The two surgical teams of 16 Parachute Field Ambulance, 1944

A post-war reunion of British Airborne medical officers

Major Cedric James Longland


Unit : 16 Parachute Field Ambulance.

Army No. : 236049

Awards : Military Cross, Bronzen Kruis


At Arnhem between 17th and 25th September, 1944, Major Longland commanded one of the surgical teams of 16 Parachute Field Ambulance which established a Field Dressing Station in the Elizabeth Hospital after the capture of the main bridge. Shortly afterwards the Germans re-occupied the area of the hospital and took prisoner the whole Field Ambulance. They ordered all personnel to be prepared to move at once and it was due to Major Longland's forceful and tactful handling of the situation that the Germans were persuaded to leave the two surgical teams to deal with the large number of casualties which were then arriving. As senior British medical officer in the hospital Major Longland had a most responsible task during the next ten days and it was due to his personality and tact that the hospital continued to run smoothly under German supervision. As a surgeon he must have saved very many lives as the hospital was continuously packed with wounded. He was working under difficult and often hazardous conditions. On one occasion the hospital came under German mortar fire and English shells and bombs frequently landed close beside it, blowing in the windows of the operating theatre. Major Longland dealt with all problems in a most exemplary manner and throughout a most difficult period showed the greatest judgement, coolness and devotion to duty.


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