Deadly air raids on Saint-Omer in September 1917

The sad 'nurses row' at Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery.

Medical units and military billets under attack.

Location

Saint-Omer is a town in the French département of Pas-de-Calais. It had been the location of the General Headquarters of the British Expeditionary Force in 1914-15 but by 1917 this had moved to Montreuil-sur-Mer. The town was now principally used as a major medical centre and for logistics and transport. It lay 50-60km behind the nearest points of the Western Front and was safe from all but attack from the air. Saint-Omer has a long history and was known of a place of fine architecture, including the 13th-15th century basilica of Notre-Dame. It had also been an important point on the northern French railway since 1848.

The town is now much larger than it had been when war came to France in 1914, and has grown out to envelop what had been the separate communities of St. Martin-au-Laert and Longuenesse.

Context

September 1917 saw the peak of activity during the British offensive at Ypres (the Third Battle of Ypres, often known as Passchendaele). In consequence the level of activity at Saint-Omer was high and it was an obvious target for German bomber aircraft. The area had already previously been subjected to such attack and would continue to attract enemy attention until well into 1918.

Raid on night 2-3 September 1917

At 10.15pm on the night 2-3 September 1917, a German air raid dropped five bombs.

Three fell within a few yards of the Officers Hospital within 10 Stationary Hospital. This was located in the Pensionnat St. Joseph (la Malassise). All windows were smashed and much other damage done. Patients (infectious cases) had to be evacuated to 14 General Hospital next day.

The buildings of the large former boarding school used by 10 Stationary Hospital suffered much damage from enemy air raids during the Great War. Postcard image from Geneanet with thanks.


The chapel ward within the hospital, which had been in use since 1914. Image from the British Medical Journal with thanks.

A fourth bomb (described as a “wobbler”) fell on billets in the Caserne d’Albret, the former cavalry barracks, which was the location of 358 (Mechanical Transport) Company of the Army Service Corps .

A fifth fell on the rue Robert le Frisson.

Casualties of this raid

Those military casualties who lost their lives are buried in Longuenesse (St. Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, plot IV row D.

Admitted to 10 Stationary Hospital

  • Mechanical Staff Sergeant M2/076193 J. Banks. 358 (Mechanical Transport) Company ASC. Wounded.
  • Lance Corporal 196946 Alfred Currie. Inland Waterways Transport Royal Engineers. Wounded.
  • Lieutenant Sydney Allen Harding. Royal Flying Corps. Multiple wounds from being hit at 1 Aircraft Depot. Died shortly after admission. Grave IV.D.60. Aged 25, he was married to Emily and lived at Moreton Road in South Croydon.
  • Lance Corporal SE/16565 John McPhie. Army Veterinary Corps, 23 Veterinary Hospital. Killed. Aged 34. From Falkirk. Grave IV.D.59
  • Private 84887 Frank Morley. RAMC working at Officer’s Hospital since April 1917. Slight wounds to right arm and chest. Conscripted in October 1916, aged 20. From Bamford in Lancashire. Was killed in an air raid on St-Omer in May 1918.
  • Lance Corporal MS/1991 Jesse Smith. 358 (Mechanical Transport) Company ASC. Wounded. Skilled engine fitter and tester from Coventry, previously employed by he Humber Motor Works.
  • Private M2/227390 John W. Smith. 358 (Mechanical Transport) Company ASC. Wounded. Multiple wounds.
  • Captain W. S. Thompson. Royal Army Medical Corps. MO of Officers’ Hospital. Wounded in the face.
  • Corporal M2/079518 Arthur Humphrey Thornton. 358 (Mechanical Transport) Company ASC. Wounded in the left thigh and hand.
  • Private 20045 James Wood. RAMC working at Officer’s Hospital. Wounded in the eye.

