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TEW

CCS locations; Dozinghem & Lozinghem

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Guest martin henry

My grandfather 190346 Gunner David James Edwards was injured in battle of Polygon Wood and taken tp a CCS at Dozinghem where he died of his injuries

i would like to know what were his injuries and how long he was in CCS before he died 

he was in 'A' Battery 296th Brigade 

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michaelp

You may get more response if you resubmit this under its own heading...Soldiers, for example. Someone may then come along with a link to any appropriate War Diary, that may make mention of the incident.

To be going on with however. Your grandfather died on 29 September 1917. Around that time five other members of his battery were killed outright.

Lt P St GC Westby on 23 September. He was killed by a shell, when changing positions on the Cambridge Road east of Ypres.

Battery Sgt Major FR Heath, Lt HP Jackson, Major F Davenport, Captain AA Parker on 25 September. They were killed at Wieltje when their battery mess received a direct hit.

Your grandfather was perhaps injured on one of those two dates. Someone else may give you an idea of the carry-back time to the CCS.

 

 

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Bart150

I’m researching a man of the 10th Argyll & Sutherlands, who was severely wounded in the thigh at the First Battle of Passchendaele, on 12 October 1917.

He survived, but those of his battalion who died of wounds are buried at Dozinghem cemetery. Therefore I suppose that they must have died at the casualty clearing station there.

Therefore I suppose that my chap must have been taken to the casualty clearing station at Dozinghem too.

It is about ten miles as the crow flies to Dozinghem from the spot where he was probably wounded on the battlefield just south of Poelcapelle.

 

I am wondering about two questions:

Would he have been taken straight to Dozinghem or first to some medical post closer to the front line for some immediate attention before going on to Dozinghem?

How would he have travelled to Dozinghem – by stretcher at first, but not all the way surely?

 

Is enough known of casualty systems at Passchendaele  to make any assumptions about those points?

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TEW

Generically your man would have been taken from the battle field by stretcher bearers to an RAP (Regimental Aid Post). From there to an ADS (Advanced Dressing Station). From there either to a MDS (Main Dressing Station) or direct to the CCS.

From RAP to ADS could have been by combination of stretcher, wheeled stretcher, ambulance cars/lorries, horse wagons or empty ammo lorries or by foot if possible. From ADS to CCS similar arrangement but more likely by motor vehicles, lightrailway, trolley trams or even normal train.

 

There would have been a group of probably 3 CCSs at Dozinghem rotating intake as they filled up.

 

More than likely the Medical Arrangements for this engagement were planned out in advance and everything including transport, routes, alternative routes, evacuation of wounded by injury type, etc were strictly adhered to (unless things went very wrong).

 

I suspect all the plans and the 'what actually happened' can all be found in a variety of unit diaries some of which are online via ancestry. The precise locations of all the RAPS, ADSs, MDS, CCSs and the routes taken can be worked out.

 

I'll see what I have at home and take things from there.

TEW

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Bart150

Thanks very much, TEW. Your help is greatly appreciated. BTW I’ve been reading Nurse Luard’s memoirs. So the following is what I now understand, having made a few minor assumptions;

 

If a man was wounded in battle at Passchendaele, then (assuming he was wounded either in the very front line or else on the battlefield beyond it) he would normally be taken on the following journey:

1 back to a Regimental Aid Post (RAP)

2 then further back to an Advanced Dressing Station (ADS)

3 then further back to a Casualty Clearing Station (CCS), eg in the case I’m studying probably at Dozinghem.

4 then away to a hospital outside the battle zone, eg in my case at Rouen.

A possible complication was an extra stage from ADS to Main Dressing Station (MDS) before going on to CCS.

The RAP, ADS, MDS and CCS were all in the battle zone, ie vulnerable to enemy gunfire and bombing from enemy aircraft.

 

In general, the concept was to pass a man on from one stage to the next as quickly as possible, doing only anything that seemed necessary immediately to save him from dying on the way.

