Albert Chapman in uniform

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Albert was the son of Harry Cooper Chapman and Margaret Butcher. One of six children, he was born on 18th June 1893 in Bethel Street, Sheffield.

[98 KB] 'A' Section 27 Field Ambulance RAMC During the recruitment drive for Kitchener's New Army, 26,236 men were recruited into the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) up to 4th November 1915. I believe that Albert was recruited during this first phase, and assigned to 'A' Section of 27th Field Ambulance (RAMC) which was attached to 9th (Scottish) Division. He was a stretcher bearer initially stationed at "Tweseldown Camp" near Aldershot for training. It was here that he kept a small black notebook in which he recorded the information given him during training. On the first page he has a diagram showing the place of the Field Ambulances in the Divisional Organisation structure.

There follow notes on various treatments for poisoning, water treatment, Bone setting and other emergency procedures.

In this notebook he listed the content of various field treatment packs, the Surgical Haversack, Field Medical Companion, Field Tourniquet, Field Fracture Box and the Field Surgical Panier No 1.

I have compiled a small picture gallery of some of his chums; one of which is marked "Happy Christmas". I suspect that some of these photographs were taken during training in December 1914 before the unit embarked for France.(Beware - there are a dozen images on this page so it might take some time to load).

Active service commenced on 7th May 1915, three days before the rest of the 9th Division, when the unit was transported to Southampton and shipped to Le Havre on Mount Temple and SS Queen Alexandria. From this point onwards, the movements of the 27th Field Ambulance can be determined quite precisely. Each unit in the First World War was required to keep a War Diary. These diaries are held in the Public Record Office at Kew under classmark WO95, and that for Albert's unit is number WO95/1758. The details available in these diaries is remarkable, from leave schedules to battle descriptions to the treatment of "Trench Foot".
Kitchener's Call to Arms I am in the process of extracting personal names mentioned in this diary. The people mentioned are not only those in the RAMC, though obviously these are in the majority, but include local land-owners, along with other members of the 9th Division, the Scottish contingents of Kitchener's New Army and the South African Brigade:

  • 8th Black Watch
  • 7th Seaforth Highlanders
  • 5th Queen Own Cameron Highlanders
  • 1st Royal Newfoundland Regiment
  • 11th Royal Scots
  • 12th Royal Scots
  • 6th Kings Own Scottish Borders
  • 9th Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
  • 2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers
  • S.A. 1/Regiment (Cape Province)
  • S.A. 2/Regiment (Natal & Orange Free State)
  • S.A. 3/Regiment (Trans & Rhod)
  • S.A. 4/Regiment (Scottish)
  • 9th Seaforth Highlanders(Pioneers)
  • Beware that not all the entries list glorious feats. The diary chronicles disciplinary offences, cases of sexually transmitted diseases, death by accident, along with mundane activities. If you find anybody you think may be yours, I have not extracted details of why they were mentioned, you'll have to look it up in the diary yourself (or pay an agent to do it for you).

    First Name: (optional)

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