8th Field Ambulance

Discussion in 'RAMC' started by Jennifer65, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. Jennifer65

    Jennifer65 Member

    Hi

    Forum members have been so very kind and helpful with information regarding my Fathers time in India and Burma with RAMC. My next quest is the British Expeditionary Forces, according to his service records he was with 8th Field Ambulance at various places in the UK and then from 1st October 1939 BEF and evacuated from Dunkirk 31st May 1940. In the unit column it always states 8 FA but try as I might I can only find references to this unit during WW1. I intend visiting the RAMC museum at some point but I was hopeful that in the meantime members would be able to point me (once again) in the right direction.
    I have attached the relevant page from his service record.

    Many thanks
    Jennifer
     

    Attached Files:

  2. 4BnEYR

    4BnEYR Well-Known Member

    Hi Jennifer

    My uncle Bill was treated by an 8 Fd Ambulance in Normandy in 1944. I'm a novice when it comes to identifying units; but I did find a National Archives ref while trying to I'd the unit. Bill's record showing the 8 Fd reference is in new member introductions.

    Reference:WO 222/526 Description: 8 Fd. Amb. Note: Item open from 1972 Date: 1943 July - 1946 Dec.

    I don't know if it's the same unit

    Regards

    4Bn
     
  3. Jennifer65

    Jennifer65 Member

    Hi there

    Thank you so much for your invaluable help, I put your reference number into the archive search and obviously it found it, then I just clicked on the heading which lead me to the list of field ambulances and hey presto its WO 222/525 Sept 1939 - May 1940. I've been trying different combinations of '8 field ambulance' in the search and its only ever come up with WW1 dates, so finally a breakthrough.
    It will be the same unit, my father was with them until he was sent to India in Nov 1941.
    I do hope your Uncle Bill made it through, sadly Dad's brother, who was only called up in Oct 1943 as he was older, died in France in July 1944.

    Many thanks for your invaluable help
    Kind regards
    Jennifer
     
  4. 4BnEYR

    4BnEYR Well-Known Member

    Hi Jennifer

    Great news!

    Bill did make it, after being wounded he was transferred to the Sherwood Foresters and eventually to the RAF

    Good luck with your research

    Regards

    4Bn
     
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    This is the war diary ref number.
    WO 177/688
    War Office: Army Medical Services: War Diaries, Second World War. FIELD AMBULANCES. 8 Fd. Amb.
    • Collection: Records created or inherited by the War Office, Armed Forces, Judge Advocate General, and related bodies
    • Date range: 01 January 1939 - 30 June 1946
    • Reference:WO 177/688
    Used Lee's 'war diary search engine'.
    It's better than TNA's one.
    http://arcre.com/wdsearch
     
  6. Jennifer65

    Jennifer65 Member

    Many thanks Owen.
    It is a lot easier to use, I gave up on the National Archive one, I just kept getting WW1,
    Now I know what I'm doing I'm cooking on gas
    We silver surfers take a bit longer

    Many thanks
    Kind regards
    Jennifer
     
  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    WO 177 series war diaries are the Medical War Diaries for units in WW2. WO 222 are Medical Historian papers. The later will give you an overview at worst but the 177 series will give you a day by day account of where the unit was and what they were doing.

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  8. ogilvy

    ogilvy Member

    Hello Jennifer, I've been trying to find out what happened to the 8th Field Ambulance between 1930 when they got back from Dunkirk and May 1943. My dad's is the signature on the RHS of your thumbnail and I have a picture of the officers in 1939. But I can't work out who your dad is from the thumbnail. I also have a photo of the officers in 1943. I will try the WO records as used by someone else as I've had no luck with NA yet either for WW2. Would welcome hearing anything else about the gap before I contact the RAMC museum in Aldershot. Many thanks, ogilvy
     
  9. Jennifer65

    Jennifer65 Member

    Hi Ogilvy, I'm sorry I have been away from the forum for a while, did you manage to find the 8th files at NA, i'm afraid I only took photo's of the relevant pages of the war diaries involving Dunkirk as Dad was posted to India and Burma in 1941 and didn't get back until 1945. It would be great if you could post the photo you have, I would love to see the men Dad (George Cooke) served with, How wonderful that your Dad's signature is on Dad's service record, is it the one at the top or the bottom (forgive me if I appear a little dense) I will attach the next page of Dad's service record as it would still be relevant to you.
    I have WO 222/525 Sept 1939 - May 1940, Dunkirk. 222/526 is July 1943 - Dec 1946. I might be wrong and if I am perhaps a forum member could correct me, but the unit might have stayed in England until July 1943 when they entered the theater of war again, with various officers and men attached to other field ambulances as my Dad was.

