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Casualty Evacuation at Zandvoorde, October 1914- Staff Officers wounded, but who?


David_Blanchard

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I have just transcribed a report by Colonel W H S Nickerson, VC- 6th Cavalry Field Ambulance in the WD. He mentions using the cars of Staff Officers with wounded or killed, to transport wounded to Ypres. Any idea who they might be?

 

I include the transcription- 30 October 1914.

 

‘The dressing station at this time was in a small house in Klein Zillebeke and the reserve section of the FA and heavy wagons were in Zillebeke. Very heavy fighting started, road shelled. Shells in front, behind and the sides of my dressing station, which was apparently in a good spot, as it was not hit. At 8am [30 October] the ADMS said that all medical units must retire, but I pointed out that the 6th Brigade had merely notified that they were going forward and had not been ordered to retire, so I preferred to remain. This was agreed to. Meanwhile another cavalry brigade arrived to support us, also some of the 7th Division but without any medical arrangements. Consequently, the one section of the Cavalry Field Ambulance had to take in wounded from 3 Cavalry brigades and some infantry. The only way to cope with this was to keep a steady stream of evacuation all day, and not wait for darkness.

 

The light wagons worked up and down the Zandvoorde road and despite heavy shelling escaped without injury. I succeeded in getting up two of the heavy wagons but found that all other medical units had some. These heavy wagons took wounded from the dressing station to Ypres and once I sent two light wagons full of wounded to Ypres when the dressing station had been crowded. 

 

Casualties were very heavy, and several staff officers were hit, and to add to the difficulties the M.O. of the 10th Hussars was killed.[1]I borrowed several cars belonging to the staff and put wounded in them and despatched parties of others on foot, if they could walk well. At dusk the ADMS succeeded in getting up 5 motor ambulances which rapidly made journeys to Ypres and back and by 7pm the dressing station was cleared of wounded. At 9pm a few cases were brought in, who had been lying in places too exposed to be got at before. At 11pm I fell back to Zillebeke with these, remained there until 6am with them and took the last of the wounded into Ypres… The point emphasised by the proceedings this day, is the enormous advantage of motor ambulances over horse drawn vehicles.’[2]

 

David

 

[1] Captain Kinkead

[2] TNA: WO95/1147/1: 6th Cavalry Field Ambulance War Diary: October 1914.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi David, the only incident I can think of happened at Hooge Chateau. Major General Lomax GOC 1 DIV was severely wounded, 7 others killed and 4 or 5 wounded. An account is in the Official Histories 1914 vol ii, page 324. I had not heard or remember reading of another such incident. Best Wishes, Bob. Link;https://archive.org/details/militaryoperatio02edmo/page/324/mode/2up

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28 minutes ago, Bob Davies said:

Hi David, the only incident I can think of happened at Hooge Chateau. Major General Lomax GOC 1 DIV was severely wounded, 7 others killed and 4 or 5 wounded. An account is in the Official Histories 1914 vol ii, page 324. I had not heard or remember reading of another such incident. Best Wishes, Bob. Link;https://archive.org/details/militaryoperatio02edmo/page/324/mode/2up

They wouldn't have been evacuated via Klein Zillebeke though.

30 October 1914 is the day of the German attack on Zandvoorde with the Life Guards and others being overrun.

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3 hours ago, AOK4 said:

They wouldn't have been evacuated via Klein Zillebeke though.

30 October 1914 is the day of the German attack on Zandvoorde with the Life Guards and others being overrun.

It is a very interesting time of the Great War. From reading the WD of the 6th Cavalry Field Ambulance, they are working over a large area. From Voormezele, to Zandevorde to Zillebeke to Klein Zillebeke, evacuating casualties in small wagons from the front line to Ypres via hellfire corner (one route out) on the Menin Road. The writing in the Diaries is difficult to read in parts. To get the full story we have to read all the WDs from all who were there, mainly 3rd Cavalry and also 7th Division towards the Menin Road, near Kruiseecke .

