187 Field Ambulance - War Diary June 1944

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1 June 1944 – Thetford

18:30 hours. Visit from ADMS.

2 June 1944 - Thetford

10:00 hours. Conference at Brigade HQ – representative of Movement Control.

Warning Order for Movement issued.

3 June 1944 - Thetford

Vehicles partly unloaded to ease weight.

Field Return filed with the War Diary – see below for details.

4 June 1944 - Thetford

Report received that some Divisional Units have left the concentration area.

5 June 1944 - Thetford

15:15 hours. Movement Orders and Marshalling Areas received.

23:30 hours. Advance Party leaves for Marshalling Area “T”.

6 June 1944 - Thetford

00:15 hours. Main Body leaves for Marshalling Area “S”.

06:05 hours. Advance Party arrives Area T.

07:00 hours. Main Body arrives Area S.

8 June 1944

Embarkation of both Advance Party and Main Body at West India Dock and Tilbury respectively.

10 June 1944

Advance Party on SS Fort Macpherson, which was hit by glider bomb at 04:00 hours. Bomb failed to explode. Captain R.H. Hill and Pte Hughes J.V. received superficial injuries. Dvr Carter bilateral compound comminuted fractures of tibia and fibula and penetrating wound upper left thigh. Dvr Carter transferred to a Destroyer for evacuation to a beach medical unit.

11 June 1944

08:40 hours. Arrival off beaches.

12 June 1944

15:00 hours. Advance Party lands MIKE Beach – just West of Courcelles.

13 June 1944

Main Body lands. All men and vehicles landed; one ambulance damaged and being repaired by REME.

Unit location : 867795, just South of Le Manoir.

14 June 1944

Dewaterproofing, repacking, maintenance.

17:00 hours. Unit moves to new Brigade Concentration Area – 859759. Chateau du Montagny near St Leger.

15 June 1944

20:00 hours. Conference ADMS.

16 June 1944

10:00 hours. Visit from ADMS. Arrangements made for 16 Field Dressing Station to join 187 Field Ambulance at 859759.

12:40 hours. 70th Infantry Brigade state 10th DLI moving to area Le Pont Roc (square 8471). Section A2 detailed to go forward with 10th DLI.

14:00 hours. A2 Section moves up.

17 June 1944

10:00 hours. A2 Section open at 848705. A3 Section on wheels at 838718. Both in support of 10th DLI. Evacuating casualties to 146 Field Ambulance. Fifteen casualties evacuated in the course of the day.

18 June 1944

08:30 hours. Advanced Dressing Station opens at 859759. 16 Field Dressing Station opens in same location. Many casualties evacuated and treated in the course of the day.

19 June 1944

06:00 hours. Since opening Advanced Dressing Station total casualties admitted – 212 (181 battle casualties, 30 sick and 1 PoW).

Disposal – 203 evacuated, 4 awaiting evacuation, 1 Returned to Unit and 4 dead.

20 June 1944

Quiet day. No casualties admitted between midnight and 06:00 hours.

15:00 hours. Regimental Medical Officer 10th DLI moves Regimental Aid Post to 858705.

20:00 hours. Sections A2 and A3 withdrawn to HQ.

21 June 1944

No incidents.

22 June 1944


23 June 1944 – St Leger

10:00 hours. ADMS Conference.

14:00 hours. Visit by Divisional Commander.

15:00 hours. Recce of sites for Casualty Clearing Post and Divisional Ambulance.

Transport Officer to Divisional HQ to ascertain Divisional routes.; change of route plan has made recce valueless. Fresh recce done.

24 June 1944 – St Leger

09:30 hours. ADMS Conference. Advanced Dressing Station closes 09:00 hours; reception of casualties taken over by B2 Section (walking wounded) and Field Dressing Station.

14:00 hours. Unit moves to harbour in 868754. Maintenance, rest, baths.

Field Return of Officers filed with the War Diary – see below for details.

25 June 1944

04:00 hours. Unit still harboured. Divisional Ambulance pool opened at Ducy-St-Marguerite (852735). A1 Section forms Casualty Clearing Post in the gun area at 856735; A2 Section still in area Le Pont Roc.

