224 Parachute Field Ambulance records

Discussion in 'Airborne' started by Kia Ora, Apr 9, 2021.

  1. Kia Ora

    Kia Ora Member

    Hi all
    I have just finished reading "Red Devils" the story of 224 Parachute Field Ambulance in Normandy, which I found fascinating and also a reminder of their bravery, and sacrifice on DDay.
    It did however leave me with a question, which I hope someone may have the answer.
    The book gives an account of the MDS at le Mensil and mentions that records of all wounded, including German prisoners were taken.
    I'm presuming that would have been name, rank, number and unit.
    Does anyone know where these records are kept.
    This information might help me work out how my injured grandad was picked up, because his injuries would leave him unable to walk.
    Many thanks.
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  3. Kia Ora

    Kia Ora Member

    Hi Tricky Dicky
    Thanks for the reply. There's plenty for me to think about and look into. I'm hoping something will give me a chance of find out how he was found, medically treated before his evacuation. I wonder if he was evacuated by ship or aircraft? From family stories, he was pretty badly injured. He stayed in the 8th Parachute Battalion until demobbed 1946 but never to parchute on active service again.
  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member


    Can you provide the details of your grandad, we have a number of excellent Para specialists as members, who may have information. I am assuming that your grandad was part of the invasion force


    Forgot to add if you dont yet have his service records then the forms you need are in this link Request records of deceased service personnel
  5. Kia Ora

    Kia Ora Member

    Hi TD
    Thanks for your reply. I have a few members send me some good leads and information, which is great and much appreciated, but I would be grateful for any help.
    8th battalion HQ Coy CQMS J. Berrisford 5105738
    I know he was evacuated to UK No 17 Gen Hospital but no more detail on how he got there.
    Kia Ora
  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Are you sure it was 17 Gen hospital?

    Hospitals WW2 - Scarlet Finders
    17 British General Hospital
    Camiers 10/1/40 to 27/5/40 then to UK Leeds; Leeds 27/5/40 to 10/40 then to Watford; Watford 10/40 to 11/40 then to Hatfield House; Hatfield House 11/40 to 2/42 then overseas; Dehra Dun 4/42 to 2/44 then to 12 ABPO; Dacca Bengal 7/44 to 10/1/46 then disbanded.

  7. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hi Kia,

    TD points out the Wellcome Collection. There is a a Normandy Battle Report on there which includes a few "interesting cases" dealt with by the 224 PFA from June 7th onward. They can be found starting page 77. Unfortunately your Grandfather isn't mentioned.

    Files of reports, etc., re 6 Airborne Division ... Normandy, 6 June 1944

    If I remember correctly CQMS Berrisford was wounded or injured on his drop. Depending on when he was picked up he could also have been taken to a RAP or MDS belonging to either the 195 ALFA or the 225 PFA in Ranville. The 225th was the Field Ambulance attached to the 5th Parachute Brigade.

    The document contains reports on both those Field Ambulances but there is nothing specific concerning actual cases. Otherwise it might be of general interest.

    Regards ...
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
    JimHerriot likes this.
  8. Kia Ora

    Kia Ora Member

    Hi Cee
    Thanks for your reply. Firstly, it's very interesting that you mention he was dropped near Herouvilliette. I haven't been able to find any information on where he landed. I assumed he, like so many others, arrived on the wrong DZ. Please could you send me details where you got the information.
    Do you know if individual casualty details were kept by Field Ambulance units, MDS or RAP's and where such archives would be kept.
    Once again thank you so much for your help.
    Kind regards
    JimHerriot likes this.
  9. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hi Kia,

    Field Ambulances must have recorded names and casualty details but I have no idea where these documents are held if they did manage to survive the years. I have never actually seen comprehensive documentation that follows the progress of everyone coming and going from a Field Ambulance. You will, however, find numbers and statistics of one kind or another in reports.

    I removed the Herouvilliette reference as it was a possibility I considered without proven fact. When you told the story of your grandfather lying wounded in the field and witnessing a German Officer shooting moaning casualties I was reminded of another incident. It involved a 7 Para man who was shot in the head before he hit the ground or so the story goes as told by a friend. These two men were from villages close by each other. We figured the only person this could be was Pte. William L. Huish who is among those buried at Herouvillette.

    I don't know if the friend came upon his body after the jump and thus had first hand knowledge or if he heard later after the body was discovered and buried. If you recall in Frank Ockenden's account his 8 Para stick landed near Herouvillette and as they were trying to sort themselves out more planes came over dropping men. A 7 Para Sgt. ran over to Okenden to discover where they had landed.

    There were some nasty incidents that occurred at Herouvilliette later on D-Day. A couple of Airborne men were shot without cause after being taken prisoner. Carl Rymen did an investigative piece on the war crimes committed at Herouvillette which I have yet to read. Having said that I am not aware of any incidents of paratroopers being shot while lying wounded in the field. But let's just say there were a few brutal types at the Herouvillette Garrison who were quite capable of it.

    I was just trying to make some connections but things don't always work out as thought.

    Regards ...
  10. Kia Ora

    Kia Ora Member

    Hi Cee, Tricky Dicky
    I have just realised I got the hospital wrong. He was in fact evacuated to UK and admitted to No17 Canadian Gen Hosp, not a British hospital.
    After such a long time and a lack of written evidence, most scenarios are speculation, but none the less still possibilities.
    Today I read that on 7th June, the RSM 13th battalion, informed Lt Col Alistair Pearson of eight injured men from 8th battalion sheltering in a barn on the other side of the river Dives.
    Lt Col Pearson decided to lead a party including the RSM to fetch them back. He found the injured could not walk, but they were successfully brought back to British lines.
    Do you know if there are any records of the men rescued.
    Many thanks
  11. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    The event Kia refers to concerning the rescue of wounded men in Bassenville on June 7th, 1944 is covered on a biographical page devoted to Lieutenant-Colonel Alastair Pearson on the Pegasus Archive. Also related is the story of Dakota KG356 which crashed in a field east of Eglise Notre Dame. It was carrying a platoon of 8 Para men all of whom managed to jump before the crash. Brithm covers the crash story with documentation in the following thread.

    F/O. H.E. Jones (J12866) 233 Squadron, Dakota KG356 Crash site –

    I have never come across a list of men who were brought out on the rescue mission. Attached is a stick list for KG356 originally from horsapassenger.

    KG356  CN 246.JPG

    Regards ...
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
    BrianHall1963 likes this.
  12. Kia Ora

    Kia Ora Member

    Hi Cee,
    amazing research by Brinth. Reading the documents, you feel the respectful compassion for the loss of F/O Jones. A real selfless hero.

    Do you know where horsapassenger got the chalk list from.
    Kind regards
  13. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

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