National Archives catalogue number WO 177/793.


Note: Apologies for the numerous missing words in this diary. A combination of both baffling handwriting and medical terms resulted in some words being quite unintelligible to me. Please get in touch if you have done better.




2 i/c

52nd LI




















C in C




















L or Lt





































X rds

Map Reference


2nd Ox and Bucks Light Infantry (52nd Regiment of Foot)

Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General


Assistant Director Medical Services

Assistant Director Ordnance Services

Advanced Dressing Station





Attached / Attended

Blitz Buggy?


Brigade Major





Casualty Collection Point

Casualty Clearing Station


Commanding Officer



Commander Royal Army Service Corps

Deputy Chief of the Imperial General Staff

Deputy Director Medical Services




Divisional Maintenance Area



Field Ambulance

Field Dressing Station

General Officer Commanding



Intelligence Officer


Landing Zone

Motor Ambulance Convoy


Main Dressing Station



Medical Officer


Other Ranks




Royal Army Medical Corps
Regimental Aid Post

Royal Army Service Corps





Royal Marine

Regimental Medical Officer

Royal Ulster Rifles



Stretcher Bearer

Senior Chaplain to the Forces



Special Service









Month and year : June 1944

Commanding Officer : I.C. Gilliland Lt/Col RAMC


1st June 1944

Place: Field


In sealed camp.  Briefing of N.C.O.'s & OR's commenced.  Capt. WEST detached.  [G.O.C.'s?] visit.


2nd June 1944

Main briefing completed.  Detailed study of photographs in briefing tent.


3rd June 1944

Gliders loaded.


4th June 1944

Gliders checked over.  Gusty wind reaching almost gale force.  D.C.I.G.S. visited camp.  Aids issued, bulk to Sect. 1.  10 off & 114 OR's by air.


5th June 1944

Met glider pilots at aerodrome with senior glider passengers.  High wind continues.


6th June 1944

Emplaned by 1900 hrs.  Perfect take off.  Unchallenged journey to coast.  1 glider hit by flack & 1 OR killed.  2 smashed on landing.  Q Sgt ? fractured pelvis.  Remainder intact.  Some difficulty in finding RV as landing effected was South of LZ.  Reached woods in Bas de Ranville by midnight.


7th June 1944

Place: France


Moved to house in Ranville after recce by C.O.  M.D.S. [France, Sheet 7 F/2 115735] established in slightly crammed house at 1100.  Very busy 154 casualties admitted unto midnight.  23 surgical cases dealt with.


8th June 1944

Evacuation started 0700 hrs.  [Billet?] clean by 1200.  Flow of cases eased considerably in afternoon.  Some close mortar fire.  Occasional casualties only in afternoon.  Some civilians from shelling.  Visit from GOC.  1800 heavy dive shelling } 1 on building & 8 outside.  3 RAMC casualties.  All patients evacuated & surgical team rest in air raid shelters.  Seaborne Party arrived.  2 unit RASC casualties.  Total casualties for day 102.  28 surgical operations performed.  Seaborne 1 off & 51 ORs.


9th June 1944

Quiet morning.  2 hours constant shelling in afternoon.  1 direct hit.  2 RAMC of one section killed.  Lt Col Anderson, O.C. 195 wounded (through & through right buttock) by rifle fire while at Section attached to RUR.  Wound operated on by Major Watts and evacuated to FDS Beaches.  M.D.S. straffed from air on several occasions, many hits on building but no casualties.  11 operations performed, only priority 1 being dealt with now, 156 casualties admitted during 24 hours.


10th June 1944

Fighting close in morning in field in front of MDS.  Constant flow of casualties in morning.  Total resupply to date 1 container & 1 Pannier Basket.  Surgical operations 16.  Total Casualties for the day 223.  Enemy infantry approached to within 200 yds of MDS but left it alone.  Eventually cleared by tanks after remaining in full view for six hours.  Evening very quiet.  All tired personnel were able to have a good sleep.  Major I.C. GILLILAND assumed command on ADMS orders.


11th June 1944

Quiet day of minor actions.  Total 24 hr casualties 70.  Surgical operations 8.  Plasma & Plaster running low but restored from 16 CCS.  Proven abdominal ward established with No 1 in charge under supervision of MajorWatts.  Further 30 bottles of serum supplied from Beach [?] also Plaster, Tetanus & Gas Gangrene.  Two airborne panniers recovered in all.  Glucose [?] obtained for abdominal ward.


12th June 1944

Day began quietly with [?] of patients.  R.A.Ps visited and all well.  Some further blankets and stretchers all that was required.  Recced large stone farm house which would form ideal M.D.S.  Hitherto in enemy hands.  Assault on Breville began 2200.  Sudden flow of casualties at 2300.  Transport in great difficulties owing to columns moving from beaches.  CCP at Benouville overcrowded and all cases had to be evac. to 16 CCS on the beaches.  MAC never turned up.  Total till midnight 69 admissions, 6 operations.  D1 lorry arrived.


