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David Earley

Role of an RAMC officer

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David Earley

I raised a query about Captain Frederick Ralph Tickle in November 2017, but have only now got round to writing him up.

He was a doctor in Southampton before the war and was commissioned into the RAMC in January 1917. He was attached to the 7th Battalion, Rifle Brigade when he was taken prisoner on 21 March 1918.

What role did an RAMC officer perform when attached to a front line battalion? Why were they attached to a battalion rather than serve in a Casualty Clearing Station or in a hospital?

Any help is gratefully appreciated, as always.

David

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ss002d6252

The Dr was there to assist in the day to day medical needs of the battalion - minor/iniital injury treatments, medical inspections etc, anything that it would be more sensible and practical to do on the spot rather than withdrawing men from the battalion.


Craig

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David Earley

So he was, in effect, an over-qualified nurse?

David

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EastSurrey

An R.M.O. had a testing role. He was attached to a battalion and combined the functions of G.P.; of casualty officer, in battle; and public health officer with regard to the health of his unit by ensuring precautions against disease. In action, his role was to sort casualties between those who had no chance, those who required early life saving intervention and get them evacuated a.s.a.p. to the Casualty Clearing Station, and those who needed less urgent treatment. He would not normally conduct operations, but might have to do such as emergency amputations for trapped casualties. He had orderlies to assist him with casualties; stretcher bearers to evacuate the wounded from off the battlefield to be handed on to the R.A.M.C. bearers ; and men charged with ensuring supplies of clean water to the unit.

My 'Frontline Medic' is the diary of Captain George Pirie, who spent most of his service as an R.M.O. with infantry battalions on Gallipoli and in France & Flanders. Like quite a number of R.M.Os., he was killed in the performance of his duties.

Michael

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David Earley

Thanks, Michael & Craig

That's very helpful.

Apologies for my rather flippant response earlier.

David

 

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