The following 6 photographs of the 130th (St John) Field Ambulance were kindly sent to me by Pamela Willis of the Museum of the Order of St John in London. They were taken in mid to late April 1915 while the unit was in training in North Wales. Note that the men appear to be wearing the square belt buckle of the St John Ambulance Association.
The only photograph in which the names of any of the Officers and men are identified is the first photograph depicting the Officers and Sergeants (also on the home page). Front left to right seated in the front row are Lt P. S. Thompson (Q.M.) (second on the left), next Maj W. Bickerton Edwards, Lt Col J. E. H. Davies, Capt A. W. Anderson and Sgt Maj W. Stroud (third from the right). The dog was named Ginger! We have also been able to identify a number of the other NCO's in the photograph. Sitting to Sgt Maj W Stround's left is Sgt Evan Thomas Owen from Bedlinog who didn't go to France with the Unit as he was commissioned into the Lincolnshire Regiment on the 1st January 1916. Standing, second from the left is 48135 Sgt Clifford Jarman and standing, third from the right is 48070 QM Sgt George Henry Osbourne who did not go to France with the Unit. We know from the diary of 48128 Sgt Francis B Sumption that neither he or 48064 Sgt Lawrence W Williams are in the photograph. Sumption was away at Rhyl acting as a dispenser for the infantry units there and Williams was on leave in Cardiff during which he became engaged. If you are able to identify any of the other men in any of these photographs, I would be delighted to hear from you.
About 70 of the men do not appear to have cap badges and I suspect that many of these are newer recruits. Each Field Ambulance had about 45 A.S.C. men attached as drivers, cooks etc but most of these attached men did not join the Unit until later in the year.
The 130th (St John) Field Ambulance Football Team 1917-18 season - by kind permission of Eleanor - Granddaughter of 48192 Sgt Ernest Sweeting M.M.
Seated wearing military uniform (are from left to right), 48579 A/Sgt Maj Griffith Davies, the OC, Lt Col J.E.H. Davies, then possibly Maj Carter and on the far right, 48192 Sgt Ernest Sweeting M.M.
The 130th (St John) Field Ambulance Rugby Squad 1918-19 season - reproduced here by kind permission of The Hospitaller's Club of Wales
The 130th (St John) Field Ambulance Rugby Team 1917-1918 Season
The above photograph is by kind permission of Phillip Groves, Grandson of 48119 Pte George Groves. The photograph was probably taken in February/March 1918. We have identified the numbered offices and men in the photograph as: 1. 48551 Pte Percy Hembry, 2. 48563 Pte Ieuan Phillips M.M., 3. 48098 Pte William Coleman M.M., 4. Capt John Burke, 5. Lt Col J E H Davies, 6. Maj Thomas Moravian Carter, 7. 48579 Sgt Maj Griffith T Davies D.C.M., 8. 48597 Bugler Frank Ward, 9. 48559 L/Cpl Trevor Nicholas M.M., 10. 48124 Sgt Thomas G Hopkins M.M., 11. 48137 Pte Andrew Jenkins, 12 48089 Pte Alfred Ernest Burgess, and 13. 48162 L/Cpl Samuel Maxworthy.
If anyone can identify any of the other men in the photograph, we would be delighted to hear from them.
The photograph below is by kind permission of Carol Princic, Grand Daughter of 48098 Pte William Coleman M.M.
48098 Pte William Coleman M.M. is standing, back row far left and 48554 Pte George H Jickells is standing, back row far right. The Sergeant, sitting, middle row far left may well be 48072 Sgt John Reeves Davies, 48551 Pte Percy Hembry is seated middle row centre and on the far right of the middle row is 48128 Sgt Francis B Sumption.
If anyone can identify any of the other men in any of these photographs, please do be in contact.
130th (St John) Field Ambulance Group Photographs
If anyone can identify any of the men in these photographs of the 130th (St John) Field Ambulance or has any other photographs of the Unit that they would be willing to share with me, I would be delighted to hear from them.
The image above is by kind permission of Philip Groves - Grandson of 48119 Pte George Groves (arrowed)
The photograph above is by kind permission of Eleanor, Granddaughter of 48192 Sgt Ernest Sweeting M.M. and her relatives, who looking on the back of the photograph discovered all the men named. It is wonderful to have such a large group photograph with all the men identified and shows in importance of always looking at the reverse of such photographs as often the information written on the back is often as valuable as the image itself.
