Published By Ben Hillidge
Poelcapelle. 56 Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps. 19-22 October 1917.
Field Ambulances were mobile units attached to divisions and brigades and, along with Casualty Clearing Stations, were situated behind the line treating battlefield casualties typically brought in by stretcher bearers or ‘walking wounded’. As such they were made up of first aiders, stretcher bearers and doctors. Depending on the severity of the casualty treatment would be performed at the ambulances or they would be sent back to the base hospitals.
They were based around Poelcapelle village with the Advanced Dressing Station at Essex Farm. On 19 October their ADS was moved to Minty Farm with other sections at Gwala Farm and Irish Farm, a sub section was also sent to Rudolph Farm where there were increasing numbers of local casualties. The regimental Aid Post was also relocated via Pheasant Farm moving along duckboards and avoiding the exposed Poelcapelle road in the vicinity of the Tanks
With the number of wounded coming in the organisation was rearranged..
Casualties for the 4 days – 19-22 October – were 10 wounded 7 of which were due to gas, and 5 KIA.
There were about 55 stretcher bearers operating daily tours in the forward area and bringing wounded in to the aid posts. On the 20 October the 53 Brigade attacked at dawn – Passchendeale .
Casuaties processed 74 lying, 310 sitting
References and Sources WAR DIARY 56 Field Ambulance RAMC
B&O 1917. Third Ypres. Poelcapelle. 56 Field Ambulance, RAMC. 19-22 Oct 1917.