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British Military field hospitals


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Wanting some help in finding where the nearest British Military Field Hospital would have been to a place called Lyons La Forêt, in the department of Eure, Upper Normandy, France. I know that there was a POW camp plus several batallions of the Indian and South African Labour corps. I know that at Radepont, which is about 10 Kms away from Lyons, there was a French Military hospital but  don't know if it was used by the British as well. Can anyone help? 

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The British Army did not have ‘field hospitals’ but a system of casualty evacuation.  Essentially this was aid post; Field Ambulance (attached to a Division); Casualty Clearing Station and finally the base and General Hospitals in France and the UK.  See LLT for more detail and location of CCS http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/a-soldiers-life-1914-1918/the-evacuation-chain-for-wounded-and-sick-soldiers/

The Indian Army Medical Services, and afaik all Empire Troops, adopted a similar system for dealing with sick and wounded troops.

 

Given your specific interest and previous posts a man from an ethnic Labour Battalion would, as they passed up the chain have been segregated and admitted to a ‘Native Labour Hospital’.  There was one at Rouen, another at Dieppe (Arques-la-Battaille) and, I believe another at Boulogne.

 

As the Indian and Chinese  Labour Corps tended to operate well behind the lines I don’t know but imagine they would have had a medical facility at their camps who would arrange evacuation to the appropriate hospital if they could not be treated in the camp.

 

There were six Indian Military Hospitals originally formed in England in 1914 and 1915.  The largest was in Brighton.

 

The segregation certainly had a class bias and reflected the Imperial attitudes  but the ‘native’ hospitals showed respect for religious and funerary rites of the individual.

 

Ken

 

Edited by kenf48
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Ken, thank you, that is fascinating to read. Does anyone if there are any accounts by officers working in the Native Labour Hospitals or Indian Military hospitals available to read?  

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There are War Diaries available for Indian Hospitals in France, for a small fee;-  http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_col=200&_hb=tna&_q=WO95+INDIAN+hospital+France   They are unlikely to name individual patients, but may be useful.

 

Similarly, there are War Diaries for Native Labour Hospitals here;- http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_col=200&_hb=tna&_q=WO95+Native+hospital+France   I am not sure if they are for South African or Chinese labour.

 

There is an interesting section in Gordon Corrigan's book, 'Sepoys in the Trenches' regarding the Indian Hospitals in England.

 

Regards,

 

Alf McM

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2 hours ago, Oldleg said:

Ken, thank you, that is fascinating to read. Does anyone if there are any accounts by officers working in the Native Labour Hospitals or Indian Military hospitals available to read?  

 

The Indian Army Hospitals in the UK are well documented, and regarded with some pride and there is a lot of information online e.g.

http://www.sikhmuseum.com/brighton/index.html and https://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/health_and_medicine_india

 but most, if not all were converted to other uses following the evacuation of most Indian troops from the Western Front.

 

This predates the arrival of the Indian Labour Corps and the Lushai Companies in June 1917

http://hiddenhistorieswwi.ac.uk/uncategorized/2016/02/north-east-india-and-the-first-world-war/

but you may be interested in the accounts of the problems which were encountered and overcome when dealing with Indian casualties in France, which no doubt carried forward to the Native Labour Hospitals.

 

Ken

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