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6 hours ago, Bob Davies said:

It is a very interesting time of the Great War. From reading the WD of the 6th Cavalry Field Ambulance, they are working over a large area. From Voormezele, to Zandevorde to Zillebeke to Klein Zillebeke, evacuating casualties in small wagons from the front line to Ypres via hellfire corner (one route out) on the Menin Road. The writing in the Diaries is difficult to read in parts. To get the full story we have to read all the WDs from all who were there, mainly 3rd Cavalry and also 7th Division towards the Menin Road, near Kruiseecke .

Yes, but the men wounded near the Menin Road would be evacuated via the Menin Road and not via Klein Zillebeke.

Dave was clearly asking about the evacuees passing at Klein Zillebeke on 30 October 1914. They must have come from the fighting in and around Zandvoorde on that day. The Germans managed to capture the village and seriously endanger the British front line as several units were overrun (mainly cavalry). One should look into the cavalry WDs of that day (although they may not have had the time to write much at that point).

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On 28/02/2023 at 15:03, David_Blanchard said:

Any idea who they might be?

From HQ  6th Cav Brigade WD https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7351525 there is a list. Date = 30-X Zillebeke continued...these may be who you seek or not? Regards, Bob.

image.png.f92f92a5ce9df46d079be44fa9771747.png

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1AC78448-20AB-4184-890E-D86D23805DBF.png.a9e5f1a836544a0f155019a56b412249.pngE594C27F-080D-4D11-B343-313FF1D4A517.png.6fef4c5930aecf3d2aae4a12b1928629.png6A747469-CC01-4890-B7BB-0AF962F8B0B0.png.1fc21f4eb355cd6fd6e98082c2f2bc32.pngThanks Jan and Bob- just back from GWF conference. This is some of the  work I have doing concerning casualty evacuation from Zillebeke sector in 1914. Let me know he there are any errors, please. 

David 

Edited by David_Blanchard
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Just now, David_Blanchard said:

Thanks Jan and Bob- just back from GWF conference. This is some of the  work I have doing concerning casualty evacuation from Zillebeke sector in 1914. Let me know he there are any errors, please. 

David

Hi David, I hope you had an enjoyable time. Your text above reads ok to my eyes. One thing in the translation, where you say "I succeeded in getting up two of the heavy waggons but found that all other medical units had some." I have translated your word 'some' as 'four'.

image.png.e17f98043e543fdc49d8f3933f64ed5e.png

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Bob,

 

It gets even trickier in establishing which Field Ambulances were serving in the Zillebeke Sector with the bombing of sustained bombing of Ypres from 4th November- as FAs from the 3rd Division arrive as well as those from 1st, 2nd, 7th and Cavalry are all in the area!

David 

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Just now, David_Blanchard said:

Bob,

 

It gets even trickier in establishing which Field Ambulances were serving in the Zillebeke Sector with the bombing of sustained bombing of Ypres from 4th November- as FAs from the 3rd Division arrive as well as those from 1st, 2nd, 7th and Cavalry are all in the area!

David 

David, yes it is quite a maze of writing across a few diaries. Troops from the 4th guards brigade in there too as they are on the cavalrys left flank. One thing is for certain that the trench system is very poor early on with no communication trenches. 1st Royal Dragoons are getting them selves shot while climbing out of the trenches when a change over/relief is happening. They then soon work out to do the reliefs at night. A German trench taken over is much better made as they seem to have supplies for shuttering etc. I have bits for you in your other post about RAPosts but I will not put them here to avoid confusion.

The 6th FA also have a dressing station at Hoooge 1-11-1914.  The writer of the diary and his men seems to be working a large area and he is not nesseseraly writing from the location he has written in the margin.  Bob.

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Bob,

any help with raps appreciated. All I can see are collecting posts. Pm me if you like.

 

David 

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27 minutes ago, David_Blanchard said:

Bob,

any help with raps appreciated. All I can see are collecting posts. Pm me if you like.

 

David 

David,

I will pass on anything I find. As you can imagine I have pages of notes and ideas from at least 10 WDs, all in no order whatsoever :lol:

Cheers, Bob.

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