February 1916 - Twelfth Week at War


12th Week at War - 19th - 25th February - Mesplaux Farm

The bridge between Mesplaux and Locon in 2015

On Saturday 19th, Capt Ffoulkes with 12 other ranks left at 08.30 am to take over the A.D.S. at Marais and on the following day, a further party of men left for the A.D.S. at Marais and later in the day, Lt/Col Davies visited both the A.D.S. at Marais and the Aid Post at Festubert (Map 3. C) situated in an estaminet, which was being heavily shelled at the time. Also on Sunday 20th, Lt Col Walton, Officer Commanding the 107th Field Ambulance, arrived with 3 officer and 55 other ranks who were attached to the Unit for instructional purposes. In just a few short months, the 130th (St John) Field Ambulance had gone from trainee to trainer!

On Monday the 21st, General Pike DMS inspected the Unit, the Hospital at Mesplaux Farm, and the Advanced Dressing Stations and congratulated Lt Col Davies stating that; "He had known this farm for a good many months and it had always appeared to him to be a hopeless place to convert into a Field Hospital but he could now state it was now one of the best, if not the best kept Field Ambulance in the 1st Army." High praise indeed and a testament to Lt Col Davies being a stickler for things being done properly and to the hard work of the men of the Unit.

The following morning there was a heavy fall of snow and the weather continued to be very cold with intermittent snow falls into Wednesday when the Unit received further praise from both Col T J Morgan A.D.M.S. 38th (Welsh) Division as well as from Major General Ivor Phillips, the Commander of the 38th (Welsh) Division who wrote. "Will you please convey to all the Officers, NCOs and men of the three Field Ambulances and of the Sanitary Section and Bacteriological Laboratory my congratulations. I have watched their work since they have been in France with much interest and have noted their steady progress. I hope this satisfactory report will be an incentive to all ranks for further effort so that the Field Ambulances of the 38th Division may eventually be held as second to none in the Army."

On Friday 25th, the Unit was visited by a number of Staff Officers accompanying a group of American journalists.