    Kind regards
    Jennifer

    Dads 9.jpeg
     
  10. Jennifer65

    Jennifer65 Member

    Hi Ogilvy
    • Reference:WO 177/688
    Just a note regarding the above reference that Owen pointed me to, I did look at a huge amount of files whilst I was visiting the NA on a number of occasions, I am unsure now what was in there now as I was also researching Dad's two brothers, one at Arnhem and the other who was killed in France in 1944. The information that more experienced forum members gave me was extremely helpful and narrowed down my search considerably. If you haven't already done so I think the 177 file has all the information.

    Kind regards
    Jennifer
     
  11. ogilvy

    ogilvy Member

    thank you so much for sending page 2 of your dad's records...my dad is bottom right of your page 1, MW Paterson...there isn't a George Cooke in the pics I have but will send you anyway when back, I'm away for 2 weeks now. Can't read the signature of the OC on your page 2, it was JH Ward in 39. No-one's ever mentioned dad going to India. Thank you for the Andy and Owen suggestions. Perhaps the war diary gap at Kew is because somewhere else has the Indian records or they didn't do them.

    Think you're right about 8thFA being in UK after Dunkirk...family members mention about dad being in Dorset with Montgomery but he's back in 8th FA by 1943 in a pic in Dumfriesshire...still a lot to learn...

    At the end of 43 he took charge of 41 Ambulance and after landings in June 44 they ferried and treated casualties from Portsmouth to hospitals in the north, Sheffield and Manchester. they then went into France in Aug 44. All the best, ogilvy
     
  12. ogilvy

    ogilvy Member

    Image, as promised, below is available at higher resolution
     
  13. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  14. ogilvy

    ogilvy Member

    couldn't upload first time, hope OK now, officers of 8th field ambulance 1939 and 1943, as promised, ogilvy 8th field amb001 small.jpg
     
    Owen likes this.
  15. Jennifer65

    Jennifer65 Member

    Hi Ogilvy

    Thank you so much for the photo's, its so nice to see images of the men that Dad served with during those terrible times.
    Yes I have J H Ward as the signature on the war diaries for 1939-1940.
    When I have the time I will read through these again to find a mention of your Dad, obviously mine wasn't mentioned being an NCO but a Sgt stayed behind to help with the wounded and I did notice that when the unit got back to UK Dad didn't return to the same place. I know it was chaos at the ports, my cousin had mentioned years ago that Dad was one of the last(of his unit) to leave. When I read through the diaries for India and Burma I was thrilled to find he had been mentioned twice by the C.O. (firstly that he was very thorough and secondly the C.O. appointed him as his intelligence officer).
    Good luck with your search

    Kind regards
    Jennifer
     
  16. ogilvy

    ogilvy Member

    Sorry it's taken me so long to reply Jennifer and Owen...our daughter's recently had our first grandchild so I'm needed while her husband and my husband are working....but I want to get back to finding our about our grandchild's great grandfather, that's quite a thought...if I don't get any more help from the Army Medical Services Museum then I think I may pay a researcher...my dad (Maurice W. Paterson) was one of the group who stayed behind in 1940 getting to Dunkirk to join the Royal Daffodil ship (had been a Merseyside ferry, there's a clip of it taking day trippers across the Mersey before the war in Terence Davies's film about Liverpool....think 'Of time and tides'...so your dad Jennifer may have been with my dad then....the diaries only mention the names of the two who didn't make it back 'all but 2 of the party left behind had reached England safely'...the two were L/Cpl Elliot who was taken prisoner and there was no news of Pte Sturrock...neither of these two were in the photo which I sent before. Very good to hear that the C.O mentioned your dad in India and Burma...where did you find those war diaries? that was still with 8th FA wasn't it? Good luck with what you search next too, ogilvy
     
  17. Kenny McLennan

    Kenny McLennan New Member

    Just come across some of my late father in laws stuff. He served 8th FA RAMC through WW2. He was evacuated from Dunkirk. He went back to France On D day and was wounded on 7th June 1944. He later served in Egypt and Palestine with that unit. His name was George Monteith.
     

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