18:00 hours. Advanced Dressing Station opens to relieve 146 Field Ambulance which had large number of casualties from attack on Fontenay-Le-Pesnel.

26 June 1944

02:00 hours. 1st Tyneside Scottish placed under the command of 8th Armoured Brigade. Zero hour for attack towards Rauray. A1 Section to area St Pierre 856693.

05:00 hours. Advanced Dressing Station closes, casualties diverted to Advanced Dressing Station 146 Field Ambulance. A2 Section still at Le Pont Roc.

14:00 hours. 1st Tyneside Scottish withdrawn. Sections A2 and A3 join A1.

15:00 hours. Change of Divisional plan. 11th DLI move into Fontenay-Le-Pesnel.

22:00 hours. Casualty Clearing Post formed by B1 and B2 at 864698.

23:00 hours. Casualty Clearing Post 956693 closed. A1, A2, A3 withdrawn to HQ.

27 June 1944

11th DLI assault Rauray. Regimental Medical Officer of 11th DLI treats about 100 casualties. Plasma and team sent up to Regimental Aid Post. Six transfusions given.

12:30 hours. HQ and A Company move to 866708 and remain on wheels.

21:00 hours. B1 and B2 move to Fontenay-Le-Pesnel and set up Casualty Clearing Post 869687.

70th Infantry Brigade now on left flank of the Division in front of Fontenay-Le-Pesnel.

28 June 1944

07:00 hours. 1 Tyneside Scottish attack on Tessel-Bretteville and Brettevillette.

Brigade Casualty Clearing Post at Fontenay-Le-Pesnel fully employed and joined by B3 Section.

14:00 hours. 10th DLI attack beyond Rauray. Medical Officers sent from HQ to assist Brigade Casualty Clearing Post, which treated 182 casualties up to 18:30 hours.

29 June 1944

22:00 hours. Little activity till 20:30 hours. Counter attacks caused some casualties which were evacuated to 160 Field Ambulance by the Brigade Casualty Clearing Post.

30 June 1944

09:00 hours. HQ and A Company move to Duck St Marguerite – 857735 – preparing to open at 08:00 hours tomorrow.

Appendices attached to the June 1944 War Diary.

Field Return of Other Ranks – 3 June 1944.

This Return shows a complement of 225 men against the War Establishment of 232 – leaving a shortage of seven men (two Corporals and five Privates). Two Corporals are listed as attached from 35 Field Hygiene Section and three Privates as being with Home Details.

Three men are listed as being requested to be returned to the Unit – namely Cpl Barrand, Cpl Hoad and Driver Milne – all three of whom are understood to be with 30 Reinforcement Holding Unit.

The Field Return of Officers on 3rd June shows a full complement of 13 against the War Establishment while noting that 317621 Captain R Lawson had left the Unit during that week – being posted to No 1 Depot RAMC on 2 June 1944.

Field Return of Officers – 24 June 1944

This list of the Unit’s Officers shows all 13 as being with the Unit at that date.

Quarterly Report to end of June 1944.

A comprehensive account of the Unit’s work and movements throughout the June period was filed with the War Diary and, by arrangement with The National Archives, the relevant pages have been included below, rather than them being typed out as I have done with the pages of the War Diary.

The pages give a more detailed account of movements but also, for the first time, show the scale and nature of the medical and surgical cases treated as a result of the Brigade being in action. Inevitably there is some duplication with the more concise text of the War Diary pages, but the statistical and professional content gives an excellent picture of the work of 187th Field Ambulance. The various pages of the report appear below.

187 Fd Amb War Diary Q'y Rep't 6 - 26 Jun 1944.JPG

187 Fd Amb Q'y Rep't 6 - 30 Jun 1944 Part 1 Appendix.JPG

187 Fd Amb Q'y Rep't 6 - 30 Jun 1944 Part II Page 1.JPG

187 Fd Amb Q'y Rep't 6 - 30 Jun 1944 Part II Page 2.JPG

187 Fd Amb War Diary Q'l Re't 24 - 28 Jun 1944.JPG

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