December 1915 - Third Week at War

 

3rd Week at War - 18th - 24th December 1915 - Calonne

The stretcher bearers of the Unit underwent a Gas test on the 18th and that evening orders were received from the A.D.M.S. to send forward on the following day, a party consisting of 1 Medical Officer and 12 men to take over the Field Hospital at Calonne which was the centre of the 38th (Welsh) Division rest area at the time.

Map 3

 

 A section of Map sheet 36A edition 6 (1916) showing the location of the Unit in Mid to late December 1915 - scale - each numbered square is 1000 yards square. 

On the 19th December, Lieut Elliott returned from duty with the 13th Welsh. Capt Ffoulkes led the advanced party which included 48563 Pte Ieuan Phillips, which left Rincq by car and arrived at Calonne via Merville at 6.30pm to prepare to take over the Hospital.

Calonne sur la Lys pre war

The Unit marched out of Glomenghem at 7.30am on the 20th December and arrived at Calonne by 2.30pm, their journey being delayed by the 113rd Brigade who had taken the wrong road and so blocked the path of the 130th (St John) Field Ambulance. The wagons had to be left on the road as no wagon park had been arranged for them at Calonne. The Unit received 31 patients into the hospital on the day they took it over. The Hospital was established in the village schoolroom and Capt Ffoulkes and Capt Anderson had rooms in the schoolmaster's house. The whole village was described by Capt Ffoulkes as being very dirty and the roads to be in a hopeless state. Troops and transport passed through the village continuously almost all day. Calonne was very much closer to the front line and the sound of shell fire could clearly be heard at the hospital. Over the next few days the hospital was gradually put in order, billets were found for the men and standing and a park was obtained for the horses and transport of the Unit.

On Christmas Eve, A Section returned to Calonne and so the whole Unit was together for their first Christmas at war.