3rd Field Ambulance

From Our Contribution

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3rd Field Ambulance located under the cliff to the right on Anzac Beach AWM photo G00932
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Advanced Dressing Station of the 3rd Australian Field Ambulance, near the Menin Road at Ypres. AWM E00714

Brief History

The 3rd Australian Field Ambulance was attached to the 3rd Brigade, comprised of 9th 10th 11th and 12th Battalions. The 3rd Field Ambulance was deployed to Gallipoli, Turkey, on 25 April 1915 and became known as the unit of John Simpson Kirkpatrick who became famous for his innovative idea of using a donkey to assist in carrying wounded soldiers from the high ground of the front line, back to the dressing stations located at Anzac Cove. Subsequent evacuation was by ship to Lemnos Island, then to Malta and ultimately to the United Kingdom where soldiers might be hospitalised for many months. Then they would undergo rehabilitation, either in the UK or in serious cases they might be repatriated back to Australia. Many of the wounded succumbed to their wounds in transit. They would be buried at sea in the traditional naval fashion.

This unit later served in France and Belgium participating at Pozieres, Fromelles, Flers, Bullecourt, Lagnicourt, German 1918 advance an the Australian counter-attack.

Forty four men lost their life while posted to this unit.


Gallipoli / Mudros





Individual Honours

  • 3 x Distinguished Service Order
  • 2 x Military Cross
  • 5 x Distinguished Conduct Medal
  • 45 x Military Medal
  • 2 x Bar to Military Medal
  • 6 x Meritorious Service Medal
  • 12 x Mentioned in Despatches
  • 1 x French Medaille Militaire


For more detail on this unit's involvement during ww1 see:

  • The Body Snatchers - The History of the 3rd Field Ambulance 1914 - 1918 by Sue & Ron Austin

External Links