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RussT

Nieuport Sector July/August 1917 - Casualty Evacuation Chain

73 posts in this topic

ID: 51   Posted (edited)

Peter - nice one, thanks

 

I had actually downloaded the No 10 Ambulance Train (AT) war diary, and I therefore just so happened to know its destination as Le Treport already. That completed the hat-trick for all three occasions of "Thorne" being written in the 4th Army DMS diary whereas they should have all read Le Treport. But it's nice to see these various unit diaries all lining up.

 

The No 3 General Hospital dairy entry above indicates 10 AT being received at 22:00 hrs on the 30th July. The 10 AT diary says it arrived at Le Treport at 22:15 hrs, after having set off from Oosthoek at 09:40 hrs that morning - ouch!!

 

Interestingly, the hospital dairy states that 9 Officers were received (4 sick, 5 wounded), whereas the 4th Army DMS and the AT 10 diaries both quote 13 Officers (10 lying, 3 sitting) being evacuated. I think this discrepancy might mean those "missing" 4 Officers were taken to a different hospital in Le Treport

 

I also see in that image you have posted that No 23 AT was received at 21:00 hrs on the 29th July. This AT also came from Oosthoek - unfortunately the 23 AT diary does not give any train times (most peculiar to say the least for a train diary!), so that has helped to fill in a blank as to its approximate arrival time, thanks. Again there is a discrepancy in patient numbers - the hospital diary quotes 20 Officers (6 sick, 14 wounded) being received whereas the 4th Army DMS diary and the AT 23 diary both agree on 28 Officers (18 lying, 10 sitting) being evacuated. Again, I assume this is not really a discrepancy - just a reflection on the fact that those "missing" Officers went off to a different hospital in Le Treport.

 

Further up I also see AT 10 being received on the 27th July at 14:50 hrs (also from Oosthoek).That time lines up nicely with the AT 10 diary's arrival time of 15:00 hrs (having set off from Ooshoek at 02:00 hrs that morning). Here it gives numbers for both Officers and ORs (implying that no ORs were received at this Hospital from the previous two arrivals from Oosthoek, since no OR numbers are quoted for those two other AT arrivals).

 

The comparison on patient numbers between the No 3 General Hospital diary above and the 4th Army DMS and AT 10 diaries for the 27th July, is then as follows:

 

Officers:

No 3 General Hospital diary: 10 Officers (3 sick, 7 wounded), of which 4 were gas cases

4th Army DMS & AT 10 diaries: 18 Officers (11 lying, 7 sitting)

 

Other Ranks:

No 3 General Hospital diary: 91 Other Ranks (17 sick, 74 wounded), of which 69 were gas cases

4th Army DMS & AT 10 diaries: 424 Other Ranks (112 lying, 312 sitting)

 

So I think it is clear from those comparisons that the "missing" Officer and ORs were received by a different Hospital in Le Treport.

 

The other train arrivals at Le Treport from Ooshoek throughout July 1917 that I have are:

 

1) AT 22 arriving on 22nd July

2) AT 15 arriving on 24th July

3) AT 25 arriving on 24th July

4) At 2 arriving on 26th July

5) And a mysterious train supposedly arriving on 25th July - the 4th Army DMS diary says it was AT 10 but the AT 10 diary does not mention it.  AT 10 was already making a journey from Oosthoek to Boulogne on the 25th. My prediction is that this particular AT evacuation on the 25th July from Oosthoek is a complete error in the 4th Army DMS diary.

 

Anyway, any chance please, if you have it, could you post up similar images from the No 3 General Hospital diary for those other dates above - and I'll then be able to do some similar comparisons - as I now have all the AT diaries during this period

 

Many thanks

 

Russ

 

 

Edited by RussT

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Not sure if this will help but Sue Light had transcribed the matron in chief's nursing diary here which also mentions Treport regularly - http://www.scarletfinders.co.uk/50.html

 

Craig

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Thanks Craig, I'll take a look - been on there before - it's a great site

 

Russ

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Russ

Here goes.  Rest of July back to 10th.  (I've transcribed the relevant entries as I don't want to push it with pasting too many chunks of TNA material). 

