Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

paul.pengelly

Mesopotamia - casualties to India

Recommended Posts

paul.pengelly

 My Man was serving with the 8th Welsh Regiment (13th Divisional Pioneers) in Mesopotamia where like a lot of men he seems to have suffered from some debilitating illness ,which meant he was sent to Hospital in Kirkee India.

The bits of his service record that survive show the following 

 

KIrkee - Posted -14.3.17

""""        -Posted -12.5.17

Kirkee depot -Posted-23.9.17

 

Am I right in thinking the 60 days between the first two dates is possibly the journey from the front in Mesopotamia to the hospital in India ? ; Going from their War diary 8th Welsh had entered Baghdad by then so quite a distance over difficult terrain from the coast,so not too unreasonable?

 

And then is  he posted from the hospital in Kirkee onto the depot there for the third entry?, fit enough to leave hospital but not fit enough to re join his unit,so what did he do?

 

I have seen reference on here to a P.O.W camp in Kirkee that did have at least  a couple of 8th Welsh men as guards as their embroidered postcard work resurfaced and was for sale  on ebay! although that is the only mention I can find about the place.

 

There is no mention of him leaving the 8th Welsh so does that rule out the 5th & 6th reserve battalions there?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
paul.pengelly

From the bits I could find online 

 

It seems there were two hospitals in Poona (Pune) area ,Kirkee (Khadki) being a ‘suburb’ of Poona.

 

Deccan British War Hospital  - Which had a capacity of 1200 beds and was staffed by Australian nurses.Rather grand building in large grounds,previously it had been the College of Agriculture from opening in 1907 to 1914-1919 period, reverting back afterwards and is still an Agriculture College now.On University Road quite near Kirkee Cemetary.

 

King George Hospital -Which had a capacity of 600 beds ,and from the two photos online seems at least in part to have been ‘thatched roof bungalow style’,again staffed by Australian nurses,opened in 1917.

 

Presumabably Poona being nearly 2,000 ft above sea level meant it was cooler than the lower levels so was better suited for convalescing .?

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maureene

I suspect that the first date is when he actually arrived in Kirkee.

 

The reason I say that is that I do not think anyone in Mesopotamia would actually know he, as a sick soldier, would end up in Kirkee (unless of course the entire regiment had notice that it was being redeployed there). Normally as a sick soldier he would have left Mesopotamia on a hospital ship, and the usual end point of the voyage would have been Bombay, where he would have been treated initially. Some sick soldiers would have then been sent out of Bombay and  Kirkee/Poona  would have been a frequent destination, as it was not too far from Bombay and  as you have noted had a cooler climate.

 

I believe the deployments on a record were mainly for pay purposes, so it may be hard to work out what they mean. However, I did read a diary once where the soldier, for pay purposes, had been transferred to another regiment, even though he was in hospital, as it was easier for the second regiment to pay him. (He was later "transferred" back to his own regiment, even though he had never "left" it)

 

I think in many parts of India there were  extra "war" hospitals which are  not well, if at all, documented, and judging by some of the death records, soldiers were sent quite long distances to hospitals in cantonments located in the hills/mountains.

 

Cheers

Maureen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
paul.pengelly

Thanks for the reply Maureen.

I think you are probably right ,that all  three "postings" were  within Kirkee, even with the hopeless evacuation procedures in Mesopotamia in 1916/17, 60 days to get to hospital seems excessive,guess I will never know for sure.

 

Of course the war diary only lists the drafts of new and returning men not those leaving for hospital,and a lot of the new men were soon leaving ,headed for hospital (the lucky ones)

 

18/6/1916 ; "Found draft of 154 men waiting at Sheik Said,106 from England,remainder men rejoining from Hospital Egypt"

29/6/1916 ; "A great number of the draft from England have gone sick,on average 2 per day die of Heat stroke".

....126 degrees in the shade,so hot they even let the DHQ guards parade in  short sleeves!.........

 

August ; average daily sick was over 30 ,that month had 41 men being sent to hospital ! 

November ; men were now returning from hospital in India rather than Egypt,leave was also spent in India.

 

The first burials of 8th Welsh Rgt men in India July /August 1916 were all at Sewri cemetery in Bombay (they were later re-interred at Kirkee) those who died 1918/19 were buried at Kirkee,so that possibly supports a change of hospital to cooler climes sometime late 1917.

 

Cheers

Paul

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
paul.pengelly

Australian nurses outside King George Hospital

The rather grander Deccan British War Hospital ,also staffed by Australian nurses.Both In Kirkee ,Poona,India

 

 

BFF842C0-BEEA-4F70-81AE-5338EEB4112D.jpeg

5CF7CBE6-AB8F-4A12-89DA-CCA3E0D2089F.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...