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Hookleg

From the front to Hospital in UK

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Hookleg

Hi, I am researching a soldier who died in  Bangour Village Hospital, Lothian, Scotland,  on 15th May 1916.  The family have given me a War Office form B104-80 dated 13. 3. 16. which says T W Watts (20387, 9th Bn. Suffolk Regiment) was admitted to 13 General hospital Boulogne  on 3. 3. 16. suffering from gunshot wound to abdomen, condition good. What is baffling me is that the war diary shows the Bn. at rest Poperinge from 27 Feb to 2nd March 1916 and in trenches with no casualties March 3-5. Casualties wounded 25 and 26 Feb were shrapnel and shell injuries. 20th and 24th one wounded each day RSW (Not sure what that means) so the nearest possible date for T Watts to have been wounded appears to have been 24th Feb.

Would it have taken someone with gunshot wound to abdomen a week to have got to Boulogne?

He arrived in Bangour 14 May, was operated on and died 15th. Were soldiers shipped back quickly from 13 General Hospital and why be sent right up to Edinburgh with what became a life ending injury. Any help or suggestions as to the timeline. Thanks

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TEW

A few possible scenarios;

 

His condition was so serious that moving him from a CCS to base hospital by train was considered life threatening so he was retained at CCS for a week.

 

An accidental GSW 2nd March on way to trenches.

 

Injury took place in trenches  2nd or 3rd March but simply was not recorded in diary. 

 

Casualty List shows him on a daily list of 15th March. The general rule is to subtract 3-4 weeks from that which results in 16th-23rd Feb. BUT, he was on a report received 4th March. The 'report received' date is going to be pretty close to the injury date, no more than a week.

 

From that I'd suggest the GSW was 2nd or 3rd March.

 

It is feasible for a soldier wounded in front line to be in a UK hospital in not much more than 48 hours if his injury required home treatment and all the train/ship connections were up to it.

 

If he arrived in Bangour 14th May then it's most likely that he was in Boulogne 3rd March to 12th/13th May and then sent to UK. Again this may be that his Injury was too bad for the travel or that he detoriated in Boulougne.

 

As you have the record I'll assume there are no other UK hospitals involved.

 

Once a ship arrived on a South coast port they would be loaded onto an available train and end up wherever it went.

TEW

 

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Hookleg

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to this very open ended enquiry. I have to admit that I had not considered that an accident may have happened on way to trenches, but would that not have been recorded? I do agree that he may have needed extra time at a CSS. There were only 2 men wounded with rifle shot between 17 Feb and 3 Mar. I'm wondering if the date may be wrong as on 6th March 11 men were wounded by shrapnel from a single shell explosion and a further five received rifle shot wounds. Wondering if 8 was recorded as 3  ??image.png.9c4035dc3c007bccda0580e3e82eda18.png

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alf mcm

The war diary mentions 'RSW' quite a lot when men are killed or wounded. It also mensions 'Shell' and 'Shrapnel' but doesn't mention 'GSW' for the period in question. It appears that RSW {Rifle Shot Wound?} has been used instead of GSW.

I have been researching those who died at Bangour for some years now, and it is interesting to read about Thomas' journey from France. The attached excerpt from Thomas' death certificate is a bit difficult to read {under the heading of 'Cause of Death, Duration of Disease, and Medical Attendant by whom certified.'}. It appears to read;-  

'Gunshot wound of abdomen 2**** 21 days intestinal obstruction as cert. by  Arch. C. McMaster F.R.C.S.E.' The part I have marked **** is a bit confusing.

 

 

 

Regards,

 

Alf McM

watts D1916 crop.pdf

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TEW

With the 'report received' date of 4th March he must have been wounded before then. I've just looked through the diary and my best guess would be his injury was between 22nd & 26th Feb.

 

He may have been the RSW in that period or the shrapnel wound.

 

Diaries don't really have to keep details of casualties but this one does seem to be consistent in doing so with unusual detail IE. RSW, shell, shrapnel.

TEW

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Hookleg

Thank you both so much for your detective work and I apologise for not picking up on your post till this evening when I started putting extra info on my facebook memorial page on Norton History and photos. I am trying to get definitive evidence, as far as is possible, of each man mentioned on the village memorial (plus a couple of strays). We will remember them!!

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
Posted (edited)
On 13/05/2020 at 14:38, alf mcm said:

Gunshot wound of abdomen 2**** 21 days intestinal obstruction

Yes, a bit of a puzzle.

I thought it might be something like a formula, like KMnO4,  N2O, or similar, but can't imagine why they would appear on a DC.

It might not be 2....21 days but &....21days.

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

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