Admitted to 10 Stationary Hospital but already dead on arrival, both from 1 Aircraft Depot

  • Captain Sydney Herbert Clarke MC and Bar. Wiltshire Regiment, attached Royal Flying Corps.  Aged 20, he was the eldest surviving son of C. H. Clarke of Langsmead, Pyrford, Surrey. Appointed a a Flying Officer to 22 Squadron RFC on 1 August 1916, he was soon twice awarded the Military Cross for photographic work far over enemy lines, including taking photos of barbed wire defences from just 1200 feet, and on one occasion bringing down five German aircraft. He had returned to England in October 1916 and arrived back in France, posted to 16 Squadron RFC, on 28 April 1917. Grave IV.D.61
  • Captain Herbert Stuart Cleghorn. Attended Dundee High School where he was awarded the Baxter Scholarship, going on to the University of Edinburgh and becoming B.Sc. in engineering in 1912. After graduating he became assistant civil engineer for the Caledonian Railway. He served with the university contingent of the Officer Training Corps. and was commissioned into the Royal Engineers, attached to the Royal Flying Corps, in October 1914. Aged 26, he was the third son of John Cleghorn of Clifton, Alyth. His brother Allan had been killed with the Gordon Highlanders in 1916. Also Grave IV.D.61

Admitted to 58 (Scottish) General Hospital, located at the Caserne de la Barre
The war diary of this unit reports that it admitted 18 soldiers, two male and seven female French civilians. I have traced the following:

  • Private M2/078818 Everard Baker. 358 (Mechanical Transport) Company ASC. Killed. Aged 23. From Treharris. Grave IV.D.58
  • Private M/302067 Alexander Smith Brown. 358 (Mechanical Transport) Company ASC. Wounded. From Dundee.
  • Corporal S4/199212 Reginald Galton. 358 (Mechanical Transport) Company ASC. Wounded.
  • Private M2/204547 A. E. Hazlehurst. 358 (Mechanical Transport) Company ASC. Wounded. From Burton on Trent.
  • Private M2/204362 John Kelly. 358 (Mechanical Transport) Company ASC. Shock.
  • Private M2/077394 Robert D. Nairn. 358 (Mechanical Transport) Company ASC. Wounded. From Berwick.
  • Private Artificer-Fitter M2/162151 Percival Orpe. 358 (Mechanical Transport) Company ASC. Wounded in head, shoulder, legs and hand but all superficial. From Lozells in Birmingham. Had enlisted in September 1914 and been with the company since December 1915.
  • Private Artificer-Fitter M2/079538 Robert C. Pilot. 358 (Mechanical Transport) Company ASC. Shock.
  • Private M2/081461 John Dix Prentice. 358 (Mechanical Transport) Company ASC. Wounded.
  • Private M2/121786 George Wilcox. 358 (Mechanical Transport) Company ASC. Shock and superficial wound.

Civilian casualties

  • Vre. Souilliez Rossignol, 14 rue l’Hazebrouck. Killed.
  • M. Louis Allart, 22 rue l’Hazebrouck. Wounded.
  • Mme. Joos, 3 rue de Cassel. Wounded. Also Vre. Delcroix Patinier of same address, killed.
  • Mme. Palmyre Foulon, 8 rue Robert le Frisson. Wounded.
  • M. Pauchet, 11 rue Robert le Frisson. Wounded.
  • Mme. Chabert Brulin and Mlle. Jeanne Brulin, both 15bis rue Robert le Frisson. Wounded. Also Mlle. Flora Brulin of same address, killed.
  • Mme. and Mlle. Collier, both 19bis rue Robert le Frisson. Wounded.

The night of 3-4 September 1917

The war diary of the town commandant reports that enemy aircraft flew over the town 9-9.30pm and dropped five bombs which fell harmlessly outside the area, although one report says a bomb fell within yards of tent occupied by Sisters at 4 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station at Longuenesse. Other flights between 9.30pm and 1.10am dropped no bombs. At 9.30am on 4 September an Aviatik flew over but also dropped no bombs.

The night of 4-5 September 1917

German aircraft once again visited the area between 10.20pm and 11pm, dropping a total of 18 bombs and machine gunning searchlights. At 11.35pm another aircraft was held in searchlight beams for four minutes, while anti-aircraft fire was directed at it. The machine is believed to have crashed near Abeele.

Seven of the bombs fell near St. Martin-au-Laert; five in St. Omer; four near the St.Omer to Arques railway, of which one hit the railway; one near 1 Aircraft Depot and one near Number 2 Anti-Aircraft Section of the Royal Garrison Artillery. Only one casualty has been identified to date:

Admitted to 58 (Scottish) General Hospital, located at the Caserne de la Barre

  • Private M/315392 Leonard Percy Martin, acting as a sentry at the Mechanical Transport School of Instruction ASC. Died of wounds on 5 September 1917. Grave IV.D.64. Lived in Chigwell in Essex. Had been conscripted in April 1917, aged 36. Landed in France 17 July 1917.

