24th July, 1915

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.

Page One

First page of report

First page of report



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

fortnights time.

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

the cemetery.

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,

Page Two

Second page of report

Second page of report

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,

Colonel A.M.S.


Page Three

Third page of report

Third page of report

Copy of letter to


  1. 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.

Lieut-Colonel. R.A.M.C.

for A.D.M.S., Etaples.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: