Étaples Weekly Reports

Étaples Weekly Reports – 23rd August, 1916

Museum of the Order of St John

For an introduction to this project, follow this link.

In this account Trimble reports several large convoys dated between the 16th and 22nd of August, 1916. It also mentions a potential outbreak of tetanus, a visit from the Colonel and Mrs Philips and the possibility of honouring a previous employee for his service to the order. However, it also details a fire in the nearby Canadian Hospital.


Page 1.


My Lord,

Herewith my report within the date 16th to 22nd of August.

The following convoys were received;

On Thursday, the 17th, convoy of officers to the number

of 13 were admitted. These were all stretcher cases, and of an

exceedingly bad description. One poor officer succumbed to his

wounds on Sunday, the 20th. Several of those remaining are very

seriously ill indeed, and two of them are being visited by their


The second convoy arrived on Saturday, the 19th, and

Consisted of 35 stretcher cases, and the third convoy was admitted

On Monday, the 21st, and there were 82 stretcher and 44 sitting

Cases. As usual the stretcher cases contained very many surgical

Urgencies which demanded immediate attention.

Just recently we have had six cases of tetanus occurring

After severe wounds. Two of these, I am sorry to say, have died.

All of these were sent down from the same casualty clearing

Station, and I have made a note of this, and the attention of the

consulting surgeon to the district has also been drawn to it.

On Thursday, the 17th, I had a visit from Mr. Bateson and

Mr. Furnie. These gentlemen are on the Committee of the Liverpool

Merchant’s Mobile Hospital, and were visiting there, and after

expressing a wish to see the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade Hospital,

were brought over here by Col. Peeke, who commands the Liverpool


Page 2.


Merchants Hospital. I am quite positive they were very surprised

at the perfection of the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade Hospital.

On Sunday, the 20th, Col. James Cantlie and his son Capt.

Cantlie, came here. I conducted them round and I have no hesita

-tion in saying that Col. Cantlie made a very accurate a through

examination of the methods of administration of the hospital, and as

he was about to depart he told me he had not seen anything like our

hospital in France and he congratulated me on my command.

On Monday, the 21st, Col. And Mrs. Phillips called here.

The Colonel is Commandant at the British Red Cross Hospital at

Giza, Cairo, Egypt and Mrs. Philips is the principal Matron to

The British Red Cross Society in Egypt, and I think she was formerly

Matron at the Duchess of Westminster’s hospital here. I think

they were surprised to find the Order of St. John had such a fine

institution as our hospital is.

On Sunday, the 20th, a letter was received from Surgeon

General Sir Arthur Sloggett, K. C. B., offering Major Maynard Smith

The position of Consulting Surgeon to the British forces in

France. I at once wrote to you concerning this matter, and on

Monday I dictated a second letter to you asking that Major Smith be

relieved of his contract with the Order, and also be allowed to

withdraw immediately from the service of the hospital, so as to

enable him to take up his new position, the duties of which are

of a very serious nature. I wired you yesterday asking that

sanction be given for Maynard Smith to go. I regret exceed-

ingly that he is severing his connection with the Hospital for


Page 3.


Two reasons. Firstly, he is an especially brilliant surgeon, and

Secondly, he is an excellent companion. However, I am glad his

service has been recognised, because he richly deserves the

promotion. It is a nice position and one very much sought after,

and I feel he will do excellent work in his new field. I would

here like to suggest that it would appear to me to be a graceful

act if the Order of St. John would confer on him the grade of

“Knight of Grace” of the Order of St. John. I think you will

Possibly be in possession of the fact that ever since the inception

Of the hospital no one has worked harder or dome more to assure

Its success than Major Maynard Smith. I feel sure that you will agree

with me that he has merited some recognition from the Order.

On Monday, the 21st, a fire broke out in the neighbouring

Hospital of the No. 1 Canadians. At the time there was a great

excitement, but I am glad to say that only two sections of a tent

were burned down, and as the patients in this were all walking

cases, no lives were lost. Our fire party turned out to render

what assistance they could.

Mr. Langridge and Mr. Parsons, of the Joint Committee of

the Order of St. John and British Red Cross Society, called on

Monday to have an interview with me respecting the provision

Of Red Cross workers permits for our V.A.D’s and nurses. The

British Red Cross Society sent me the papers asking me to fill

them up. As none of our personnel are British Red Cross I did

not do this, and I am now glad to say I have arranged the obtain-

ing of these Red Cross workers’ permits through the Assistant

Provost Marshall at Etaples.


Page 4.


I have to report that Sergt. E. J. Ockleford has been

Promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant to date from 14th of Aug., 1916.

I am glad to be able to state this, because this N.C.O. has rendered

Exceedingly good service.


Yours etc.

(Signed Charles J. Trimble)

The Director.

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