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AndyR

Photos of 32nd Field Amb near Hill 10, Suvla

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AndyR

The on-going thread regarding Suvla casualties & reinforcements has prompted me to offer up a few photographs from my grandfather’s album. I’m afraid they have deteriorated somewhat but may be of interest to some, particularly as the 32nd Field Ambulance was part of the evacuation chain for the Scimitar Hill attack of 21st August (see “The diary of a Yeomanry M.O. Egypt, Gallipoli, Palestine and Italy” by O. Teichman at http://openlibrary.org/books/OL7052761M/The_diary_of_a_Yeomanry_M.O.)

The photographs are of the 32nd Field Ambulance (I presume anyway, as that was his unit) in the Hill 10 area, and show the makeshift arrangements used to provide shelter. In this respect there is an interesting passage in Philip Orr’s “Field of Bones: An Irish Division at Gallipoli”:

“The men in 30th Field Ambulance Brigade also found life very busy. The medical team were particularly troubled by their inability to find shelter from the sun for the sick and injured. The equipment they had been allowed on the original landing craft had had to be kept below ’58 hundred weight’ so they had only one operating tent, which meant that many medical officers performed their operations under the punishing rays of the midday sun. Someone in the brigade at last managed to get hold of tarpaulins and wood from the Royal Engineers and to construct a second makeshift shelter for surgical operations.”

I would be interested on whether people think they really are Hill 10 as the first picture (of six) is titled as showing the “entrance to Salt Lake” and I didn’t think Hill 10 was that close to the Salt Lake.

AndyR

Photo 1 - Hill 10 Camp Entrance to Salt Lake Suvla Bay

post-8284-085263400 1292959466.jpg

Photo 2 - Hill 10

post-8284-085631000 1292959656.jpg

Photo 3 - Transport Hill 10

post-8284-039074300 1292959752.jpg

Photo 4 - Hospital Shelter

post-8284-093428500 1292959846.jpg

Photo 5 - Inside hospital shelter

post-8284-042633400 1292959921.jpg

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AndyR

Photo 6 - Cookhouse shelter

post-8284-020033100 1292960358.jpg

That's the last one!

Hope they are of interest

AndyR

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michaeldr

Andy,

Great to see the photographs

Have a look at post #3 here http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=145148

for a map and a photograph showing Hill 10 and the Salt Lake

(in the photo you will be able to spot the white of the Hill 10 CWGC cemetery)

They really are quite close and perhaps the camp entrance may have been on the lake side of the Hill: I think that there are several ways of reading the wording here

All the best

Michael

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michaeldr

Andy,

I am looking at a map showing '53rd Administrative areas and wells' (and I'm not yet quite sure how this fits in with your outfit) but the map actually shows artillery on Hill 10 which is in Square 117 R

However, 4 or 5 Dressing Stations and a Casualty Clearing Station are shown between there and the Salt Lake in Square 117 W.

If this is where your unit was placed , then indeed it was very close to the Salt Lake.

I will try and get the map copied and posted tomorrow (fingers crossed)

Michael

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AndyR

Michael

The map may well be of interest though I suspect it relates to the 53rd Division rather than to the 10th Irish Division to which the 32nd F Amb belongs. The link to the Yeomanry MO Diary that I put on my first post includes this map which I suspect shows some of the same features as your map. The 53rd CCS on A Beach is shown in the Norman Wilkinson painting on http://www.gallipoli.com.tr/silent_witnesses/a-beach.htm.

post-8284-042506600 1292967973.jpg

Though the map shows a 32nd FAmb ADS, I don't think this is the location of the photos which I guess in the main FAmb camp at the time.