There was also a heavy raid on Dunkirk during the night 4-5 September 1917, in which 15 men of the Chinese Labour Corps were killed and a further 21 wounded.

The area Assistant Director of Medical Services now stepped up efforts to locate safer shelters from medical staff, locating some underground fortifications in the towns public gardens. Application was made for permission to use them: this was very soon granted. The nursing sisters from 4 Canadian CCS were relocated to Chateau St. Croix and 2 Rue St. Croix. At the same time, Fourth Army rang up to request that safe accommodation be found for 45 nursing sisters who had to be evacuated from other CCSs for the same reason.

Quieter period 5 – 29 September 1917

Over the night few weeks, enemy aircraft frequently passed overhead but no bombs were dropped.

On 25 September 1917 2 AA Section left to go to Rouxmesnil and was replaced by the arrival of 214 AA Section.

The area Assistant Director of Medical Services visited 7 General Hospital to assess the damage caused to it by a falling unexploded anti-aircraft shell.

The air raid alarm was sounded at 9.05pm on 27 September.

The night of 29-30 September 1917

Between 9.15pm and 10.45pm a heavy and continuous air raid in which 60 bombs were dropped, six or seven hitting 4 Stationary Hospital (at Arques) and three falling on 58 (Scottish) General Hospital. One of the latter hit a marquee full of wounded patients, causing most serious casualties to medical staff and patients alike. In all, 52 large marquees and 20 bell tents at the hospital were damaged and two marquees and a tent destroyed. Bomb fragments also pierced the corrugated iron roofing of a nursing sisters sleeping hut and much glass was broken by the blast. It was found necessary to evacuate all other casualties from this hospital to 59 General Hospital and 10 Stationary Hospital next day. At 4 Stationary Hospital, the dental centre was destroyed, causing much disruption to dental work for Fourth Army.

The nurses and several others involved in this raid were mentioned in Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig’s despatch of 21 December 1917.

Those military casualties who lost their lives are buried in Longuenesse (St. Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, plot IV row E, with the nurses being separate in Plot VI row B. A mass funeral for three nurses and 16 other ranks was held at 4pm on 2 October.