10th July 10 p.m. Received from No 28 AT Off ‘S’ 9 ‘W’ 1 OR ‘S’ 3 Germans 3

13th July 12.5 a.m. Received from No 10 AT Off ‘S’ 12 ‘W’- OR ‘S’ 91 ‘W’ 39 Germans 3

14th July 9 p.m. Evacuated by 18 Train Off ‘S’6 ‘W’7 OR ‘S’14 ‘W’10 Germans 8 via Havre

15th July 10.30 p.m. Received from No 1 AT Off ‘S’11 ‘W’4 OR 51 Germans 1

20th July 2.25 a.m. Received from No 17 Train Off ‘S’7 ‘W’ 6 OR ‘S’73 ‘W’71.  Includes 2 Indians; I Bermudan; 1 Chinese.

20th July 11p.m. Evacuated by No 38 Train Off ‘S’4 ‘W’2 OR ‘S’16 ‘W’16 Germans 4 via Havre.

21st July 3.35 a.m. Received from No 26 Ambulance Train Off Sick 3 Wounded 12. First cases suffering from new gas shell admitted from this train vis 8 officers.

22nd July 4.30 a.m. Received from No 31 Train Off S12 W12 OR S40 W48 (Gas shell cases 5)

22nd July 9.15 a.m. Received from No 22 Off S12 W17

24th July 12.50 a.m. Received from No 28 Train Off Sick 3 Wounded 38 OR Sick 55 Wounded 67

24th July 11.45 p.m. Received from No 15 Train Off Sick 1 Wounded 39 OR Sick 15

24th July 11.45 p.m. Received from No 22 Train Off Sick 1 Wounded 8 OR Sick 15. (Total gas shell cases Off 45 OR 55).

24th July 8.50 p.m. Evacuated by No 25 Train Off S5 W4 OR S20 via Havre

25th July 9.50 p.m. Evacuated by No 18 Amb Train Off S- W4 OR S2 W1 via Boulogne

26th July 5 a.m. Received from No 2 AT Off S2 W14 OR S 29 W 67 (Off gas shell 12 OR 30).  All leave except special cancelled for officers and sisters.

31st July 3.30 a.m. Received from No 17 Train Off W 2 OR S6 W 46 gassed shell Off 1 OR 43 Portuguese S 12 W 3.

Let me know if you would like any of August.

Can you keep us all informed how this matches up with the research at your end please?  It will help me piece together the July ambulance Train movements, particularly out of Oosthoek,  for my line of interest. (Sometimes knowing where things couldn't be helps with the overall picture).

 

Peter

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ID: 55   Posted (edited)

Thanks Peter

 

I can see immediately that all those relevant ATs match up to the dates as per my previous post.

 

For the so-called mysterious train on the 25th July from Oosthoek (incorrectly recorded as 10 AT in the 4th Army DMS diary), I see that there is an AT 18 arriving at Le Treport although it says "via Boulogne". As I mentioned in my previous post, I don't think an additional evacuation train out of Oosthoek actually existed at all on the 25th - and I'll post a bit more on that later.

 

I'll start matching up the patient numbers and will post here later a summary.

 

I think I will re-name the Title of this thread shortly (as it's developing into a useful repository of information) - to something like  "Nieuport Sector July 1917 - Casualty Evacuation Chain" (or something of the like) - so look out for it.

 

PM sent shortly

 

Russ

 

Edited by RussT

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Russ

I'll respond to your pm shortly.  I'm not so sure about Train 18 I think it is an outbound train taking patients from the Hospital to a channel port for evacuation to England; either via Le Havre or Boulogne. 

As an aside I'm slightly puzzled by the close correspondence with the times of the train arrivals shown in the AT WD and what I read as the admission (receiving) time in the hospital WD.  I gather the hospital was at the top of the cliff above Le Treport and somehow I imagine the train station being down at the bottom.  Unless I've got this wrong I would expect a delay in transferring patients.  Hopefully someone can sort my geography out!

Peter

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On 16/03/2017 at 18:26, johnboy said:

I am still interested to know if the CCS referred them to a certain hospital before the train was booked. I find it hard to think that these men were put on the train and it was not until they disembarked UK that they knew where they were going. eg A few hundred men turn up at Folkestone. Was there someone there that decided their destination hospital and made the arrangements?

