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4th Field Ambulance, RCAMC

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old medic said:
PM sent to you already.
From the City of Fort William Archives:

                                            AWARD of

                                    THE MILITARY MEDAL

                                                  to

                    H.11180 Sergeant Charles Alexander STEWART
                        The Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DURING AN ACTION BETWEEN THE HASTINGS AND PRINCE
EDWARD REGIMENT AND GERMANS ABOUT 3 MILES SOUTHWEST
OF ORTONA, AT APPROXIMATELY 0600 HOURS ON 25 DECEMBER
1943, THE REGIMENTAL AID POST WAS INFORMED THAT THREE
CASUALTIES WERE TO BE EVACUATED FROM "A" COMPANY. THE
NUMBER OF REGIMENTAL STRETCHER BEARERS HAVING BEEN
REDUCED TO SEVENTY-FIVE PRECENT OF THEIR STRENGTH, THE
UNIT WAS UNABLE TO COLLECT THEIR OWN CASUALTIES. SER-
GEANT STEWART, NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICER IN CHARGE OF
A SECTION OF 4 CANADIAN FIELD AMBULANCE ATTACHED TO
THE HASTINGS AND PRINCE EDWARD REGIMENT, VOLUNTEERED
TO TAKE SOME OF HIS MEN AND RESCUE THESE CASUALTIES.
THEY MADE THEIR WAY FORWARD, LOCATED AND DRESSED THE
WOUNDS OF THE CASUALTIES UNDER COVER OF A SHACK IN AN
AREA WHICH WAS SWEPT BY MACHINE GUN AND RIFLE FIRE.
ENEMY SHELL FIRE GREW SO INTENSE THAT SERGEANT STEWART
DECIDED THAT EVACUATION ACROSS OPEN GROUND TO THE REAR
WOULD BE SHEER MADNESS. HE THEREFORE MADE THE CASUAL-
TIES COMFORTABLE AND LED HIS OWN MEN BACK TO THE REGI-
MENTAL AID POST HAVING DECIDED THAT THE CASUALTIES
COULD NOT BE EVACUATED UNTIL DUSK. THROUGHOUT THE DAY
WITH COMPLETE DISREGARD FOR HIS OWN SAFETY SERGEANT
STEWART DIRECTED THE EVACUATION OF CASUALTIES BOTH FROM
FORWARD COMPANIES TO THE REGIMENTAL AID POST AND FROM
THE REGIMENTAL AID POST TO THE FIELD AMBULANCE CAR POST.
TIME AND AGAIN HE LED PART OF HIS SECTION OUT TO BRING
IN CASUALTIES FROM ISOLATED POSITIONS.  ON ONE OCCASION
IN MID-AFTERNOON HE ALLOWED HIS MEN TO REST WHILE
HE HIMSELF WENT OUT TO "B" COMPANY AND BROUGHT IN A
CASUALTY. WHEN DARKNESS FELL HE LED HIS STRETCHER
BEARERS BACK TO "A" COMPANY  TO RESCUE THE THREE CASU-
ALTIES FROM THE SHACK. HE WAS SUCCESSFUL AND BROUGHT
THEM OUT SAFELY UNDER COVER OF DARKNESS.  SERGEANT
STEWART THROUGHOUT THE DAY'S ACTION SHOWED GREAT COOL-
NESS, COURAGE OF A HIGH ORDER AND INITIATIVE IN THAT
WITHOUT A MOMENTS HESITATION AND TAKING ORDERS FROM
NO ONE HE FULFILLED THE DUAL FUNCTION OF EVACUATING
CASUALTIES FROM FORWARD POSITIONS TO REGIMENTAL AID
POST AND FROM THE LATTER TO THE CAR POST. THE INI-
TIATIVE, COURAGE AND GALLANTRY DISPLAYED BY THIS NON-
COMMISSIONED OFFICER WERE AN INSPIRING EXAMPLE TO
OTHERS AND IN KEEPING WITH THE HIGHEST TRADITIONS OF
THE CANADIAN ARMY.

