RAMC in the Nijmegen area in 1944

Discussion in 'RAMC' started by Thijs Gras, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. Thijs Gras

    Thijs Gras Member


    I am looking for information about the RAMC units that were active in the Nijmegen area during mainly september - november 1944. From what I distilled from other sources I know at least the following units were there:
    • 19th Field Ambulance
    • 128th Field Ambulance
    • 8th Guards Field Dressing Station
    • 60th Field Hygiene Section
    • No. 3 British Casualty Clearing Station (stationed in Marienbosch)
    an anybody help me find more information?

    The units were there because of Market Garden. I would like to stress that I am interested in the Nijmegen area only (and not what happened in Arnhem and surroundings, the part of the operation Market Garden that usually receives most attention).

    Best regards,

    Thijs Gras, Amsterdam
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    There are some diaries at the National Archives if you can get there:

    The 19 Field Ambulance one stops in March 1944 and doesn't start again until 1945

    WO 177/705 128 Field Ambulance 1939 Sept.- 1944 Dec.

    WO 177/893 8 F.D.S. 1943 Jan.- 1946 Apr.

    WO 177/1519 60 Field Hygiene Section January 1943 - September 1946

    WO 177/628 3 C.C.S. 1939 Sept.- 1946 Apr.
  3. Thijs Gras

    Thijs Gras Member

    Thanks a lot, I going to see if I can get there.

    Best regards,

    Thijs Gras.
  4. kevin-of-york

    kevin-of-york Junior Member


    War Diary for 130 Field Ambulance shows they opened CCP on 21 September at Nijmegen (map 665608, this last digit could be a 7). Also next to bridge at Grave. Set up CCP in factory at Nijmegen 692610. This reference seems a long way from the first.

    22 September the CO Lt Col Ker visited German Hospital there. Opened ADS in the factory. Later in the day ordered to hand ADS to 15 FDS then proceed to Arnhem. 15 FDS arrived at 16:00 but moved at 18:30 to better location. Ker's comment of the day "too much chopping and changing".

    130FA moved to Valburg on 23 September.

    Hope this helps. Have not got to the point of loading up the actual diary pages yet.

    Drew5233 likes this.
  5. Thijs Gras

    Thijs Gras Member

    Dear Kevin,

    Many thanks for your information, that is a very valuable addition you made there. To have the actual diary pages would be fantastic! If I can reconstruct the buildings/adresses I will let you know.

    Where do the map digits refer to?

  6. oldloyal

    oldloyal Junior Member

    Hi Thijs,

    Try page two Unit Documents, for 129 Field Amb. Detailed monthly diary etc for the advance on Nijmegen etc.

  7. kevin-of-york

    kevin-of-york Junior Member


    I have set up a Google Drive to contain all the 130 Field Ambulance War Diaries that I have, January '43 to June '46 (currently the 1945 and 1946 diaries have not been loaded but will be soon. In addtion are other documents relating to 130 Field Ambulance and also an attempt to plot it's route from Normandy to Bremerhaven using Google Earth Push Pins (currently covers June to August, September following shortly). Since all the War Diaries are there with the British Military Map References and I have included information on how these translate to Latitude/Longitude values for use in GPS or on Google Earth you can pinpoint the locations you are interested in from either these war diaries or any others that you have access to.

    To view my Google Drive for all this information I need to give you reading rights. To get this send a private message to me in WW2Talk giving your personal e-mail address so that I can set up the Google Drive rights. I may in the future make it public but at the moment I want to know who s accessing it. Anyone else on WW2Talk who wishes to have access may do so if the send me a private request.
    Best Wishes
  8. XRayX

    XRayX Aalst-Waalre

    Anyone more info on these units before Nijmegen?

    I am researching the days before from the 11th of sept. Untill the 18th from Leopoldsburg Belgium to Valkennswaard Holland.

  9. nrsmith

    nrsmith Junior Member

    My father Sgt.(poss CSM) , LC Smith RASC., was with 15FDS serving in the 43rd Wessex Div. at that time.

    He told me that his ambulance company evacuated many Paras and some Wessex soldiers who had swum back from the Arnhem debacle.

