Otto William Alexander Elsner

Colonel Otto William Alexander Elsner CBE, DSO, ADMS

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Born in Ireland on 4th June 1871, he was educated at Galway Grammar School , and later at the Royal College of Surgeons.

In 1897 he travelled to Nigeria as the M.O. for the preparation of the Ibadan to Ilorin railway. In 1899 he joined the RAMC serving throughout the South African war gaining the Queen's Medal with 5 clasps.

Between 1902 and 1905 he served in India. He returned to South Africa in 1910 where he stayed until the outbreak of war in 1914.

He joned the British Expeditionary Force in September 1914 and served with the 6th Cavalry Field Ambulance in Belgium. This was the First Battle of Ypres.

It is early in 1915 that he enters the story of Albert Chapman, when he is given the command of 27th Field Ambulance. Much of the story told in these pages are in the words of Col. Elsner, taken from the war diary he maintained daily throughout the war.

In 1917, he was appointed ADMS of 9th (Scottish) Division.

Mentioned 5 times in dispatches, awarded the DSO in 1917 and appointed CBE in 1919. He retired from the Army in 1926. He died in 1953.

Alas he retired after the cutoff date for the recently released officers records at the Public Records Office, but his obituary (The Times, 19-Jan-1953, 8e) was the source for this information. Navigation Button Bar - Left=Previous Middle=Home Right=Next