Étaples Weekly Reports

Étaples Weekly Reports – 25th August, 1915

Museum of the Order of St John Megan Parker, Museum Volunteer

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With the Hospital at Étaples still driving towards completion, the weekly report of 25th August is concerned with the work that is left to be done on site. Chief Commissioner Clark states that, as far as casualties are concerned, there is no immediate urgency for the Hospital to be completed, although they hope for it to be finished very soon. Following from this, he reports that the Matron says to refrain from sending the Sisters out, as there would be nothing for them to do. However, there are still problems with the ‘non-arrival of the Oil Engine and Dynamo’, which are required for the Operating Theatre and the X-ray, as well as delayed motor cars. The Ford van will be arriving at the Hospital ‘any day now’ but the ‘Sunbeam’ has to be ‘patched up considerably’.

Lastly, Mr A. A. Gatty of Bannister Hall presents the Hospital with a much-needed Cyclostyle, a device for copying handwriting on to paper by means of a stencil.


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St. John Ambulance Brigade Hospital Army Post Office S. 11, British Expeditionary Force, France. August 25th., 1915. The Director, The Ambulance Department, The Order of St. John of Jerusalem in England. My Lord, Considerable progress is being made, the wards are nearly all completed as to equipment and readiness to receive patients, also the Nurses quarters, but we held up by the non arrival of the Oil Engine and Dynamo and X-Ray and Operating Theatre work. Captain Gordon who has been in London since Friday is endeavouring to trace it and he has satisfied himself that it has not been landed at Boulogne. So far as the requirements of sick and wounded are concerned there is no urgency for the completion of the hospital, but we are naturally anxious to get everything completed and in working order as soon as possible. The Matron does not consider it advisable that the sisters should come out just yet as there is nothing for them to do. I hope in a week or ten days at most we shall be ready for them. With regard to cars, we have now the “Sunbeam” –  an old car which we have had to patch up considerably, the silencer blew out and we had to make and fix a new one which we did ourselves. The tyres were solid and non-skid and have had to be replaced. Colonel Trimble is providing a Ford Van out of funds at his disposal which may arrive any day now. This van is new and built especially for the purpose for which we require it. I shall be glad of the two seater runabout, a Ford will do but I trust it will be in fair working order as cars have all to go to Boulogne



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for any serious repairs and become an undue expense to the


Hospital extras and Petrol and accessories for one car

have been granted to us free of charge, and I hope to get per-

mission to buy petrol from Army Stores for such other cars as

we may desire, the difference in price being 11d. a gallon as

against 2/7 if bought elsewhere.

We have made an arrangement with the Laundry mentioned in

a previous letter. It is the only Laundry capable of doing our

work and cannot be carried on without some outside assistance.

The proprietor proposed we should send two men out to live there

and give the assistance required but I was afraid this might lead

to troublesome complications and we have agreed to pay part of the

wages, 15/- a week, of a Frenchman to be engaged by the proprietor.

Up to the present we have not send any washing there as it has been

small in amount and could be taken by a small Laundry near by.

Mr. A. A. Gatty of Bannister Hall, Near Preston, Lancs has

presented the hospital with a Cyclostyle which was very urgently

required. I had indented on the Army Stores for one but was informed

we must procure it out of our own funds. It has arrived and is in


I think that with the exception of the oil engine the whole

of our equipment has been received. All things considered it has

sustained extremely little damage, none to seriously incommode us.

The health of the whole personnel is excellent as we trust

this may find Your Lordship.

I have the honour to be,

Your Lordships

Obedient servant,

James Clark

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