The CCS might well be housed in tents and temporary huts, but unlike the RAP, ADS and MDS, it was something like a real hospital, staffed by doctors and nurses, with beds and wards and operating theatres and staff accommodation and a canteen. A man who was too badly wounded to move away from the CCS might be treated there for several days before being moved - or he might be left to die there.

 

I’d be glad to hear of any misconceptions contained in the above.

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TEW

I think that pretty much sums it up. Around autumn 1917 CCSs were being bombed by aircraft as were hospitals. 

Sometimes they may have 2 or more ADSs. On occasion I've managed to put together a man's route from battle field to the ship he was loaded onto bound for UK. 

Will still have a dig around to see what's out there.

TEW

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Bart150

Thanks TEW.

I have this document.

This point occurs to me: Some bureaucrat presumably thought that every document needed a signature. But suppose a casualty was in no fit state to sign it himself.

I've looked at the bn war diary but it says nothing about handling casualties.

309.JPG

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TEW

I hadn't realised the man in question was an Officer, not that it makes a great deal of difference.

 

Do you have access to ancestry? If so the 9th Division ADMS (Assistant Director Medical Services) diary has a great deal of info on the Medical Arrangements and Evacuations for this engagement, especially interesting are;

Appendix IV Medical Arrangements 9th Div. 10/10/1017

Appendix V Narrative of Events 12/10/1917

Appendix VI Situation Report 12/10/1017

 

To summarise, the terrain was very difficult and the evacuation routes were being shelled during the day. In addition it rained heavily all day and made the roads more difficult.

 

There is quite a lot of detail in the above diary, one would have to go through it carefully. There would also be the diaries for 27, 28 & the South African Field Ambulances which could have more detail.

 

I can add a few snippets from 9th Div. ADMS here.

18c.jpg.732c6be3aea23da7b822941c8c936834.jpg

 

18c2.jpg.bf0046513efa5fbbd0ed5069599800c4.jpg

 

The method of evacuation from the ADSs or Corps Main Dressing Station to the CCSs at Dozinghem is not given in much detail but from the CCS diaries (Nos. 4, 47 & 61) I can add that it seems all the wounded arrived by Ambulance Car.

The Relay Posts, Divisional Collecting Post, Loading Post and Advanced Car Park given above would all be posts from which an ambulance car would be loaded but there is mention of using a light railway as well to the ADS. The Relay Post 'JANET' received a direct hit that day killing RAMC men and probably others and had to be moved.

 

I made notes on the numbers of Ordinary Ranks of 9 Div wounded, evacuated that day and have another snippet from 5th Army that shows the numbers admitted to 4, 47 & 61 CCS, the totals include the officers.5A.jpg.d6535f15f8f4515be9db7016e586ddf7.jpg

 

As far as the CCS diaries are concerned only No. 4 gives any details on numbers admitted and evacuated for 12th/13th Oct 1917 and I only took notes on the Ordinary Ranks.

 

However, around 6pm on 12/10/17 4 CCS evacuated men and officers by Ambulance Trains, Nos. 4. 19 & 26. On 13/10/1917 at 9 am they evacuated by 15 Ambulance Train. The other two CCS don't give any details.

 

It's not clear from your service sheet if he was evacuated from CCS to a Hospital Nr Rouen before being embarked for UK 16/10/17 or if he remained in the CCS until 16/10/17 and then moved straight onto the St Patrick. Is there another form? B.103

TEW

 

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Bart150

Wow, tremendous. Thanks ever so much. I haven’t access to Ancestry or any other documents. What I have is just what the fourteeneighteen research service produced for me.

 

I have a couple of immediate points to get clear.

1, There were three CCS’s at Dozinghem. I assume that each was a complete, independent unit. I assume there were three of them in separate buildings side by side because the volume of cases was far greater than one standard-sized CCS could handle. I assume they shared the caseload as equally as possible as it came in. It was not that they distributed cases according to any particular criteria (eg particular types of wound or particular units.)

