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Remembered Today:

Forum sleuths - autopsy reports


alliekiwi

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Erm... no idea if this has been invesitgated previously. :unsure:

I was looking at The Medical Front WW1 site, and came across some autopsy reports for men who died from Mustard Gas. There are service numbers and dates of deaths for the men, so I'm guessing it would be possible to work out who they are in most cases (except for the one listed as 'French Soldier'. I doubt even Stebie or Auimfo are that good!).

However, I've no idea if the service numbers listed are BEF, AIF, CEF, NZEF... and on the MIC when I look up, there are multiple people with the same number - or no-one at all with that number!

There are 25 cases listed here, but I'll list the case details so you don't need to look at the gruesome reports if you don't want to.

First 10 cases:

CASE 1.-M. L., 64329, Pvt. Co. L, 192d Inf. Died, October 28, 1918, 2 pm., Evacuation Hospital No. 7.

CASE 2.-A. D., 1429216, Pvt. Hdqrs. Co., 39th Inf. Died, October 11, 1918, 4.45 am., Evacuation Hospital No. 6.

CASE 3.-C. G., French soldier. Died, October 8, 1918, at 8 a. m., Gas Hospital, Julvecourt. Autopsy, six hours after death, by Capt. James F. Coupal, M. C.

CASE 4.-H. R., 76213, Pvt. Co. B. 18th Inf. Died, August 8, 1918, Gas Hospital No. 4. Autopsy, 11 hours after death, by Lieut. Russell W. Wilder, M. C.

CASE 5.-H. E. M. C.H. 3173285 Pvt. Co. H 16th Inf. Died ()ctober 4 1918 Evaeuation Hospital No. 6. Autopsy October 5 1918 -hours after death by Capt. James F. Coupal M. C.

CASE 6.-W. D. F. 3173197 Pvt. Co. H 16th Inf. Died October 4 1918 at 2.20 pm. Gas Hospital Julvecourt. Autopsy October 4 three and one half hours after death by Capt. James F. Coupal M. C..

CASE 7.-V. O., 134765, Pvt., Battery B. 2d Mass. F. A. Died, October 13, 1918, Julvecourt Gas Hospital. Autopsy, October 13, at 2 p. m., by Capt. James F. Coupal, M. C

CASE 8.-O. K. M. C.D., 45325. Pvt., Co. L, 18th Inf. Died, October 5, 1918. Autopsy at Evacuation Hospital No. 7, on following day, by Capt. James F. Coupal, M. C.

CASE 9.-C. H. W., 101135, Pvt., R. A. F., 3 Kite Balloon Section. Died, October 23, 1918, at 7.05 a. m., at Base Hospital No. 2. Autopsy, two hours after death, by Capt. B. F. Weems, M..C.

CASE 10.-B. B. 2252004 Pvt. Co. A 39th Inf. Died October 14 1918 10.45 a. m. Base Hospital No. 58. Autopsy October 15 23 hours after death by Capt. M. Flexner M. C.

Allie

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E.g. case 9 - I'm not coming up with anyone of that service number having been in the RAF/RFC when I look at the Kew MIC online.

CASE 9.-C. H. W., 101135, Pvt., R. A. F., 3 Kite Balloon Section.

Maybe they changed the numbers on the autopsies?

Allie

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I don't think I can really assist with the identification - but just wanted to say what a useful site that seems to be. I hadn't come across it before!

Swizz

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Could they be American as they mention Autopsys, 192 Inf etc. Possibly by checking for the doctors before the men might be profitable. The location of these medics could give an idea as to which Country they came from.

stevem

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Good point, Steve. Er... can one look up american service numbers and names online? Or are we basically sunk if they're american?

:wacko: But that doesn't help with someone in the RAF.

Yes, it's a great site, Swizz! I love medical information, and really want to know the details, so I find it fascinating.

Allie

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Good point, Steve. Er... can one look up american service numbers and names online? Or are we basically sunk if they're american?

:wacko: But that doesn't help with someone in the RAF.

Yes, it's a great site, Swizz! I love medical information, and really want to know the details, so I find it fascinating.

Allie

The doctors seem to have the MC - they should be in London Gazette and possibly the reason for getting it.

My battalion had an American doctor and he also got the MC. The RAF man could have been attached to the Americans ! of cours eit may be that they had to keep their identities secret :rolleyes:

I may be wrong but if they are service numbers - BEF did not have 7 figure ones. After the war from memory.

stevem

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I've been looking up service number 101135.

17 matches in the MIC but none in the RFC or RAF.

1 match in the CEF, but he survived the war.

1 match in the AIF, I think, but the Australian archives are slooooooooooooow tonight.

No idea if there is a match in the NZEF as I've not got access to the nominal roll and the NZ archives don't allow searching by service number.

Wouldn't it be luverly if we could search the CWGC by service number?

And here was me assuming M.C. in this instance meant 'Medical Corps'. *feels an absolute idiot*

Allie

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I've been looking up service number 101135.

17 matches in the MIC but none in the RFC or RAF.

1 match in the CEF, but he survived the war.

1 match in the AIF, I think, but the Australian archives are slooooooooooooow tonight.

No idea if there is a match in the NZEF as I've not got access to the nominal roll and the NZ archives don't allow searching by service number.

Wouldn't it be luverly if we could search the CWGC by service number?

And here was me assuming M.C. in this instance meant 'Medical Corps'. *feels an absolute idiot*

Allie

If they are not british it could be Medical Corps although Americans working with BEF got the MC.

in the 101135 there is one RE. As the balloon Companies started in the REs - could it be him. In fact the RAF started in the RE's but thats another story :D

76213 shows 8 men.

stevem

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Medal card of Marsden, Alfred

Corps Royal Engineers

Regiment No 101135

Rank Sapper

Can't find him on the CWGC, though.

Allie

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It can't be the Australian person with that service number as a. they're from WW2, and b. they're female.

Allie

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As the doctors appear to be American they will not be (and are not as far as I can see) in the London Gazette unless they were awarded medals as foreign nationals, thus differ from commonwealth soldiers. Therefore what the MC stands for is a mystery as the American do not (I think) have a military cross or any other award that fits the letters. Also it seems odd that all the officers had MCs! So Im guessing its more to do with their medical speciality (though I cant think of wht wou.d fit).

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Medal card of Marsden, Alfred

Corps Royal Engineers

Regiment No 101135

Rank Sapper

Can't find him on the CWGC, though.

Allie

Back to the Americans then! They are also all 1918 so possibly they wanted to see how gas worked on the internal organs. Medical Corps sounds American as well :D

stevem

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The web site states "The following descriptions of the medical effects of Gas Warfare have been extracted from "The Medical Department of the United States in the World War", Volume XIV."

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Scrolling down for something more likely to be British, we reach:

CASE 19.-D. B., 187, Pvt., 1/4 Highlanders R. Died, October 23, 1918, at 5.10 a. m., at Base Hospital No. 2. Autopsy, four and one-half hours after death, by Maj. A. M. Pappenheimer, M. C.

Heaps of MICs for service No. 187, but only two if you cross-reference 'highland'.

Medal card of Crossley, Lee

Corps: 11th Highland Light Infantry

Regiment No: 187

Rank: Private

promoted to Corporal and then Serjeant.

Medal card of Thomson, John

Corps: Scottish Rifles

Regiment No: 187

Rank: Private

But then he transferred to the Highland Light Infantry Service No. 37307 as a private.

But can't find either of them on the CWGC.

Did the americans have 'highland' units as well? And really low service numbers?

I'm beginning to wonder if these are some sort of hospital number instead.

Allie

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Guest geoff501
Wouldn't it be luverly if we could search the CWGC by service number?

Wouldn't an ideal world be nice....

Name: WHYMANT

Initials: C H

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private 1st Class

Regiment: Royal Air Force

Unit Text: 3rd Kite Balloon Sect.

Age: 37

Date of Death: 23/10/1918

Service No: 101135

Additional Information: Husband of Mrs. Whymant, of 19, Evison Rd., Rothwell, Kettering.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: II. H. 12.

Cemetery: ETRETAT CHURCHYARD EXTENSION

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Guest geoff501

Here is 187:

Name: BROWN, DAVID ARNOTT

Initials: D A

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment: Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)

Unit Text: 1st Bn.

Age: 28

Date of Death: 23/10/1918

Service No: 187

Additional Information: Son of George and Ann Brown, of Strathm/910, Fife.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: II. H. 11.

Cemetery: ETRETAT CHURCHYARD EXTENSION

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I reckon they are all American. Massachusetts Field Artillery is a give-away.

Glad someone agrees with me. Is there not a further give-away by the abbreviation "Pvt" for, presumably, "Private". Brits would abbreviate as "Pte", surely.

Like CWGC, the online US site doesnt allow a search by service number. We may need to wait for US Pals to have done a day's work and got home, before they catch up with the thread and can offer advice as to a way forward.

John

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Guest geoff501
Here is 187:

Name: BROWN, DAVID ARNOTT

Initials: D A

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment: Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)

Unit Text: 1st Bn.

Age: 28

Date of Death: 23/10/1918

Service No: 187

Additional Information: Son of George and Ann Brown, of Strathm/910, Fife.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: II. H. 11.

Cemetery: ETRETAT CHURCHYARD EXTENSION

And the MIC:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...p;resultcount=2

Can't find one for Whymant.

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Those are American units (except the French Soldier and the R.A.F., of course) they belong to and "Evacuation Hospital" is an American Army term still in use (equivalent, I believe, Casualty Collection Stations). Co. L would be American as well as (at that time) companies were lettered within a regiment, so A, B & C companies would be in the 1st Battalion, D,E and F in the 2nd battalion, etc. Another clue is the "Pvt" (still in use) as opposed to the Pte. abbreviation.

I would be a bit surprised (and quite impressed) if someone figured out the soldiers involved, but they will undoubtedly be American soldiers of the AEF.

Mike Morrrison

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What does 'violaceous' mean, Robert?
Marina, typically it refers to a purplish colour, often used in the context of skin lesions. Which article was this description used in?

Robert

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Marina, typically it refers to a purplish colour, often used in the context of skin lesions. Which article was this description used in?

Robert

The one about the gas victims, Robert. Horrifying.

Marina

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