Étaples Weekly Reports

Étaples Weekly Reports – 29th September, 1915

Museum of the Order of St John

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With the advance of British forces at the front, the report states that urgent calls have been made to all hospitals in the area to increase their accommodation by 50%. This is not possible for the Order’s Hospital at Étaples, but Chief Commissioner Clark notes in the report from 29th September 1915 that, should an emergency arise, the Hospital could extend its capacity by 200 beds. Creating additional wards from existing space, as well as from the former public mortuary, allows this extra accommodation to be provided, as the military authorities cannot offer any tents for the purpose.

Further to last week’s report, he notes that accommodation for the new Chaplain, Rev. F. E. L. Gower, has been found in Étaples, and that another nine men are required to complete the team of personnel at the Hospital. Meanwhile, the current Hospital staff are hit by a mild case of enteritis, which is thought to be due to the onset of winter and changes in weather conditions.

Lastly, the report notes how severe some of the cases admitted to the Hospital are. Three patients have already died and Chief Commissioner Clark writes that he is ‘afraid more are expected’.


Page One

St. John Ambulance Brigade Hospital,

Army Post Office S. 11,

British Expeditionary Force,




The Director,

The Ambulance Department,

The Order of St. John of Jerusalem

In England.


My Lord,

The chief point of interest during the past week is the

removal of the Public Mortuary from the vicinity of the hospital

so that we are now free to make use of all our wards.

At the end of last week an urgent call was made on all

Hospitals in the neighbourhood to increase their accommodation

50%. I was not able to do this but I am now prepared as an

emergency if required to increase by 200 beds, 60 short of the

50 required. The Military Authorities could not provide me with

tents so that the increased accommodation has had to be made by

the utilization of buildings as wards originally intended for

other purposes. It is only a temporary measure during the present

advance of our Forces, and up to the present we have not had to

utilize it as out evacuations are keeping pace with out admissions.

I communicated with the Senior Chaplain here on the matter

of the Rev. F.E.L. Gower, and am informed that accommodation

could be found for him in the town of Etaples about a mile from

the hospital.

I am sending for a final reinforcement of 9 men to com-

plete our personnel as I find that they will all be required.

They will be enlisted in the R.A.M.C. and be payed by the


There has been a slight experience of mild Enteritis

amongst the whole of the personnel of the hospital, I think

probably due to the sudden change of weather. It has not been of

sufficient severity to incapacitate them or cause any alarm.


Page Two

The weather has become very wet and cold with North East

winds amounting to a gale at times.

We have received some very serious cases amongst the patients

and I regret to say three deaths have occurred amongst them, and

I am afraid more are expected.

I have the honour to be,

Your Lordships

Obedient servant,

James Clark

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