  • Pioneer 209658 Sijil Abdul-Ali, Special Brigade Depot, Royal Engineers. Patient at 58 General Hospital. Killed. Grave IV. E. 17. Aged 28 and from Tufnell Park, London.
  • Driver T4/088408 Thomas Dobson Adams, Mechanical Transport School of Instruction ASC. Killed. Grave IV.E.16.
  • Private 39603 Edgar Archdale, Royal Army Medical Corps, employed with 3 Ambulance Flotilla. Killed. Grave IV.E.12. Aged 20. From Pontefract.
  • Private 32083 Robert Baxendale, 12 (Service) Battalion the Gloucestershire Regiment. Patient at 58 General Hospital. Killed. Grave IV. E. 11. Aged 20 and from Bolton.
  • Private 201698 Henry Allen Bowden, 2/5 Battalion the Lancashire Fusiliers. Patient at 58 General Hospital. Died of wounds 3 October. Grave IV. E. 15. From Manchester.
  • Private 84631 Alexander Cameron, Royal Army Medical Corps, employed at 58 General Hospital. Killed. Grave IV.E.13. Aged 35 originally from Renfrewshire but lived in Liverpool.
  • Private 54292 William John Chester, 9 (Service) Battalion the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Patient at 58 General Hospital. Killed. Grave IV. E. 23. Aged 26 and from Bridgend.
  • Staff Nurse Agnes Murdoch Climie, Territorial Force Nursing Service employed at 58 General Hospital. Killed. Grave VI.B.1. Aged 32. From Renfrewshire.
  • Probationer Daisy Kathleen Mary Coles, Voluntary Aid Detachment, British Red Cross Society employed at 58 General Hospital. Killed. Grave VI.B.3. Aged 24. From Peebles.
  • Private G/66408 John Fraser, 20 (Service) Battalion the Royal Fusiliers. Patient at 58 General Hospital. Killed. Grave IV. E. 13.
  • Corporal-Wheeler 33307 John Hancock, A/82 Brigade the Royal Field Artillery. Killed. Grave IV. E. 8. From St. Austell. Patient at 4 Stationary Hospital.
  • Private 92997 William Hendry, Royal Army Medical Corps, employed at 58 General Hospital. Died of wounds. Grave IV.E.19. Aged 42 and from Aberdeen.
  • Private 8568 William Hyde, 95 Company Machine Gun Corps. Patient at 58 General Hospital. Died of wounds 3 October. Grave IV. E. 14. Aged 20 and from Manchester.
  • Sgt Major 12756 Francis Henry Jones, Royal Army Medical Corps, employed at 4 Stationary Hospital. Killed. Grave IV.E.7. Aged 35 and from London. Veteran of the Second Boer War. He was reportedly crossing the bridge over the river at Arques when he was hit.
  • Sapper 3054 Charles William Jordan, 5 Company Australian Engineers. Patient at 58 General Hospital. Killed. Grave IV. E. 10. Aged 40 and lived in Armadale Vic.
  • Private M/320972 Thomas Henry Lander. Mechanical Transport School of Instruction ASC. Patient at 58 General Hospital. Killed. Grave IV. E. 17. Aged 25 and from Stoke-on-Trent.
  • Private M/205556 Herbert Trevor Lloyd, Army Service Corps attached 350 Brigade Royal Garrison Artillery. Died of wounds, Grave IV.E.18. From Flintshire. Patient at 4 Stationary Hospital.
  • Private 17738 Frederick James Mace, 12 (Service) Battalion the Gloucestershire Regiment. Patient at 58 General Hospital. Killed. Grave IV. E. 15. From Cheltenham.
  • Private 3068 Edward Marshall, 40 Battalion AIF. Killed. Grave IV. E. 8. Patient at 4 Stationary Hospital.
  • Sister Mabel Lee Milne, Territorial Force Nursing Service employed at 58 General Hospital. Died of wounds. Grave VI.B.4. Aged 31 and from Perth in Scotland. Had served with the hospital since it arrived in France.
  • Private 3632 Timothy O’Riordan, 14 Australian Light Trench Mortar Battery. Patient at 58 General Hospital. Killed. Grave IV. E. 12. Aged 24 of Kerry (Ireland) background but lived at Cootamundra NSW.
  • Private 6181 Charles Regan, 25 Battalion AIF. Patient at 58 General Hospital. Killed. Grave IV. E. 17. Aged 22 and from Woolroom Qld.
  • Private 25796 Oswald W. Roberts, 3 Battalion the Grenadier Guards. Patient at 58 General Hospital. Killed. Grave IV. E. 10. Aged 28, from Conwy and lived in Manchester.
  • Private 315565 Arthur William Stevens, 1 Battalion the Devonshire Regiment. Patient at 58 General Hospital. Died of wounds 4 October. Grave IV. E. 24. Aged 35 and from Oxford.
  • Probationer Elizabeth Thomson, Voluntary Aid Detachment, British Red Cross Society employed at 58 General Hospital. Killed. Grave VI.B.2. Aged 25. From Kirkcudbright.
  • Private 38126 Eric Tunnicliffe, 2 Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment. Patient at 58 General Hospital. Died of wounds. Grave IV. E. 19. Aged 23 and from Huddersfield background.
  • Sapper 283863 Leonard Turberfield, 34 Broad Gauge Operating Company, Railway Operating Division Royal Engineers. Died of wounds. Grave IV. E. 9. Aged 30. Lived in Newcastle on Tyne.
  • Private M1/08197 Cecil H. Twentyman, 356 (Mechanical Transport) Company the Army Service Corps. Died of wounds 17 October 1918. Grave IV.E.48. Aged 22 and from London.
  • Sergeant 200040 Herbert Ward, 1/5 Battalion the Royal Warwickshire Regiment Patient at 58 General Hospital. Killed. Grave IV. E. 10. Aged 27 and from Birmingham.
  • Private 15/990 George Wilson, 15 (Service) Battalion the West Yorkshire Regiment. Patient at 4 Stationary Hospital. Killed. Grave IV. E. 7. Had been wounded and shell shocked on the Somme in 1916.

The sad ‘nurses row’ at Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery.

