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RussT

Nieuport Sector July/August 1917 - Casualty Evacuation Chain

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RussT

Does anyone know where Thorne is, please?

 

Snippet (below) from the 4th Army DMS War Dairy states that 29 Officers and 425 Other Ranks were evacuated (on 22nd July 1917) from Oosthoek to Thorne today on AT 22.

 

Despite searching the Forum and Googling, I can't find where Thorne is - I would expect it to be a place where base hospitals were located.

 

Regards

 

Russ

 

 

 

 

THORNE.JPG

Edited by RussT

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johnboy

There seems to be a places named Thorne in UK. 

A look for Ambulance Train 22 might help?

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RussT

Yes I know there are places called Thorne in the UK.

 

It will be in France - there was no Euro Tunnel during the Great War.

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seaJane

There is an Oosthoek in the Netherlands south-west of Rotterdam, and a Thorn also in the Netherlands, about 100 miles to the south-east, north of Maastricht, but that is so near the German border that I don't think it can be right.

 

There is, however, Hoorn, north-east of Amsterdam. Could that have been what was meant, the name having been misheard? I have looked at a modern Netherlands rail map and I can't see a station that might otherwise be mistaken as Thorn. https://i.imgur.com/nOJwC4z.png

 

sJ

Edited by seaJane

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johnboy
5 hours ago, RussT said:

Yes I know there are places called Thorne in the UK.

 

It will be in France - there was no Euro Tunnel during the Great War.

 

Obviously there was no Euro Tunnel but if you can find out about Ambulance Train 22 it may give you an idea of where it ran. Is a CCS mentioned in the diary.? Why were the men being evacuated? any regiment or battalion mentioned? 

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TEW

I remember seeing the Thorn in the previous topic and wondering about it.

 

The ATs evacuated to Boulogne, Abbeville, Le Treport and the mysterious Thorne, must be coastal or inland port. Tournai seems in the wrong direction to me unless they 'evacuate' those discharged back to duty?

 

There are other evacuations Oostheok - Thorne, 30th July AT10 and one corrected from Thorne to Le Treport on the 29th by AT23.

 

Not seeing others in June or August.

 

As we saw in the other topic using the AT diaries doesn't always help! But between AT 22 & AT 10 you'd think it could be resolved.

 

I wonder if the correction made below is down to the AT's destination or if it's a correction to the diary entry, if that makes sense.

 

thorne.jpg

 

TEW

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RussT

TEW,

 

It's a bit of a mystery.

 

Destinations do seemingly get changed at quite short notice - whether they always got recorded/amended by the 4th Army DMS Diary at the time, I'm not sure. But the change from Thorne to Le Treport in the image above is, I suspect, an example of such a change.

 

In the AT15 Diary there is an entry for the 19th July stating that the OC AT15 rang up DMS 4th Army to request a change of destination from Le Treport to Boulogne owing to there being a delayed departure on account of the line being up and the time that already lapsed since the casualties had last been dressed. This request was granted. As it happens, the 4th Army DMS Diary does show Boulogne for the destination on that day.

 

So I still suspect Thorne is a place - but probably a name for a location in a well-known base destination - but we can rule out many potential destinations as they are mentioned separately as you have noted. 

 

(seaJane - there are many places called Oosthoek - I know the location of the one in this respect - it's in west Belgium - but regardless of that, Ambulance Trains would most definitely be travelling in a general westerly direction not an easterly one through German occupied territory to The Netherlands!).

 

Search continues !

 

Regards

 

Russ

 

 

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seaJane
1 hour ago, RussT said:

seaJane - there are many places called Oosthoek - I know the location of the one in this respect - it's in west Belgium - but regardless of that, Ambulance Trains would most definitely be travelling in a general westerly direction not an easterly one through German occupied territory to The Netherlands!)

Fair nuff! (I still wonder how I managed to get an A in my Geography & History O levels, some times .. )

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TEW

Still none the wiser I'm afraid.

There is a Tournehem-sur-la-Hem between Calais & St Omer but based on the other destinations of ATs a port is the most likely. Just looked through DMS diary for all of 1917 and those are the only three mentions of Thorne. The rest are all to Boulogne.

 

A badly handwritten 'Rouen' is my only other offering.

