198 Field Ambulance
The role of the Field Ambulance was to treat and evacuate the wounded from the front line to a Casualty Clearing Station where more advanced medical care could be given. This was done through a series of Dressing stations. Each unit had a Regimental Aid Post (RAP) as close to the front line as possible. This was usually the first stop for all casualties. Most casualties were brought to the RAP by Regimental Stretcher Bearers. Basic treatment and assessments were carried out by an Royal Army Medical Corps doctor attached to the unit, before more serious casualties were evacuated to an Advanced Dressing Station (ADS) by Field Ambulance stretcher bearers. From here the casualty was again treated or assessed before being taken to a Main Dressing Station (MDS) before finally being evacuated to the Casualty Clearing Station (CCS) or hospital. The Field Ambulance was responsible for everything coming from the RAP and going to the CCS. Ambulances were driven by members of the RASC attached to the unit, who were also armed for the protection of the RAMC. The RAMC men did not carry or have access to any weapons and relied solely on the soldiers around them for protection.
Each division had three infantry field ambulances and one per brigade. The 197 and 198 Field Ambulances joined the 196 in the 18th Division. The 198 being attached to the 53rd brigade.
The Field Ambulances travelled on the SS Andes, SS Oransay and the Duchess of Athol leaving Great Britain on the 30th October 1941 with Convoy CT.5.
Duchess of Athol carried 198 Field Ambulance
1941/11/08 - At Halifax the Field Ambulance personnel were transferred American ships. The 198 to the Mount Vernon with the 53rd Brigade.
1941/11/10 - Left Halifax with Convoy William Sail 12X, destination unknown, believed to be Middle East.
Above Photo of Convoy William Sail 12X supplied by the late Maurice Rooney
Vought SB 2U Vindicator Scout Bomber - USS Ranger which was flying an Anti Submarine patrol over the convoy.
Front Line Top to Bottom:-
USS West Point - USS Mount Vernon - USS Wakefield - USS Quincy (Heavy Cruiser)
Back Row Top To Bottom:-
USAT Leonard Wood - USS Vincennes (Heavy Cruiser) - USS Joseph T Dickman
(USS Orizaba Ap-24 also sailed with Convoy though not pictured in photo)
1942/11/25 - Arrived Trinidad
1941/11/26 - Departed Trinidad
1941/12/08 - Japan entered war by bombing Pearl Harbour and invading Malaya
1941/12/09 - Arrived Cape Town, South Africa and shore leave granted.
1941/12/13 - Departed Cape Town
The 18th Division diverted from Middle East, their new destination was Singapore.
1941/12/25 - The Mount Vernon arrived Mombassa now in Convoy DM1 (Durban Malaya One
1941/12/29 - Departed Mombassa, escorted by the H.M.S. Emerald.
1942/01/13 - Arrived Singapore
Alexandra Military Hospital
On the 14th February 1942 Japanese troops entered Alexandra Hospital, and although it was a Red Cross Hospital, the Japanese bayoneted patience and medical staff. The killing did not end until the morning of the 15th February.
Many of the 198 Field Ambulance were killed in the Japanese attack on the hospital.