187 Field Ambulance - War Diary January 1940

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17th January 1940 HAUGHTON-LE-SKERNE.

Arrived from India to take over charge (of) 187 Field Ambulance, a unit of a total strength of 3 Officers, one Warrant Officer Class 1, one Warrant Officer Class II, (two Sergeant Majors), four Corporals, two Acting Sergeants and 73 Rank and File.

The unit had arrived as a Cadre thrown off by 150 Field Ambulance, Broadway. Date of arrival is 13th January 1940. It was billeted as follows:-

Office, Officers’ Mess and NCOs in Skerne Lodge.

HQ in Women’s Institute.

Remainder in Whinfield Hall.

Skerne Lodge – this is too small for a full complement of Officers and the position of Sergeants living in the same quarters as Officers is very unsatisfactory. Officers at present are billeted out as the Mess is not yet formed.

The Billet for HQ in the Women’s Institute is quite good but the washing facilities are very poor, two small hand-basins for sixty men. Heating is by hot water pipes and a boiler using coke.

Whinfield Hall billet – the owners are still in possession of all the lower and bigger rooms, this is a very bad point, it is suggested that no billets should be taken over while in occupation.

Washing facilities are practically non-existent, one or two small hand-basins.

There is only one small gas range to cook food for the whole unit. Men’s’ messing has to be done by relays in a very damp basement – this is very unsatisfactory. Conditions here are very poor indeed. Owners apparently are to be out by 1st February 1940.

18th January 1940

All men present with the unit have been placed in Companies and training programmes got out. 98 Other Ranks reported for duty from the Depot.

19th January 1940

One Other Rank reported for duty from the Depot.

No Quartermaster with the unit – this is causing great inconvenience as the QM Sergeant is away in hospital and the RSM has to do everything.

20th January 1940

One WO Class II posted with effect from today.

Two Other Ranks posted with effect from today.

Six Other Ranks discharged with effect from today.

30th January 1940

The lack of NCOs in the unit is making training and running of the unit extremely difficult – the only Regular NCO is the RSM and then there are two Territorial Sergeants and six Corporals.

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