HI folks,

long time since i have been on this site.  Last Sept (2009) a platoon room was name after my Grand Father in the Thunder Bay Armoury.  I was fortunate enough to be there with my Brother and Sister to help my Mom present them with a framed write up of the above and his Medals.

thanks!
 

Rifleman62

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Attached are some pictures of the unit at the time of the action for which Sgt Stewart  was "recognized" .

You can at least get an idea of how soldiers looked (uniforms, kit, etc) during this time.

Also attached is the original document , written at the time, recommending an  "Immediate"  award of the Military Medal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_Medal

Link above has info on the Military Medal

Picture Captions

Major P.K. Tisdale treating a wounded Italian woman at the Advanced Dressing Station of No.4 Canadian Field Ambulance, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (R.C.A.M.C.)., San Vito di Ortona, Italy, 15 January 1944.

Personnel of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps checking the condition of a wounded Canadian soldier being evacuated to a Field Surgical Unit. (L-R): Major P.K. Tisdale, Staff-Sergeant W.H. Brigham and Private L.P. Lemieux

A jeep ambulance of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (R.C.A.M.C.) bringing in two wounded Canadian soldiers on the Moro River front south of San Leonardo di Ortona, Italy, 10 December 1943.
 

RexWerts

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swellal said:
Do any of you have access to WW1 records of the 4th Field Ambulance?  I would like to know if there is any info out there on Pte HF Brett, service number 1217.  I have his Attestation Papers.  I have found some pencil sketches that he made in Ypres in 1915.  They appear to have been commercially reproduced and mounted and I was wondering if he did more war art.

I have two HF Brett prints dated 1916, one of which is definitely labeled "Voormezeele, Main Street, 2016". The other is not labeled. Both appear to be ink or pencil sketches. Have you found any information yet on HF (Howard Frederick) Brett? I found his Attesttion Papers, too.

I know this post is ten years old! :(
 

bstewart

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Does anyone know the exact path they followed in Italy??  Am thinking of doing a tour and following in my dad's (Sgt. Charles A. Stewart) footsteps.
 

Blackadder1916

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bstewart said:
Does anyone know the exact path they followed in Italy??  Am thinking of doing a tour and following in my dad's (Sgt. Charles A. Stewart) footsteps.

Well, it's been a quarter century since I had anything close to a detailed look at the route of 4 Fd Amb during the Italian campaign so any of the notes I made have probably disappeared over the years.  Back then, members of 4 Fd Amb (then stationed in Lahr, Germany) wrote a slim volume about the history of the unit (some info about it at link) as part of the events leading up to the closure of the unit.  The chapter on the unit's service in the Second World War provides some details about some of the locations where the unit set up facilities.

You may be able to glean some information about locations from Official History of the Canadian Medical Services, 1939-1945, Vol 1 Organization and Campaigns or if you get a copy of the unit's war diary.  I haven't found it on-line, so my best suggestion is to see if the reserve field ambulance in Thunder Bay has a copy - when we closed out Lahr any remaining historical items we had were sent to them as the WW2 era 4 Fd Amb was raised in Fort William.

 

bstewart

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Jerry Pearce said:
.....  I will be researching the material in the microfiche files under the LHF file and Militia - 4th Field Ambulance.    :cdn:  Jerry Pearce

Did you find anything in the newspaper archives, Jerry?  I didn't realize that your dad and mine were both in the 4th.

I wonder if they discussed a dream of their kids being bagpipers??  LOL!!!
 

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Twylla said:
My father, Douglas James Bird, was a member of the 4th Field Ambulance RCAMC... he just recently passed away... While a couple of years ago I was surfing the net for ANYTHING on the unit for my Dad, how unfortunate that I just now came across this site.  He would have been THRILLED to see names that he knew!  I have inherited all his memorabilia:,,,, information on veterans of the 4th from Ft. William, I would be happy to help out if I can.

