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Remembered Today:

No 22 Ambulance Train – Bailleul to Boulogne 1917.


MERLINV12
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Hoping for someone’s expertise, knowledge, to try to help solve a puzzle, or lead me in the right direction.

 

No 22 Ambulance Train arrived at Boulogne @ 23.10 hrs on 7th July 1917, with 1300 wounded and sick passengers, what would have happened next ?

 

How was which hospital they were admitted to decided ? (maybe it was already decided before travelling).

 

Were they held somewhere, or where they admitted to hospital immediately.

 

My reason for asking, is that having waited for over six months for the Admission & Discharge Records of the hospital he is recorded as dying in (Pension/Soldier’s Effects Record), I find he was never admitted there, so obviously would like to know what really happened next.

 

His route to Boulogne (32 CCS, 11 CCS, 22 AT) is supported by other documents, but he then “disappears”. (He is buried in Boulogne).

 

Any help, theories, comments greatly appreciated.

Edited by MERLINV12
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Was Boulogne an area that issued a French death certificate ? - some areas did. If so that would probably record the location.
 

Craig

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I did get your PM so will reply here. Only just seen your last reply to the other post.

 

Regarding 2 Canadian SH recorded as his place of death in Soldiers' Effects, noting that he was never admitted there.

 

The Effects' entries have Account & Date then Date of Authority. Both are dated only a month after his death, the latter written in the same hand as the Date & Place of Death.  2 Can SH is therefore noted only a month after his death if I read it correctly.

 

As you mention, perhaps it is a simple mistake. The only other thing that springs to mind is that perhaps 2 Can SH were administering the burials.

 

Looks like he arrived in Boulogne eight days before he was buried there. I can't see how they could be organised enough and have the communications to have precisely the right number of beds available for a train load of wounded. Transferring and splitting up the men from Boulogne station to the various hospitals can't have been straight forward.

 

Sometimes the seriously wounded were destined for the UK via hospital ship depending on availability. These would have to be hospitalised until a ship was available but that may only be a day.

 

From other AT evacuations to bases it looks as though sometimes there wasn't room and the AT moved on to another base with some of their load.

 

Are there other British troops noted in Effects as having died at 2 Can SH and buried in Boulogne that you can check against the A/D book (not sure what period that covers).

 

If you pick up more 2 Can SH British troops who died there but are not in the A/D book there is something else going on. If it's just Coffey then a mistake?

TEW

 

 

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4 hours ago, ss002d6252 said:

Was Boulogne an area that issued a French death certificate ? - so areas did. If so that would probably record the location.
 

Craig

Craig,

 

Didn't occur to me that French civil authorities would issue a DC for a British soldier, will look into the possibility.

 

Thanks :thumbsup:

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4 hours ago, TEW said:

Are there other British troops noted in Effects as having died at 2 Can SH and buried in Boulogne that you can check against the A/D book (not sure what period that covers).

 

If you pick up more 2 Can SH British troops who died there but are not in the A/D book there is something else going on. If it's just Coffey then a mistake?

TEW

Tim,

 

Thanks for the reply and suggestions :thumbsup:, I only ordered May to August A&D's from Canada, but there should be enough to test out your theory, just a pity my Ancestry Subs have lapsed, so will need to pay-up to check out Effects for other British deaths at 2 Can SH.

 

Craig's suggestion seems good, however I have no idea how to begin checking for 1917 French D Certs.

 

Thanks again.

 

Michael.

 

 

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10 hours ago, RussT said:

Can you supply a name?

 

I made predictions with regards to which hospital a man died in the Boulogne area during July 1917 in this post.

 

 

In which Base Hospital did my Soldier Die? - Medical Services (Home and Abroad) - Great War Forum

 

Regards

 

Russ

 

Russ,

 

Thanks for your interest.

 

James Coffey 11373 RAMC, died 15-7-17. 

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On 15/05/2021 at 11:44, TEW said:

Are there other British troops noted in Effects as having died at 2 Can SH and buried in Boulogne that you can check against the A/D book (not sure what period that covers).

 

If you pick up more 2 Can SH British troops who died there but are not in the A/D book there is something else going on. If it's just Coffey then a mistake?

TEW

Tim,

 

RussT has come up with 2 other British soldiers dying in No2 Can SH in July 1917, that do not appear in the A&D Register.

 

So looks possible that they kept more than one register !

 

Michael.

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Can we have their details and which record shows  2 CSH for them?

TEW

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Michael has shared with me the information in the No 2 Canadian Stationary Hospital (No 2 C SH) Admissions & Discharge register for the dates 10th April to 18th July 1917 - thanks.

 

As noted in the thread I posted a link to above, I have researched the deaths in the Boulogne area hospitals during July 1917 extensively, and I have collected much information for those men buried in the Boulogne area cemeteries who died in the local hospitals during that period. The "knowns" have permitted predictions to be made for those men who died in a hospital whose identity is unknown. This led to the table of hospital predictions in the thread I linked to above.

