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Edgehill (Dernancourt)

The XV Corps Main Dressing Station was formed at Dernancourt in August 1916, when the adjoining EXTENSION was opened. The 45th and 1st/1st South Midland Casualty Clearing Stations came in September 1916 and remained until March 1917. The 3rd Australian was here in March and April 1917, and the 56th from April 1917 to February 1918. The 3rd Casualty Clearing Station came in March 1918 but on 26 March, Dernancourt was evacuated ahead of the German advance, and the extension remained in their hands until the village was recaptured on 9 August by the 12th Division and the 33rd American division. In September it was again used by the 47th, 48th and 55th Casualty Clearing Stations under the name of “Edgehill”, due to the rising ground on the north-west. At the Armistice, the Extension contained more than 1,700 burials; it was then enlarged when graves were brought in from small cemeteries and isolated positions in the immediate neighbourhood.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

3 Australian Casualty Clearing Station

February 1917

January/1917 passed without any special events of note and on February the 9th/17 the Unit received orders to move to Edgehill which was near the Town of Albert. Lorries were provided and the move was carried out expeditiously and soon the camp was ready for the reception of wounded, stretcher cases were received this time.

‘Early History,’ War Diary, April—May 1919

War diary says the unit was “ready to receive” at this location on 28 February 1917.

3 A.C.C.S.

Mapping Dernancourt

Maps and photos of the fighting at Dernancourt in 1918 locate where the Casualty Clearing Stations were sited.

Courtesy Ken Lees, GWF, aerial photo from July 1918.

Diary of Sister Annie Bell

12 March 1917. Left Abbeville by the 10.20 a.m. Nearly missed train as a Major took our car. Waited at Amiens for our car. The N.Z. Matron & sisters very good to us. Drove to No3. Arrived 9.30p.m., met by S. S McD. All look very well.

13. To B1. Surgical.

18. Went for route march to A, saw Col. Elliot, saw Major Chambers & Cook.

25. Went to Pedemont with M. Baker, Kelly. Saw the Chateau, saw where the German line of trenches were at Pozieres. Tear shell gas. Saw Major Embleton & Chambers.

28. Major Wilson came in p.m., looks very well. Letter from Grace.

31. Isolated in the bathroom.

1 April 1917 Mother’s Birthday. A good number to afternoon tea by the sounds from the Messroom. Heard I was to depart to another hospital.

2. Left Edgehill at 10 a.m. in motor ambulance, saw plenty of “Us” on the way. Changed cars at Beuval. To Abbeville through a storm. Arrived 5 Stationery had some nourishment there, then came on to Le Treport. Took a long time to find the hospital. To bed about 7 p.m.

Annie Bell – World War 1 Diary – Stephanie Kihlstrom

Annie Bell

Narrative of Sister Gertrude Doherty

In March 1917, I joined No.3 Australian Casualty Clearing Station which took me four days to reach from Rouen. I spent one night at Abbeyville and the rest of the time in the trains. We changed trains several times and were held up on sidings frequently for hours at a time. All the trains were crowded with troops going up the line. I went by Ambulance from Amiens to Edgehill where the C.C.S. was stationed. There was some very heavy fighting going on in the line in front of us and crowds of wounded men came through the place during the following week. The hospital trains that carried the wounded away to the Base Hospitals used to draw into the siding just in front of us.

Sister Gertrude M. Doherty – Nurses’ narratives – records of A. G. Butler, historian of Australian Army Medical Services , AWM

Edgehill, 2011

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Published Thursday July 21, 2011 · Last modified Tuesday August 14, 2012
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence

We're pleased that people are using this website as a source for locations, quotes and other primary source material. It's why we published our notes on the web. But we'd very much appreciate a footnote or credit. Much of the hospital (and other) location information for Lemnos and the Western Front is original research -- thank you, from Bernard & Cheryl