Pte. Thomas Frederick Payne, 7370512, A Company, 200th Field Ambulance, RAMC - looking for info

Discussion in 'RAMC' started by cmlyons, Mar 25, 2024.

  1. cmlyons

    cmlyons Member

    Dear Hive Mind!

    This is my first thread.....

    Sorry for the long post but I'm looking for any information about the WW2 service of my Great Uncle, Thomas Frederick Payne.

    Uncle Tom was a Private in the 200th Field Ambulance, RAMC and I believe he served with this unit from his call up around 1941 until he was de-mobbed in 1946. I know that he served in A Company but I don't know if this was for the whole of his service in WW2.

    I have applied for his service record from the MoD but they told me it has been transferred to the National Archives. I have requested a copy from them but still await a reply.

    Information from family archives gives an outline of Tom's service:

    1. After training, Tom was sent by boat from the UK to South Africa and then up towards Egypt (not sure exactly where he landed in North Africa).

    2. Tom served with the 200th in North Africa, treating casualties from Monty's 8th Army. I believe that he spent most of his time in an ambulance vehicle (I'm assuming he had a driver from the RASC? and picked up casualties from just behind the front line?) I have a photo of him in Cairo on leave but I don't know any other places he might have been in this theatre.

    3. Sicily and Southern Italy - we only know that this was a tough theatre of turgid fighting

    4. D-Day Gold Beach - landed near Le Hamel with the 50th Northumbrian Division

    5. After D-Day his unit set up a Casualty Clearing Station near Buceels (SE of Bayeux). I have found Imperial War Museum video footage of his unit
    Part 1 - MEDICAL UNITS IN THE FIELD (PART 1) [Allocated Title]
    Part 3 - MEDICAL UNITS IN THE FIELD (PART 3) [Allocated Title]
    But I cannot find Part 2. I emailed the IWM but they have not responded.

    6. I do not know what happened after Buceels but Tom did suggest that he may have been involved in supporting the liberation of Belsen and provision of medical aid. He did mention the absolutely appalling situation of the prisoners but could not bear to say any more.

    7. There are further gaps in our knowledge but we know that Tom was later serving at Nijmegen because he told us that he had to take his ambulance full of seriously wounded casualties across the Nijmegen Bridge under fire. He was told to wait for the 15 second gap in shelling whilst the Germans were re-loading, and then 'drive like the clappers' across the bridge. Thankfully, he got to the other side in tact. Then he went to open up the back of the ambulance and pick up all the poor wounded off the floor and put them back on their 'shelves'!

    I have managed to find out that there are two War Diaries in the National Archives for the 200th Field Ambulance - WO/798 and WO/799. I have purchased photos of the complete first War Diary (1940-42) but I'm having difficulty 'translating' these. I hope to soon purchase photos of the second diary (1942/3-1945).

    So, any information about the 200th Field Ambulance would be very welcome, especially:

    1. Where exactly did the 200th Field Ambulance personnel land on Gold Beach on D-Day? I hope to visit at Easter and would like to stand as close to his landing area as possible.
    2. Does anyone know exactly where the Casualty Clearing Station at Buceels was sited? I would also like to visit this if possible.
    3. I think the 11th Light Field Ambulance were specifically tasked with treating the prisoners at Belsen but does anyone know if the 200th were also involved?
    4. Does anyone know what Tom and his unit were doing at Nijmegen?

    I have hundreds of questions but thought it best to restrict myself to four! However, if you do have any information you could share that relates to any aspects of Tom's service, this would be very gratefully received.

    Many thanks in anticipation

    Claire Lyons
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  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

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  3. cmlyons

    cmlyons Member


    Thank you. I had a look at this thread before posting my query.

    Wasn't sure if I should add to it or post anew. So, I set up a new thread as I was asking about my Great Uncle. Hope I've got the etiquette right?!

    Best wishes

    JimHerriot likes this.
  4. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Welcome aboard. There is plenty of knowledge and expertise here.