Casualties identified as wounded

  • Private 29244 Frederick W. E. Bacon, 1 Battalion the Durham Light Infantry. Patient at 58 General Hospital.
  • Private 300003 Mack Baker, 1/7 Battalion the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Patient at 58 General Hospital. Aged 39.
  • Rifleman S/9577 William Barnes, 16 (Service) Battalion the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. Patient at 58 General Hospital. From Wigan.
  • Private 11965 Job Beard. 12 (Service) Battalion the Gloucestershire Regiment. Patient at 58 General Hospital. Later with the Royal West Kent Regiment.
  • Private 3511 Julius Andrew Bernard, 53 Battalion AIF. Patient at 58 General Hospital. From Sydney NSW.
  • Private 369 Ralph Henry Blackett, 34 Battalion AIF. Patient at 58 General Hospital sick, possibly with pleurisy. From Charters Towers Qld.
  • Private M2/082270 Harold W. Bolsover, 358 (Mechanical Transport) Company the Army Service Corps. Patient at 58 General Hospital.
  • Shoeing Smith L/4954 Charles J. Brown, 150 Brigade Royal Field Artillery. Patient at 58 General Hospital.
  • Private 139 John Michael Burke, 5 Australian Divisional Ammunition Column. Patient at 58 General Hospital. From Ipswich Qld.
  • Private 1892 Percival John Carroll, 43 Battalion AIF. Patient at 58 General Hospital. From Glanville SA.
  • Private 73703 Thomas A. Carter, Royal Army Medical Corps, employed with 3 Ambulance Flotilla.
  • Private 12008 John Corbett, 7 Battalion the South Lancashire Regiment. Patient at 58 General Hospital. Later with the Machine Gun Corps.
  • Private 202835 Albert Cummings, 1/5 Battalion the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Patient at 58 General Hospital. Later with the Machine Gun Corps.
  • Private 16898 Sydney Dart, 2 Battalion the Devonshire Regiment. Patient at 58 General Hospital. Later with the Labour Corps.
  • Staff Nurse G. Davidson, Territorial Force Nursing Service employed at 58 General Hospital.
  • Private 2639 Cecil Robert Dobbs, 20 Battalion AIF. Patient at 58 General Hospital. From Gulong NSW.
  • Private 93160 William Watt Dornan, Royal Army Medical Corps, employed at 58 General Hospital. Aged 25 and from Glasgow. Had Master of Arts degree.
  • Private 27655 Thomas Eccleston, 2 Battalion the South Wales Borderers. Patient at 58 General Hospital. From Willenhall. Killed in action 20 August 1918.
  • Corporal 4455 Albert Edward Ferguson, 2 Brigade Australian Field Artillery. Patient at 58 General Hospital sick, possibly synovitis of the knee. From South Melbourne Vic.
  • Gunner 22929 Joseph Garrett Fitzgerald, 3 Australian Army Brigade Ammunition Column. Patient at 58 General Hospital. From Victoria.
  • Private 242257 Samuel Harris, 1/8 Battalion the Worcestershire Regiment. Patient at 58 General Hospital.
  • Private 92997 William Hendry, Royal Army Medical Corps, employed at 58 General Hospital.
  • Lance Corporal 10326 William Robert Hewitt DCM, 1 Battalion the East Surrey Regiment. Patient at 58 General Hospital. Later with the Labour Corps.
  • Private 265728 Frank Hill, 1/6 Battalion the Gloucestershire Regiment. Patient at 58 General Hospital.
  • Sapper 43612 William Hirons, Railway Operating Division Royal Engineers.
  • Private S/13334 John Jelly, 2 Battalion the Gordon Highlanders attached 1 Garrison Battalion the Hampshire Regiment. Patient at 58 General Hospital.
  • Private 74160 Horace G. Jones, Royal Army Medical Corps, employed with 3 Ambulance Flotilla.
  • Lance Corporal M2/152349 Albert Henry King, Mechanical Transport School of Instruction ASC. Enlisted January 1916. Had been employed at the school since September 1916.
  • Corporal 3/901 Henry Albert King, 2 Battalion the Wiltshire Regiment. Patient at 58 General Hospital.
  • Private 7258 Robert Allen Lane, 15 Battalion AIF. Patient at 58 General Hospital. From Longreach Qld.
  • Sapper 562929 William Linsell, 351 Electrical & Mechanical Company Royal Engineers. Patient at 58 General Hospital.
  • Private 7005 George John Lipp, 15 Battalion AIF. Patient at 58 General Hospital, sick. From Greenmount Qld.
  • Staff Nurse F. McKellar, Territorial Force Nursing Service employed at 58 General Hospital.
  • Sergeant 22164 Samuel Moth, 95 Company the Machine Gun Corps. Patient at 58 General Hospital.
  • Driver 9948 Thomas Murphy, 2 Australian Field Artillery. Patient at 58 General Hospital. Originated in Canada but enlisted in Sydney NSW.
  • Corporal 27885 Ernest Napier, Border Regiment attached 79 Prisoner of War Company. Patient at 58 General Hospital.
  • Private 6135 Robert William Pettman, 27 Battalion AIF. Patient at 58 General Hospital sick. From Balaklava SA.
  • Private 5899 Alexander Plunkett, 21 Battalion AIF. Patient at 58 General Hospital. From Eaglehawk Viv.
  • Private 3443 John Albert Power, 54 Battalion AIF. Patient at 58 General Hospital. From Sydney NSW.
  • Gunner 127446 Reuben Rainbow, 8 Divisional Ammunition Column, Royal Field Artillery. Patient at 58 General Hospital.
  • Driver T3/028917 Harry Scott, Mechanical Transport School of Instruction ASC. Later served in the Tank Corps.
  • Lance Corporal G/87518 Ernest Shenfield, 12 (Service) Battalion the Middlesex Regiment. Patient at 58 General Hospital.
  • Private 38336 Benjamin George Smitham, 11 (Service) Battalion the South Wales Borderers. Patient at 58 General Hospital.
  • Private 19435 Timothy Tuomey, Machine Gun Corps. Patient at 58 General Hospital. From Tralee.
  • Private 84767 Edgar Vine, Royal Army Medical Corps, employed at 58 General Hospital. Wound to abdomen; had operation on the same night. Aged 19 and from Dorchester.
  • Private S/48915 Julius Volk, 1 Battalion the Middlesex Regiment. Patient at 58 General Hospital.
  • Private 352726 Richard Waddicor, 2/9 Battalion the Manchester Regiment. Patient at 58 General Hospital.
  • Rifleman R/19055 Joe Whipp, 16 (Service) Battalion the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. Patient at 58 General Hospital.
  • Private 50 Francis Gerald Wilson, 41 Battalion AIF. Patient at 58 General Hospital due to influenza. From Innisfail Qld. Signaller.
  • Driver T/306295 Albert Woodward, Mechanical Transport School of Instruction ASC.

