December 1915 - Second Week at War

 

2nd Week at War - 11th - 17th December 1915

Saturday 11th December was again wet and miserable but the men did at least receive their 1st pay while on active service in France. 48563 Pte Ieuan Phillips received 10 Francs but was unhappy as he had no cigarettes!

On the 12th December, the Unit received instructions to open a hospital and a suitable site was found a few kilometres to the east in the village of Rincq (Map 2 letter D). A Section with Capt A J Andrews in command were detailed to clean and establish the hospital and by 6 pm it was ready to receive patients. On the following day, the tent sub-division of A Section were sent to the hospital for duty with the remainder of the Unit going on a route march or doing fatigues. Tuesday the 14th December saw the men of the Unit continuing with fatigue duties, including laying roads for the motor ambulances at both the Headquarters (Glomengham) and at the Hospital (Rincq) and this work continued on through the following day.

Lieut Elliott was sent on the 16th December to take on the duties of Lieut Pennant (M.O. 13th Welsh) who had been sent to hospital. Instructions were received for A Section to proceed to the 9th Field Ambulance for instructional purposes. This was common practice and companies/sections of all the Units of the 38th (Welsh) division were attached in rotation to equivalent Units of the more experienced and battle hardened divisions of the XI Corps to gain experience. B Section took over the Hospital, taking over from A Section who departed for Estaires by motor bus at 1.30pm under the command of the O.C. Lt Col Davies. Captain Andrew and Lieut Buckley were the other two officers of A Section.

Estaires in 1914

The acting O.C. of the 9th Field Ambulance was Captain Fraser and the Unit had its headquarters in Estaires, an Advanced Dressing Station (A.D.S.) at Laventie and an Aid Post at Red House. Groups of 12 men under the command of an Officer were attached to the A.D.S. in rotation while the remainder of A Section were attached to their corresponding departments of the 9th Field Ambulance.

The official War Diary of the Unit state there was 'nothing to report' on Friday 17th December but 48563 Pte Ieuan Phillips who, as part of B Section was manning the Hospital at Rincq, appeared pleased to report that he had roast meat for dinner.