 

Then I said

Quote

I can't recall ever seeing anything that would suggest that a CCS had any involvement in determining where a man would be moved to other than type of wound would dictate a specific base GH or SH.

 

Now I've just gone and found a ref from 2/3 ELFA who were running the CRS in Bray-Dunes who give admitted and breakdowns of discharges while they held the CRS 25th - 28th July. They have, discharged;

To CCS, sick 37, wounded 297. ( I guess 1/CCCS)

To Duty, sick 60, wounded 38.

To FA No. 1 sick 21, wounded 7

To Queen Alexander's Military Hospital, sick 3. (Millbank).

 

141 FA previously held the CRS and admitted 1016 from 22nd - 24th and handed over - wounded ORs 794, officers 0. sick ORs 394, officers 1 to 2/3 ELFA.

TEW

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If it helps here are the stats 91 Field ambulance were asked to prepare for 22nd to 26th July (I think these are just gas cases though):

 

91 Field AmbulanceJuly1917.JPG

 

Peter

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Ah!! De Goote Kwinte Farm!

Just been trying to find who was manning the CMDS at that location.

 

DDMS XV Corps diary mentions the existence for statistics of gassed casualties in the appendices, alas there is no such appendix! Although it does say 1408 ORs 5am-6pm on 22nd.

TEW

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TEW

You've been looking for the appendices too!  I see from the tag at the beginning of the file they were removed and renumbered.  I only have DDMS XV Corps diary for July is it possible they are all bundled together later on in the diary?

Peter

 

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ID: 61   Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, petwes said:

gather the hospital was at the top of the cliff above Le Treport and somehow I imagine the train station being down at the bottom. 

Peter

You're certainly correct about the hotel being up top but as far as I know the beach level directly below required a cliff railway/funicular for access, which I can't imagine being any good for stretchers!

 

The Le-Treport-Mers station turns out to be on the other side of the river - I envisage something like a larger version of Birling Gap in Sussex - and I would guess that ambulances had to go upriver, cross at the bridge and arrive at the hospital from the land side.

Edited by seaJane

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SeaJane

You have just confirmed my hazy mental picture of Le Treport, except I hadn't factored in the river!  I would guess the funicular was used by Hotel guests in more peaceful times.

I wonder if the Hospital logged times received as being when the train arrived at the station? It would account also for the numbers admitted to No3 Hospital being much less than a train full.  The patients presumably being dispersed from the train to several? Hospitals.

Peter

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ID: 63   Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, petwes said:

Russ

I'll respond to your pm shortly.  I'm not so sure about Train 18 I think it is an outbound train taking patients from the Hospital to a channel port for evacuation to England; either via Le Havre or Boulogne. 

As an aside I'm slightly puzzled by the close correspondence with the times of the train arrivals shown in the AT WD and what I read as the admission (receiving) time in the hospital WD.  I gather the hospital was at the top of the cliff above Le Treport and somehow I imagine the train station being down at the bottom.  Unless I've got this wrong I would expect a delay in transferring patients.  Hopefully someone can sort my geography out!

Peter

 

My interpretation is that members of the RAMC staff attached to the Hospital would be receiving the men at the Station and transporting them by whatever means to the Hospital itself. So when I read in the Hospital diary that men were received at a given time, I am reading it to mean that they were handed over officially to the Establishment of the Hospital at the Station, not the time at which they actually crossed the threshold through the hospital door (i.e. not the admission time into the hospital itself).

 

Only in that way can I reasonably reconcile the timings.

 

What do you think?

Edited by RussT

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ID: 64   Posted (edited)

Just a pre-warning to contributors - I will be re-naming this thread shortly to something more applicable, like "Nieuport Sector July 1917 - Medical Evacuation Chain" or the like - so I hope you can look out for it for further contributions.

Edited by RussT

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Peter,

Will check the rest of XV DDMS but I think it's unlikely.