Mentioned as wounded but so far unidentifiable

  • Pte 495532 T. F. Towney and Pte 82004 Tracey of the Royal Army Medical Corps.
  • Pte 43244 T. W. Symons of the Northamptonshire Regiment.
  • Private 265053 T. McGetrick and Pte 307442 S. Barker of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
  • Private 9797 W. H. Dawkins of the Royal Fusiliers.
  • Private 7792 R. Walter of the Royal West Kent Regiment.
  • Private DM2/170847 J. O. Evans, Pte 303034 Styles and Pte 8648 B or D White of the Army Service Corps.
  • Private 3555 A. Jeffries, Australian infantry.

French military casualties (I have not researched these men any further)

  • Marechal de Logis Adolphe Van den Bossche,  15th Artillery
  • Lieutenant de Grendel, 27th Artillery

One I am not sure about

  • Private 606 Cyril Jones, 7 Australian Light Trench Mortar Battery. Reported wounded as a patient at 58 General Hospital but this does not match to his own service record. From Gladestone SA and a Gallipoli veteran.

The night of 30 September  – 1 October 1917

A further raid destroyed 2 Section of 59 General Hospital, putting 100 beds out of action.

  • Private 91868 Cyril Vincent Holden, Royal Army Medical Corps, employed at 59 General Hospital since it went to France in late April 1917. Died of wounds to arm and leg on 1 October 1917. Grave IV.E.20. Came from Lancaster. Enlisted in September 1915 but was not mobilised until February 1917. He was still only 18 when he died and was reportedly on telephone duty when he was hit.

There was also a heavy raid on Dunkirk in which 30 bombs were dropped.

Sources

National Archives WO95 series war diaries: Lines of Communication St Omer area: 4047 Commandant, Assistant Director of Medical Services and Commander Royal Engineers

National Archives WO95 series war diaries: 4099 4 Stationary Hospital; 4102 10 Stationary Hospital; 4088 58 General Hospital

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

HMSO publication “Soldiers Died in the Great War”

National Archives WO363 and 364 Army service records accessed via Findmypast and Ancestry

Australian National Archives army service records

British Red Cross service records

National Archives MH106 Hospital admissions records

War Office casualty lists via British Newspaper Archive

London Gazette online

Photograph portraits of the nurses who died can be found at the Imperial War Museum website.