Title Extract from History Of 149 (Northumbrian) Field Ambulance From June 1943 - Jan 1945
Description 149 Field Amb.: extract from unit history, 1943 June - 1945 Jan.
Source UK_National_Archive Reference WO 223/35

EXTRACT FROM HISTORY OF 149 (NORTHUMBRIAN FIELD AMBULANCE FROM JUNE 1943 to JAN 1945

At this stage it might be explained that during the planning stage it had been decided that those methods of working which had been tried and proved in the past would be continued, despite the new W.E. This meant that each Field Ambulance would keep a Company under Brigade control forward to set up a dressing station on a Brigade level, whilst the remainder of each unit would remain under Divisional control and open dressing stations on a Divisional level. On the old establishment the former was called an Advance Dressing Station and the latter a Main Dressing Station. Now, to conform to the now nomenclature, the former was called a C.C.P. and the latter an A.D.S.

On June 6th 1944, the Allies landed on the coast of Normandy, 149 (N) Field Ambulance landing under command of 151 (Durham) Inf Bde on the beaches near LE HAMEL.

The 'D' Day party consisted of 7 Officers and 72 Other Ranks including RAMC, RASC and ACC personnel. The vehicles, mainly stretcher carrying Jeeps and Ambulance cars, totalled ten. As far as the unit was concerned, the landing Was successfully accomplished with scarcely any losses. One man was wounded, but not very seriously and one Jeep whilst wading ashore fell into an under water bomb-crater and was 'drowned'. It was recovered later and repaired. Casualties in the Brigade were also comparatively light and were all dealt with by the Sections with the Battalions. The Sections were with the Bns during the move onto the final objectives, which were not reached until the morning of June 7th. However, the Ambulance cars and Jeeps had joined the Sections and evacuation, firstly to the Beach EDS and later to 186 ADS was carried out by transport. On arrival at the final objectives SE of BAYEUX it was found that a building provisionally chosen from aerial photographs was quite suitable for a full company CCP. The Sections were, therefore, withdrawn from Bns. , the Company reformed and a Brigade CCP established in a factory at DAMIGNY (Sheet 7F/1 M.R. T 821764). In order to obtain all round protection the CCP was sited in the middle of the Brigade area. The wisdom of this was shown when, during the course of a recce. of neighbouring buildings a Staff-Sergeant, a Sergeant and a Corporal walked, in that order, into a building occupied by about twenty Germans. The obvious amusement of the Corporal caused an English-speaking German to enquire the reason for this merriment. It was explained that the captors were, in effect, captives, since the whole area has occupied by British troops. The enemy, believing the truth of this statement left their prisoners and attempted to escape themselves. However, they were effectively dealt with by the 8/DLI whilst our NCOs returned to the Company.

During this period casualties were occurring in moderate numbers and were being evacuated without untoward difficulty.

Conditions remained unchanged until D + 3, June 9th, though in the meanwhile our ADS party had landed and concentrated at 186 Fd Amb ADS near VER-sur-MER. On June 9th our ADS moved up to DAMIGNY to take over the CCP whilst 'B' Coy., in accordance with a divisional order were placed under command of 7 Armd Div. They moved to a site near JERUSALEM Cross Roads (MR T 822722) and opened a CCP for the Armd Div. evacuating patients through the 149‘ ADS at DAMIGNY. After about 48 hours, the Durham Bde moved up to take over from the armour, and 'B' Coy reverted to command. It therefore stayed in situ as 151 Bde CCP and the ADS also remained in position. By 14th June the Brigade with a Bn of 56 Bde under command was heavily involved in the TILLY-sur-SEULES-LINGEVRES Sector and was expected

to advance/


(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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