 

Since then I have correctly validated a few of these predictions from completely independent sources - one is included in that thread itself.

 

We know from the DDMS Boulogne Area War Diary that just 3 men died in the No 2 C SH during July 1917. One is actually recorded in the No 2 C SH War Diary on the 15th July which I conclude to be Pte James Coffey (as per his Soldiers' Effects Register). One man died on the 10th July which is confirmed to be Pte Arthur Hallsworth (York & Lancaster Regiment) from his Soldiers' Effects Record. The final man died on 31st July which I have predicted, through a process of elimination, to be Pte Matthew Scott (Machine Gun Guards).

 

Michael has noted that the No 2 C SH A&D Register only records the admission of Canadian soldiers, and so he has been speculating that Coffey therefore did not die in that hospital because there is no record of him being admitted to it. I have expressed caution in drawing that conclusion and that he should not dismiss too lightly the array of supporting evidence, some of which I can report on here.

 

My view is that for whatever reason the authorities at the No 2 C SH chose to keep multiple hospital registers one for the Canadians and one, presumably, for everyone else, which has possibly been destroyed or remains to be unearthed in the Canadian Archives. I have experienced something similar. The Admissions Register for the No 3 Canadian General Hospital (No 3 C GH) are rather poorly kept and one of my relatives who I had predicted as having died of wounds there does not appear in the Admission register. Fortunately, however, there is also a separate Record of Deaths for the No 3 C GH in which he is recorded so validating my prediction. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a Record of Deaths for the No 2 C SH in the Canadian archives.

 

One way of "proving" that the No 2 C SH admitted not just Canadian soldiers is to compare the number of admissions in the No 2 C SH A&D register (which Michael has) with the daily number of admissions recorded in the DDMS Boulogne Area War Diary for that hospital. This is shown is the plot below. It shows that the daily and total number of admissions is far greater than that recorded in the A&D register, as it should do in my view. It can be noted that on those days when the number of admissions was large, then the number of Canadians being admitted was also relatively large - as to be expected if the average attrition rate was similar across the various British & Commonwealth units.

 

One other point to note is that the No 2 C SH War Diary does, on occasion, record the monthly total admissions for the Canadian and Imperials separately (see extract below), so it seems they were well versed in keeping these distinctions.

 

The DDMS Boulogne Area War Diary reveals that no wounded or sick Officers were admitted to the No 2 C SH. Whilst the No 2 C SH A&D register only records Canadian admissions, it is noteworthy that they are all Other Ranks and no Officers are recorded.

 

Regards

 

Russ

 

 

No 2 Can S H - plot.JPG

No 2 Can S H - diary.JPG

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Great Work Russ !

 

I take on board what you and Tim have said, so the search for a death certificate begins, in the hope that if one exists, it gives POD.

Edited by MERLINV12
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Forgive me, but I don't think a casualty would be listed by CWGC unless a DC was furnished? [Index to War Deaths 1914 to 1921 - Army [Other Ranks] ] Has this dataset been checked?

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He is in the Index of war deaths 1914-1921. Reference transcribed as Vol. M6 page 86 for 1917.

TEW

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I have emailed Outreau Mairie to see if they hold the original DC, awaiting a reply.

 

Also ordered one from the GRO (ready for a long wait).

Edited by MERLINV12
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On 21/05/2021 at 13:47, Bardess said:

Forgive me, but I don't think a casualty would be listed by CWGC unless a DC was furnished? [Index to War Deaths 1914 to 1921 - Army [Other Ranks] ] Has this dataset been checked?

Diane,

 

Thanks for your post, it is not so much his death that is in doubt, it is where he died that is uncertain, and is what I am trying to confirm.

 

Michael.

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UPDATE:

 

Good News & Bad News, the good news is the GRO seem to be back up to speed, I applied for the DC @ 11am on the 24th, arrived this morning @ 9.30am (3 days using Standard Service).

 

The bad news is, it contains nothing new, and does not confirm where he died (only the area), or that he was the Tetanus case mentioned in No2 Can SH WD, and has added 2 years to his age :rolleyes:, see image below.

 

So, now hoping an original French DC exists, (Mairie still not responded) was hoping the GRO Cert was a copy of the original French one, or a British A&D Register for No2 Can SH can be found.

 

The quest continues.

 

1630762668_COFFEYDC.jpg.798a1a5c27d3a3c04250edf84cad8d50.jpg

 

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FURTHER UPDATE:

 

I have heard back from the Mairie at Outreau, who in turn checked with the other possible Mairies at Boulogne-sur-Mer and  Le Portel, and none of them hold a civilian DC for James Coffey. :(

 

Any suggestions for documents that may show POD (other than Soldier's Effects) greatly appreciated.

 

TIA.

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