2, Do we know if the figures in the table for admissions to the three CCS’s at Dozinghem for 12/10 to 14/10 are pretty much equivalent to the figures for all 9th division wounded? (In other words, were these CCS’s mainly receiving 9th division cases and few others on these days; and were most 9th division cases sent to these particular CCS’s – except for untypical exceptions of course?)

 

Apart from those points, I now see quite a heap of research I need to dig into when I can find the time. Thank you again, TEW.

 

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TEW

CCSs tended to be in groups of 3 in one location with a railway siding serving all 3. That seems to be the case here. Each CCS was normally a group of buildings and tented wards so quite a big site for each one, reception ward, operating theatres, contagious wards, skin wards, officers area, mess tents, storage tents etc.

 

Yes, they would open and close for reception of wounded as they filled up. Once full they would shut down intake, treat the men as appropriate and move them out by which time another CCS had filled and was ready to shut down and hopefully another would be ready for intake. In some cases this was happening in rotation every 3 hours or so. In this case it seems there was a constant intake from Ambulance Cars which at least means a small amount of men coming in constantly rather than 500 arriving by train in one go every 3 hours.

 

Actually the 3 CCSs at Dozinghem were taking in all wounded from 18 Corps (a group of divisions including 9th Div.) there is also another corps involved being taken to Dozinghem (don't have the details on that one). Each of the 3 CCSs also had specialist wards for skin diseases, self-inflicted wounds, again no details at present.

 

The table of admissions is from 5th Army diary, off hand I think the totals are for both Corps and only for Dozinghem. The full table has all 12 CCS ( in 4 groups) for the 5th Army.

TEW

 

 

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TEW

Just to add a bit more, 9th Division was moved into XVIII Corps 10/10/1917 and left 25/10/1917. The Fifth Army Infantry contingent at this time consisted of;

XIV Corps = 5 Divisions

XVIII Corps = 4 Divisions

XIX Corps = 2 Divisions

Plus Corps Troops, which would make around 140,000 infantry.

5a0.jpg.36da68ccea8ae918e726aa33498403b4.jpg

As you can see from this snippet 'All Wounded from XIV & XVIII Corps using ambulance cars' were designated for treatment at the 3 CCSs at Dozinghem. Each CCS also performed a more specialist function. 5th Army had other CCS groups at Mendinghem, Haringe (Bandagehem) & Arneke, 9 CCSs in total.

5a3.jpg.43b7282efacee786742cebd56ca6a8ed.jpg

 

I looked again at the numbers for wounded Officers from 9th Div and came up with;

Noon - Noon 12th-13th Oct. Officers 23, Oridinary Ranks 979

Noon - Noon 13th-14th Oct. Officers 32, Oridinary Ranks 1269.

 

As far as evacuations from Dozinghem are concerned I can only give figures for No. 4 CCS;

12/10/1917

6pm. 4 Officers on Ambulance Train No. 4. 12 Officers on AT No. 4. 9 Officers on AT No. 19

 

13/10/1917

9am. Officers in Hospital (CCS) 9. Officers admitted 25, Officers evacuated by AT No. 15 = 4

 

14/10/1917

Officers in Hospital (CCS) 23. Officers admitted = 20, Officers evacuated AT No. 5 =10 by AT No. 20 =10.

 

All the above Ambulance Trains would have collected wounded from the Dozinghem group not just 4 CCS.

 

You can't tell from the above which AT your Officer was on, but their diaries would show which ones went to Rouen.

 

The Field Ambulance diaries (27, 28 & SA) are all a good read as well, lots of detail on how men arrived at ADS & MDS, nature of wounds and how they left, inluding the route and transport type used. Alternative routes had to be used as the road was being shelled all the time. The ADS treated and evacuated at least 1000 men by 6pm and the MDS 240.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if an Officer got preferential treatment and jumped the queue here and there.

 

If you want to see a scaled plan of a CCS there is a good one here, it's 33 CCS in May 1916.

TEW

 

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