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Remembered Today:

Motor Ambulance Driver attd RGA

Guest tlwood

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Guest tlwood

My father , Herbert WOOD M/283050 was a motor ambulance driver in the ASC.

He enlisted in March 1916 and was called up in January 1917.

When I began doing family research in 1998 I paid a professional researcher to look for his Record. It would appeat to have been among the majority destroyed by fire in the Blitz as no trace was found.

Basically I'l like to get some idea of where he was.. On the very few and short occasions on which he spoke of his service he said he was at the Somme and Wipers.

His MIC show only ASC and service number.

He was awarde a Military Medal::

Awarded to - M/283050 Pte. H.WOOD,

M.T., A.S.C., attd.

Date - 9/4/18 R.G.A..

Action - For gallantry and devot-

ion to duty in action.

R. Haking


Commanding XI Corps

Up until about a week ago I ahd assumed that I might have to search a huge nuber of War Diares of the RGA to find out where he was and with no guranteed the award of the MM would have been mentioned.

I was astonished to realise that I had never asked myself the significance of the date 9/4/18. When I looked for a link between that date and the RGA I found a post on this Forum which covered that date and the RGA at the Battle of Estaires. In that post it is mentioned that overnight 8/9 April there was a heavy barrage of mixed gas (phosgene) and HE and that it had dumped a lot of phosgene in the rear of the RGA batteries. of XI Corps.

So a question of the experienced and knowledgable members of the forum. Is it reasoanable to assume that it was this action that saw my father awarded the MM?

One of the few other things I can remember was a mention of phosgene but I never linked it to his medal.

Since reading that forum post of DavidMillichope I have been going round in circles trying to work out what type of unit he would have belonged to an RFA a MAC?

I note that XI Corps was in Italy from November 1917 to March 1918 and he never made any mention of Italy.

Is it likely that he would have remained with one unit?

I know I'm asking a lot but if someone can start me in the right direction I would be very grateful.


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Hi Tim

I have researched a relative who was an MT driver ASC who's records survives and would suggest the following.

Motor Ambulance Columns were independent Corps medical assets, not permanently attached to the artillery.

Only one MAC war diary exists at TNA and that is a LOC unit. The War diary of the DDMS XI Corps and the Corps commander royal artillery, may be illuminating.

It seems to have been the practice in the ASC for drivers returning from hospitalisation to be sent to the relevant Base MT Depot and then reassigned where most needed. my great uncle was in France and Flanders in 1914, then the UK, Then Mesopotamia, evacuated to UK with dysentery, then Salonika, charged with dangerous driving served sentence Alexandria, then 10 Motorised detachment RFA In Western desert and Hejaz(with T E Lawrence) Hospitalised Suez then XXI corps MAC ending the war in Beruit.

So it is perfectly possible for yourFather to have been in an ammunition column attached to the RGA, wounded wining the MM and posted to an ambulance column on discharge from hospital. Had he been in The MAC on that date dealing with the casualties of the gas attack after the event I would have thought the DCM would have been more appropriate as the MM was awarded for Gallantry under fire.

Your connection of your Father with this particular event seems sound to me. The recommendation for the MM seems to have been made by corps HQ.

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Guest tlwood

Thanks Old Scalyback,

my father never made any mention of being injured/wounded or of ever being in hospital, not that that makes it impossible that he was. He only ever mentioned ambulance driving.

If he was likely to have been in multiple units it would seem almost impossible to trace him.

Interestingly, when I was a kid in the 50s, the motor business he ran had a Model T Ford as a tow-truck, ex artillery towing vehicle, solid tyre and all.


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