Chief Commissioner Clark begins the weekly report of 14th July 1915 with news of his arrival at Étaples. He notes that the work on the construction of the Hospital is ‘progressing satisfactorily’ and that it should be ready to accept patients within a fortnight. However, with the demand that will be placed on the Hospital still uncertain, he is unhappy to find that a new mortuary is yet to be constructed at the site of the Hospital and suggests it should be built within 6 weeks.
D.M.S., L. of G.
I have the honour to report my arrival at Etaples to take
over charge of the St John’s Ambulance Brigade Hospital.
I have inspected the condition of the hospital and find the work
progressing satisfactorily, and hope to be ready to open in about a
The staff and male personnel have also arrived at Boulogne and are
expected here to-day.
I was, however, disappointed to find that the building in close
contact with the hospital, intended as a Mortuary was still being
used as such, notwithstanding that the Order of St. John’s were given
to believe some months ago that its use as such would be discontinued
and a new general mortuary built at some distance off, opposite
This mortuary, I find, has not yet been commenced, the contract
xxxxxxx having been made only on the 16th of this month – less than a
week ago – and I am informed will take six weeks to complete.
Under these circumstances, I would suggest that some other tempor-
-ary arrangements be made for a mortuary at some further distance
from the hospital. There is a stubble field some two or three hundred
yards along the road towards the cemetery in which a tent might be
erected temporary for the purpose.
I have seen this ground with Lieut-Colonel McMunn and we both
discussed this matter together and are in agreement on it.
As it is quite xxxxxx uncertain when a heavy demand may be made on
the hospitals, if it will be of any assistance to the Works Department,
I can arrange for the erection on the ground already selected of a
General mortuary 120ft. by 20ft., divided into three compartments,
central compartment concreted, free ventilation along full length
of eaves on both sides, and four roof ventilators, height to eaves
8ft. – to be completed in 14 days.
This would ensure the full accommodation of the hospital
being utilized which would be impossible under existing circumstances
as there is no room for a man to stretch out his arms between the
present mortuary and the wards opposite it.
In the matter of cost, I would suggest that the extra cost
incurred in providing this larger mortuary should be borne by the
W.O., the St John’s Hospital giving up its private mortuary free
of cost, of which the new mortuary would then become merely an
(Sd) James R. Andrew Clark,
Copy of letter to
- of C.
I am informed by A.D.W. that the contract for the mortuary
about to be erected opposite the cemetery had been placed in the
hands of a French contractor and it is expected that the building
will be completed in 6 weeks time dating from 16th. inst.
(Sd) J.R. McMunn.
for A.D.M.S., Etaples.