13th June 1944

Extremely busy in early hours of the morning, with increasing difficulty in clearance owing to road hold ups.  Some cases outside were straffed, but the red crosses could not be distinguished at night.  Situation eased considerably by midday.  Shelling continues desultory.  UXB in garden caused some dislocation of departments.  Straffing again in evening by planes carrying distinct British markings (Typhoons).  Remaining windows blown in by night bombing.  1 RASC casualty - [?] eye [?] up 24 hours (bomb).  Total 104 Surgical 4.


14th June 1944

Quiet morning.  Visited 16 CCS following up casualties.  Very complimentary about the state in which our casualties arrive.  MAC ambulance now stationed @ MDS & shuttle service established with C.C.P. at Benouville.  Quiet afternoon & evening.  Bath house established & water running.  Casualties admitted 28 Surgical Operations 2.  D+2 lorry burnt out in DMA Area (shelling).


15th June 1944

No casualties during night.  All personnel slept well.  One case of bilateral cutting of femoral arteries.  Whole blood was obtained from Blood [?] at 16 CCS, and remarkable improvement followed.  Visit from DDMS 1st Corps.  77 unit personnel had baths.  Reasonably quiet day.  Total admissions to midnight 48.  Operations performed 1.


16th June 1944

Frequent shelling in early hours of morning.  Both neighbouring houses direct hits but no MDS personnel involved.  1 case in theatre ceased respiration on cutting of [pectoral?] cavity.  Artificial respiration carried on for 1 hrs & combined with [?] of captured "[?]" was successful.  Surgical analysis made of 1st 81 operations, copy included.  Appendix A.  Blood whole obtained again & useful for [exsanguinated?] patient.  Glucose [?] also obtained for abdominal ward.  Total admissions 83.  Operations performed 3.


17th June 1944

[?] of 23 admitted 0300 and delivered in theatre at 0515 of fine full term male child.  No [?] and no complications.  Few admissions in the morning.  Quiet day generally.  Total admissions 31.  Surgical operations 1.  Visit from DDMS 2nd Army & 1st Corps & Brig Surgical consultant.


18th June 1944

Steady trickle of shell casualties all day.  1 section 174 FA arrived, & put in emergency [?].  5 ambulance MAC also arrived and laagered in wood opposite.  Sudden flow of casualties from battle at Salanelles in evening.  Total 92.  Surgical 5.  DDMS Airborne Forces arrived and stayed the night.


19th June 1944

All units in Brigade visited this area.  Arrangements satisfactory.  Flow [?] of casualties continues.  DDMS stayed night again.  Total Admissions:- 97 Surgical:- 5.


20th June 1944

Sporadic shelling continues.  No major engagement.  Total admissions 88 Surgical 7.


21st June 1944

Fairly quiet day for casualties.  Surgical ward set aside for exhausted cases of airborne units.  Visited 86 General Hospital to follow up.  Lot of mortar nearby at night but no direct hits & no casualties.  Admis. 42 Surgical NIL.


22nd June 1944

Quiet flow of casualties continues.  Little action during the day.  Total Admis: 37 Surgical 4.


23rd June 1944

Continual shelling of divisional area from early hours, but no casualties brought to this M.D.S.  Sanitary assistant [?] well on Brigade Area.  Unit concert held in evening in barn.  Great success.  Official address now BWEF.  Admissions 37 Surgical 4.


24th June 1944

Another quiet night, only one admission until dawn.  Day continued quiet until midnight.  Total admissions 25 Operations 3.


25th June 1944

Heavy shelling & mortaring of area from midnight until first light.  Noise made sleeping difficult for those off duty.  Type of casualty admitted noticeably [?].  Exhaustion ward remarkably quiet, all under heavy doses of [?](49).  Total 54 Surgical 2.


26th June 1944

Quiet from midnight to dawn.  Only two admissions until midmorning.  Visited 78 General Hospital to follow up cases.  Very helpful and complimentary.  Total for day 26 Surgical 1.


27th June 1944

Still quiet.  Worked out Exhaustion Figures.  Rates to date for cases in this MDS, D/L Troops 20/6%, Para Battalions 5.5%, Commando 4.0%.  Figures necessarily incomplete at the moment and do not include S.I. wounds.  Very quiet day.  Total 18 admission & 1 operation.


28th June 1944

Lull continues.  Increasing number of civilians seeking admission.  Total Admission 31 Operation 3.


29th June 1944

Still quiet.  Sudden [spate?] of serious cases in evening.  Exhaustion ward was empty.  Admissions 31.  Operations 3.


30th June 1944

Visited units.  Concert in evening.  More direct shellfire at night.  No casualties to own unit.  Admission 37 Operations 1.  Monthly figures from D+1 to 2359 30th.  Total Admissions 1687 Surgical 127.