    It is vital you add his full name, Date of Birth, Service Number and if known their unit. Members can check their resources and do some online research. Others may be looking now and in the future for them; we regularly have people join who have found a post or thread about a relative.

    It might be worth checking if there is a local newspaper article about him. Most public libraries have access to the British Newspaper Archive when in the library, not online.

    On your current information he has not appeared here before today.

    It helps to add a ‘tag’ when you create a thread, only you can do this. It is for the formation / corps involved or a theme like intelligence. Searching tags can identify threads, otherwise it takes a bit longer.

    Some help via PM next; which is a now four pg. PDF. Also available on: WW2 Soldier Research - Tips and Links for New Researchers (update) Plus: How to Start a new Thread / Edit Post / Upload Image
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  5. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    This thread in Post 32 indicates 200th Field Ambulance War Diaries are available on Ancestry. See: Ancestry - War Diaries

    Post 64 shows where they were on D-Day. See: Op Overlord unit patches

    If you search online with "200 Field Ambulance" there are many more threads to have a look at. My first search used 200th and had the two hits.
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  6. cmlyons

    cmlyons Member

    Thank you for all your useful information.
    I believe that Tom's dob was 10/03/1917 and his service number was 7370512.
    I previously searched for 200th Field Ambulance on here and found 11 pages of hits. I've looked through most of these and the one mentioned in the first reply I got on this thread, has proved the most useful so far.
    I have added tags to my original post on this thread: RAMC, 200th Field Ambulance, Field Ambulances, D-Day, Gold Beach, Nijmegen. I'm not sure if these are the best tags but I chose them as they relate to the info I'm seeking.

    I'll certainly make a trip to my local library when I can; I did not realise that I might be able to find him in a newspaper article. And, look at Post 64 - perhaps this might be able to confirm that he landed on the Jig section of Gold Beach near Le Hamel, with the 231st Brigade (I can't currently pinpoint whether he landed on the far east of Item beach section or on Jig).

    Do you know if Ancestry have transcribed the War Diaries? I do have an account but don't currently subscribe as the monthly subs are a bit hefty for my liking!

    I'm sorry but I don't understand the part of your message relating to help via PM. Also, what is the easiest way to find a specific Post if I don't have the link?

    Thank you again for your responses and help. I have a lot to learn!

  7. lindap

    lindap Member

    Hello and Welcome, my late father was also RAMC. He served with 35 Field Dressing Station and landed on a different sector -Gold King Red on D Day at around 9am with 149 Field Ambulance. There was also a long spell in Nijmegen during the static fighting in the cold and wet winter of '45. I'll look through my records (War Diary) to see if there is any reference to 200 FA. However, I've had a quick look at this excellent book. It's a bit heavy going at times, but I've found some very useful information when researching my dad. The Army Medical Services (There are others editions for other war theatres) I've found some references to 200 FA in this one for June '44. I've screen shot the relevant pages. Good luck with your research.

    CCP Casualty Clearing Post
    ADS Advanced Dressing Station

    Attached Files:

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  8. lindap

    lindap Member

    I haven't found any references to 200 FA so far in my records. They appear to be part of 30 Corps, as was 35 FDS my father's unit. From what I've established medical units buddied up, and for example leap frogged each other when the other closed, when they moved to set up closer to the advance. It makes sense to work with teams you know. There are several references to 35 FDS working with 10 and 3 CCS, in my dad's records, as I think 200 FA did? TIP If you put "200 fd.amb." in the search box it will highlight where it appears on each page of the search.
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  9. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    In responses to your reply.

    I cannot help, I don't use Ancestry and have only examined a few War Diaries.

    Apologies. The forum has a private message facility, hence PM. You can use this after x5 posts. two routes to use it: Go to your profile and click on Conversations. Or select who you want to contact, hover over their Avatar and there is an option Start a Conversation.

    The Forum's search facility is rather simple, just one word can be searched for. hence I use "200 Field Ambulance" (there is someone here you can improve that, but I cannot find it).
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