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John_Hartley

German bombing raid on Etaples hospital

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John_Hartley

My man is Sapper Norman Sharples who had the misfortune to be in hospital in the Etaples area with a fairly minor injury to his foot, when it was bombed by the Germans causing many fatalities, including a number of nurses (and Norman).

Does anyone have any details of the raid? I'd like to identify the hospital if possible and also to know if it was deliberately targetted.

TIA

John

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paul guthrie

As far as delibertate goes, I have been there with maps from the time and hospitals were very near the coast and the railroad ran right by it and bombing was so inaccurate my guess is no.

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Sue Light

John

From this diary entry, it looks like 46 Stationary was the most likely hospital, and 26 General as runner up.

Sue

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Sue Light

For those of us whose eyesight isn't what it used to be, let's try that again:

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Wayne Saillard

Hello John,

It could perhaps be the St.John Ambulance Brigade Hosptial, sited at Estaples, which was bombed on that date. Here is some information about both hospital and the raid which I had posted on another thread last year:

From THE KNIGHTS OF ST JOHN IN THE BRITISH EMPIRE by E.J. King - pages 199 and 200 :

But of all the work that was done by the Knights of St. John during the great War, nothing appeals more closely to the sentiment and tradition of their Order than the direct relief that was given to the sick and wounded in their hospitals. The most important of these was the Hospital at Etaples, of which we are told that 'those who have inspected it are unstinted in their praise, and that it is considered one of the best of its type in France'. This hospital owed its inception to the St. John Ambulance Brigade, by whose name it was known; it was staffed by the Brigade and was commanded by their Chief Commissioner, Colonel Sir James Clark, Knight of Justice of the Order. The Physician-in-Charge was Lieut.-Colonel C. J. Trimble, Knight of Grace and Commissioner of No. 4 District, and the Surgeon-in-Charge was Lieut.-Colonel S. M. Smith, Knight of Grace.

The Hospital was classified as a Base Clearing Hospital; it was opened for the reception of wounded on September 8th, 1915, and was one of the most up-to-date in existance, comprising Pathological, X-ray, Dental, and Electro-cardiograph Departments. It consisted of two small wards, each of 20 beds, for officers, and 16 large wards, each of 30 beds, for other ranks. Of the latter, 11 wards were reserved for surgical cases and the remainder for medical cases, the officers' wards taking both classes.

The Hospital, which was of huts, therefore consisted of 520 beds, but during the operations on the Somme in 1916 and additionalo 64 beds were brought into use, and during the heavy fighting in the spring of 1918, t5he total number of beds was increased from 520 to 744, the officers' accommodation being brought up to 88 beds. His Royal Highness the Grand Prior inspected the Hospital during 1916, and on September 17th, 1917, it was visited by H.R.H. Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyle. During 1917 the Chapel was erected with the aid of funds specially collected for the purpose by Lady Perrott, and was dedicated on November 16th by the Bishop of New Westminster. Colonel Sir James Clark relinquished command of the Hospital in July 1916, and was succeeded by Colonel C. J. Trimble, the Physician-in-Charge, who remained in command until the Hospital closed down two-and-a-half years later.

A WARD IN THE HOSPITAL AT ETAPLES

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Wayne Saillard

From THE KNIGHTS OF ST JOHN IN THE BRITISH EMPIRE by E.J. King pages 200 and 201 :

In May, 1918, occurred those incidents so disgraceful to the honour of the German Army which perhaps caused more indignation in England than anything else during the war, the bombing of the hospitals at Etaples. The reasons for this action, which was grossly offensive to the conscience of the civilized world, are not even yet clearly understood. Presumably it was not due to sheer brutality, as was at one time supposed. In that case it must have formed part of a deliberate policy of reprisals for some imaginary or accidental injury, or else it must have been due to honest accident, owing to certain Army depots being in that neighbourhood. But the latter is an explanation extremely difficult, if not impossible, to beieve. Whatever the causes may have been, on the night of May 19th German aircraft arrived over the Hospital and dropped a few bombs, doing a certaqin amount of damage. But this was only a foretaste of the wrath to come, and eleven days later, on the night of May 31st, a most determined attack with bombs and machine-guns was made upon the buildings. One ward received a direct hit and was blown to pieces, six wards were reduced to ruins, and three others were severely damaged. Sister Baines, four orderlies, and eleven patients were killed outright, whilst two doctors, five sisters, and many orderlies and patients were wounded.