    His unit must have been moved up from Nijmegen in pretty sharp order according to KOY's post
  10. oldloyal

    oldloyal Junior Member

    Hi Thijs & XRaX, from 129 Fd Amb records Sept 1944
    Sept 2 - 14 at rest area Falaign. Sept 14/15 moved to Lumen, in area Diest. Sept 16/17, same location. Sept 18, 0500 hrs moved to Leopoldsbourg. Sept 19/20,same location.
    Sept 21, moved along axis of advance to Nijmegan. Sept 22 ADS set up across the R. Waal at Lent. Sept 23, 129 Inf Bde felt that a full ADS in Lent too risky, at 1500 hrs the unit moved
    back and set up at the N.E.C.Football ground,leaving a CCP in Lent. Sept 24/25, ADS & CCP same locations. Sept 26, 1300 hrs, Fd Amb moved back across the R.Waal to Valborg, ADS & CCP
    closed down. Sept 27/30 remained closed down at Valborg.

    Hoping this helps,

  11. Thijs Gras

    Thijs Gras Member

    Thanks John, this is indeed helpful! The football ground was called the 'Goffert-stadion'.

  12. lindap

    lindap Member

    Hello Thijs,

    I'm new to this website and found your posting interesting. I'm planning to take my father back to Arnhem/Nijmegen in September where he served with the RAMC 35th Field Dressing. He landed on the Normandy beaches and followed the advance through to Bremerhaven. I've found various places where he was stationed from an old menu card, which I'm happy to post if interested. He mentioned he was stationed at Marienbosch, a British Hospital on the outskirts on Nijmegen. Do you know if this was the Catholic school/convent? According to a google search, this is going to be developed into flats.

    Like nrsmith father of 15 FDS; he helped evacuate wounded from Arnhem.
  13. Nodddy52

    Nodddy52 New Member

    Hi Thijs,
    The 130 Field Ambulance war diaries provided by Kevin give them as having a CCP in Nijmegen 21 September as well as an ADS on 22 Sept.
    Map referencces are also provided. They are listed as departing on 23 September where they were engaged in the recovery of survivors from Arnhem.

    Best regards

  14. Ellyznavida

    Ellyznavida Member

    Hi there, I really hope someone from this conversation is still active. I just discovered this site while googling "Nijmegen ambulance 1944) and holy crap was I excited. I am doing some pretty intense digging into my family history and you folks might be a golden ticket of sorts. Please please send me a message or reply if you are reading this and have information on this subject!!
  15. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    One of my uncles was with the 26 Field Hygiene Section, RAMC in the Nijmegen area at this time. There is a photograph of the section and a little I posted to the BBC "People's War" project, which can be found by clicking on this link:
    BBC - WW2 People's War - The March to Nijmegen
  16. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    These details are from the war diary of 19 Guards Light Field Ambulance and may be of interest [WO177/861]:

    19 September 1944

    0745 Ready to continue advance, carrying 12 Cas, 11 BR 1 German.

    0800 Moved over bridge. CO has recced US Hospl in ZON but it was full to capacity, so cas taken on in MAC cars. Sec on bridge to remain till tail of Div coln across bridge.

    1030 Cas dropped at ‘B’ Pn 50 Fd Hospl, 101 U.S. Airborne Division, working in hospl at VEGHEL 4837. MAC cars to rejoin coln by following up C.L. at best speed.

    1230 Sec from bridge at ZON rejoined coln, having had no cas admitted.

    1700 Unit has followed 5 Gds Armd Bde along C.L. at fast pace, and harboured 698569. Gren Gp with 2 RAPs and 4 attached amb cars, having stiff fight to gain footing on bridge at NIJMEGEn 7062. Only 1 cas admitted so far and opposition mainly SA.

    1900 Information obtained by C.O. that U.S. Fd Hospl working area GROWSBEEK 7555, with many surgeons and physicians. Coy HQ and 2 M.O.s (Capt Laird and Capt French) with Bde HQ 691571. Cas to be evac direct from RPAs to ADS, as Coy & ADS so adjacent.

    Considerable amount of SA fire and heavy shells some distance to SE. Hope not near hospl at GROESBEEK.