I think (guess!) both of the following images may well show 32nd FAmb wagons close to the location (they aren't labelled, but there is a very similar image in Hargrave's Suvla Bay Landing which is titled as a 32ndFAmb wagon).

http://www.keepmilitarymuseum.org/gallipoli/gallery.php?&id=102986&sid=&frompage=scimitar.php%3F

http://www.greatwardifferent.com/Great_War/Chocolate_Hill/Chocolate_Hill.htm

This is the Hargrave image

post-8284-018677100 1292968178.jpg

Thanks

AndyR

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michaeldr

The map may well be of interest though I suspect it relates to the 53rd Division rather than to the 10th Irish Division to which the 32nd F Amb belongs

Andy,

You are quite correct to be cautious on this, however, the map does show how close to The Cut (the entrance to the Salt Lake) the 53rd had placed their medical units. It is quite possible that other divisions, occupying the same area, may have followed their example. (advantages included; there was a well close by, and the Hospital Ship no doubt became used to navigating to that anchorage.)

MapSuvla53rdAdminareaswellsEnlarged.jpg

regards

Michael

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AndyR

Michael

Thanks - an interesting map - what is the scale - no doubt it's standard and I should know but I'm afraid I don't - what is the side of the big squares? The small light blue square blobs are interesting given that the one near the Cut seems to be labelled as CCS. I wondered whether the one labelled "No. 32" in square "S" just SE of Hill 10 could be 32nd FAmb? The ref to Mulberry Tree could be relevant as well, as Hargrave (I think) describes their camp as being on Two Tree Hill. However, I see other blue blobs labelled No. 22 & No. 23 to the W of Hill 10, and if these were FAmb numbers then I don't believe these two units were in Gallipoli - so the numbers must mean something else?

AndyR

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Tunesmith

Andy,

Many thanks for posting these sensational pictures.

The map from the Yeoman MO's Diary, which you also put up, shows a naval CCS on the beach, south towards Anzac. As far as I know, this CCS isn't mentioned in the official medical history of the campaign.

Does anyone know anything about it? When did it arrive? Is it perhaps an RND CCS? Did it come under Anzac Corps or IX Corps?, Where would its war diaries be?

Tunesmith

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michaeldr

TS,

re the Naval unit - See pages 99 – 108 of 'On Four Fronts with the Royal Naval Division' by Geoffrey Sparrow MC & J N MacBean Ross MC, Surgeons RN. This is available to down-load from the web

Andy, I have carelessly lost the map from which I cropped the earlier posting

I am looking for it and will revert asap

regards

Michael

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michaeldr

I have carelessly lost the map from which I cropped the earlier posting

I am looking for it and will revert asap

Will be looking for this later today

(the index on the WFA map disc is to me a mystery wrapped in an enigma)

One caution which I would give is that, from memory, the symbol for a well has a number next to it which refers to its daily production capacity of water, and in some cases these 'well' symbols may be mistaken for something else similarly marked in blue

I'll get back to you on this later today (I hope)

in haste

Michael

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michaeldr

Andy,

I've re-found the map at last, and my memory was not too far out re the blue symbol for a 'well', however the figures next to each well represent its Number and in brackets, its output in gallons per hour. If the well has a pump, then this is indicated by a 'P'

The scale of the map is 1/20,000 and it is the Anafarta Sagir sheet. The large squares (eg. 117) are 3,000 yards by 3,000 yards. Each small square is 600 yards by 600 yards. Heights are given in metres and contours are at 10 metre intervals

From my earlier posts Nos. 4 & 6, you will gather that the Medical side of things is not my forte. I have been looking at the Long, Long Trail and at the explanation of the casualty evacuation chain which Chris Baker has given there; see http://www.1914-1918.net/wounded.htm

1] Regimental Aid Post

2] Advanced dressing Station

3] Field Ambulance

4] Casualty Clearing Station

And then, in the case of Suvla – Hospital Ship

The above does not seem to exclude the possiblity that your FA was based with the CCS, near The Cut as indicated by the photographs

It would be most helpful if someone who has studied the medical aspect more thoroughly than I, can comment further

… … … … … … … … … … … … …

TS,

I believe that the file WO95/4290 will be of help

It is the ref given at the end of an article titled

'2nd Field Ambulance, RND, at Suvla Bay, August 1915 – Attached to the 11th Division, 9th Army Corps'

See Len Sellers' magazine 'RND', Issue No. 13, June 2000; pages 1206-1227 [this is available to study at the IWM and some other libraries.]

regards

Michael

Edited by michaeldr

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Tunesmith

Michael

Many thanks for pointing me towards 'On Four Fronts..' and the RND HQ papers.