Twylla, do you clippings identify where in Sicily and italy the 4rth Field ambulance went??  actualy towns or cities?
 

Blackadder1916

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I had a quick scan through the unit history (the book I mentioned in previous post) and made these notes about locations for the unit.  The information was originally gathered from the unit's war diaries during the writing of the history.

This part deals only with Sicily.

4 Field Ambulance Sicily and Italy

Landing of 1st Cdn Division in Sicily 10 July 1943.

Assault sections of 4 Field Ambulance landed with 1st Brigade at about 0600 hrs 10 July 1943 with HQ and remainder of unit landing shortly thereafter. By end of day, 4 Fd Amb was ashore in Sicily with 13 officers and 196 other ranks.  Sections were deployed in support of the battalions of 1st Bde (RCR, H&PER, 48th High).

By noon of the first day, the unit had established two Advanced Dressing Stations (ADS) about a mile inland towards the airport (which was in vicinity of PACHINO).

Leapfrogging the ADSs, stations were opened at BOMBPALAZZO (near BURGIO) on 11 July and at MODICA on 13 July.

On 16 July they set up a dressing station in GRAMMICHELE in a student's club in an unusually modern building for Sicily.  It was already being used by locals as a medical facility.  By giving some medical supplies to the poorly equipped local hospital, they were able to alleviate some of the overcrowding.  There they were able to receive casualties from the battle which was raging south of PIAZZA ARMERINA.

On the 19 July, they closed down and moved to the south edge of VALGUARNERA on the road to LEONFORTE, accompanied by 1 Field Dressing Station and 1 Field Surgical Unit and opened an ADS and an Advanced Surgical Centre in a large school that the Italians had used as a hospital and had left a quantity of surgical equipment that was put to good use.

By 22 July resistance on the objectives was mostly overcome and  the surgical units attempted to move into LEONFORTE but were driven out into the countryside by artillery rounds landing in the town.  4 Fd Amb had been functioning as a staging facility but now moved up to support 1st Bde in its attack on NISSORIA.

On 26 July the unit evacuated all of the casualties which they had been holding thus enabling it to be mobile again.  On 31 July, 12 planes flew overhead and dropped about twenty 250 lb bombs despite the prominent red crosses on the building. Two soldiers were killed and one wounded (not unit members) along with 32 civilians wounded and 23 dead.

The fighting now moved to REGALBUTO with 4 Fd Amb functioning in VALGUARNERA until 2 August at which time it moved closer to the front but was held in reserve.  Action then took place as the brigades moved eastward toward ADRANO.  Battles at AGIRA and REGALBUTO were extremely bloody and it was not until the night of 5-6 August that the troops reached ADRANO.

Following this phase of the fighting 1st Cdn Div was pulled back into reserve.  4 Fd Amb was moved to a rest area near LENTINI on 12 August but had to move on 16 August as Div HQ took over this area.  They finally set up in FRANCOFORTE where the rear party which had been left behind in Scotland rejoined then.  Although the division had been withdrawn from the frontline, workload for the medical units continued as they still continued to hold a number of wounded and the problem of malaria compounded the difficulties.
 

Rifleman62

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Link to The Offical History of the RCamc in the Second World war. Click on the English side " Continue to PDF' to download as a PDF.

http://publications.gc.ca/site/archivee-archived.html?url=http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2009/forces/D61-21-1956E.pdf
 

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bstewart

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Many thanks for those suggestions. Have been in contact with the current museum curator here in Thunder Bay to get access to the library!
 
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I am trying to locate pictures, names and info on the 11th Field Ambulance, Royal Canadian Army Médical corps.
My late father was with them 1939-1942. I have just found his discharge certificate and would so love to know more about his actions during his time in England.  He came home to Canada with a knee injury but never talked about it. Any insight or where to go from here would be helpful. Thank you
 
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