 

The only CCS in operation in Oosthoek at the time of those AT evacuations was 1 Canadian CCS. Just checked their diary and they don't mention the location evacuated were taken to.

 

Oddly, the total given for 22/7/17 in post#1 (454) matches up well to the 453 given in the 1 Canadian CCS. I say 'oddly' because one of the other evacuations don't match up that well, Perhaps I'm being too fussy here!

29th - DMS = 526. 1/CCCS = 543

30th - DMS = 482. 1/CCCS = 483

 

However, the 1 Canadian CCS does show totals discharged for almost every day from 22nd July (1685 for 23rd to 25th) and presumably moved out by AT. The DMS diary makes no mention of these evacuations, so I think the occasional DMS diary entry of AT movements are diary fillers.

 

TEW

 

 

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johnboy

Would the word 'evacuation' mean they were moved to somewhere for further treatment or they were to be taken to a  more safe place?

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TEW

Did wonder that as well.

Evacuation to port for movement to UK or to a Base Hospital seems most likely but they would also 'evacuate' when a CCS was shelled or bombed. In this case the CCS group was open until early September.

 

Not sure if they would 'evacuate' men found fit for duty and returned to base, or if they'd use an AT for the purpose.

TEW

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johnboy
6 minutes ago, TEW said:

Not sure if they would 'evacuate' men found fit for duty and returned to base, or if they'd use an AT for the purpose.

TEW

 

I think the trains had lying and sitting carriages. I doubt even the sitting cases would have been fit for duty. Are the numbers given in the OP enough to have emptied the CCS?

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TEW

Johnboy,

No is the simple answer. The OP refers to 22nd July and the 1st Canadian CCS (the only one receiving) says they;

Admitted 290

Dis 453

Rem[aining] 424.

 

Next day;

Admitted 865

Dis 409

Rem[aining] 880

 

Following days show similar figures.

TEW

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johnboy

So evacuation does not seem to mean from danger, just that there were being moved elsewhere.

Is it known if a CCS had any knowledge of a final destination hospital before the men might have arrived in UK or was putting them on a train the end of their responsibility?

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TEW

Took a while to find an example so I'd say not as a general rule. Some CCS diaries have a typed up list of AT or Barge as an appendix.

 

I think the choice of using 'evacuation' or 'discharge' is down to whoever wrote the diary. In the second example below, the 50 evacuated to 4th SH on the 9th April are listed in the diary page as transferred!

 

This one is from 7CCS Jan 1916.

ccs.jpg

 

Or a table from 22CCS April 1917.

ccs2.jpg

 

TEW

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johnboy

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?

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TEW

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.

As an example; out of the 50 moved to 4th SH on the 9th April some would be earmarked for return to the UK but other than requesting an AT or barge I can't see 4th SH had any further input. The DMS or the AT may determine the port of embarkation but that could change easily.

I doubt any of the few hundred men that turned up at Folkestone had any idea which hospital they were going to and still had no idea during the train journey.

The logistics of organising the disembarkation, arranging for a train or trains to be there and pre-planning the train routes to hospital depending on the nature of injuries determined by a CCS sounds impossible.

TEW

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RussT
19 hours ago, TEW said:

 

However, the 1 Canadian CCS does show totals discharged for almost every day from 22nd July (1685 for 23rd to 25th) and presumably moved out by AT. The DMS diary makes no mention of these evacuations, so I think the occasional DMS diary entry of AT movements are diary fillers.

 

 

 

TEW, can you check your reading of the DMS Diary.

 

I have:

 

45 Officers and 351 ORs going to Boulogne on AT 15 on 23rd July

439 ORs going to Abbeville on AT 23 on 24th July

355 ORs going to Boulogne on AT 25 on 24th July

180 ORs going to St Omer on No 4 Ambulance Flotilla on 24th July

20 Officers and 511 ORs going to Le Treport on AT 2 on 25th July

3 Officers and 525 ORs going to Boulogne on AT 10 on 25th July

283 ORs going to Le Treport on AT 10 on 25th July (I note that is the same train as above)

 

Also the DMS diary is pretty good (at least in July 1917) at explicitly stating that no evacuations were made on certain specific days, so I'm not sure those diary entries where evacuations were made can be construed as diary fillers.