The book say that the 2nd (RN) Field Ambulance was one of two RND units at Suvla, the other being the Anson Battalion. No mention of a Naval CCS. So it could be that the 'Yeomanry MO' map is incorrectly marked, or perhaps there actually was a Naval CCS but it did not come under RND. I'll certainly check the documents you mentioned.

Again, thanks for your help.

Tunesmith

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michaeldr

No mention of a Naval CCS. So it could be that the 'Yeomanry MO' map is incorrectly marked, or perhaps there actually was a Naval CCS but it did not come under RND.

TS,

The article from Len Sellers' magazine 'RND' gives the following info under the date line August 5th 1915 – "I was informed that my Field Ambulance was to be attached to the 11th Division in place of the 34th Field Ambulance RAMC who were without stores."

And another entry under the date line August 7th 1915 – "I decided to form my dressing station at this point, the approximate position being 104-V-5. I then proceeded to arrange with the OC 14th Casualty Clearing Station 'C' Beach for water transport. Thus my camp became a dressing station and clearing hospital."

The 'I' in each case above must be (?) Staff Surgeon Stanford RN, OC 2nd Field Ambulance RND.

regards

Michael

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Tunesmith

Hi again, Michael,

I thought for a minute you'd solved the puzzle but I think the map reference 104-V-5 puts Stanford's unit too far north to match the position of the Naval CCS marked on the 'Yeomanry MO' sketch-map.

Unless I'm reading it incorrectly (which is of course entirely possible) this map reference places the RN Field Ambulance just inland east of 14 CCS which, on the sketch-map, is the clearing station on C Beach due north of the Hospital ship.

The position of the mystery Naval CCS on the sketch map is evidently towards the south end of B Beach, in what would be either the 91-H or the 91-N map sector.

Tunesmith

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michaeldr

TS,

I must admit that I hadn't checked the map ref before I posted :blush:

The point that I was trying to help with was that it seems that the 2nd FA (RND) looked upon themselves as a sort of CCS, and others, including the Yeomanry, appear to have agreed with that.

I note that Teichman landed at Suvla during the night of 17th/18th August, and his very rough sketch-map is dated August 22-28th 1915, whereas the position which Stanford gave in the above quote refers to August 7th.

re your - The position of the mystery Naval CCS on the sketch map is evidently towards the south end of B Beach, in what would be either the 91-H or the 91-N map sector

Quickly flicking through the article again I cannot put my finger on a change of position at this point, however, you above ref to 'B Beach' does agree with a signal under the time/date 2005 hrs, August 13th, 1915, from the ADMS 11th Division addressed to "OC 2nd Field Ambulance, 'B' Beach"

regards

Michael

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Tunesmith

Hi Michael,

The only indication in 'On Four Fronts..' of the RN FA's position in early August is vague - the beach referred to could equally be B or C beach - and the only move indicated is one to the north, rather than to the south:

'... The 2nd (R.N.) Field Ambulance had in the meantime been busily engaged evacuating wounded from Chocolate Hill and Burnt Hill to the beach, but towards the end of August orders were received to move to Karakol Dagh.'

However your points are well made that the RN FA looked upon themselves as a clearing station, and that the sketch map in Teichman's book is rough. So I agree it's therefore very likely that Stanford's medical unit and the Naval CCS are one and the same, but inaccurately placed on the sketch map.