Month and year : July 1944

Commanding Officer : I.C. Gilliland Lt/Col RAMC


1st July 1944

Place: France Ranville


Some direct shelling during the night.  Fragments entered rest room but no casualties.  Visit from DDMS.  F.F.I. completed on all ranks and no cases of [infectious disease?] found.  [? ?] very high.  More shelling at night.  Admission 39.  No surgical operations.


2nd July 1944

Quiet morning.  Service held in local churchyard in memory of RAMC Pte. WORGAN buried there.  Hourly return & suggestions sent to ADMS.  Section [?] erected and just to work on new cases outside Brigade.  Total 23 admissions and 1 Operation.


3rd July 1944

Day began very quietly.  Shelling again in afternoon which [brought?] down part of the garden wall but no casualties.  Total Admis 22 Operations 1.


4th July 1944

Quiet day again.  GOC's inspection, all satisfactory.  Shelling started again in late evening.  20 admitted and 1 operation.


5th July 1944

Most unpleasant early morning with shell fragments in two rooms, fortunately no casualties, but very many with plaster dust.  12 [? ?] close.  Only one casualty admitted by morning from the shelling.  Straffed by ME in evening.  Remainder of day very quiet.  16 admissions & no casualties req. surgery.


6th July 1944

Day started with near shellfire which continued sporadically all day.  32 admissions but no surgery.


7th July 1944

Some straffing in the morning no casualties.  Somewhat busier day with shell casualties.  44 Admissions & 1 operation.


8th July 1944

Unpleasantly close bombing to start the day.  Satisfactory follow up of cases at General Hospital.  Quietest day for a long time.  14 admissions.  2 operations.


9th July 1944

Busier & much noisier in early hours.  28 admissions & 1 operation.


10th July 1944

Day began quietly.  Service held in barn with improvised altar, covered with flowers on the mens own initiative.  Shelling & counter shelling postponed concert which was to be held.  Flow of casualties began 1800 to 2300 many serious.  Interesting to see how much better they were dealt with than the earlier flows.  Even stretcher bearers have become adept and at no time was there any hold up, in spite of very close shelling.  The 2000th case was admitted at 2305 hrs to end the flow of casualties.  86 admissions & 2 operations.  The night closed with the heaviest bombing and shelling for some time.


11th July 1944

Day began very noisily as shelling continued till 0700.  Several blackouts blown in with blast but no casualties.  Casualties were [?] severe, mainly shelling.  35 admissions.  NO operations.


12th July 1944

Day began with direct shelling in early hours of morning.  Two jeeps laagered behind MDS direct hit.  All remainder of Jeeps and M/Cs were unserviceable through shell fragments.  Ambulances of MAC only survivors, but work proceeding hopefully on remains.  Many shell fragments in building but no casualties.  Sandbagging proved most effective.  By evening 7 out of the Jeeps were serviceable & 2 replacements were obtained.  Quiet sufficient for present purposes.  Only 1 M/C out of 8 could be salvaged.  Types of casualty [? ? ? ?].  Total 37, 3 operations.


13th July 1944

Good quiet beginning to the day.  Nearly all personnel slept.  ADMS conference.  Continued quiet.  16 admissions & no surgery.


14th July 1944

Another fairly quiet day.  Low clouds & much more enemy air activity as a result, but without apparent resulting [casualties?].  Total 17 No surgery.


15th July 1944

Shelling in early hours.  Only two tyres & one radiator lost.  Day very quiet.  Visited R.M.O.  Admissions 17 & 1 operation.


16th July 1944

[?] up with new neighbouring units.  C in C parade in afternoon.  Quiet day.  12 admissions & no operations.


17th July 1944

A.D.M.S. conference A.M.  Day spent adding to sandbagging & digging further in.  Admissions 16 Operations 3.


18th July 1944

Day began with tremendous barrage & air activity.  I.O. confirmed route of evacuation by footbridge.  Another F.A. set up in field opposite, and we undertook to do Surgery for Priority 1.  Casualties from push began to come in at 1800 and by midnight 164 had been admitted of whom 7 required surgery.


19th July 1944

Casualties continued to flow during hours of darkness.  Enemy bombing attack left one very large crater 10 yards from house but no damage done apart from shutters.  Casualties noticeable severe, especially burns from tanks.  Evacuation held up several times by traffic jams on the road.  Day quietened with daylight and only occasional casualties arrived after that.  Total 136.  Surgical 8.


20th July 1944

Number of Armoured Div. Fd Amb now moved forward, so day continued quiet.  Heavy thunderstorms started in evening and continued all night.  Shell holes in the roof let water in and rear rooms are now unusable.  Admissions 30 but no surgery.


21st July 1944

Continual heavy rain [pouring?].  Thick heavy mud everywhere, all slit trenches but one flooded out.  Quiet day 34 adm 1 operation.


22nd July 1944

Rain continues.  Thick mud makes evacuation difficult.  Few cases were removed from nearby ambulance as they had deteriorated on the way back from the front, [?] so bad.  Total 25 & one operation.


