Topic: BatzP - 1st Gaza
The First Battle of Gaza
Palestine, 26 to 27 March 1917
Falls Account Part 15
2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance at Wadi Ghuzze
The following is an extract of the Falls Account from the the Official British War History volumes on Egypt written by Falls, C.; and, MacMunn, G., Military operations: Egypt and Palestine, (London 1928), pp. 279 - 325 detailing the British role at the First Battle of Gaza, Palestine, 26 to 27 March 1917.
Chapter XVII The First Battle of Gaza (Continued).The Evacuation of the Wounded.
The First Battle of Gaza.
The evacuation of wounded in earlier operations had been a matter of difficulty in the desert, but the improved arrangements described in Chapter XVI made it possible to handle the heavy casualties of the First Battle of Gaza.
Prior to the battle El Arish became the chief centre for the reception and evacuation of wounded. No. 2 (Australian) Stationary Hospital moved there on the 10th March with an advanced medical stores depot, and a special hospital siding was constructed. There were two hospital trains on the line, one of which brought wounded to El Arish, while the other evacuated them to Qantara the following day. Nos. 53 and 54 Casualty Clearing Stations were established at Rafah, together with a hospital for prisoners of war. The Desert Column had a convoy of ? 1 Ford Ambulances, while light cars were obtained for the carriage of sitting cases. Ten of these cars crossed the Wadi Ghazze to evacuate wounded to the dressing stations. To aid the evacuation of wounded of the 53rd Division, a total of 25 sandcarts and 30 cacolet cancels were sent from the 52nd and 54th Divisions. With this additional transport the field ambulances were practically clear by the evening, but it was found that the two hospital trains were inadequate for evacuation on the railway line.
In preparation, therefore, for the second attack on Gaza, a number of motor ambulance cars for the field ambulances of the three infantry and two mounted divisions were sent up by rail. Special arrangements were made for the operations of the mounted troops. Dressing stations were formed at Tell el Jemmi, and a convoy of 36 motor ambulance cars sent to Abasan el Kebir. In addition a camel convoy was formed to clear the dressing stations.
Citation: The First Battle of Gaza, Palestine, 26 to 27 March 1917, Falls Account Part 15, The Evacuation of the Wounded.