Regards,

Tunesmith

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michaeldr

'... The 2nd (R.N.) Field Ambulance had in the meantime been busily engaged evacuating wounded from Chocolate Hill and Burnt Hill to the beach, but towards the end of August orders were received to move to Karakol Dagh.'

TS,

Stanford can perhaps help you with this latter move

Quote: August 28th, 1915 – "About midday the ADMS of the 11th Division arrived and indicated the position he had chosen for me to camp. I then began to dig in, but at 2.00pm a message arrived from the ADMS 9th Army Corps ordering me to remove my Field Ambulance out of the reserve area, and to get a new site from my ADMS in the Divisional area. I found the ADMS 11th Division and informed him of the message. He and I then searched the hills for another site and decided on my present position (about 117-A-8) to which I then removed at 5.00 pm. Officers and men dug in as far as possible for the night."

Does this map ref. fit?

Best regards

Michael

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Tunesmith

TS,

Stanford can perhaps help you with this latter move

Quote: August 28th, 1915 – "About midday the ADMS of the 11th Division arrived and indicated the position he had chosen for me to camp. I then began to dig in, but at 2.00pm a message arrived from the ADMS 9th Army Corps ordering me to remove my Field Ambulance out of the reserve area, and to get a new site from my ADMS in the Divisional area. I found the ADMS 11th Division and informed him of the message. He and I then searched the hills for another site and decided on my present position (about 117-A-8) to which I then removed at 5.00 pm. Officers and men dug in as far as possible for the night."

Does this map ref. fit?

Hi Michael,

Thanks for sharing this further quote from Stanford. Unfortunately I don't have a copy of the relevant section of the Suvla sector map to pinpoint 117-A-8 but it's clearly in the area to the north of the section of map in your post #6 showing Suvla Bay and the Cut, so I would guess it is indeed on or around Karakol Dagh, fitting with the mention in 'On Four Fronts..'.

To be honest I'm more interested in working out where the 2nd RN FA was between Aug 22nd-28th when the Teichman map was made, in order to validate your suggestion that it was indeed the so-called 'RN CCS'.

This latest quote gives us another bit of info in saying it was in 'the reserve area' but, putting this with the earlier clues you very kindly provided (a signal sent to the 2nd FA on B Beach and a map reference close by 14 CCS on C Beach), it still doesn't establish the 2nd RN FA's exact position. I'll check the RND HQ files for more clues when I'm next at the Nat. Archives. The search goes on!

Andy, my apologies for inadvertently hijacking this thread.

Happy Xmas to one and all,

Tunesmith

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michaeldr

This latest quote gives us another bit of info in saying it was in 'the reserve area'

TS,

I think that this is a red herring and not related to the earlier position - I read it as meaning they moved north and began to establish a new position (in what turned out to be the resv. area) and where then quickly moved on again by the Corps ADMS.

Happy Christmas everyone

Michael

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AndyR

Michael

I think you are right with the location of the photographs.

Unfortunately there is no War Diary for the 32nd Fd Amb for this period. However, there were three Fd Ambs for the 10th Division, 30th, 31st & 32nd and they appear to have worked together at this time. [As an aside you are of course correct about the normal evacuation chain, though Hargrave notes that the RSBs “had all, or nearly all become casualties themselves. For all practical purposes, after the first few days at Suvla, the Medical Corps did the work of the regimental stretcher-bearers”. He was a former newspaper cartoonist and provides the following sketch]

post-8284-079779800 1293801979.jpg

The 31st Fd Amb Diary states (22nd Aug) that the ambulance moved to 117 W8 on Anafarta map which is exactly in the area you have pointed to.

