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Medical cart
scarletto7


Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 91
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During the Isandhlwana battle, they loaded the wounded onto a hospital cart, was wondering how many could a cart carry, seeing the time of battle and the likelihood that only serious cases were loaded, would give me a very (OK very) rough idea of caualties.

I'm thinking this in terms more likely from Zulu overshoots than men off the firing lines
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John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 952
Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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Do you mean an ambulance?

If so four stretcher-cases could be carried onboard.

John Y.
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scarletto7


Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 91
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thank you
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Julian whybra


Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 436
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You can just see the end of the ambulance on the right of the famous photo showing the lone sentry on the saddle. There are also numerous diagrams of them in the secondary sources.
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Sawubona


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 1179
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Julian,
Is that the Lloyd (sp?) photo taken when the battlefield was "revisited" later that same year that you refer to?
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John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 952
Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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A photograph of an Ambulance based on the General Service Wagon, taken in the field in Zululand, 1879.

John Y.



(Clever clogs John! - Alan)
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tom


Joined: 02 Sep 2005
Posts: 45
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Well done,John.
It makes all the difference when you can actually see the photos in question.
Tom
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scarletto7


Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 91
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Thank you all, for your replies and photo most helpful
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scarletto7


Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 91
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Thought I'd use this again, when a rifle company went into action (Isandlwana for instance) how many medical orderlies and or bandsmen would it have for medical cover??

or where the medical staff at the hospital and the bandsmen would take the wounded there??

and final question were the medical orderlies in a all blue uniform
thank you
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Bill Cainan1


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 107
Location: Lampeter
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Scarletto

Full details of the Ambulance Wagons (Mark II & III) are given in “Treatise on Military Carriages…” 1879, recently republished by D.P & G Military Publishers of Doncaster. The Treatise also includes a scale drawing of the MkIII wagon, details of the stretchers used, pharmacy wagons, wagons for Field Hospital Eqpt, Litters, and Medical Boxes for Bearer Companies.

A Cape Wagon, if used as an ambulance, could carry three stretchers and 14 seated.

In 1879 a Field Hospital was a 200 bed organization (much as it is today !), but in South Africa there were neither the wagons available nor the trained Army Medical Staff/Army Hospital Corps personnel to man such an organization. To give flexibility, the Field Hospital was broken down into eight Medical Units (each capable of dealing with 25 bedded casualties). Two of these units accompanied each column. Each Unit had one surgeon and was supported by three men from the AHC (1 x NCO, 1 x cook, 1 x wagon orderly – in charge of the field ambulance).

For the Centre Column's two units, Surgeon Major Shepherd was the senior surgeon, supported by Surgeon Reynolds. In the advance into Zululand, of the two Medical Units, one unit remained at Rorke’s Drift and the other moved forward with the column.

Each column also had a “Bearer Company” comprising 8 AHC personnel and 40 native carriers (who were equipped with 8 cots). They were supported by a Stores Wagon and a water cart. At Isandlwana, this unit was commanded by Lt of Orderlies Hart.

It is my understanding that in total there were 13 AHC personnel in the camp.

At Rorke’s Drift, Reynolds was supported by 3 AHC men (Cpl Miller, Cpl McMahon and Pte Luddington) and his servant William Pearce (who was paid to do the hospital washing).

It was accepted that the medical cover would probably prove insufficient and as a consequence each Infantry Battalion had ONE “special orderly” !! Each rifle company nominated two men as Regimental Stretcher Bearers, a function also covered by members of the band (s).

For the dress worn by these men, I would refer you to the Osprey publication “British Forces in Zululand” by Ian Knight. The Uniform Plate J1 shows two privates of the AHC (blue uniform, with narrow red piping down the trousers and on the cuffs & collar, an “AHC” tag on each of the epaulettes, and a small circular red cross badge on the right upper arm). Plate D1 shows Surgeon Reynolds.

For further reading, I would refer you to “The Rorke’s Drift Doctor” by Lee Stevenson and “Sister Janet” by Brian Best & Katie Stossel.

Hope this is of some use ?

Bill

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Bill Cainan
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scarletto7


Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 91
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Bill, thats excellent!!! i learnt a lot there, and will follow up your book recomendations, again thank you
simon
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Medical cart
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