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The Accidental Birth Of Military Medicine.
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The Origins Of The British Royal Army Medical Corps. By AEW Miles.

This was the actual name of the unit Surgeon-Major Shepherd, etc., was part of, with members being present at Isandlwana (and Rorke's Drift) ?

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Bill Cainan 3


Joined: 19 Feb 2011
Posts: 105
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Coll

The RAMC was not formed until (I believe) in.

The units in 1879 were:

Army Medical Department (Officers/Surgeons ?)
Army Hospital Corps (Other Ranks ?)

I'm sure someone will be able to provide the exact organisation in the AZW !

Bill
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Martin Everett


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 785
Location: Brecon
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Surgeon Shepherd wrote the booklet on first aid adopted by the St John's Ambulance published after his death.

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Martin Everett
Brecon, Powys
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John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1003
Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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Bill,

Just to answer one of your question marks.

The Army Hospital Corps had its own officers as well being under the command of the officers of the Medical Department. The commissioned ranks of the A.H.C. were Captain of Orderlies & Lieutenant of Orderlies.

Lieutenant of Orderlies Arthur William Hall was killed in action at Isandlwana.

Two other Lieutenants of Orderlies died from illness: John Alfred Gissing just prior to the campaign and Jeremiah Troy in October 1879 as a result of disease brought on by '...Exposure to climate under trying circustances...'

John
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Bill

Would these earlier 1879 units have been the predecessors to the RAMC then ?

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Harold Raugh


Joined: 25 May 2008
Posts: 211
Location: Heidelberg, Germany (U.S. Army)
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Hi Coll,

This is from The Victorians at War: An Encyclopedia of British Military History, 1815-1914 (Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO), 2004):

"Royal Army Medical Corps

The Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) was formed on 23 June 1898 from the Army Medical Staff (consisting of officers) and the Army Medical Staff Corps (medical noncommissioned officers). The formation of the RAMC was intended to consolidate all male medical personnel in the British Army to streamline effectiveness and efficiency.
The formation of the RAMC also settled a number of grievances held for decades by military surgeons and physicians. After 1873, when medical officers had been removed from regimental control and assigned to one of two general hospitals or to station hospitals, there had been concern about loss of regimental privileges, prestige, and low pay. Rates of medical pay were increased in 1879, although medical ranks were abolished and medical officers were categorized as noncombatants in the 1880s. With the formation of the RAMC, military ranks were reinstituted and medical officers were made eligible for honors.
The formation of the RAMC had little impact on the medical organization in the field. The first engagement for the newly formed RAMC was the Battle of Omdurman, 2 September 1898, in the Sudan. General medical arrangements and treatment of the 434 wounded British soldiers was considered satisfactory and an improvement over those of previous campaigns.
On 1 October 1899, shortly before the outbreak of the Second Boer War, the strength of the RAMC (all ranks) was 3,707, with another 1,009 men in the Reserve. This number of medical personnel, however, proved inadequate during the Second Boer War. By the last year of the Second Boer War, 1902, the strength of the RAMC in South Africa reached 8,500, of whom some three-quarters were contracted civilians. Over 300 RAMC personnel lost their lives in South Africa. They also won six Victoria Crosses for gallantry.
Reforms took place in the British Army, including the RAMC, after the Second Boer War. These included moving the Royal Army Medical College from Netley to Millbank in London in 1907 and the establishment of a RAMC Territorial Force. To augment the number of trained nurses in an emergency, Volunteer Aid Detachments were also formed."

Much of this book can be found at Google Books.

Good reading!
Harold
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Harold Raugh


Joined: 25 May 2008
Posts: 211
Location: Heidelberg, Germany (U.S. Army)
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Greetings:

The Shepherd item noted above is:

2034. St. John Ambulance Association. A Pocket Aide-Memoire Compiled for the Troops in Zululand by the late Surgeon-Major P. Shepherd, M.B., Shortly Before his Death at Isandula, January 22, 1879. Reference No. 61. London: Honorary Director of Stores, St. John Ambulance Association, n.d. [1879]. This was a folded card, in a linen reinforced envelope, that was sent out with the troops in the second invasion of Zululand in May and June 1879, so they would know how to react to and treat various injuries, illnesses, and wounds while on campaign.

Cheers,
Harold
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Harold

Thanks for the detailed post.

Regarding Shepherd, I remember reading in my Queen's Regs book, that apparently he should be/have been consulted on the location of any camp, for instance Isandlwana, for health reasons, sanitation, etc.

As it was, Isandlwana was supposed to be temporary, but the fact the NNC camps were upstream of the Regular and Colonial camps, should have caused some concern about water contamination, etc.

Don't recall reading that he was ever consulted for this purpose, even post-Isandlwana, when the camp's location may have been questioned, not just for strategic reasons, but health-wise and practical.

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Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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There is a lovely copy of this little work by Shepherd on display in one of the glass cabinets in the museum at Brecon. I spotted it on Saturday morning and a few minutes later I thought I might be in need of its contents, as Bill - with a mighty roar you could have heard in Crickhowell - lunged at my younger son with Martini & bayonet and came within an inch of finishing off the job in classic Nigel Green style. Thanks for the welcome and your generosity and time, Bill!

Coll - Harold modestly omitted to mention the author of the work he quoted from above, but it is, of course, his own compilation. I don't yet have a copy but suspect it will answer a great deal of your - and my - questions.

Peter
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The Accidental Birth Of Military Medicine.
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