Another coincidence, I was preparing another topic on detached appendices and the significance of same being placed in '19(b)' or 'History (9)'. Other diaries have similar tags that say 'detached' but appendices are all present. Perhaps, long ago they were temporarily removed and in this case put into another DDMS diary!

TEW

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ID: 66   Posted (edited)

Here is a summary table of Ambulance Train (AT) movements from Oosthoek throughout July 1917 (commencing 11th July) compiled from various unit War Diaries, including the 4th Army DMS and the relevant AT Diaries. The image is a bit small but I hope you can just about read it - send me a PM if you would like a better copy.

 

The dates coloured red in the first column are the departure dates recorded in the 4th Army DMS diary (and which agree with the relevant AT diaries) although on some occasions the AT arrived at its destination a day later. Not all AT diaries recorded the departure or arrival times. AT diaries often show the AT being garaged at Oosthoek for a day or so before loading patients and its departure, although I have concluded that an AT would actually be garaged at Adinkerke (which was on the main line), as recorded in the No 23 AT diary on 28th July rather than at/near Oosthoek, as I understand this was just a siding near the Casualty Clearing Station(s).

 

I have included No 10 AT supposedly departing Oosthoek on the 25th July as recorded in the 4th Army DMS diary, although there is good evidence that this evacuation is an error in that diary.

 

The total number of Officers and Other Ranks evacuated during this period is 7575 (excluding the 283 ORs on No 10 AT on 25th July).

 

The number of Officer and OR cases are taken from the relevant AT diaries rather then the 4th Army DMS diary as it is judged that the former is more likely to be correct. Often both the 4th Army DMS and the relevant AT diaries agree on the number of evacuees - but where this is not the case then a comment has been added in the Comment field

 

 

 

GWF 1.jpg

Edited by RussT

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ID: 67   Posted (edited)

This summary Table complements the one in the previous post.

 

It provides a comparison between number of Officers and Other Rank recorded in all the Ambulance Train (AT) War Diaries for trains leaving Oosthoek to Le Treport throughout July 1917 and the number of Officers and Other Ranks recorded as being received in the War Diary of the No 3 General Hospital, which was based in Le Treport, during the same period.

 

As noted in the previous post, it includes a journey supposedly made by No 10 AT (supposedly carrying 283 Other Ranks) as recorded in the 4th Army DMS War Diary departing Oosthoek to Le Treport on the 25th July but which is actually concluded to be an error in that diary. This AT journey is neither recorded in the No 10 AT diary nor in the No 3 General Hospital diary. In fact, both of those diaries agree that No 10 AT was actually evacuating men from Le Treport to Boulogne (no doubt in order to catch a hospital ship to the UK) on that day.

 

There is good correspondence between the recorded times of arrival for the ATs (in the AT War Diaries) and the times at which patients were received by the No 3 General Hospital (as recorded in its War Diary). The implication is that patients officially went on to the "books" of the hospital from an AT's "books" at the Railway Station upon being unloaded from the train, not when they arrived at the hospital itself.

 

The total number of Officers and Other Ranks evacuated by these ATs from Oosthoek to Le Treport during July 1917 is shown to be 3203 (this figure does not include the 283 Other Ranks supposedly on No 10 AT on 25th July). The No 3 General Hospital received just circa 10% of all these evacuees from Oosthoek, the implication being that a different hospital or hospitals received by far the majority of these casualties. Nevertheless, the number of Officers received by the No 3 General Hospital does amount to circa 80% of the total number of Officers arriving at Le Treport from Oosthoek in contrast to just circa 6% of the Other Ranks. This might mean that the No 3 General Hospital was catering largely for Officer casualties in general.

 

The No 3 General Hospital diary records that it received nine dead men who had died on the No 25 AT journey on 24th July. This agrees with that recorded in the No 25 AT diary - the names and numbers of those men are given in an image posted in a different thread - see here ( under post #10):

 

 

 

 

 

GWF 2.png

Edited by RussT

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ID: 68   Posted (edited)

Here's a handy little Railway Map during the Great War to complement these Ambulance Train movements.

 

Oosthoek lies off the main line from Adinkerke, which itself lies just to the west of Furnes in the direction Zuydcoote on this map (all near the Franco-Belgium border as marked).

