Sketch by Jack Chalker

196 Field Ambulance

 The Men of 196 Field Ambulance

by

 Clayton Ford

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Click here to enlarge

On 1st December 1939, the 161 (East Anglian) Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps - Territorial Army, formed a training cadre for a new duplicate unit  -The 196 Field Ambulance of the Royal Army Medical Corps.

An infantry Field Ambulance at that time comprised of a Medical Officer,  his batman, 13 officers and 225 other ranks (Sergeants, Corporals and Privates). The unit also had 42 vehicles including 8 six wheeled motor ambulances, which were driven and maintained by members of the Royal Army Service Corp, who were attached to the unit. There were three Field Ambulances per Division and 1 per Corps.  The 196 Field Ambulance was destined to become part of the 18th Division, 54th Brigade along with the 4th Royal Norfolk and 4th and 5th Suffolk Regiments.

The Headquarters of the 196 started in the Royal British Legion building in Coleman Street/St Margarets Plain, Ipswich, where they stayed until January 1940.  During this time men from the 161 Field Ambulance were transferred to the 196 and the unit began to take shape.

Training Training

Liverpool to Halifax Liverpool to Halifax

Halifax to Singapore Halifax to Singapore

Battle for Singapore Battle for Singapore

Captivity Captivity

Roll of Honour Roll of Honour

 

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Above - Men of the 196 RAMC and RASC

Bob Ungless is second from the left

Three of these four did not make it home

(Picture: Derek Ford)

Surviving member of the 196 held regular reunions up until 2000, these were organised by Cpl Douglas Skippen and held in Ipswich, where it all began.  I have been lucky enough to have met some of these brave and remarkable men and I was proud to have shook their hands and to have my great uncle serve alongside them.

 

Acknowledgements:-

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Dedicated to the memory of 7368909 Private Robert Joseph Ungless.  Rest In Peace.  My thanks to Paul Morrell and his assistance with this article.

Please contact:- clayton@ford2162.freeserve.co.uk if you have any information you wish to share with me about the 196 Field Ambulance.

http://www.roll-of-honour.org.uk/u/html/ungless-robert-joseph.htm

 

 

Sharing information with others is rewarding in itself, the pieces from the jigsaw begin to fit together and a picture begins to appear. Improve your knowledge and help make the Fepow Story an everlasting memorial to their memory.

Any material  to add to the Fepow Story please send to:

Ron.Taylor@fepow-community.org.uk

and their story will live on.

 

[196 Field Ambulance] [Training] [Liverpool - Halifax] [Halifax - Singapore] [Battle Singapore] [Captivity] [Roll of Honour] [Photo]

 

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