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1st New Zeland Field Ambulance, New Zealand Medical Service

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1st New Zeland Field Ambulance, New Zealand Medical Corps served with the 1st New Zeland Division at the Battle of Messines in 1917.

By the 1st of March 1917 the New Zeland Division had moved from the Sailly sector and were in the Ploegsteert-Le Touquet sector in Flanders. The 1st NZ Field Ambulance, commanded by Lieut.-Col. M. Holmes, was allocated the southern most right sub-sector and set up thier Medical Dressing Station in the Convent schools at Pont de Nieppe. Two Advanced Dressing Stations were set up at, Motor Car Corner, about half a mile north-east of Le Bizet, and the Brewery Post on the Armentières-Ploegsteert-Messines road about a mile due north of Le Bizet. The road from Le Bizet to Pont de Nieppe allows both motor transport access to both Dressing Stations enabling evacuation of the wounded at any time by day or night.

At Brewery Post most of the buildings remained and in addition there were gas proof and shell-proof cellars the ADS was manned by one medical officer and 15 other ranks, with one large ambulance car garaged in the stables. Brewery Post was served by the Regimental Aid Post at Despierre Farm about a mile east, with the wounded being brought in by hand carriage.

Motor Car Corner offered a gas-proof room in some ruined buildings and a protected shed for a small car. The ADS was staffed by one corporal and four privates of the N.Z.M.C. recieving wounded from the Souther Regimental Aid Post, the magnificently named "Charing Cross Hospital", situated south of Despierre Farm in a dug-out.

In preparation for the battle, 1st New Zealand Field Ambulance moved to Ravelsberg jnear Baillieul on the Neuve Eglise, via Wulverghem to Messines road, setting up their Advanced Dressing Station at "Kandahar" Farm, about three east of Neuve Eglise. Here farm buildings offered protection by splinter-proofs for about 100 wounded lying on stretchers with a telephone line to the M.D.S. at Ravelsberg. Two Regimental Aid Posts were established in the area where the NZ Division would lanch their attack, linked by trench tramlines and each equipped with a large ambulance car; one at St. Quentin Cabaret and the other at La Plou Douve Farm in the Douve Valley, both RAP's were exposed to observation from the enemy on Messines ridge.

Those who served with The 1st New Zeland Field Ambulance, New Zealand Medical Service

at The Battle of Messines.

Those who were treated by The 1st New Zeland Field Ambulance, New Zealand Medical Service

at The Battle of Messines.

If you know of anyone who served with this unit at the Battle of Messines, please complete the form below so that they can be remembered.

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