33rd Field Hygiene Section War Diary - March 1940
1 March 1940 – Eaglescliffe.
Fair weather – Field Training.
2 March 1940
Fatigues in morning – recreation in afternoon.
3 March 1940
Sunday – no training. 33% personnel on weekend leave.
4 March 1940
Training as usual. Lance Corporal Lindsey confirmed in appointment. Two men charged for absence without leave – given 2 and 3 days Confined to Barracks respectively. Lay out of 48 hours Camp.
5 March 1940
Training as usual. Field Scheme – layout of water points.
6 March 1940
Training as usual. Officer Commanding to Middlesbrough re. drainage – 6th Green Howards. Route March in afternoon.
7 March 1940
Training as usual.
8 March 1940
Training as usual morning.
13:00 hours. Orders received by telephone from ADMS 23rd Division to proceed to Mytchett to the Army School of Hygiene on 9th March with the object of instructing all ranks in technical training. Orders issued cancelling training and leave - all personnel employed on packing and evacuating billets.
18:00 hours. Regimental route from Division received by telephone.
19:00 hours. Movement Orders published.
9 March 1940 – Eaglescliffe.
Unit proceeded from Eaglescliffe at 08:30 hours and arrived MYTCHETT 17:00 hours. Unit handed over by Officer Commanding to Orderly Officer of Army School of Hygiene.
10 March 1940 – Mytchett.
Sunday – unit settled in at Army School of Hygiene.
11 March 1940
12 March 1940
13 March 1940
Course continued. All ranks interviewed by Assistant Commandant who is to replace at least 13 Other Ranks by trained personnel. Tradesmen posted by “Records” have arrived and have been interviewed.
14 March 1940
15 March 1940
16 March 1940 – Mytchett.
Course continued – half day. Movement warning received from ADMS 23rd Division warning Unit for overseas service. Dates of embarkation given but instructions were also received that these must not be communicated to personnel. Theatre of War not mentioned. Contents of Order communicated to Commandant of Army School of Hygiene.
17 March 1940
Sunday – routine duties performed.
18 March 1940
Course continued – parade by Assistant Commandant of reconstructed unit. Captain G A W Neill (Officer Commanding Unit) promoted Acting Major w.e.f. 31/1/1940 O./C. O. 356. CRNC. No 2/10529 (HS).
19 March 1940
20 March 1940
Course continued – final instructions for move to Eaglescliffe communicated from Movement Control Aldershot Command.
21 March 1940
Unit returned to EAGLESCLIFFE. Left Army School of Hygiene at 09:50 hours. Ash Vale Station 10:45 hours. Waterloo 11:40 hours. Transport difficulties encountered with equipment. 13:10 hours, train departed Kings Cross – arrived Eaglescliffe 00:15 hours.
DADMS interviewed Officer Commanding and inspected Unit at Darlington en route and expressed satisfaction. Further verbal details of pending move overseas were communicated particularly with regard to embarkation leave.
22 March 1940 – Eaglescliffe.
Good Friday – Unit attached to 186 Field Ambulance RAMC Eaglescliffe as from today for all purposes. 50% of personnel granted 7 days embarkation leave. Officer Commanding proceeded on leave.
The War Diary makes reference to Part II Orders from 186 Field Ambulance being attached to the Diary as Appendix 1, but these seem not to have been preserved.
22 – 26 March 1940.
Routine duties only performed by personnel remaining with unit.
26 March 1940
Officer Commanding returned from leave in response to telegram from Officer Commanding 186 Field Ambulance, advising return.
27 March 1940
Officer Commanding to Darlington to see DADMS and DADOS re War Equipment for embarkation – Medical Mobilisation Stores collected from Military Hospital Catterick and Army Form G 1098 obtained with some difficulty from DADOS Catterick Area. Verbal instructions re the preparation of deficiency report on this document were received. Further interview with DADMS.
28 March 1940
Office work on embarkation arrangements commenced – personnel not on leave given 1st inoculation of T.A.B.
29 March 1940
Deficiency report non AF G 1098 – completed and despatched to DADOS Catterick Area. L 1398 – 16 completed and despatched to War Office. First leave party returned from embarkation leave.
30 March 1940
Second leave party proceeded on embarkation leave 7 days. Remainder of personnel received 2nd T.A.B.
31 March 1940
Personnel on sick list as result of T.A.B. Staff Sergeant Barratt commenced clothing deficiency report.
The Field Hygiene Section has, attached to the March 1940 War Diary, a full set of the 23rd Division Administrative Orders Nos 1 - 4 covering the move of the Division to join the British Expeditionary Force in France. While these are relevant to the Section it is not proposed to comment on them in detail, as that has already been done in the War Diary for the Division, the pages of which can be found here.
To contact the author by e-mail with any queries, or to send information - click here.