No. 69 Field Ambulance at Red Cottage, Fricourt |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. As can be seen from the devastation in the photograph, most of this dressing station has had to be housed in dug outs (plans of the Red Cottage dug outs are available elsewhere on this site). These provided barely enough shelter for the staff of the Field Ambulance; in times of heavy fighting, the wounded waited outside on stretchers to be attended.

The 69th Field Ambulance was attached to the 23rd Division for the whole of the war.

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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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