    2100 C.O. to conf at Bde. Order for tomorrow, move not before 0800.

    2359 Cas admitted:- BC 1 – BA 0 – AI 0 – Sick 2 Total BR 3.

    20 September 1944
    0700 C.O. to see Coy and Bde HQ. No news obtained, Gren Gp still advancing slowly in NIJMEGEN towards bridge.

    0830 C.O. to Gren RAPs at 723588. Neither RAP busy but expecting cas. 1 U.S. RAP working in the same building.

    1000 O.C. 163 Fd Amb, doing recce for 30 Corps Med Area visited unit. Gave him the local form and he went to see DDMS Airborne Corps (Brig Eagger). O.C. 8 FDS recced CANISSIUS Hospl in NIJMEGEN and found it full of Dutch civilians. He also visited advance party 307 U.S. Med Coy att 82 U.S. Airborne Div and found they were going to open in training college at BRAKKENSTEIN 711594 at 1500 hrs.

    1100 O.C. to 307 U.S. Med Coy at their old locn 724546 and arranged for him to take over any cas we have left if we move forward.

    Now holding 15 cas in ADS, none requiring urgent surgery, fortunately.

    1400 9 MAC cars attached plus 1 of unit K2 amb cars to 307 med Coy to move their cas from 724546 to BRAKKENSTEIN.

    They only have “air landed” jeeps.

    1430 Gren Gp RAPs very busy, so attached Sec from Coy u/c Capt French to them, to assist in treatment and evac. 2 x K2 amb cars sent with him, evac to be direct to 307 Med Coy, any overflow of priority 3 cases to ADS.

    1530 ADS now holding 30, waiting for 307 Med Coy to clear their cas by U.S. Amb cars, 10 of which have now been sent up L of C to them.

    C.O. to 307 Med Coy at BRAKKENSTEIN. They are very busy, mainly U.S. airborne tps.

    1600 Attack by U.S. Airborne tps, crossing WAAL on assault boats successful, Gren Gp getting on down to bridge.

    1630 O.C. to PENSIONAAT at JONKER BOSCH, now occupied by RAP of 82 U.S. Airborne Div. Arranged with this M.O. that a Sec from this unit would go in there if we had to move and 307 Med Coy could not clear our cas by that time. This Sec to hold and treat cas in PENSIONAAT until British CCS arrives.

    1730 Attack on bridge from both ends going very much better. Some hope we may move on early tomorrow, or tonight.

    1800 All cas now held in ADS evac to 307 Med Coy, who are playing splendidly. O.C. to 5 Gds Armd Bde HQ – news good. U.S. hold N. end of bridge, Kings Coy 1 Gren Gds approaching S end.

    1930 O.C. to Div HQ. Explained what has been arranged to ADMS and GOC, the latter saying that tks and inf of Gren Gp had crossed the bridge.

    2000 All cas evac from ADS. Positions now as follows:-

    5 Gds Armd Bde have moved to 704615, with Coy less 2 Secs attached: 1 Sec with RAPs 1 & 2 Gren Gds at 723588. 1 Sec at ADS ready to take any cas which 307 Med Coy cannot accept to JUNKERS BOSCH and hold them till CCS arrive, thus allowing ADS, Lt Sec and Lt Sec 8 FDS with 9 MAC cars attd, to move forward in support of 5 Gds Armd Bde on adv to ARNHEIM and later NUNSPEEK.

    2359 Cas admitted:- BC 49 – BA 5 – AI 0 – Exh 0 – Sick 2 Total BR 56

    POW 2 Total 58

    21 September 1944
    0645 C.O. to Bde HQ, and found them preparing to move up over bridge.

    0715 Sec on spt Gren Gp RAP withdrawn to Coy at Bde HQ as Gren Gp not moving over river.

    0730 C.O. to 307 U.S. Med Coy. Found them very busy and decided to open Lt Sec 19 Lt Fd Amb at JUNKERSBOSCH PENSIONAAT 689600, the site reserved for 30 Corps Med Area when it moves up. Lt Sec to take any cases treated in ADS and hold until CCS arrives.