23rd July 1944

Much less rain today.  Occasional sunny spells.  [Dust?] already starting.  Uneventful day.  Heavy bombing at night, one 10 yds from the house shook it to its foundations.  30 admissions & 1 operation.


24th July 1944

Day drying up.  Much activity during night causing most of the casualties.  30 & 1 surgical.


25th July 1944

Lively activity during dark, but quiet in daylight.  Good deal of local shelling at dusk, mainly responsible for 38 admissions & no operation.


26th July 1944

Again quiet, [?] at night.  Total of 16 admissions & 3 surgical.


27th July 1944

Shelling locally to start the day.  Considerable bombing in early dark hours, & flames.  Remainder of day very quiet.  15 total & 2 operations.


28th July 1944

Quietest day up to midday.  Cloudy but dry day.  Dugouts cleared of mud [?] and in action again.  17 admissions & 2 operations.


29th July 1944

Cloudy but still dry.  Somewhat busier day with increase in number of mortar wounds from the front.  Total of 28 admisns but no surgery.


30th July 1944

Few but severe mortar wounds in early hours.  Very quiet day.  Total 30 Surgical 1.


31st July 1944

Another quiet day.  All personnel well rested.  Lt/Col Anderson returned in evening.  Total admissions 17 Surgical NIL.

Admissions for month: 1068

Surgery for month: 49

Total cases through this MDS 2763.  Surgical 176.



Month and year : August 1944

Commanding Officer : W.M.E. Anderson Lt-Col RAMC


1st August 1944

Place: France


M.D.S. [France, Sheet 7 F/2 map. ref. 115735].  Fine sunny.  Quiet day.  Admission 40 operation Nil.  C.O. visited Bde HQ (131728) and Bn. R.A.Ps. - 52nd L.I. 130746, - RUR. 136736, - 12 Devon 137729.  ADMS 6 Airborne Div visited Unit in evening - quiet evening & night.


2nd August 1944

Fine dull.  Quiet day.  CO visited Bde HQ & ADMS in morning.  Admissions 27 Operation - 1.  In afternoon CO visited 12 Devon RAP & Bn HQ and RAP P Bn HQ 45 (RM) Commando (138727).  Quiet in afternoon, evening and night.


3rd August 1944

Fine, sunny.  Quiet day.  Admissions - 37 Operations - 1.  C.O. visited Bde. H.Q in afternoon.  Sharp enemy mortar attack on 12 Devon (LE MESNIL area) about 1900 hrs.  Quiet evening and night (excepting own Arty activity).


4th August 1944

Fine, sunny.  Quiet day.  Some anti-mosquito [?] work taken in hand in Unit area.  C.O. visited RAPs 52nd LI, RUR, 12 Devon & Airborne Armd. Recce Regt in morning.  A.A.Q.M.G. and S.C.F. (6 Airborne Div) visit Unit in afternoon.  Admissions 25.  Operation - 1.  Quiet evening and night.


5th August 1944

Fine sunny.  Quiet day.  Admission - 20.  Operation - 1.  Anti-mosquito work continued.  C.O. visited RAP Bn R.A.S.C. in morning, Bde H.Q. and A.D.M.S. in afternoon.  Quiet evening.  Some Arty activity on both sides at night.


6th August 1944

Fine, dull.  Quiet day.  Church parade in afternoon by Senior Chaplain.  C.O. attended Conference at ADMS office at 1730 hours.  Admissions 21.  Operations Nil.  Quiet evening and night.


7th August 1944

Fine sunny.  Quiet day.  Admissions 29.  Operations - Nil.  Officers Conference in morning.  C.O. visited Bn. HQ in evening.  Intense R.A.F. bomber activity at night.


8th August 1944

Fine.  Sunny.  Enemy activity (chiefly mortaring) in LE MESNIL area in early morning.  Pte. MORRIS D.J. killed and two ORs of this Unit wounded.  Admissions - 46 Operations - 2.  C.O. attended conference at ADMS office 1800 hrs and recce AMFREVILLE area.  Locally a quiet day.


9th August 1944

Fine sunny.  Move of unit commencing at 0900 hrs to ECARDE 122745.  Move completed by 1200 hrs.  Admissions 29 Operations - NIL.  C.O. & Capt West on Recce - area LE PLEIN in afternoon.  CO visited Bde HQ in evening.  Lt MAY attached Unit.  Quiet day.


10th August 1944

Fine sunny.  C.O. to Bde HQ for conference (0900 hrs) with Staff Captain Netherlands Gp.  Visit to Unit by Major BUERDEN and Capt SCHACT, Nederlands Army Medical Services, with C.O. on Recce of area AMFREVILLE and BREVILLE, and on visit to A.D.M.S.  Quiet day.  Admissions 12 Operation NIL.  C.O. visited Bde H.Q. 2130 hrs.


