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La Belle Croix – ‘Tasmania’

No. 1 Australian Casualty Clearing Station was sited between Outtersteene and Bailleul from 19 July 1917—28 March 1918.

DMS calls this locality on the map “TASMANIA” (verbal instructions 28/7/17).

1 A.C.C.S. War Diary, 30 July 1917


Plan of “Tasmania” camp from 1 A.C.C.S. War Diary for April 1918VIEW LARGE
See also Google Map link

1 A.C.C.S. War Diary for April 1918 ‘List of Appendices’ labels this sketch as ‘Plan of 1st Aust. C.C.S. at LA BELLE CROIXTASMANIA” 36A F.4.b.9.4’. War Diary also indicates it is on the Meteren—Noote-Boom road, which is the secondary road it straddles (now called Route d’Estaires).

German map

Crop La Belle Croix locality. “Extrait d’une carte Allemande. Datant du 09 Mars 1918. En rouge, les depots de materiel et de munition reperes juste un moise avant l’offensive de la Lys.” VIEW LARGE

Cadastre, 1858

Land parcel of 1858 matches distinctive shape of 1 A.C.C.S. camp sketch. Source: BAILLEUL 1858 (P31 / 003) Plans du cadastre napoléonien – Archives départementales du Nord, Archives en ligne  (Thanks Gérard Lemaire)


  • 19 July 1917 – move to new site DMS calls “TASMANIA
  • 24 July 1917 – open
  • 27 July 1917 – 8 sisters arrive, ready for light cases only
  • 7 September 1917 – “Air raid 2.15 in afternoon one bomb dropped in field at rear of Hospital Camp (No. 1) did not explode.”
  • 29 September 1917 – machine gun from plane wounds one; considerable shelling
  • 2 October 1917 – account of dud shell landing in hospital grounds… “better be left where it is”
  • 6 December 1917 – 1ACCS made a “Corps Rest Station” for the reorganised “Australian Corps”
  • 2 February 1918 – officers & sisters from 3ACCS visit for the day, game of Australian Rules football (won by 3ACCS)
  • 13/14 February 1918 – ceases to be a Corps Rest Station from “midnight 13/14th inst.”

Sick/wounded admitted Jan/Feb/March – numbers shown; average of 724/month
Apr/May/June – avg 1,128/month (2,862 in June)

18.3.18 – 28.3.18: Heavy shelling near – unit not hit and shelling did not interfere with work.
28.3.18: Removal of unit started, owing to expected enemy attack. Everything carried out in an orderly manner. Huts and tents were taken down, transferred to new locality and erected as they arrived.
31.3.18: Remainder of patients evacuated to other CCS.

Diary, April 1918 – E. M. McCarthy – Matron-in-Chief


23 November 1917. Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Fay McClure, Australian Army Medical Corps (AAMC), performing surgery in the operating theatre of the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station Station. Identified, left to right: Sergeant Haswell; Lt Col F McClure; Sister Murphy; Major Featonby. AWM E01304

24 November 1917. Sister M J Hubbard, preparing a patient for an operation, in the pre operation ward of the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station. AWM E01305

Remains of concrete dug-out

Remains of concrete dug-out

Probably built for No. 1 Australian Casualty Clearing Station in 1917. Matches location of “Dug Out” marked on “Plan of Tasmania camp” and a shelter is mentioned in the Matron-in-Chief’s diary:

Here the work was very heavy during the mustard gas attacks in the Armentieres sector. In October 1917, Colonel Dick the O.C. was transferred to No.1 Australian General Hospital, and Lt.Col. Marks D.S.C. relieved him. On the afternoon of Sept.26th, the vicinity of the C.C.S. was shelled, and one fell at the back of the Officers’ ward, but fortunately did not explode. The patients were evacuated and the Sisters sent to No.2 C.C.S. for the afternoon, but returned later. After this, a concrete dug-out was built in the Sisters’ compound.


View all dug-out photos on Flickr – photos copyright & courtesy Gérard Lemaire

“Tasmania”, 2011

View photos & captions on Flickr

Published Friday February 17, 2012 · Last modified Sunday April 15, 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