    0830 Lt Sec moved to JUNKERSBOSCH.

    1000 ADMS decided Lt Sec must hold lightly wounded BR cas at present in 307 Med Coy. 10 Amb cars sent to 307 Med Coy to transfer these. 2 i/c to 5 Gds Armd Bde conf. Order of March of Bde now IG Gp with one sec 19 Lt Fd Amb in spt: Main Bde HQ plus Coy less 1 Sec: WG Gp now under comd 5 Bde, with 1 sec 128 Fd Amb. 14 Fd Sqn, Q Bty 21 A/T Regt: 19 Lt Fd Amb. Zero to be 1140 hrs. Lt Fd Amb to cross SP 708648 at Z plus 100.

    1130 Extra rations (28) from unit 3 days reserve to Lt Sec for 67 cas transferred from 307 Med Coy. Several more cas from IG Gp treated in ADS and sent for holding by Lt Sec.

    1200 Second med offr to Lt Sec (Capt Lewis & Lieut Keates now both there). Saw O.C. 10 CCS, which is expected to arrive at 1500 hrs. He said 35 FDS would take over from Lt Sec as soon as possible.

    1400 Bde HQ have moved over river Coy HQ & CCP at 708547. RAP 1 Gren Gds moved to Post Office in NIJMEGEN, 1 WG RAP just across and 2 WG RAP 200 yds short of bridge. 2 Gren RAP same location. Very sticky going on far side of bridge, caused by 88 mm and mortars.

    1430 3 amb cars sent to 307 Med Coy to evac lying BR cas to 10 CCS and 35 FDS now ready to work.

    1500 43 Div cas now coming in.

    1530 C.O. to Lt Sec, then to CCP, and finally to 307 Gen Hospl, now much less pushed.

    1600 ADS packed ready to move over bridge.

    1730 10 Amb Cars demanded by ADMS to evac POW from 307 Med Coy to St MARTINs Clinic, NIJMEGEN. 6 sent, as no more available.

    1800 A Mr GRIMALDI, British Red Cross observer, with letter of introduction from DMS 21 Army Group, arrived and asked to be attached to observe evacuation of cas and cas reactions during evac from RAP to Base Hospl.

    1945 C.O. to ADMS to give ADMS general picture.

    2010 Further demand from Lt Sec for blankets. Again asked OC 10 CCS & 35 FDS to supply them.

    2020 Trickle cas from all formations in Gds Armd Div & 30 Corps going through ADS to 30 Corps Med Area. No BR cas now going to 307 Med Hospl as surgical teams and beds now available at 30 Corps Med Area.

    2200 Lt Sec now holding 96 cas, none of them serious. Blankets supplied by 35 FDS.

    2359 Cas admitted:- BC 62 – BA – 6 – AI – 8 – Exh 0 – Sick 14 – Total BR 86

    POW 18 Total 100.

    22 September 1944

    0630 C.O. to Lt Sec. All cas being looked after well and fed, but no word of 35 FDS taking them over. C.O. to 2 Gren RAP, 2 WG RAP, 1 Gren RAP in Post Office at NIJMEGEN. All well.

    0830 C.O. to ADMS. ADMS and C.O. to 30 Corps Med Area at JUNKERS BOSCHE. A.C.C. filling up to evac cas from Lt Sec.

    1030 Mr GRIMALDI put in touch with a cas at RAP 2 HCR, and passed through ADS on his way to base.

    1100 Only 17 cas left with Lt Sec, and these handed over to 35 FDS.

    1130 C.O. to CCP over bridge. All well and only a few cas coming through, mostly 43 Div. Re-visited RAO 1 Gren Gds in Post Office, but found them gone. Visited RAP 2 Gren Gds, no cas.

    1700 Conference at ADMS office. Progress of 43 Div very slow, will probably stay some days. C.O. suggested moving into more suitable location to open ADS in view of number of cas coming through.

    1800 C.O. recced for new area and found suitable fields at 693563 beside the Bded 5 Bde “A” Ech. Lt Sec and Lt Sec 8 FDS sent as holding party until tomorrow.

    2200 Steady stream of cas from CCP N. Of river.

    2359 Cas admitted: BC 73 – BA – 5 – AI 0 – Exh – 0 – Sick 8 – Total BR 86.

    POW 2 Total 88.