11th August 1944

Fine Sunny.  C.O. visited Bde HQ 0930 hrs.  Recce area in rear of CHATEAU DE CAUMONT with Major BUERDEN and Capt SCHACT to arrange evacuation arrangements for Nederlands Gp. sector of the Line.  C.O. visited Bn HQ 2000 hrs & Belgian Med H.Q.  Bde HQ 2100 hrs.  Operation instruction No 3 (Operation PADDLE) issued.  Less quiet day.  Intermittent shelling of locality.  Admissions 26 Operations Nil.  2 O.Rs arrived from UK by air.


12th August 1944

Fine sunny.  Admissions 25 Operations Nil.  C.O. visited ADMS 1045 hrs & HQ 1 Belgian Gp 1230 hrs.  Recce area SALERNELLES with SMO 1 Belgian Gp 1400 hrs.  Visited Bde HQ 1600 hrs & area R. Netherlands Gp to check cas. evac arrangements.  [?] to ADMS arrangements [?].  Quiet evening.  Some arty activity (distant) at night.


13th August 1944

Hot day.  Admissions 24 Operations Nil.  Voluntary Church parade by Senior Chaplain in Holden Tent 1000 hrs.  1100 hrs G.O.C. Conference all COs of Div.  1200 hrs. C.O. visited Netherlands tps. made recommendation re hygiene arrangements.  1400 hrs CO visited 3 Coys of Belgian Gp in HAUGER / SALERNELLES area.  ADMS visited Unit in evening.  Quiet night.


14th August 1944

Fine day, dull at times.  Admissions 15 Operations 2.  1130 hrs C.O. visited 2 & 3 Coys Belgian Gp supplied with 2 wheel [?] Airborne.  1230 hrs visited Royal Netherlands Gp.  1600 hrs visited Bde HQ.  1900 hrs visited Belgian Fd Amb.  Some activity - arty & bombing both sides during night.


15th August 1944

Hot day.  Thunderstorm about 2000 hrs.  Admissions 22 Operations Nil.  ADMS Conference 1100 hrs.  C.O. visited Bde H.Q. & Netherlands Group 1900 hrs.  Quiet evening.


16th August 1944

Place: France (Ecarde)


Warm day.  C.O. visited Dutch 2nd Echelon, Dutch Forward Area & Belgian HQ area (Hauger).  Warning PADDLE received 2130 hrs.  No 2 Section (Capt West) despatched to 52 L.I. RAP (LE MESNIL) No 3 Section (Capt SHAW) to 12 Devon RAP (BREVILLE) departed 2230 hrs.  Remainder of Unit Confined to Camp.  Admissions 41 Operations Nil.


17th August 1944

Place: France (Ecarde)


Fine, dull.  C.O. visited Bde HQ 0800 hrs, RAP Oxf Bucks & 12 Devon & Belgian Fd. Amb.  Move to Chateau de Nuxin commenced 0900 - open for pts 1030 hrs: move completed 1100 hrs.  No 2 Section moved to 2 Oxf Bucks area LE MESNIL - X rds 164747 GONNEVILLE - MERVILLE.  A.D.S. opened 156779 at 1900 hrs.  Rec'd 8 cas during day (chiefly from shelling).  No 3 Section changed to att 1 RUR at 1300 hrs. moved area BREVILLE - LONGUEMARE - MERVILLE, X rds 170792 & East.  C.O. visited Bde HQ, 1830 hrs & thence on to HQ 1 SS Bde (BAVENT), RAP 2 OXF BUCKS & ADS.  8 cas of G[? ?] admitted in early morning from Royal Netherlands Gp.  Admissions 34 Operations 2.  Quiet night at M.D.S.


18th August 1944

Place: Le Plein (133755)


Fine sunny.  0730 C.O. visited Bde HQ (same site).  NO change in dispositions.  0930 C.O. visited ADS GONNEVILLE and recce'd rd. 170[79?]2 - CABOURG.  Road cratered as a result of enemy demolition at three points.  Evacuation arranged by BB relays between craters & hand carriage across craters with car post at 173792.  Worked satis.  Situation reports to ADMS 1230 hrs.  1600 hrs visited MO i/c R. Netherlands Gp HQ., Bde HQ, RAP 2nd Oxf Bucks (SONNEVILLE) & ADS MERVILLE.  Evacuation route arranged via rd [?] 152785 - SALERNELLES - LE PLEIN and 1 2 [?] Amb 4x4 laagered up to M.D.S.  Visited No 3 Section ADS 185792.  Craters now all by-passed & evacuation direct to MERVILLE ADS possible.  Car Post closed.  Quiet evening & night in [?].  Admissions 49 Operations 2.


19th August 1944

Fine morning later showery.


0845 - C.O. visited A.D.M.S. - conference on personnel.


1100 - CO visited ADS (MERVILLE) & No 3 Section.  Road now open for BB traffic & Section (less 1 Cpl & 4 Ptes att MO RUR) withdrawn to HQ.


1500 - Visit to Unit by Capt GOL M.O. i/c Belgian Arty Sp & Lt Col Young 224 Para Fd Amb.


