Advanced Dressing Station, Red Cottage, Fricourt, Plan of Dug Outs | Wellcome Images

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Advanced Dressing Stations were manned by Field Ambulances and provided limited surgical facilities for emergency cases. To treat the wounded as quickly as possible they had to be close to the front line, often within range of the enemy’s field artillery. This dressing station has had to be housed in dug outs (a photograph of the view above ground at Red Cottage, showing the devastation, is catalogued elsewhere in this site). These provide barely enough shelter for the staff of the Field Ambulance; in times of heavy fighting, the wounded will have had to wait in the open on stretchers for attendance.

Taken from two volumes of sketch plans by Lance Corporals S.T. Smith and A.R. Watt, RAMC, of Advanced Dressing Stations occupied by Field Ambulances of the 23rd Division in Flanders during the Battle of the Somme, 1916-1917.

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Cite : Advanced Dressing Station, Red Cottage, Fricourt, Plan of Dug Outs | Wellcome Images ( by S.T. Smith / A.R. Watt licensed as CC-BY-NC-SA (

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About Richard Marshall

Richard Marshall is studying for a doctorate in the literature of ancient Rome at Wadham College, Oxford, and is a tutor for Ancient History at St Benet’s Hall. In addition to Classics, he has a long-standing interest in the tactics and material culture of the British Army, especially of the period spanned by the Cardwell Reforms and First World War. He has a large collection of original uniform and equipment items used for teaching and research purposes, and is currently exploring the evolution of British military clothing and accoutrements in response to changes in fashion and warfare for eventual publication. He previously worked as a cataloguer for the Oxford University Great War Archive.
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