    23 September 1944

    0900 ADS moved to 693563 and opened fully.

    0900 No change. Some shelling and mortaring near CCP north of bridge last night, but they are in solid building and quite happy.

    1200 6 MAC cars sent to 163 Fd Amb N of river to assist in evac Polish Airborne cas.

    1400 Remaining 3 MAC cars sent to 128 Fd Amb, to assist in evac U.S. Airborne cas from landing area near GRAVES [sic].

    2130 3 cars returned from 128 Fd Amb.

    2359 Cas admitted: BC 26 – BA 4 - AI 0 – Exh 0 – Sick 6 – Total 36

    Civ 2 Total 38.

    24 September 1944

    0800 Request from Coy for replenishment of drugs and dressings, Coy having replenished RMOs. Cramers wire particularly short.

    All MAC cars now returned from 163 Fd Amb.

    0830 All requirements for Coy met by QM, who is to visit Adv Det of Adv Depot Med Stores attached 10 CCS today, and get new stocks.

    1400 C.O. to CCP N of bridge. All well but constant shelling on bridge approaches both N and S. Bde HQ have moved away from the shells & mortars to 688668.

    1500 Request for SBs to assist 3 CCS. 20 sent with 2i/c.

    1900 SBs returned for supper meal and then back to 3 CCS.

    2359 Cas admitted: BC 11 – BA 2 – AI 0 – Exh 1 – Sick 2 Total BR 16

    POW 4 Total 20

    25 September 1944

    1100 C.O. to Coy CCP N of bridge and sec 128 Fd Amb N of bridge. Decided that these locations were too unhealthy and recced areas nearer Bde HQ. Finally decided that one sec would move to barn 699554 in spt of Irish Guards Group, that 2 secs and Coy HQ would move to farm near Bde HQ at 690670, and sec 128 Fd Amb in spt W.G. Gp would move area OOSTERHOUT 6866. These moves to take place immediately after dinners.

    1200 Request from 3 CCS for med offrs and SPs to assist them, also 50 stretchers.

    1330 Lt Sec 8 FDS ( 2 med offrs and 20 ORs) sent to 3 CCS. 50 stretchers also supplied. This personnel attached to 3 CCS are to help with evac of 1 BR Airborne Div cas from N. Of Nederijn.

    2359 Cas admitted: BC 4 – BA 5 – AI 0 – Exh 1 – Sick 3 Total BR 13

    POW 3 Total 16

    26 September 1944

    1100 2 i/c to Coy HQ and CCP. All well.

    1400 Bns have moved slightly to take over defence of NIJMEGEN bridgehead with 69 Bde u/c Gds Armd Div. Present locations of RAPs & CCPs:-

    RAP 1 WG 702700; 2 I.G. & 3 I.G. 690660; 2 WG 669673; Coy HQ & CCP 690670; CCP for IG group 699666.

    1900 Strong enemy air attacks on bridge, and one bomb went through roadway. No cas.

    2359 Cas admitted: BC 2 – BA 1 – AI 0 – Exh 0 – Sick 2 Total BR 5

    Civ 1 Total 6.

    27 September 1944

    1100 Situation unchanged. Some sick from Bns but very few B.C.s.

    1115 C.O. visited 5 Gds Armd Bde HQ, Coy and CCPs and all RAPs.

    2359 Cas admitted: BC 11 – BA 1 – AI 0 – Exh 0 - Sick 6 Total BR 18

    Civ 1 Total 19.

    I hope that helps,


  17. kevin-of-york

    kevin-of-york Junior Member

    The following text was posted by Ellyznavida on my profile. I think it should be on the thread so that others may respond if they have any information.

    "I am looking for information pertaining to the ambulance service run in the Nijmegen area in 1944, around the time of the Arnhem bombings. I am doing some research into my Oma's history and in particular the names of the people who hid her during the war. and the biggest thing I have to go off of is the fake name she gave them(i can elaborate if you think you can/will help) and also that they "were driving a sort of ambulance wagon. The car was originally a hearse... " I know they were helping the English out. Any tips could really be incredible and means so much!"
    I hope someone else can contribute as I have no information myself.
  18. Ellyznavida

    Ellyznavida Member

    HI there I am still hoping to find out names of the locals who helped as quoted above!

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