1530 - C.O. visited Bde H.Q. & Belgian Fd Amb.


1600 - Report rendered Bde HQ ([? ?]) on (1) louse infestation [?] Belgian [?] (2) Necessity of providing a str. carrying veh for MO i/c Belgian Arty Sp.


1730 - C.O. visited Bde Commander at Bde H.Q.


2045 - Order rec'd for SB party to join 1 SS Bde for night attack (Capt Prentice & 20 ORs).


2130 - Party departed, guided by CO & Capt Insley, by [?] to Bde Rear HQ (BAVENT) & on to BREQUEVILLE.  Thence by march route to Bde H.Q. arr 2230 hrs.  Agreed with Bde Commander disposition of 1 S/Sgt & 5 Ptes to 4 Commando, remainder with 45 Commando.  Task evacuation by hand carrying from RAP's to Car Post (225) at 235719.  C.O. & Capt Insley returned to Unit HQ.  [?] quiet evening.  Admissions 32.  Opers nil.


20th August 1944

Fine sunny.  1030. C.O. HQ thence to ADMS at Adv. Div. HQ (1969), on to HQ, SS Bde (212725).  Capt Prentice's party reported intact but temporarily cut off on hill area 2574.  1430 hrs information rec'd Bde moving to area North of ST. RICHER 2070 (area).  ADS at MERVILLE closed and section withdrawn to Unit H.Q.  Holding party established in CHATEAU DE BAVENT 163732.  1830 C.O. visited Bde H.Q. near [own?] H.Q. & H.Q. 1 SS Bde - report [?] arrangement made by 1 SS Bde to evacuate cas. by BBs [? ?] to 225 Fd Amb C.C.P. 231710.  Report rec'd from MO i/c 1 RUR of commendable action by 4 members of Unit in rescuing 4 Belgian tps from burning carriers on Cabourg road (area 1879).  Quiet evening and night.  Admissions 22 Operations nil.


21st August 1944

Wet.  1030 hrs C.O. visited Belgian Fd. Amb. & H.Q. Netherlands Group to arrange evac of Dutch cas.  1200 hrs order rec'd for Unit to move.  MDS closed.  1400 move to TROARN.  1600 hrs move cancelled - return to ADMS. - Unit ordered to remain closed and on wheels.  1800 C.O. visited Div. H.Q. and HQ 1 SS Bde (Informed by BM that Capt Prentice and party led carried out duties satis).  2000 hrs Capt Prentice returned.  Quiet evening.  Admissions 2 Operations nil.


22nd August 1944

Place: Troarn 1662)


0900 hrs Conference at ADMS office ordered to move forward.  CO & Capt West on recce - Unit moved up and opened MDS at Chateau de Villers 312813.  Enemy withdrawing East very fast.  1700 C.O. visited Bde HQ (LE MANOIR 4105) & Div. HQ (3074).  2100 hrs Belgian LFA area S of Villers-sur-Mer.  Quiet evening.  Admissions 23 Operations 2.


23rd August 1944

Place: Chateau de Viliers 312813


Fine.  1000 hrs C.O. to Bde H.Q. & on to ADS at [? ? ?] Hospital 448118.  R.U.R. moving South to area COUR CAIREL AU CERE 4608 & Section moved to area GLATIGNY to cover cas from patrols across river.  Section withdrawn 2000 hrs.  Quiet night wet.  Admissions 36 Operations nil.


24th August 1944

Place: Chateau de Viliers 312813


Wet.  Instructions from Bde of move across river.  Det with Capt Shaw & Capt Prentice on foot over river with RUR & Oxf Bucks.  Standby order rec'd for Capt West & party of 20 of 30 mins.  C.O. visited Bn. H.Q. 1230 hrs.  M.D.S. closed 1800 hrs. evacuation [?] to Belgian Fd. Amb.  CO & Capt West recce party.  Marching party (Major Gilliland) dep 1900 hrs via TOUQUES.  Tpt via PONTDAVEQUE.  MDS opened 2100 hrs ST. GATIEN 524108.  Tpt arr 2305 hrs.  C.O. visited H.Q. 6 Bde, HQ 3 Bde, R.A.P. R.U.R. Cand Pr Bn 8 Bn.  Admissions 13 Operations 1.


25th August 1944

Place: St. Gatien


Fine.  0900 hrs C.O. visited 6 Bde HQ, [?] to move B Tpt from Chateau de Villiers.  Visited Belgian [?] & closed.


1130 - C.O. visited ADMS.  Orders to clear cas of 6 Bde & rec cas of 4 SS Bde.


1230 - Visited M.D.S. of 225(& 20 FDS at CORDIERS 4900).


1300 - Search unsuccessful for HQ 4 SS Bde on rd to BEUZEVILLE 6409.


1430 - Reported to ADMS.  Est 4 SS Bde proceeded East.


