No. 21 Canadian General Hospital

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Phil
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No. 21 Canadian General Hospital

Post by Phil » Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:24 pm

Anyone happen to have any details on the No. 21 Canadian General Hospital for 1944? One of the comments on a No. 22 Canadian General Hospital page says Bramshott, but I wonder if that's a typo. I'm researching a soldier who was transferred from Horton Emergency Hospital, Epsom Surrey to No. 21 Canadian General Hospital on July 3rd, 1944, but I've found scant information on No. 21 CGH. After two weeks, on July 14th, he was transferred to Roman Way Convalescent Hospital, Colchester, Essex.

Official History of the Canadian Medical Services 1939-1945
For the first three weeks (to D plus 23) of operations in Normandy total casualties in the British-Canadian sector were approximately 21,016 of whom 2968 were Canadians. Up to 30 June 19,748 had been evacuated to the United Kingdom, most of the Canadians finding their way eventually to Canadian general hospitals. By 28 July a total of 46,300 casualties (including sick) had been evacuated to the United Kingdom by sea and air.
21 General Hospital (1200 beds)
http://22canadiangeneralhospitalww2.blo ... t-and.html
My name is Lloyd Jackson. My number was K46896 and during the latter part of WW II our unit operated the 22 Canadian General Hospital at Bramshott. I eventually became the Sgt. in charge of the Admission and Discharge Department. On “D” Day (June 6, 1944) we were aboard the hospital ship “Aba” in mid-Atlantic. 21 Canadian General Hospital was at Bramshott and we took over from them when they went to Normandy. As I remember it, we were a 1412 bed Hospital with several hundred staff (see picture four referred to later.) We commandeered a fleet of around 40 ambulances that made the circuit to Haslemere when trainloads of about 300 wounded arrived from Normandy. We were a distribution hospital and sent patients to specialty units such as Horsham etc. No matter what time of day or night a trainload, arrived every clerk and his typewriter reported to the Admission and Discharge Dept. and documented the admissions. After the war we became a General Hospital and ran around 900 patients.
Phil

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Re: No. 21 Canadian General Hospital

Post by BFBSM » Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:03 pm

See the C.A.M.C. official history here: http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp ... vol1_e.pdf.

Look at pages 235, 265 and 270. Page 544 places No. 2 CGH at Bramshott in May, 1944.

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Re: No. 21 Canadian General Hospital

Post by Phil » Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:51 pm

BFBSM wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:03 pm
See the C.A.M.C. official history here: http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp ... vol1_e.pdf.

Look at pages 235, 265 and 270. Page 544 places No. 2 CGH at Bramshott in May, 1944.
Thanks, I've had a look at those volumes previously, the location of No. 21 C.G.H. doesn't seem to be mentioned. It's No. 21 I'm interested in rather than No. 2 which it does indeed list at Bramshott.
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Re: No. 21 Canadian General Hospital

Post by BFBSM » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:34 pm

Phil, I am making what could be wildly inappropriate assumptions from reading, OFFICIAL HISTORY OF THE CANADIAN MEDICAL SERVICES 1939-1945, but it appears to me that No. 21 C.G.H. was not accepting casualties until it went to the continent following D-Day, to Mesnieres en Bray, near Dieppe, to be precise. See quotes below.

From page 235:
Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom the role of Nos. 16, 20, and 21 Canadian General Hospitals, which were awaiting transfer to the Continent, was the subject of some discussion. It was felt that they should be prepared to receive casualties from the Continent should the static hospitals be unable to cope with all of them. But it was pointed out that as of 18 July Canadian static hospitals in the United Kingdom had 5000 empty beds and that if all the British casualties in these hospitals could be moved out the number of beds available would be greatly increased. Arrangements were made with the War Office to provide emergency hospital accommodation for the three hospitals should it be necessary. By 12 August operations in Europe had gone so well that the Deputy Quartermaster General, Canadian Military Headquarters, was able to advise: "it is deemed that the emergency provided for will not now arise." The matter was then dropped.
From page 265:
ARMY AND BASE UNITS
The lack of movement during October as compared with August and September greatly simplified the problem of evacuation within army formations and allowed the larger lines of communication units to be brought again within effective range of the fighting front. At 6 October the following general hospitals were open:

Antwerp Area No. 9 British (600 beds)
No. 9 Canadian (600 beds)
No. 30 British (600 beds)
No. 6 Canadian (200 beds) St. Andre
No. 12 Canadian (1200 beds) St. Omer
No. 16 Canadian (600 beds)