Hargrave, though not very precise, is consistent with this view stating “We moved our camp from "A" Beach farther along towards the Salt Lake.” and “On the edge of the Salt Lake, by the blue shore, Hawk and I dug a little underground home into the sandy hillock upon which our ambulance was now encamped.” Hargrave also has a sketch map showing where he wrote one of this poems which is also in this area.

post-8284-086961000 1293802015.jpg

The position is also consistent with the three pictures of ambulance transport that I highlighted as likely being in the same area. Using Google Earth and “looking” across the lake towards Chocolate Hill then the relationship between Chocolate Hill and the background hills is correct.

If I look at #26 of your thread that you pointed to with photos of your trip, then I think I can just about make out the hillock where the camp likely was.

post-8284-000508400 1293802061.jpg

Looking on Flickr, there is a nice photo of the hillock from the A Beach side courtesy of Steve Morse ( A Beach Suvla towards Hills).

post-8284-022309900 1293802092.jpg

The shed just to the right of the hillock on Steve’s photo is clearly shown from the Salt Lake side on a photo by “MURAT” on Panoramio (http://www.panoramio.com/photo/35950852). I think it is probably the same hillock at the right of the picture behind the car.

post-8284-024751900 1293802324.jpg

The scale of the hillock in these two photos looks right for the first two pictures I put up, and I think the first probably does show the edge of Salt Lake with a wooden walkway down onto it (which this “MURAT” photo suggests is very close to the lake). Thus it appears that both readings of the phrase “entrance to Salt Lake” may be viable, though having always thought of the phrase meaning the walkway, I am now coming round to your proposed reading as meaning “The Cut” which may be more likely.

I am left wondering a little why the photos refer to the “Hill 10 Camp”, but probably this is just a way of distinguishing from the “A Beach Camp”, the “Two Tree Hill Camp” and the “B Beach Camp” where they were also based. The oxo.bg photo on Panoramio (http://www.panoramio.com/photo/15439951) seems to show that the land rises towards Hill 10 as also stated on the “When I was wounded on Chocolate Hill” link picture (bottom left corner annotation).

When were the photos taken? The 10th Irish left Suvla on 1st October having arrived 7th August so that defines the overall window. Without a War Diary it seems impossible to be precise, however William Knott served with the unit and his diary is held by IWM/NA. It states that:

11th August – “Moved our camp 1½ miles along the shore”

12th August – “New site did not please our august Colonel so had to shift everything in to an adjoining field”

The Ambulance “Shifted camp to ‘B’ beach (Two tree hill)” on 22nd August, and later moved to ‘C’ beach on 22nd September.

31st Fd Amb seems to have moved to this area (117W8) on 22nd August but then moved again almost immediately (23rd) to 103U6. It may be that they temporarily occupied the camp just vacated by 32nd Fd Amb?

On this basis it seems the photos must have been taken between 12th and 22nd August. Knott’s diary entry for 19th August reads “Thurs Aug 19th – The 10th Division is relieved from the trenches for a well-earned rest after losing some 8000 men having affected a successful landing and advancing five miles inland, but owing to a military mistake no reinforcement or supplies were available consequently the infantry had to stop absolutely beat. In my own humble opinion no troops will ever penetrate such positions now fortified, since they let this golden opportunity pass. To-day our hospital was heavy shelled owing to its proximity to a 5 in garrison gun, though happily there were no casualties. This was no reflection on the Turks, but entirely the fault of our own commander.”

Thus, most likely would seem to be 19th to 21st August which would be relatively quiet before the Scimitar Hill attack, or possibly 12th to 15th just after moving in and prior to the Kiretch Tepe attack.

Thanks for your help

AndyR

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AndyR

Michael

Just noticed, when checking the post was OK, that the Hargrave sketch map is dated 12th September which potentially shoots down my dating arguments!

Sorry

AndyR

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michaeldr

"To-day our hospital was heavy shelled owing to its proximity to a 5 in garrison gun, though happily there were no casualties. This was no reflection on the Turks, but entirely the fault of our own commander.”

Andy,

This also fits in with the map in post #6 which shows artillery placed on Hill 10 only 300-600 yards away from the medical units

All the best for 2011

Michael

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