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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Location in Nov 1918 of 5th Cavalry Divisional Hospital


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I have been doing some research into 15331 Thomas Seth Jones of the South Wales Borderers. He was missing in action on 30 April 1917, and was captured by the Turkish. He was in "A" Company, 4th Battalion.

There are some surviving scraps of his service record, the following details reveal a bit more:

'Report [that he is] a Prisoner o War in Turkey interned at Ras al-‘Ain
Repatriated PoWs arrived Egypt & struck off strength of M. E. Force'

Image courtesy FindMyPast
© brightsolid online publishing ltd

15531 Jones B103 1916 to 1918 WO 364.jpg

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There's the following information from medical record transcriptions via Fold 3/FWR

Full Name Jones, T S
Age 41
Index Number of Admission R11
Rank Name Private
Service Number 15331
Months with Field Force 3 Years
Years Service 4 Years
Ailment Malaria
Date of Admission for Original Ailment 22/11/18
Number/Designation of Ward 1
Notes written in Observations Column 5th Cavalry Divisional Hospital, By Boat
Religion Baptist
Regiment South Wales Borderers
Battalion 4th (Service) Battalion


Reference: MH 106/599

No.31 Casualty Clearing Station: British repatriated prisoners of war and Indian officers, repatriated prisoners of war

Date: 1918 Nov 22-1918 Dec 10

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This record has not been digitised and cannot be downloaded.

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I would, if possible, like to find out a bit more about what happened to him at the end of the war, when he was transported to the MEF, whereabouts he was treated, and the details of the ship that took him on the journey home. 

The B.103 details suggest "Egypt", but I am wondering if that is shorthand for territory controlled by the MEF. I have read that Ras al-‘Ain is in Syria. The following picture would suggest that the 5th Cavalry Divisional Hospital was in Syria at this point in time.


A group portrait of unidentified staff of the 5th Cavalry Division Hospital. They are standing in the huge doorway of a building.

AWM Accession Number B01073
Collection type Photograph
Object type Black & white - Glass original whole plate negative
Maker Unknown
Place made Syria: North Syria, Aleppo
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918


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The camp at Ras al-‘Ain has been mentioned on here before


I've also find the following via the informative FIBIS wiki domain


Repatriation, before the end of the war, and after  
For the situation after the Armistice with Turkey on 30 October, 1918, see the account "How British Prisoners Left Turkey" by Lieutenant-Colonel E H Keeling, in Historical books online, below.
The most common evacuation route appears to have been by ship, from a Turkish port to Alexandria in Egypt, by another ship to Italy, (e.g. Brindisi or Tarranto), and then by train to Britain...Some returned POWs from Turkey are mentioned in the Weekly Casualty Lists, see British Army - WW1 Casualty Lists. As an example Weekly Casualty List No. 82, 25th February 1919, page 7 contains some names.





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