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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Typical organisation of a General Hospital


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Good afternoon, 


I'm quite sure the information is somewhere here on the forum, but I just can't seem to find the right words to put in the search engine to get there... same for google... 

I'm looking for a typical organisational chart for a general hospital... base hospital in the rear: commander, number of MOs, orderlies, assistants, nurses, administrative staff ... so the personnel hierarchy and the organisation itself: labs, departments, etc etc... 

I've been going through the books I have here but haven't found anything usefull so far so I was hoping the pals could point me in the right direction. 


thanks a lot



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Hi Marilyne

does this help?


this page has side menu of things





Edited by jonbem
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Perhaps it's one of your books you've looked at but just checking you've looked at Medical Services; General History.


I would imagine the 'typical organisation' changed throughout the war, so perhaps you may have to chose a time frame.


Unless there already is such a work then perhaps getting hold of the diaries for a GH and ditto for the medical side of the relevant base?


Diaries free at present but chose carefully, some GHs moved so came under a different base. Early diaries are likely to be the ones that describe the set up, later changes noted as they came along.


Medical base diaries can be odd in that for one base there is an ADMS while for another an DMS. They quite often list newly arrived RAMC drafts and note their postings, ditto for nurses & officers but each diary can vary a lot in content type.




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I don't know whether this might be of help, but the Wellcome Library has these documents for the 26th General Hospital at Etaples available for download. I remember them containing quite a lot of organizational info etc.




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Thank you all... I think I'll just go with ONE "picture" of an organisation and start reading on Nb 26GH... 



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Hello Maryline


Here is the war establishment as at August 1914:

General Hospital (520 beds)
Lt-Col cdg, 2 Lt-Cols, 5 Majors, 12 Captains or Subalterns, QM.
2 Warrant Officers, 13 Serjeants, 2 Buglers, 8 Corporals, 93 Privates, 25 Batmen.
QAIMNS:    Matron, 16 Sisters, 26 Staff Nurses.


In May 1915 the number of beds was doubled, and the number of personnel was also roughly doubled, to 37 officers and 204 other ranks. In September 1917 the capacity was increased to 1560 beds (but only small personnel changes, to 32 officers and 218 other ranks). There was even an establishment for 2500-bed hospitals, with 40 officers and 286 men, by 1918.


It is possible, as most of these hospitals were in coastal towns or larger towns inland, that an element of the non-medical manpower was provided by the Labour Corps or similar, which would explain why the numbers of other ranks did not match larger numbers of beds.


The British Medical Official History, General Series (in four volumes) has more information, including several very useful charts showing evacuation routes and general organisation of the medical services.




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Thanks Ron... rough statistics is just what I need, I don't want to go too much into detail ... 

Talking about details... KernelPanic... Boyfriends hates you... I just got stuck on the archives of Keoghs barracks... and completely forgot about the time... BUT: found some interesting info!! 



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Marilyne, I know what you mean ... Lots there.

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