Behind the First Canadian Army there were two Canadian general hospitals at Bayeux (Nos. 2 and 10), one at Martigny, (No. 7), one at Mesnieres en Bray, near Dieppe (No. 21).
From page 270:
Nos. 2, 10, and 12 Canadian General Hospitals remained respectively in Ghent, Turnhout, and St. Andre until disbanded, the first two in September, the third in November 1945. No. 20 moved in March 1945 from Antwerp to Turnhout, remaining there until disbanded in September 1945. This unit had arrived from England in December 1944 and had been operating at partial capacity and under great difficulty because of rocket attacks. No. 21 Canadian General Hospital moved from Mesniere en Bray to St. Omer on 9 January 1945 and remained there until proceeding to Turnhout where it was disbanded on 10 September 1945.
There are no other references, available to me, which give locations for No. 21 C.G.H.

I conclude, from the above, that No. 21 Canadian General Hospital, could have been at Bramshott, not taking casualties, and, therefore not mentioned in any of the histories other than above, and was eventually replaced by No. 22 C.G.H. as Lloyd Jackson states. (page 206 of Official History of the Canadian Army in the Second World War, Vol. Six Years of War: http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp ... xyrs_e.pdf, confirms No. 22 location as Bramshott).

I believe the only way to come to any definititive answer would be to consult the unit war diaries, or you could try contacting the Museum of Military Medicine (UK) [https://museumofmilitarymedicine.org.uk/].

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Re: No. 21 Canadian General Hospital

Post by Phil » Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:19 pm

This would have been before it moved to Mesnieres en Bray, interesting that they weren't officially, or perhaps just in large numbers, receiving casualties when he was transferred there. Great idea about contacting the Museum of Military Medicine (UK), I'll go ahead and do that. Thanks for having a look!
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Re: No. 21 Canadian General Hospital

Post by BFBSM » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:12 pm

Phil, I was hoping I did not come across as petulant with my response, not letting go of my thoughts, and by providing the quotes. I am glad my answer has helped and that I made a suggestion which may be of benefit. I look forward to hearing what the Museum has to say about the location.

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Re: No. 21 Canadian General Hospital

Post by BFBSM » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:14 pm

Quick thought, what are the dates regarding the arrival of No. 22 C.G.H., to Bramshott?

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Re: No. 21 Canadian General Hospital

Post by Phil » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:53 pm

I've been reading that blog note about No. 22 and it's reference to No. 21 all wrong. I don't know how I didn't see it but it seems blatantly obvious now that you've pointed it out, No. 22 took over the location of No. 21 in Bramshott as you quickly deduced.
My name is Lloyd Jackson. My number was K46896 and during the latter part of WWII our unit operated the 22 Canadian General Hospital at Bramshott. I eventually became the Sgt. in charge of the Admission and Discharge Department. On “D” Day (June 6, 1944) we were aboard the hospital ship “Aba” in mid-Atlantic. 21 Canadian General Hospital was at Bramshott and we took over from them when they went to Normandy.
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Re: No. 21 Canadian General Hospital

Post by Phil » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:44 am

From another angle, we know that it's 1200 beds and there's this excerpt.

Official History of the Canadian Medical Services 1939-1945

Page 101
Authority was then sought from Ottawa for the construction of sufficient huts to expand Taplow to 1000 and Bramshott to 1200 beds.
Page 103
An advance party from No. 14 General Hospital arrived in the United Kingdom in time to take over Pinewood Hospital from the outgoing British unit on 16 June as scheduled. The main body reached Pinewood on 12 July. But the taking over of Connaught Hospital by part of this unit was seriously delayed; it was 1 October before Connaught was turned over to the R.C.A.M.C., and the end of the month before it began to function as a Canadian military hospital. Though located at Farnborough, it became in Canadian terminology the Aldershot Hospital.
Also No. 2 C.G.H. lists as 1200 beds in Bramshott. So it seems Bramshott is the likely location for No. 21 C.G.H. before it moved to Mesnieres en Bray.
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Re: No. 21 Canadian General Hospital

Post by BFBSM » Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:33 am

Phil,

It is good to see that things are coming together.

So definitely Bramshott as the site of the unit being replaced. However, p. 227 of the Official History of the Canadian Medical Services 1939-1945 would suggest that No. 22 C.G.H. took over from No. 2:
Designated as railway transit hospitals were No. 2 at Bramshott, No. 4 at Aldershot, and No. 17 at Crowthorne; No. 22 took over from No. 2 on 1 July.

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