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Remembered Today:

9th field ambulance RAMC member gassed


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I have a distant relative who served with the RAMC in the 9th field ambulance. He died on the 18th of October 1917, soldiers died record the cause as gas. Is it unusual for a field ambulance to get gassed? As presumably they were a bit behind the fighting lines.

 

Jim

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The 9th Field Ambulance were moving around quite a lot in mid-October but the dairy does actually mention 'one RAMC man gassed (shell)' on the 14th Oct.

 

Diary available for £3.45.

 

There's also quite a narrative of 'gas' events on the 12th Oct at Wijdendrift concrete pill-box where all the bearers were gassed by shell. Other bearers bringing in wounded were gassed near the Broembeck. One officer and one nurse were gassed while dressing cases. Possibly by gas contamination given off by wounded men. 'It was found impossible to do any dressing with box respirators on in the dark'.

 

Total gas casualties 6pm on the 12th Oct were 1 officer 29 ordinary ranks. Everyone in the pill-box, carrying wounded or working in the dressing station were gassed.

 

Their HQ was based at Bleuet Farm but as I can see no RAMC man buried there 18/101/1917 I guess he must have been evacuated and maybe died in CCS further back.

 

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As presumably they were a bit behind the fighting lines.

 

Actually, they were right in the thick of it. This was a Guards Division field ambulance and the Guards had been on the offensive from 9th Oct. The diary has quite a lot of info on the various aid posts and routes to be taken.

 

TEW

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3 hours ago, TEW said:

 

Their HQ was based at Bleuet Farm but as I can see no RAMC man buried there 18/101/1917 I guess he must have been evacuated and maybe died in CCS further back.

 

 

Assuming it was Eric Leslie Cooper he had been evacuated to Le Treport and died of wounds (gas) according to CWGC.

Then again it could have been Pte Nicholls who had been evacuated to Boulogne, or Pte Wallace who got as far as the CCS at Dozinghem,

maybe if we had a name we wouldn't have to guess.  

 

It is by no means unusual for a Field Ambulance to be subject to a gas attack however men attached there could just as easily be gassed, shelled or shot at while moving the wounded.

 

Ken

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Thank you for your replies. That gives me a fair bit to look into, I know very little about the workings of field ambulances, so that is a great help. The man in question was private 35085 Nicholls, I am not sure what relationship he was to me, other than he was on my mother's side. I found a photo of him in uniform in an old family album so thought I'd look into his story. 

Jim

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If you have ancestry you can view the diary pages there or from UK libraries for free.

 

Could provide links to both if required.

 

TEW

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This link should take you to 9th FA diary starting 4th Oct when they moved into the area. As you can see the 9th FA were split up with HQ, A, B & C sections in different locations. If he was with 9th FA bearers that's another location. So whether he was at Bluet Farm, Bennet Farm, Green Mill ADS, or Boseinghe Chateau ADS is open to question.

 

This one should take you to the ADMS diary for the Guards Division that starts at the same date. This one does state that 50 ordinary rank bearers of 9th FA were gassed on the 12th and evacuated to CCS. And on 17th they state that 6 ordinary ranks from 9th FA died in CCS.

 

As Soldiers' Effects places him at 3rd Canadian General Hospital 18/10/1917 he can't have been one of the above 6 ORs. I've looked at the diary for 3rd Canadian General Hospital and it doesn't add anything.

 

There are a number of relevant appendices at the end of the month for both diaries.

 

I've found that giving library ancestry links is a bit hit and miss. Your library may use a dedicated browser for its free ancestry account. So if you open this page in another browser and just click the link it may just open an ancestry page asking you to register.

 

You may have to right click the blue links and 'copy link location' and paste it into the browser and/or try IE, Firefox and Chrome. Or, if the library desktop has a free ancestry icon, open ancestry from there and paste in the link.

 

Take a stick and download all the pages, have a good read and maybe comeback with more queries.

TEW

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