 

After an exhaustive search, the only mention of a "Thorne" I can find in the whole of France is Avenue Thorne in Le Touquet (Paris-Plage). Perhaps this is a coincidence but the No 1 British Red Cross Hospital was based in Le Touquet - I can't find an address for that hospital though.

 

I think I am going to bite the bullet and see what the No 22 AT diary says.

 

Russ

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BJanman

Hi

 

In case no one has seen it, the evacuation chain for the Fourth Army from Oosthoek in 1917 can be found in the Official History, Vol 3, Chapter 10, here - https://archive.org/details/medicalservicesg03macp  (Hope the link works).  It would appear the R.A.M.C. were not the only ones helping the wounded - maybe looking deeper there might help?

 

Barbara

 

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petwes

Russ

I don’t know if it will help you to know where 22 A.T. didn’t go on the 22nd July but I have the war diary for Boulogne DDMS to hand.

On 17th July 22 A.T. arrived at Boulogne at 10:20 p.m. with 14 Officers and 354 O.R.

On 26th July 22 A.T. arrived at Boulogne and offloaded 7 Officers and 316 O.R. at 06:45 a.m.

On 27th July 22 A.T. arrived at Boulogne at 5:25 p.m. offloaded 15 Officers 482 O.R. and 2 German O.R.

On 3rd August 22 A.T. arrived at Boulogne from Abbeville at 10:40 p.m. 17 Officers and 414 O.R.

Peter

 

 

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RussT

Barbara

 

Thanks for that - I have it already - it's a good summary.

 

July 1917 was clearly a fraught time (in this sector) - the British were building up for offensive operations but always seemed to be on the back foot by pre-emptive offensives by the Germans

Edited by RussT

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RussT
7 minutes ago, petwes said:

Russ

I don’t know if it will help you to know where 22 A.T. didn’t go on the 22nd July but I have the war diary for Boulogne DDMS to hand.

 

On 17th July 22 A.T. arrived at Boulogne at 10:20 p.m. with 14 Officers and 354 O.R.

 

On 26th July 22 A.T. arrived at Boulogne and offloaded 7 Officers and 316 O.R. at 06:45 a.m.

 

On 27th July 22 A.T. arrived at Boulogne at 5:25 p.m. offloaded 15 Officers 482 O.R. and 2 German O.R.

 

On 3rd August 22 A.T. arrived at Boulogne from Abbeville at 10:40 p.m. 17 Officers and 414 O.R.

 

 

Peter

 

 

 

Peter

 

That's very interesting - I didn't know there was a war dairy for Boulogne DDMS.

 

Is it on The National Archives (+ to download)?

 

I'm really interested in arrivals at Boulogne throughout the whole of July 1917 - so would be mighty keen on getting a copy.

 

Thanks for posting

 

Russ

Edited by RussT

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petwes

Russ

Yes it's available for download from TNA for the usual fee, I downloaded it only last weekend to look for an evacuation route for my GF who sailed on the Hospital Ship St David on the 2nd August from Boulogne. The reference is WO95/4014_5 for July and August is WO95/4014_5.  I also found the diary for H.M. H.S. St David as well.

 

[I'm currently trying to find the missing link in my chain which is from 1st Canadian C.C.S at Adinkerke (which is just south of Oosthoek) to Boulogne, my guess is A.T. 15 but I haven't downloaded the diary yet].

 

Peter

Edited by petwes

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RussT

Peter

 

Many thanks for that - I'll down load it.

 

What date(s) are you looking at for your GF? I have the AT 15 diary for most of 1917 - and I can have a look for you if it is relevant.

 

Regards

 

Russ

Edited by RussT

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petwes

Russ

Many thanks for the offer. 

He was gassed (mustard) on the 26th July, admitted to 91 Field Ambulance and then transferred to 1 CCCS.

If he was on 15 AT it would have left around about the last couple of days of July or 1st August. The diary for DDMS indicates the train arrived at 06:05 a.m on the 2nd at Boulogne. The St David had been loaded with 194 cot cases the previous evening and at 08:00 a.m. on the 2nd was filled up with sitting cases ( a further 33 Officers and 307 Other Ranks) before sailing at 09:30 a.m. for Folkestone.

 

Peter

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