Rear row: L/Cpl Blackall, S/Sgt Williams, Sgt E T Owen, L/Cpl Sweeting
Front row: Sgt Sumpton, Pte Ll Jones, Pte C W Jarman & Ginger the Mascot.
The photograph above is by kind permission of Len Gibbs, Grandson of 48086 Sgt. Frank J King D.C.M. and was probably taken in late 1917 or early 1918. 48086 Sgt. Frank J King D.C.M. is seated in the centre and we believe that the man to his right (seated far left) could well be 48176 LCpl Gwilym Ivor Rees Croix de Guerre. Also identified in this photograph are 48627 Pte. William John Probert M.M. (standing far left, middle row) and 48079 Pte. Thomas George Baker (standing back row far right). If anyone can identify any of the other men in this photograph, we would be delighted to hear from them.
With kind permission of Helen Cleaves - Granddaughter of 48542 Pte James Cleaves.
The photograph above depicts the five men of the 130th (St John) Field Ambulance who were awarded the Military Medal in August/September 1917 for acts of gallantry during the 3rd Battle of Ypres (Pilckem Ridge). It had to have been taken before January 1918 as Sgt Maj Stroud was evacuated to a CCS in January 1918 and did not rejoin the Unit. In the front row (left to right) are, 48192 Sgt Ernest Sweeting M.M., Lt Col J.E.H. Davies, 48071 Sgt Maj W. Stroud and the rear row (left to right) are 48196 L/Cpl William George Thomas M.M., 48186 L/Cpl David J Samuel M.M., 48221 Pte Oliver Young M.M. and 48626 Pte J Probert M.M..
We have identified the Officers in the photograph above as front row (left to right) Capt. Andrew W ("Pa") Anderson, Lieut. (later major) John Burke and Capt. Albert Jones (later D.S.O. M.C.) and rear row (left to right) Lt. Robert A.G (R.A.G.) Elliott and Lt. Douglas C. M. Page.
title="Three men of the Unit taken in Early-Mid 1915"
Does anyone know the names of these men - note the crest of the St John Ambulance Association being worn on the left forearm.
With kind permission of Helen Cleaves - Granddaughter of 48542 Pte James Cleaves
Photograph of 48207 Pte Frederick H Watkin and 48559 L/Cpl Trevor Nicholas M.M.
With kind permission of Helen Cleaves - Granddaughter of 48542 Pte James Cleaves.
Can anyone identify any of the men in this photograph?
The following four photographs are all with the very kind permission of Eleanor, Granddaughter of 48192 Sgt Ernest Sweeting M.M.
48192 Cpl E Sweeting - standing centre - can anyone identify the other men. Photograph probably taken in late 1915 before the Unit embarked for France.
The Sweeting brothers. 48192 Cpl E Sweeting (later Sgt)- seated on left, 48246 LCpl Harold Sweeting who served with the 129th Fld Amb and was invalided due to sickness and discharged in September 1916 and standing is 48622 Pte Christopher Sweeting who was commissioned into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in September 1918.
This photograph is reproduced by kind permission of Mrs Marjorie Coleman, daughter of 48098 Pte William Coleman M.M who is pictured seated on the far left, with Sergeants stripes and proudly wearing this medal. As this photograph shows, many of the men who served in the 130th (St John) Field Ambulance went back to serve in the St John Ambulance after the war.
This photograph is produced here by kind permission of the Ogmore Valley Local History & Heritage Society.
If anyone can identify any of the men in this photograph, please do be in contact.
48128 Sgt F B Sumption; Sgt Maj W Stroud, 48128 Sgt F B Sumption & Sgt Maj W Stroud"
This photograph is produced here by kind permission Mary, daughter of 48128 Sgt Francis B Sumption. Sitting are 48071 Sgt Major William Stroud (left) and 48128 Sgt Francis B Sumption (right) and standing are 48118 QmSgt Archibald J Griffiths (left) and 48592 Sgt Thomas C Price (right). Both 48128 Sgt Francis B Sumption (A Section) and 48592 Sgt Thomas C Price along with 48227 Sgt Louis C Cohen were the dispensers of the Unit.
We are most grateful to have been allowed access to the letters of 48128 Sgt Francis B Sumption which cover the period from January 1915 until early 1917. They contain almost a page for a day of detailed description of the activities of the Unit and are a most fantastic addition to our knowledge.
