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Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) - WW1

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Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) - WW1

See Army Medical Services


Please link profiles of those who were Royal Army Medical personnel during WW1 to this project regardless of rank or nationality. People of note can be individually listed below in Alphabetical Order.

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World War 1

At the outbreak of World War One, just 16 years after its formation, there were 9,000 Warrant Officers and Men of the RAMC; this grew to 113,000 by 1918. The RAMC operated the army’s medical units and provided medical detachments for the units of infantry, artillery and other arms. The Corps was assisted in its work by voluntary help from the British Red Cross, St John’s Ambulance, the Friends Ambulance Unit, the Voluntary Aid Detachments and hundreds of private and charitable ventures. The RAMC’s job was both to maintain the health and fighting strength of the forces in the field and ensure that in the event of sickness or wounding they were treated and evacuated as quickly as possible.
A casualty then travelled by motor or horse ambulance to a Casualty Clearing Station which were basic hospitals, the closest point to the front where female nurses were allowed to serve. Patients were usually transferred to a stationary or general hospital at a base for further treatment. A network of ambulance trains and hospital barges provided transport between these facilities, while hospital ships carried casualties evacuated back home to ‘Blighty’.

In addition to battle injuries inflicted by shells and bullets, the First World War saw the first use of poison gas. It also saw the first recognition of psychological trauma, initially known as 'shell shock'. In terms of physical injury, the heavily manured soil of the Western Front encouraged the growth of tetanus and gas gangrene, causing medical complications. Disease also flourished in unhygienic conditions, and the influenza epidemic of 1918 claimed many lives.

It has been documented that on the Western front alone, the wounded that returned to the firing line represented a manpower saved of 1,600,000. It has been acknowledged that this enormous amount of men conserved to fight again was almost enough to turn the scale of war in the British Armies favour. This was also achieved through RAMC personnel worked along side drivers of the Army Service Corps and carpenters of the Royal Engineers in all units.The CCSs and General Hospitals were also served by Sisters of the QAIMNS and nurses of the Joint Red Cross and St, John, VADs of the Red Cross. There was no Army Dental Corps at first but Dentists acted as anaesthetists as well as performing dental work as RAMC officers.
The RAMC was not a fighting force but its members saw the full horror of the war. Warrant Officers and men performed their duties unarmed and the Corps lost 6,873 personnel; of these an estimated 470 officers and 3,669 other ranks were either killed in action or died of wounds.

By 1929 the Corps could proudly boast ownership of many foreign orders and various foreign medals, along with -

  • 1,111 Meritorious Service Medals including one extra bar
  • 3,002 Military Medals including 95 with one extra bar, and 4 with 2 extra bars
  • 395 Distinguished Conduct Medals including 9 with one extra bar
  • 3 Albert Medals
  • 1,484 Military Crosses including 61 with one extra bar, 22 with 2 extra bars and 1 with 3 extra bars.
  • 499 Distinguished Service Orders including 25 with 1 extra bar
  • And 7 Victoria Crosses, two of which included 1 extra bar.

Many Conscientious Objectors accepted call-up into the Royal Army medical Corps as non-combatants. SeeFirst World War - British Conscientious Objectors

“The R.A.M.C.”...written by Cpl W H Atkins (A. Coy, 1/8th Worcs).

The Southern Cross

Notable RAMC Personnel

British born





  • Major General Henry Edward Manning Douglas VC CB CMG DSO (11 July 1875 – 14 February 1939) English recipient of the Victoria Cross. Royal Army Medical Corps, 2nd Boer War. Fought in WW1. WIKI Henry Edward Manning Douglas









  • Lieutenant-Colonel Ferdinand Simeon Le Quesne VC (25 December 1863 – 14 April 1950) Jersey, Channel Islands born recipient of the Victoria Cross. Royal Army Medical Corps, Second Boer War, World War I WIKI Ferdinand Le Quesne













Notable Army Medical Services Personnel - WW1

born - Rest of the World

  • Captain Bellenden Seymour Hutcheson VC, MC (16 December 1883 – 9 April 1954) was an American-born Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross (VC) during WW1. WIKI Bellenden Hutcheson Hutcheson was a graduate of Northwestern University Medical School. In 1915, he renounced his United States citizenship in order to join the Canadian Army as a medical officer. He reclaimed his American citizenship after the war. 75th (Mississauga) Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. WIKI Bellenden Hitcheson
  • Major-General William Henry Snyder Nickerson VC CB CMG (27 March 1875, Dorchester, New Brunswick – 1954), Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross. Royal Army Medical Corps, Second Boer War, World War I WIKI William Henry Snyder Nickerson
  • Francis Alexander Caron Scrimger VC (February 10, 1880 – February 13, 1937), was a Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross. Service/branch - Canadian Expeditionary Force. WW1 WIKI Francis Alexander Caron Scrimger
  • Brigadier John Alexander Sinton, VC, OBE, FRS, DL (2 December 1884 – 25 March 1956) was a Canadian born British medical doctor, malariologist and soldier, recipient of the Victoria Cross. WW1 WIKI John Alexander Sinton

// this project is in History Link