 

 

map-of-ambulance-train-movements-in-france.jpg

Edited by RussT

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ID: 69   Posted (edited)

Some nice pics of No 3 General Hospital.

 

 

Edited by johnboy

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ID: 70   Posted (edited)

Here is a summary Table for July 1917 comparing the number of discharged men recorded in the 1st Canadian Casualty Clearing Station (CCCS) war diary and the number of evacuations by both Ambulance Trains (AT), taken from the relevant AT war diaries and Ambulance Flotillas (AF), taken from the 4th Army DMS war diary.

 

Most unit war diaries state that 1st CCCS was located at Oosthoek during this period although the 1st CCCS dairy itself records it was located Adinkerke. I think these two place names were often used interchangeably in the various unit diaries, so I don't think too much can be read into this apparent discrepancy.

 

The total number admissions recorded in the 1st CCCS for July 1917 is given as 8051, which compares well to the 8054 admissions summed from the daily recorded numbers (taken directly from the 1st CCCS) in this summary Table. There is no record of admissions to, those remaining or being discharged from the 1st CCCS diary for the 31st July, which is a bit surprising given that 469 were evacuated on Ambulance Train No 2 to Boulogne on that day. 

 

24th CCS and 39th CCS were co-located with 1st CCCS during this time but, as mentioned previously on this thread, these CCSs were not officially operational until August 1917. However, given the overwhelming number of mustard gas casualties suffered on this front in the Nieuport Sector by the various units in late July, they were called into emergency action to help out 1st CCCS. Nevertheless, the admissions to those CCSs were almost immediately transferred to 1st CCCS, and I assume those so transferred would be included in the relevant daily admission totals recorded in the 1st CCCS diary. The war dairy for the 39th CCS records that an unspecified number of casualties were transferred to 1st CCCS on 23rd July and on the same day 61 casualties were transferred from 24th CCS (as per its war diary) to 1st CCCS. On the 24th July the 39th CCS diary records that 115 men were transferred to the 1st CCCS.

 

The 24th and 39th CCS diaries also record the number of men directly evacuated on a certain number of specified days, as noted in the summary Table. On the 24th July the 39th CCS specifically records that 386 were evacuated on AT 23.

 

It is evident from the summary Table that almost all those men recorded as being discharged from 1st CCCS on a daily basis were actually evacuated (mostly by AT although there were two AF evacuations of 180 each on two different days).

 

It is evident that when there were no evacuations, as recorded in the 4th Army DMS diary, there were very few discharges from the 1st CCCS.

 

The total number of casualties discharged/evacuated from all three CCSs between 11th July and 30th July 1917 was 7646 which compares to the total evacuated by AT or AF of 7466 over the same period. The difference between these numbers would indicate the fate of those men being discharged for example back to their units, to Rest Stations etc or, indeed, who died. The latter would likely be buried at Adinkerke Churchyard Extension Cemetery, which was in the vicinity of 1st CCCS.

 

How any of the men who, in need of hospital treatment discharged between 1st July and 10th July, were actually transported to a hospital, I don't know (yet).

 

 

 

GWF 3.png

Edited by RussT

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46 minutes ago, johnboy said:

Some nice pics of No 3 General Hospital.

 

http://www.edithappleton.org.uk/Vol4/LeTreport/HotelTrianon.asp

 

Very nice, thanks.

 

You were asking earlier about the number of hospital beds in France. I don't know but from this map one could make an estimate - which it seems would provide quite a considerable number - far more than that I would have imagined likely

 

.

 

 

journeys-from-no-mans-land-040.jpg

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What  I had not considered, was that apart from a large house or hotel there were also tented wards in the grounds.

Apart from what has already been posted there seems to be little on the Ambulance Trains. No maps of routes they used etc. I have flicked through a long book about hospitals during the war and the section on AT's is quite short.

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I have collated the admissions to and discharges from XV CMDS for July 1917.  I have added totals at the bottom and a calculation of patients remaining to the right. Unfortunately, despite checking, the balances of ins and outs doesn't seem to match the entries recorded for "remaining " in the war diary.

 

XVCorpsMDSJuly1917.pdf

 

Peter

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