1500 - Capt. Shaw sent out to locate 12 Devons.  Capt Prentice to locate 52nd Capt West to locate Bde HQ.


1600 - Capt Shaw reported 12 Devon RAP at HONFLEUR.  Amb car despatched for attachment to 12 Devon.


1630 - Capt West reported Bde TAC [?] at le PLESSIS (5912).  Oxf Bucks [?] at MALHORTIE (6112) RUR at PRETEVILLE (5713) 1 Amb Car despatched 52nd.


1800 - Capt Shaw - 8 ORs & two str. carrying BBs despatched to 52nd R.A.P. to assist in evacuation & go forward with RAP RUR.


1900 - C.O. visited RAP 12 Devons (HONFLEUR) Belgian ADS (5415).


1740 - C.O. visited R.A.P. RUR & 52nd.  Day fine.  Evening quiet.  Admissions 36 Operations 1.


26th August 1944

Place: St. Gatien


0700 - C.O. visited TAC Bde 597125 & RAP RUR.


0900 - Capt West despatched to post 1 Amb Car to 52nd.  Capt Shaw gone forward with RUR RAP with two str. carrying Jeeps & 1 Amb. Car.


1030 - CO and Major Watts visited [? ?] HONFLEUR, to ascertain collection of 7 killed Tps (3 Br & 4 Belgian).


1100 - C.O. & Major Watts visited Belgian Fd Amb.


1200 - CO visited Bde HQ.  Notification received that Bns across River.  La MORETTE & conc. 1 RUR in BERVILLE, 12 Devons in CONTEVILLE, 2 RUR in LA FONTAINE/FOULBEC.


1300 - C.O. visited ADMS, application made for permission to move...


1630 - ...Unit move commenced to 645179.  Capt West recce party.


1900 - Move complete.  Major Millar & Surgical team despatched to 224 (Para) Fd Ambulance.  C.O. visited RAPs all Bns & Bde HQ.  ( - a fine day.  Admissions 13 Operations 2.)


2200 - Major Watts reported condition of det left at ST GATIEN to warrant presence of an M.O.  Capt Prentice despatched to remain with 1 NCO & 2 Ptes - [P 1?] died at 2315 hrs.


27th August 1944

Day fine.  G.O.Cs orders to be spent as rest day.  Make and mend for men.  During morning C.O. visited Div HQ, Bde HQ and RAPs of 3 Bns.  In afternoon visited HQ Belgian Gp, Belgian Lt. Fd. Amb and 1 Company.  Admissions 8 Operations 1.


28th August 1944

Day fine.  Still under resting condition, clean up of equipment.  Admissions 5 Operations 2.


29th August 1944

Fine.  C.O. to ADMS conf. 1200 hrs (Div. HQ St Martin de [Chalirain?]) & 2 i/c to conf. at Bde HQ.  Orders rec'd to prepare for return to U.K.  Officers conf 1500 hrs.  Second ADMS conf 1800 hrs.  Further instructions re disposal of equipment & vehs.  Order rec'd (1830 hrs) to close MDS.  Admissions 2.


30th August 1944

Dull.  0800 first batch of stores handed in to ADOS.  Tpt other than 1 3 tonner returned to CRASC.  Personnel att'd 224, 225 returned to Unit.  80 Unit personnel att'd ENSA show in HONFLEUR.


31st August 1944

Dull.  ADMS conference Div HQ 1000 hrs.  Bde HQ Conf 1115 hrs.  Orders for move on 1 & 2 Sept.  Day devoted to packing.



Month and year : September 1944

Commanding Officer : W.M.E. Anderson Lt-Col RAMC


1st September 1944

Place: France


Move to No 60 Transit Camp AROMANCHES.  Prolonged delay at R.V. owing to non arrival of tpt.  Route - TROARN - ESCOVILLE - PEGASUS BRIDGE.  Day fine.  Veh party [?] 1 off & 25.


2nd September 1944

Wet windy. at transit camp.  Weather too stormy for embarkation.


3rd September 1944

Fine.  Unit marching party embarked SS. EMPIRE BENBOW 1100 hrs.


4th September 1944

Dull wet.  Unit disembarked at SOUTHAMPTON 1500 hrs & proceeded by tpt to BULFORD.


5th September 1944

Place: Bulford


Fine.  Day devoted to re-equipment & issue of kit.  Officers Conference 1400 hrs.  C.O. [imparted?] this and addressed Unit 1500 hrs.


6th September 1944

Fine ([frosty?] night).  Further issues of kit.


7th September 1944

Fine.  Unit, less essential personnel departed on "block" leave (10 days - subsequently extended to 14).



Appendix [June]





Orig No.

G.57.    Ref. your M. 76 of 151220B.




