested in your info about the 24th Field Ambulance. My Great Uncle served with the 24th, his name was Frederick Henry Bailey, Pte 1914. He went to France in Nov 1914 with the 8th Division, he was killed on the 1st July on the Somme. Are there any names on the back of the photograph, and do you have any other pictures of the 24th FA ?

Kind regards,

David

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Hi David,

Unfortunately the only other picture I have of my Grandfather is as a l/c taken early on in the war . There are no names on the back of the group photo just " Draft for 24th 1916." I`ll have a look in the War Diary to see if there is any mention of your Great Uncle and on FMP to see if anything is there.

Regards

Graham

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Hi David

My search in FMP has brought up an article in The Western Times dated 10 July 1916 ......." Famous Devon runner killed" In it it states he ( Fred Bailey) was also a footballer who played for Exeter City. His Father was Mr F. H. Bailey who worked for the GPO in Exeter and he was notified by letter by a chum T Gibbings from Exmouth who was in the same unit.

I think that's him don`t you :)

Graham

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Graham, i know quite alot about Fred Bailey, Devon sportsman etc. His friend & fellow sportsman T.H.S Gibbins wrote an article about the death of Fred, incidentally Mr Gibbins had the service no after Fred's - 1915. There has been a book published by Exeter City F.C called "Have you ever played Brazil" on the centenery of Exeters match against Brazil in South America in 1914, i believe the book is dedicated to Fred. I have Freds medals & his dogtags hanging on my wall.

Thanks alot for the info,

David

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Hi Jumpercollins,

I'm looking into a chap from Winchester who enlisted into 26FA (3rd Wessex) RAMC. and was one of 3 brothers killed out of 5 who served. I recently visited the old lady who now lives at the address where they all lived.

He is listed on CWGC as 2041 Pte. Thomas Cox, born at Winchester. In reality he was George Thomas Cox, born in Maidenhead.

He sailed from England on 4th Nov 1914 and arrived France the next day. Would you know if this was the date of the whole battalion going overseas or a draft?

If that is when the whole battalion went out do you know the name of the ship and where they landed?

He died of wounds on 1st July 1916. Do you have any ideas of an action that may have taked place just before? I assume he would have been attached to an infantry battailion and wounded on the front line.

Regards

Alan.

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Hi Alan,

The War Diary does not give the ships name unfortunately. Nov 6th arr LE HAVRE staying at No 2 camp

Nov 10th at 2200hrs received orders to entrain for front

Nov 11th 0245 hrs left LE HAVRE

Nov 12th 1215 arr HAZEBRUCK remained in goods shed overnight

Nov 13th arr billets in MERVILLE

Nov 15th marched to ESTAIRES billeted in Catholic School

Nov 16th collected wounded from the 24th Brigade area

The 26th FA were in the HENNENCOURT and ALBERT area end of June/ beginning of July 1916. The 1st July was the first day of The Battle of the Somme.

Regards

Graham

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post-113790-0-25682300-1409567849_thumb.

Hi David

That's great. Unfortunately my Grandfathers medals were lost after my Uncle,( who was given the medals being the eldest son) died.

Here is the article from the paper.

Cheers

Graham

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Alan

Just had a brain wave and looked at the Diary for the 24th FA which along with the 25th and 26th were all part of 1st Wessex FA RAMC Tf....1/1st Wessex 2/1st Wessex and 3/1st Wessex respectively.

The person filling out their Diary seemed a bit more informative. They marched from the camp at Hursley Park nr Winchester to Southampton Docks and boarded the SS CYMRIC a White Star passenger ship used as a troop ship.

She was sunk on the 8th May 1916 140ml NW of Fastnet by the U-20 which sunk the RMS Lusitania.

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Thanks Jumpercollins, that adds a little more detail.

yes, Hursley Park (with a 'U') was a camp near to Winchester, makes sense.

His MIC shows qualfying date for 1914 star as 5.11.14 so I suspect that this is his embarkation date not disembarkation as I had previously assumed these dates were disembarkation dates, unless he could have gone ahead on the 4th as an advanced party...is that likely?

He DOW on 1st July so assume he receieved his wounds before 'Zero Day'.

Still a bit confused as to whether the 26FA are '3rd Wessex' or '3/1st Wessex' ...seen both written down. CWGC shows '3rd'.

Thanks for your help.

Regards

Alan.

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Hi,

I notice a few replies to this thread have referenced men who were in the Field Ambulances attached to the 8th Division, which left Hursley Park over the 4th and 5th November 1914.

I am researching the history of Hursley Park, research which will in part form part of a planned rededication of the Memorial Seat to the Division at the entrance to the estate on the anniversary of their departure, and part of an exhibition on the role of the village and estate during the Great War over the weekend of the 8th-9th.

I would be very interested in any information on men who formed part of the Division that could be included. So please contact me if you can help, it will be very much appreciated.

If anyone would like more info on the commemoration plans above please feel free to contact me too.

Cheers

Dave

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Thought the following 1915 extract from the Western Times might be of interest

8th Division Field Ambulance 1


This is the panel from the Hursley 8th Division Memorial Seat which references the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Wessex Field Ambulance. (Sorry the quality of the image is a bit poor)

8th Division Field Ambulance 2

Regards

Dave

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Hi Graham,

Thanks for the offer. Really appreciated.

Funnily enough that article was the inspiration for the Hursley Commemorative event I am trying to sort out for the evening of Saturday 8th November. There are enough first-hand accounts and pictures to tell the story of Hursley's role in the Great War, at a very personal level but I was trying to find a way to link it to a theme of concerts like these that so many regiments held before leaving for the front i.e. using music alongside the accounts to tell the story at a more human level. Especially as the accounts range from sad, to incisive to just plain comic. The concert reports like these give a good idea of some of the less well known songs and something of the setting, Hursley's YMCA were still under canvas well into 1916 (possibly beyond) when many other camps had more permanent buildings, even cinemas, a lack of which was much to the disgust if at least one RFC Observer sent there for training in 1917

Not quite sure how it will all turn out yet, lots to organise... Little time to finish it....

Cheers,

Dave

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Hi Dave,

happy to pass on my grandad's details as well. Yesterday (3rd September) marks 100 years since he enlisted with 26th FA.

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