4th August, 1915

The start of August saw the arrival of much anticipated supplies and materials. Whilst the construction of the Hospital was still ongoing, Chief Commissioner Clark addressed the urgent need for more vehicles, to carry out duties such as taking items to the laundry. He reports that they would like ‘a small 15-20 touring car and a light ford van, also a small two seated run-about Singer’ but that the cars they believed had been shipped to them have ‘not been heard of’.

There is also mention of the Hospital’s Matron and her sisters preparing themselves for the journey to France, with their expected arrival taking place on Wednesday 11th August 1915. Lastly, attached to the report is a copy of a letter received from a G. Toombs, who lists the cars that had been sent out to the Hospital in Étaples, as well as those that were still to be sent over from London.

Page One

First page of report

First page of report

To The Director

The Ambulance Department

The Order of St. John of Jerusalem

in England

My Lord,

I am glad to be able to report that a very large proportion

of the delayed material arrived yesterday and today, and will

enable us to get on with the completion of the Hospital more


The offer of a General Mortuary I alluded to in my last

letter has now been accepted, and we propose utilizing the material

for a Convalescent Officers Dining and Recreation Room which will

be erected close to the ward reserved for them.

supply to Rt Hon Charles Booth[?]

We are in urgent need of a small 15-20 touring car

Mr Toombs has one ready                         11 Adelphi Terrace [rest illegible] 

and a light Ford van, also a small two seated run about Singer.

The car that we have at present, the Metallurgique, is used up

entirely and is working on one cylinder only, and we have had to

buy tyres for it.

The Sunbeam Lord Norreys informed us was shipped for the

Hospital last Sunday week the 25th ult., has not been heard of,

and the cars mentioned in the accompanying copy of a letter received

from Mr. Toombs have likewise not been further heard of. I have

communicated with Lord Norreys on these matters but presume he is

away as I have received no answer from him.

Our washing will have to be done at a laundry some seven

miles off and will be sent twice a week; for the transport of

this and for journeys to Boulogne and elsewhere for provisions etc.

a light wan is absolutely essential.

The Matron and three or four sisters to assist her in

getting things ready might come out on Wednesday the 11th

Page Two

Second page of report

Second page of report

Contd 2.

They may have to mess with the Officers for a time till their

own mess and the general kitchen are ready, but their sleeping

quarters will be ready to receive them.

I shall be obliged if Mr. Morgan will forward as soon

as possible all invoice still in his hands of goods received

as we urgently require them here for checking as equipment arrives.

I have the honour to be,

Your Lordships

Obedient servant,

James Clark

Etaples. 4/8/15.

Kindly advise me of the boat by

which the Matron will leave …..

We may make arrangements for

having her here in Boulogne and brought

out here and also of the number of

Sisters coming with her.


Page Three

Third page of report

Third page of report

Copy of a letter received from

  1. Toombs Esq,

142, Boulevard De Strasbourg,


July 21st 1915.

To Col. Sir James R.A. Clark, Bart, C.B.,

St. John Ambulance Brigade Hospital,


Dear Sir James,

I have to advise you that I have sent up to Boulogne today

en route for Etaples in charge of Red Cross Drivers who are returning

to Boulogne, the following vehicles which have been sent over from

London by Lord Norreys :-

28/36. H.P. Turcat-Mery Lorry (more of a [illegible] Not much good – broken down en route!)

50/60. H.P. Fiat Van

I shall be glad to hear from you when they reach Etaples


I also have the following vehicles here which have been sent

over by lord Norreys, but of which some are not yet fit for the road

as certain parts are required as shewn on list below :-

  1. H.P. Panhard Ambulance. Clutch and steering gear in a

bad state.

  1. H.P. Iris Car. Needs timing-gear-wheel.

30.H.P. Napier Ambulance. Needs oil pump.

Metallurgique Ambulance. In good order.

All the spare parts necessary have been requisitioned, and

as soon as all the vehicles are in a fit state, I will advise you,

so that you may send down drivers to fetch them away.

Yours sincerely,

(Signed) G. Toombs,

Commissioner. O.S.J.J.

Sub-Commissioner B.R.C.S.


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