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Remembered Today:

52nd Lowland Division 15 June 1918


RobertCarmichael
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Hi All,

First post - all assistance gratefully received. I am trying to find out which hospital my grandfather was sent to in June 1918 on the Western Front when near WILLERVAL.

His name was 2/Lt Duncan McDonald Carmichael, and he returned to the Western Front in April 1918 as part of the 1/5th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders (from Egypt), themselves part of the 52nd Lowland Division.

A note in the regimental diary on 15 June 1918 states: 'Lt Carmichael to hospital.'

At the time, the 1/5th A&S were part of the 52nd (Lowland) Division, whose field ambulance (until end April 1918) was the 2nd & 3rd Lowland Field Ambulance. However, from May 1918 there is no reference (in the National Archives register) of which Field Ambulance was supporting the 1/5th A&S.

The NA suggested that I find out the nearest hospital that he would have been admitted to - does anyone know which hospital that would have been? The regimental diary shows that they were in WILLERVAL from 8 June until they were relieved by the 6th HLI on the 14th June. The Battalion HQ as at 14 June is listed in the diary as THELUS POST, but I can't locate that. At any rate, that would be where my grandfather would have gone to hospital from.

Once I know the hospital, I can return to the NA and see if they have the records that would help in my research. And that will give me a chance to find out what he went in for, and why he was (fortunately) away from the front when the regiment was decimated in July 1918.

I am guessing trench fever - would that keep someone away from the front line for two months?

Many thanks!

Rob

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Rob,

Welcome to the forum. Being an officer I suspect that his service records will still be with the NA and thus viewable at Kew. I think the info you seek will be there. (If not I am sure I will be corrected!)

Otherwise, which hospital he ended up in (could even have been back in the UK) and for what reasons would remain speculation.

Trench fever (the louse-borne infection) could well keep him out of action for some time. The 'flu started its rounds in June 1918 but it was not as virulent as the Autumn pandemic so I doubt he would have been away too long in that case.

Ian

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His service file NA reference is: WO 374/12425 (CARMICHAEL, Lieut D McD 1915-1918)

I don't know the cost involved, but it is possible to order this file direct from the NA.

All the best,

Stuart

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Hi Ian,

Thanks for the tip - actually I have already have his file, but it was 'weeded' in the 1950s and there isn't much left to be honest.

To complicate things, he then went on to serve in the Indian Army from September 1918.

Good point about him possibly ending up in hospital in the UK. My thinking was that the nearest hospital to Willerval would be the most likely to have an entry recording his arrival, which would give me an opportunity to find out more.

All the best,

Rob

Rob,

Welcome to the forum. Being an officer I suspect that his service records will still be with the NA and thus viewable at Kew. I think the info you seek will be there. (If not I am sure I will be corrected!)

Otherwise, which hospital he ended up in (could even have been back in the UK) and for what reasons would remain speculation.

Trench fever (the louse-borne infection) could well keep him out of action for some time. The 'flu started its rounds in June 1918 but it was not as virulent as the Autumn pandemic so I doubt he would have been away too long in that case.

Ian

Hi Stuart,

Thanks for the tip - I already have that file, but as noted in my post to Ian, it was weeded in the Fifties. Thus the need to delve deeper and in more obscure corners to try and get some answers!

All the best,

Rob

His service file NA reference is: WO 374/12425 (CARMICHAEL, Lieut D McD 1915-1918)

I don't know the cost involved, but it is possible to order this file direct from the NA.

All the best,

Stuart

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Rob,

Even if you struck lucky with the hospital and it still exists, I doubt they would have such records still.

I do not think it was a question of the 'nearest hospital' there would have been a casualty chain - regimental aid post/ccs, field ambulance and then a base hospital - Rouen, Etaples, etc - wherever there was space and could cope with his afliction.

Sorry it is a bit bleak, and a real pain to have the records weeded.

Ian

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Hi Ian,

The people at the NA felt that was the best bet - if I could work out which hospital was nearest his area, then I could (when I am next in London) try and get the diary or records for that hospital or field ambulance regiment. Some pot-luck would be involved, but their feeling was that in that diary/record there might be some information of help.

That weeding exercise is a real curse - it looks as though around three-quarters of his file was dumped in the Fifties, which is of no help at all!

Thanks for the info about the casualty chain - I will bear that in mind. From what you are saying about the chain, it looks like I would need to find out which base hospital would be nearest, and then cross fingers and see what comes of that.

All the best,

Rob

Rob,

Even if you struck lucky with the hospital and it still exists, I doubt they would have such records still.

I do not think it was a question of the 'nearest hospital' there would have been a casualty chain - regimental aid post/ccs, field ambulance and then a base hospital - Rouen, Etaples, etc - wherever there was space and could cope with his afliction.

Sorry it is a bit bleak, and a real pain to have the records weeded.

Ian

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