It is impossible to speek too highly of the way in which the Hospital Staff carried out their duties during that terrible night; no more can be said than that it was worthy of the highest traditions of the Venerable Oder of St. John of Jerusalem. In recognition of the gallantry of their conduct, His Royal Highness the Grand Prior conferred the gold medal of the Order for saving life upon Lieut.-Colonel C. J. Trimble, of whom it was said that during the bombardments 'he was constantly passing through the various departments and entrenchments of the Hospital, encouraging the patients and personnel and directing operations. It was largely due to the fact that he displayed such coolness and disregard for his personal safety that so many escaped injury and that no panic occurred'. The silver medal was conferred upon two of the medical officers, Captain Frederick Hall and Captain William Wilson, 'in recognition of their gallantry, devotion to duty and saving life on the occasion of air raids on the St. John Ambulance Brigade Hospital at Etaples'. The bronze medal was conferred for the same reasons upon three medical officers, nine other ranks, and one patient.

Captain J. Van S. Taylor

Captain W. E. Coe

Captain A. D. Brunwin

Sergt. J. Baron

Corp. J. E. Johnson

Pte. F. H. Pike

Pte. H. J. Brownbill

Pte. F. Robbins

Pte. A. Nickells

Pte. W. Ellis

Pte. H. N. Parker

Pte. H. Mould

Gunner Alfred Lee, a patient.

As a result of the air raids, the military authorities ordered the removal of the Hospital from Etaples to Trouville, or rather the heights above the village of Deauville. The demolition for the purpose of removal began in the middle of June, the cost being met out of a fund raised as a result of a special appeal by the Director of the Ambulance Department of the Order. Most valuable assistance was rendered during the removal by Mr. F. S. Phillips, a Donat of the Order. The newly erected Hospital received its first convoy of wounded on October 23rd, 1918, and on January 20th, 1919, it was demobilized. The memory of the work that was done by their Hospital during the Great War will always be recalled with pride by the Knights of St. John, whilst the manner in which their duties were carried out by the Hospital Staff is best recorded in the concluding words of Colonel Trimble's Farewell Order, 'You have, by your self-denial and zeal, individually and collectively fulfilled in no uncertain way the mottoes of the ancient Order of St. John, 'pro fide' and 'pro utilitate hominum'

Hope this is what you were after, and has been of some help.

Regards

Wayne

THE HOSPITAL AT ETAPLES AFTER THE GERMAN BOMBARDMENT

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John_Hartley

Thanks to all. That'll all do very nicely. One of the links is interesting in that it provides indciations thatb this was retaliation for British bombing of Koln on 18 May.

John

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Marilyne

Just finding this thread and hopping on it.

I can't seem to find Sister Baines in the CWGC database.

I was wondering where she was buried and why she's not in the database. Logic would say she is at Etaples (I have a list of 18 women in Etaples, 2 missing from it ...) but logic would also say that as a sister, she should have a Commission grave...

 

Can somebody help me on this?

 

Marilyne

 

On ‎24‎/‎01‎/‎2007 at 22:43, Wayne Saillard said:

Sister Baines, four orderlies, and eleven patients were killed outright

 

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Marilyne

Thanks for this.

interesting. Most written sources cite her as "BAINES" and say she was "killed outright", like the one quoted at the start of the thread... if the raid took place on the 30-31 May and she died on the 1st June, then she obviously died of wounds sustained in the bombing.

One can only hope for her that she did not suffer too much.

 

M

 

 

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charlie2
2 hours ago, Marilyne said:

Thanks for this.

interesting. Most written sources cite her as "BAINES" and say she was "killed outright", like the one quoted at the start of the thread... if the raid took place on the 30-31 May and she died on the 1st June, then she obviously died of wounds sustained in the bombing.

One can only hope for her that she did not suffer too much.

 

M

 

 

 

Post 7 states „the nlght of 31st May“ I would interpret that as the night 31st May/1st June

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Marilyne
3 minutes ago, charlie2 said:

 

Post 7 states „the nlght of 31st May“ I would interpret that as the night 31st May/1st June

true...

I have another source that sais 30-31 ... I'll figure that one out in due time.

 

M.

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stiletto_33853

Not sure if this helps from Etaples Assistant Director Medical Services Diary.

 

Andy

Screen Shot 2019-10-05 at 10.33.46.png

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