7th Field Ambulance
From Our Contribution
Colour Patch for the 7th Australian Field Ambulance
A section of the camp of C Section of the 7th Australian Field Ambulance at Chailak Dere. AWM photo H00273
7th Field Ambulance at Pont d'Achelles, France
The Field Ambulance was a complete medical unit made up of previously separate and independent entities. These were The Bearer Division [previously working as Bearer Companies]; The Tent Division [previously working as Field Hospitals] and The Transport Division. The Field Ambulance at full strength composed of 10 Officers and 224 men. The Bearer Division had 18 stretcher squads each of 6 men. The Tent Division was comprised of doctors: 9 medical officers and 1 dental officer, as well as 1 Quartermaster of stores, batmen, clerks, cooks, dispensers, nursing orderlies, and the Transport Division, which had 60 men attached from the Army Service Corps. All this made up medical support for one infantry brigade. [Three to every Division].
The 7th Field Ambulance was mobilised in May 1915, with "A" Section being raised at Vidgen's Paddock at Enoggera, Queensland. "C" Section raised in Hobart joined them soon after and they sailed for Egypt via Sydney and Fremantle on 24 May 1915, arriving at Suez where they disembarked on 2 Jul 1915 before travelling to Polygon camp near Abbassia. "B" Section was first mentioned on 10 Aug 1915 at Abbassia, but no mention of where the section was raised.Its role was to service the 7th Brigade of the 2nd Division, which comprised the 25th (Qld), 26th (Qld / Tas), 27th (SA), and 28th (WA) Battalions.
On 4 Sep 1915 the unit sailed from Alexandria aboard the SS Knight Templar. With a short stop over at Mudros they landed at Gallipoli on 13 Sep 1915. On arrival they took over duty at Walden's Point, Chalk Hill and Cheilak Dere. Evacuated from Gallipoli on 15 Dec 1915, they arrived back in Egypt on 10 Jan 1916.
The 7th Field Ambulance sailed from Alexandria on 15 Mar 1916, disembarking in Marseilles on 19 Mar 1916. In April 1916 the unit was at Fort Rompu, near Erquinghem, west of Armentieres. In August they were in Vadencourt treating the injured from Pozieres and Mouquet Farm battles.
In Dec 1917 the unit was at Pont d'Achelles which had been the collection point for casualties from the battle of Messines in July of that year. In March 1918 it was at Westhof Farm in Belgium, but by May they were on the Somme and remained there supporting the advance by the Australian Infantry.
The AWM records that 38 members of this unit lost their life as a result of their participation in the war:4 in 1915; 12 in 1916; 13 in 1917; 4 in 1918; 3 in 1919 and 2 in 1920.
- Henry Richard Keefe 29 Sep 1916 - 7 Jan 1917 - detached to the 28th Battalion RAP
- George Edward Binns 19 May - 5 Jun 1917
- Thomas Allan O'Dea 21 May - 22 Nov 1917 (WIA)
- Albert Thomas Myers 9 - 10 Sep 1917
- Joseph George Benton Snr 17 Aug 1915
- William Michael Bowman 2 - 6 Oct 1915
- William Edward Clarence Green 13 Oct 1915
- Frederick Hobbs 22 Oct 1915
- † Frederick James Bishop 31 Oct - 3 Nov 1915
- † John McLeod Brown 3 Nov 1915
- † Harry Pickard 21 - 27 Mar 1916
- Charles Edward Parkin 31 May - 1 Jun 1916
- Henry McCavana 28 - 30 Jul 1916
- George Chistopher Dalziell DCM 10 - 13 Aug 1916
- John Francis Ullyott 12 Aug 1916
- Alfred Arthur Martin 13 Aug 1916
- Arthur Percy Thomas Boyle 5 Mar 1917 & 15 Jun 1917
- Hilton Ward Ennis MID 17 - 18 Apr 1917
- Ernest Alfred (Jack) Lewis 28 May - 2 Jun 1917
- † Albert Edward John Walls 1 - 8 Jun 1917
- Charles Robert Merchant 28 - 29 Jun 1917
- Robert Henry Blake 16 - 22 Jul 1917
- Albert William Barratt 23 Aug - 4 Sep 1917 & 13 - 19 Sep 1917
- † James Willie Bush 26 - 30 Aug 1917
- Thomas Percival (Percy) Hanretty 3 Dec 1917
- John Henry Ward 17 - 23 Dec 1917
- Alfred James Hansen MM 4 Feb 1918
- Joseph Clough 26 Feb 1918
- Edward Briggs 6 Mar 1918
- Charles Glyn Firns 3 days in late March 1918
- George Henry Holroyd 3 Oct 1918
- Alfred Haddy Pearse 5 Oct 1918
- Leo Patrick Kane 18 Feb 1919
- 4 x Distinguished Service Order
- 3 x Military Cross
- 1 x Distinguished Conduct Medal
- 43 x Military Medal
- 3 x Bar to Military Medal
- 3 x Meritorious Service Medal
- 7 x Mentioned in Despatches
- 1 x French Croix de Guerre
Content for the history and honours sections has come from a combination of Wikipedia and the Australian War Memorial websites.