With the Hospital at Étaples still driving towards completion, the weekly report of 25th August is concerned with the work that is left to be done on site. Chief Commissioner Clarke states that as far as casualties are concerned, there is no immediate urgency for the Hospital to be completed although they hope for it to be finished very soon. Due to this, he reports that the Matron says to refrain from sending the Sisters out, as there would be nothing for them to do. However, there are still problems with the ‘non-arrival of the Oil Engine and Dynamo’, which are required for the Operating Theatre and the X-ray, as well as delayed motor cars. The Ford Van would be arriving at the Hospital ‘any day now’ but the ‘Sunbeam’ had to be ‘patched up considerably’.
Lastly, Mr A. A. Gatty of Bannister Hall presented the Hospital with a much-needed Cyclostyle, a device for copying handwriting on to paper by means of a stencil.
St. John Ambulance Brigade Hospital
Army Post Office S. 11,
British Expeditionary Force,
August 25th., 1915.
The Ambulance Department,
The Order of St. John of Jerusalem
Considerable progress is being made, the wards are nearly
all completed as to equipment and readiness to receive patients,
also the Nurses quarters, but we held up by the non arrival
of the Oil Engine and Dynamo and X-Ray and Operating Theatre work.
Captain Gordon who has been in London since Friday is endeavouring
to trace it and he has satisfied himself that it has not been
landed at Boulogne.
So far as the requirements of sick and wounded are concerned
there is no urgency for the completion of the hospital, but we are
naturally anxious to get everything completed and in working order
as soon as possible.
The Matron does not consider it advisable that the sisters
should come out just yet as there is nothing for them to do. I hope
in a week or ten days at most we shall be ready for them.
With regard to cars, we have now the “Sunbeam” – an old car
which we have had to patch up considerably, the silencer blew out
and we had to make and fix a new one which we did ourselves. The
tyres were solid and non-skid and have had to be replaced.
Colonel Trimble is providing a Ford Van out of funds at his
disposal which may arrive any day now. This van is new and built
especially for the purpose for which we require it. I shall be
glad of the two seater runabout, a Ford will do but I trust it
will be in fair working order as cars have all to go to Boulogne
for any serious repairs and become an undue expense to the
Hospital extras and Petrol and accessories for one car
have been granted to us free of charge, and I hope to get per-
mission to buy petrol from Army Stores for such other cars as
we may desire, the difference in price being 11d. a gallon as
against 2/7 if bought elsewhere.
We have made an arrangement with the Laundry mentioned in
a previous letter. It is the only Laundry capable of doing our
work and cannot be carried on without some outside assistance.
The proprietor proposed we should send two men out to live there
and give the assistance required but I was afraid this might lead
to troublesome complications and we have agreed to pay part of the
wages, 15/- a week, of a Frenchman to be engaged by the proprietor.
Up to the present we have not send any washing there as it has been
small in amount and could be taken by a small Laundry near by.
Mr. A. A. Gatty of Bannister Hall, Near Preston, Lancs has
presented the hospital with a Cyclostyle which was very urgently
required. I had indented on the Army Stores for one but was informed
we must procure it out of our own funds. It has arrived and is in
I think that with the exception of the oil engine the whole
of our equipment has been received. All things considered it has
sustained extremely little damage, none to seriously incommode us.
The health of the whole personnel is excellent as we trust
this may find Your Lordship.
I have the honour to be,