This photograph of the Unit's command ring officer, Lt Col J E H Davies is by kind permission of Charles Young, Grandson of 48221 Pte Oliver Young M.M.. The photograph was taken outside the Nant Hall Hotel in Prestatyn in mid 1915. This is the only individual photograph we have seen of Lt Col Davies who commanded the Unit throughout the war.
The photograph above is reproduced here my kind permission of the University Archives, University College Cork, Ireland.
Lieutenant (Later Captain) Thomas Joseph Buckley joined the Unit in late 1915 prior to sailing to France and served until September 1916 when he returned to England having completed his 12 month contract (he later rejoined the Army and was gazetted Captain in 1918).
Thomas Joseph Buckley was born in Limerick in 1890 and studied medicine at University College Cork (UCC), qualifying in 1913. He was Captain of the UCC rugby team from 1909 to 1911 during which they were all-conquering. Having qualified, he worked in Shrewsbury where we returned after the war.
One can not help wondering how much influence he had on the Unit's later rugby successes.
Lieut (later Major) John Burke MC. was one of only a few officers who served the entire war with the Unit. He was awarded the Military Cross in September 1918 and later served with the British Forces in Russia in 1919. 48542 Pte James Cleaves served as his batman. This photograph is by kind permission of Lieut (later Major) John Burke's grandson, John Dunne.
Capt Meredydd Ffoulkes joined the Unit in mid 1915 while it was training in North Wales and served in it until the end of November 1915. This photograph is with the kind permission of David Ffoulkes, grandson of Capt M Ffoulkes.
Capt Carlisle Kelly served in the Unit from December 1917. This photograph is with the kind permission of his daughter Mrs Z T Slattery.
The photograph above is by kind permission of the Great Granddaughter of Captain Thomas Walter Melhuish (on the right) who served in the Unit from April 1917. The office on the left is probably Captain Carlile Kelly M.C.
Lieut. Thomas Downie Renwick servered in the Unit between 5th December 1916 and 21st January 1917. This photograph is by the kind permission of Don Cronshaw, Grandson of Lieut. T D Renwick.
Captain Bernard Woodhouse by kind permission of the Old Birkonian Society (http://obs.org.uk/obs-home).
Captain Bernard Woodhouse was qualified from University College Hospital, London in 1913 and subsequently joined the R.A.M.C. arriving in France with the B.E.F. in August 1914. He served with a number of units before joining the 130th (St John) Field Ambulance in 1916. He served in the Unit until April 1917 when he was transferred to to the 10th Battalion, The Welsh Regiment (1st Rhondda Battalion) as their medical officer. He received a fatal shrapnel wound to his skull on the 4th September 1917 while proceeding up the line with the the 10th Welsh who were in the process of taking over the right front line of the Langemarck sector from the 13th Battalion, the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He was evacuated through XIV Corps MDS to 64 CCS where he died the following day. He is buried in Mendinghem Military Cemetery (III.D.20). Lt Col Davies wrote of him "We all loved him; he was always so brave and cool in action, so bright and cheerful and was a man of infinite kindness and great thoughtfulness for others especially for the wounded and sick. I valued his ability, tact and force of character."
Other Ranks Photos (A – M)
Mrs Marjorie Davies proudly showing her Father's medals and photograph.
Mrs Marjorie Davies proudly showing her Father's medals and photograph. I hope that we are all able to remember the men and women who served in the Great War with the same degree of pride that Mrs Davies rightly has for her Father.
48135 Sgt Clifford William Jarman was one of the three Sgt dispensers of the Unit. He was later commissioned into the Army Cyclist Corps ending the war as a Lieutenant.
The two photographs below of 48160 L/Cpl William H F Maunder are by kind permission of his son Ray Maunder.
48160 L/Cpl William H F Maunder on the Unit's Triumph motorcycle.
Other Ranks Photos (N – Z)
The following photograph appears in 'The Story of the Order of St John in the Principality of Wales' by C.J. Parry and are reproduced here by kind permission of The Hospitaller's Club of Wales.
48603 Pte (later Sgt) L Powell. As in the photograph below, note the wearing of the square St John Ambulance Brigade belt buckle rather than the round R.A.M.C. buckle.
48180 Pte Tim Richards also wearing the St John Ambulance Brigade belt buckle. He was awarded the Military Medal in late 1918 (London Gazette 11th January 1919). The above photograph is by kind permission of 48180 Pte Tim Richards's Grandson, Russell Davies.
48071 Sgt/Maj William Stroud by kind permission of Pamela West, his Great Niece.