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Bill Williams

Casualty Clearing stations

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I am researching my grandads brother and have located his grave etc. As he died of wounds can i get info about Casualty Clearing Stations and would they tell me more about where he got the wounds. Details are Anthony Noble 5151 he is buried in Lillers Communal Cemetry he served in The Kings Royal Rifle Corps and was a member of the BEF.

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Bill - according to "Location of Hospitals and Casualty Clearing Stations, British Expeditionary Force, 1914 - 1919", there's only one casualty Clearing Station that fits the bill - No. 4 CCS was in Lillers from 2.12.14 until 14.6.15. (I note that your soldier died on 31.5.15.)

I'm pretty certain that no records survive giving details of which soldiers pased through any given CCS or the nature of wounds.

Tom

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http://www.1914-1918.net/ccs.htm

Try above for info on CCS (from Chris Baker's parent site ' The Long Long Trail).

CWGC is offline at momemnt - can you give date of death and bn. ?

CCS were established near railway lines/good roads to facilitate traffic. Therefore this may not pin down where your man was hit ... he could have been wounded a fair bit away and transported there?

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LILLERS COMMUNAL CEMETERY

Country: France

Locality: Pas de Calais

Visiting Information: Wheelchair access to this cemetery is possible, but may be by alternative entrance. For further information regarding wheelchair access, please contact our Enquiries Section on 01628 507200.

Location Information: Lillers is a small town about 15 kilometres west-north-west of Bethune and the Communal Cemetery and Extension lie to the north of the town. From the Mairie in the centre of the town, head north on the D182, after 500 metres turn right onto Rue St Venant. The cemetery is a further 200 metres on the left hand side. Within the Communal Cemetery the Commonwealth war graves are situated on the right hand side half way up the cemetery central path, and the Extension is at the far right end of the Communal Cemetery. Both cemeteries are signposted.

Historical Information: Lillers was used for billets and headquarter offices from the autumn of 1914 to April 1918. At that time it was a hospital centre with the 6th, 9th, 18th, 32nd, 49th and 58th Casualty Clearing Stations in the town at one time or another. These units buried their dead on the right of the central path of the communal cemetery, working back from Plot I. In April 1918, the Germans advanced as far as Robecq; Lillers came under shell-fire, and the units holding this front continued to bury beyond the cemetery boundary, in the extension. The COMMUNAL CEMETERY contains 894 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, 67 of which are unidentified. There are also 15 German graves in the Commonwealth plots. The EXTENSION contains 71 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, six of them unidentified.

No. of Identified Casualties: 841

Aye

Malcolm

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Lillers is one impressive cemetery - rarely have I seen so many graves so tightly packed together.

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Although I do not think it is relative to this case, I will repeat (for the sake of completeness) that the "List of Hospitals and Casualty Clearing Stations, British Expeditionary Force, 1914 - 1919" does not include the four Canadian and five Australian C.C.S.'s, all of which processed British casualties to the same extent as did the other C.C.S.'s.

It is true that one is unlikely to find mention of individual casualties in any records of these units. For some of the rare execeptions check out the current thread on the Gas Attack - Ypres 1916

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Bill

2 KRRC were part of 2nd Brigade, 1st Division. You need to discover their position a few days before your man died on 31.5.15. The Battalion had been involved in the Battle of Aubers Ridge on 9.5.15 and suffered heavy casualties see here:

http://www.1914-1918.net/BATTLES/bat11_aubers/bat.htm

Unfortunately the National Archives do not appear to have digitised the Battalions War Diary yet. You could be lucky and find somebody else on the Forum who has a copy; although it is rare for Other Ranks to get a mention by name.

All the best

Dave

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It is likely you can read this CCS's War Diary at The National Archive but I feel it is extremely unlikely your relative is mentioned by name. The Admisision and Discharge Books for most medical units in France have disappeared into the ether. If you are a bit of a medical novice there was an explanation of the casualty evacuation chain in Stand To! issue 64, parts of which were also used in the book Most Unfaviurable Ground.

A CCS was the place where most of the surgery on wounded soldiers was carried out in the Great War.

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I am researching my grandads brother and have located his grave etc. As he died of wounds can i get info about Casualty Clearing Stations and would they tell me more about where he got the wounds. Details are Anthony Noble 5151 he is buried in Lillers Communal Cemetry he served in The Kings Royal Rifle Corps and was a member of the BEF.

Bill

As has been said, very few medical records such as admission and discharge books remain in The National Archives. A small cross section from all types of medical units were retained and are now in MH 106 at TNA. The other way to find mention of CCS locations is to look the The Official History of the Great War, Medical Services and look in the four volumes which deal with campaigns. They have various maps for battles and the maps show the locations of dressing stations and CCS and the text may also help. Don't forget that as the war progressed and the size of the CCS increased they tended to specialise in various wounds and ilnesses such as abdominal wounds, heads, shell shock etc. You will not find any mention in war diaries in WO95 at TNA.

Pete Starling

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