Region Involved

Gunshot (Rifle or MG)


Mortar Bomb




Aerial Bomb






















Arterial Haemorrhage
























Compound fracture of femur








Other Compound fractures








Chest wounds








Head wounds
















Flesh wounds


















Appendix A


195 Airlanding Field Ambulance



Unit arrived by glider at 2110 hours on 6th June, formed up at rendezvous and proceeded to location of 225 Para. Field Ambulance where unit bivouacked for the night.  Next morning unit opened up in a large house, Map. ref: Sheet 7F 115735, and started receiving casualties at 1130 hours.  Two theatres were opened and 15 operations performed.  On the 8th June large numbers of casualties continued to arrive and during the morning evacuation to the beaches was opened and the congestion at the M.D.S. was heavily mortared, a case in the theatre receiving a bellyful of debris; an emergency theatre in a small cellar was opened and this slowed operation times as the manhandling of cases in and out was more difficult; 15 operations performed.


9th June.  Evacuation to Beach was now proceeding more smoothly and teams worked for 8-hour shifts: ten operations performed.


10th June.  19 operations performed.  Evacuation to the General Hospitals was taking about 30 minutes and it was not considered justifiable to do more than absolutely urgent surgery; as the post-operative care of abdominal cases presents difficulties in a Field Ambulance these were evacuated after resuscitation and before operation whenever possible.  Surgery was confined to the removal of mangled limbs and the control of haemorrhage; excision and Tobruk splintage was carried out on all fractured femurs as this is rapidly performed and patients then need no further dressing or surgical care for a considerable time.  Both myself and Major Miller visited the General Hospitals later in the month and condition of these patients was favourable commented on.


For the rest of the month conditions continued as above, operations performed averaged 3.5 per day: records of the operations performed is attached at Appendix "B".  Particulars of all deaths occurring in the surgical department are given in Appendix "A".  Lists of cases treated with penicillin is given in Appendix "C".


Notes on Personnel and Equipment

The present arrangement for anaesthetists is unsatisfactory, since the type of case dealt with calls for a higher degree of skill than can be expected from a medical or dental officer who has undergone a short course in anaesthesia.  Apart from this the surgical personnel is adequate, the men, though inexperienced in Field Surgery worked extremely well, reflecting credit on Major N.A. Miller, R.A.M.C., who had carried out their training.


Gas and oxygen apparatus should be made available at the earliest opportunity, either by aerial resupply or by the sea at this is most necessary in dealing with badly shocked cases.


An abdominal sucker was improvised by Capt. J.A. Insley, R.A.S.C., from a motor foot pump and parts of a resuscitation apparatus; this improvisation was extremely valuable and it is suggested that some form of sucker be included in the equipment.


Heating arrangements for sterilisers, as usual, were a source of great trouble and elay.  The Primus Stove, whilst light and simple and capable of rapidly heating water is unsatisfactory for a continuous slow heat.  It is submitted that a more satisfactory type of stove be supplied.


The electric lighting set which was sent by sea failed to arrive necessitating the use of Tilley Lamps which are not altogether satisfactory.



The value of the extremely efficient resuscitation services provided by Capt. J.D. Fisher, R.A.M.C., and his staff cannot be too highly stressed; supplies of plasma brought by air were just adequate and the blood from the F.D.U. was available from D-plus-3 onwards.


Abdominal Ward.

An abdominal ward, adequately staffed, where these cases can be segregated away from the continual bustle of the post-operative ward was instituted and proved of great value; wooden beds and palliasses were improvised.



Major R.A.M.C.,

Senior Surgeon 195 A/L Fld. Amb.

21st July 44.



Appendix "B"



Mortar Bomb


Gun Shot











Shrapnel Wounds
















Compound fracutres of femurs








Other compound fractures








Flesh wounds, including arterial haemorrhage








Head wounds








Chest wounds








Penetrating wounds of joints








Facio-maximillary cases
















Miscellaneous cases (++) burns & conditions other than battle accidents and casualties: 12

                            TOTAL: 139


Note: (++) Includes 1 normal delivery.








I.  Unit remained in Le Mariquet (France Sheet 7/F2 map ref. 115735) for the month, and continued to act as an evacuating Field Ambulance, two C.C.S's and two General Hospitals being about 5 miles away.


As a consequence, there was little operative surgery except on 18th and 19th, when on instructions of D.D.M.S. 1st Corps limb surgery up to capacity was done, and a second theatre was opened for the purpose.  Apart from this short spell operative surgery was only performed on cases which could not satisfactorily be evacuated without treatment.


II.  Tabulated record of operations performed is attached as Appendix II.


III.  Brief notes on deaths occurring during the month are attached in Appendix I.


IV.  39 cases received penicillin but none were kept long enough for any observation of value to be noted.


V.  Personnel remained unchanged, on N.O.III of the theatre staff was evacuated with a bomb splinter wound of finger.


EQUIPMENT.  Several pairs of artery forceps are already showing signs of wear or are unserviceable, otherwise no further comments on previous report.  Electric Theatre lighting and electric fan ventilation have been installed, the components made from unserviceable and captured equipment by Capt. J.A. Insley, RASC the transport officer.


(J.C. WATTS) Major R.A.M.C.