3rd Australian General Hospital
From Our Contribution
Left Circular Quay, Sydney on the RMS Mooltan on 5 May 1915. Staff were mostly drawn from Sydney, and later reinforced from Victoria and South Australia. During the second half of 1915 the 3rd Australian General Hospital deployed to Mudros on the Greek island of was on Lemnos to nurse sick and wounded patients from Gallipoli.
Equipment was landed at Turk's Head, West Mudros on 5 Aug 1915, with the sisters and nurses landing on the 7th and 8th. Supplies and equipment did not arrive in a timely manner, and things were therefore in rather a state of chaos when the wounded began to arrive. Their dressings, which had been applied on the hospital ships, were saturated and covered with flies. Mattresses had to be placed on the floors of the marquees, and blankets used as pillows. Fortunately, little bed-covering was needed, as the weather was intensely hot, and the patients were clad in coarse calico shirts, and the clothing which they wore in the trenches. Despite the hospital operating in a hostile environment, their mortality rate was only 2 percent.
Initial patients were those injured in the August attempt by the allies to break out from their restricted position. Later patients were almost exclusively ill with dysentery or paratyphoid, and many of the staff also fell ill. In late November and December 1915 the patients were exhibiting the effect of the weather on men who had inadequate uniforms - severe frostbite included.
The hospital was expanded to 1,000 beds as part of the preparation for the expected heavy casualties when the troops were to withdraw from Gallipoli.
With the withdrawal from Gallipoli, the hospitals on Lemnos were disbanded, and the nurses boarded SS Oxfordshire on 14 Jan 1916 and sailed on 17 January for Egypt.
3 AGH was re-established at Abbassia in Egypt in early 1916 in an old harem, where it remained in operation for eight months. The staff then operated the Kitchener War Hospital at Brighton, England from October 1916 until they moved to France in May 1917 with 91 nursing staff.
In France it then operated from tents and huts at Abbeville, in the Somme area of France. For most of its existence on the Western Front (May 1917 to May 1918) it admitted gassed patients and treated them briefly before sending them to other places. During the German 1918 offensive, 3 AGH operated as a Casualty Clearing Station, with some wounded appearing direct from the battlefield via motor vehicles and other transport.
3 AGH was closed for admissions on 16 Apr 1919, and was instructed to be ready for withdrawal from France by May 20th. Nursing staff returned to England in parties of 10, with the last leaving France on 23 May 1919.
Soldier Patients by date admitted
Lemnos Island Aug 1915 - Jan 1916
- John Donald Stalker 9 - 20 Aug 1915
- Frederick William Scott 13 - 14 Aug 1915
- Ernest Ball DCM 23 Aug 1915
- John Alexander Spilsbury 14 Nov 1915 - 2 Jan 1916
- Frederick William Wallace Moore 20 Dec 1915 - 9 Jan 1916
- Henry McCavana 29 Mar 1916
- Reuben Douglas Naughton 19 - 21 Apr 1916
- George Harris 18 - 24 May 1916
- George Harris 26 Jun - 2 Jul 1916
- Henry Melville Hardinge 7 - 25 Jul 1916
- William Buck 19 Jul - 16 Aug 1916
- William Henry Shade 9 - 31 Aug 1916
- Roby Helliwell 21 Nov 1916 - 18 Jan 1917
- Frank Moore 21 - 30 Nov 1916
- George Conway MID 28 Feb - 17 Apr 1917
- Charles Henry Partridge 6 Mar - 1 May 1917
Abbeville, France May 1917 - May 1919
- Thomas Allan O'Dea 15 - 22 Dec 1917
- Patrick Kiely 2-3 Oct 1918
- Oswald Chorlton 17 Oct 1918
- Frederick George Gibbs 7 - 12 Dec 1918
- Clarence Henry Batt 8 - 21 Dec 1918
- Ernest Albert Batt 9 - 21 Dec 1918
- William James Allen 25 Jan - 3 Mar 1919
- Thomas Ramsell 14 - 29 Apr 1919
For further information about this unit see [throughtheselines.com.au/research/transcript-3rd-agh-narrative-of-colonel-j-a-dick]