BEF and Hospitals during May 1940

Discussion in '1940' started by noggin1969, May 29, 2020.

  1. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member

    Another long shot but here goes. 2 local casualties have hospital entries on their obits in the local paper :
    Signalman Arthur Gregory , Royal Corp of Signals 50th Div was wounded near Bergues and died " in a French Hospital " and is buried at Bailleul-Sire-Berthoult. Can't find a hospital on Google so take it it may have been a field hospital in the area , if anyone knows ?
    Pte Bernard Cope Dixon , Sherwooed Foresters 2 Bn was wounded in Belgium and taken to hospital there , he was further wounded after this was bombed. Evacuated he died at Folkeston Hospital 30/5/40. Any idea of hospital this may have been ?
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
  2. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

  3. LondonNik

    LondonNik Senior Member

    Interesting scenario - I see that L/Cpl Gregory 2360953 is buried, as you say at Bailleul-Sire-Berthoult and died 29 May 1940 according to CWGC.
    The Casualty Lists have him as Wounded & Missing, then Wounded and then Died - alas with no dates.
    The other casualties in this Cimitiere Communal (Civilian cemetery) are from the combats of 23/24th May and Bailleul-Sire-Berthoult would have been in German hands shortly after that.

    It doesn't seem likely that Gregory was wounded at Bergues (near Dunkirk) and driven all the way to Bailleul-Sire-Berthoult (near Arras) to be Hospitalised. Could Bergues be a mispronunciation/Anglicization of Berthoult?

    It may be that he was wounded either 23/24 May or earlier (which I think fits with 50 Div location around then - 20th to 23rd May) and perhaps sent to a French Hospital rather than though the standard British Army Casualty evacuation route - although there were British Army Medical Corps facilities nearby on those dates. I have read testimony where British Soldiers were offered French Hospitalisation/Medical care because it was quicker, rather than await casualty evacuation to a British Facility. If that scenario were the case then Gregory effectively 'died in captivity'. I imagine the occupying authorities would not have had time to make him POW. Gregory's death was reported in the Casualty Lists in mid/late 1941 which is consistent with the above scenario

    Good luck with your search.
  4. jonheyworth

    jonheyworth Senior Member

    Interestingly there are a few BEF unknown buried in the UK who died in hospitals with no identification

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