187 Field Ambulance - War Diary December 1940

From 70 Brigade
Revision as of 12:20, 4 May 2018 by 70bgadmin (Talk | contribs)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

4th December 1940 Alafoss CAMP.

11:00 hours. Electric light installed in all huts and the Cookhouse. This is a great improvement.

Cookhouse now up and in use in spite of ovens’ did not take down when tested out by heating it up to 100 degrees and water braziers for 48 hours.

Still no sign of Engineers leaving – work is progressing appallingly slowly – it is most disappointing as the difficulties of occupant denseness to 17 huts is very great.

Owing to bombing of some ships rations have been reduced eg meat only 2oz and no potatoes. This caused hardship – in addition cooks have not been pulling their weight at all.  ? they will be sacked if they do not do better.

All men listed on rations or ?. A typical case of the mistake of not informing all Officers Commanding re these matters and thus allowing them to let everybody know and avoid a great deal of fussing.

Water carts – the water cart trailer is very unsuitable for bad roads and already two bars have snapped. The self-propelled water cart should be used in this country, this is a very important point.

10th December 1940

10:00 hours. Weather has been extremely variable, with several extremely severe storms of wind and snow and rain, the wind attaining such a velocity that it is extremely difficult to stand up against it. The hours of light are roughly from 09:30 hours to 15:30 hours. This makes any training extremely difficult, which, combined with the endless fatigues e.g work making banking for huts has practically closed down training.

19th December 1940

10:00 hours. All very busy getting going on mens’ Christmas Dinner. Have overcome great difficulty, secured a large pig – these very scarce as other units have bought up many supplies. Managed to get 240lb of Christmas Cake made by Icelandic firm, also large number of crackers and streamers as it is of utmost importance that men shall have a good Christmas Dinner.

NAAFI contributing two bottles beer (per man), plum pudding, mincemeat, apples and oranges.

Games are very difficult as nearly all matches cancelled due to weather. Had Canadians over to show men baseball but do not think it will take on.

Made basketball pitch and hope to start inter-Company matches.

20th December 1940

11:00 hours. All well underway for Christmas which should prove a great success I hope.

Weather no change – rain and snow arrived in ever changing succession

Sick rate is, however, remarkably low. The great trouble is boredom and men are tired of going into Reykjavik – prices very high and girls not very friendly to men, though friendly enough to Officers.

26th December 1940

11:00 hours. Christmas Day a beautiful bright sunny day with no snow anywhere.

Started decorating Mess and Dining Rooms at about 09:00 hours and had dinner at 12:30 hours. The rooms all looked extremely well with streamers and table decorations, a very good soup, sausages, pork and potatoes, plus plum pudding, mince pies and crackers. Men had tea in their huts with plenty of cake – a really happy day for all which the men thoroughly enjoyed.

31st December 1940

Nothing special to report except mens’ letters show that they have appreciated Christmas and how happy they were and grateful for what was done.

Appendices attached to the 187 Field Ambulance War Diary for December 1940.

Field Return of Officers – 1st December 1940

This Return showed that Captain (acting Major) W.L. Brown(e) had joined the unit, that Lt Bain was in hospital and that Lt Gedge was still attached to the unit.

Field Return of Other Ranks – 7th December 1940.

This return confirmed the totals and rank structures reported on 2nd November 1940.

Field Return of Officers – 8th December 1940.

Lt Bain remained in hospital, Lt Needham was still attached to 10th DLI and Lt Gedge of No 9 Mobile Batch Unit was still attached to the Field Ambulance.

Field Return of Other Ranks – 14th December 1940.

This return confirmed the totals and rank structures reported on 2nd November 1940.

Field Return of Officers – 15th December 1940.

This Return showed exactly the same position as that for 8th December 1940.

Field Return of Other Ranks – 21st December 1940.

This return confirmed the totals and rank structures reported on 2nd November 1940.

Field Return of Officers – 22nd December 1940.

This Return showed exactly the same position as that for 8th December 1940.

Field Return of Officers – 29th December 1940.

This Return showed exactly the same position as that for 8th December 1940.

To contact the author by e-mail with any queries, or to send information - click here.