RAMC major units: 1985 to 1989

Discussion in 'Professionally Qualified, RAMC and QARANC' started by intrepid861, May 23, 2012.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Hi

    I originally posted this in the Historical thread. However someone recommended posting here too

    I have been investigating the combat support arms for the British army in the latter years of the cold war 1985 to 1989. But have come unstuck with the RAMC. Most books from the time period are very vague. Piercing it together from some sources, shows the following regular units:

    1st Armoured Division Field Ambulance
    2nd Infantry Division Field Ambulance
    3rd Armoured Division Field Ambulance
    4th Armoured Division Field Ambulance
    5th Field Ambulance
    16th Field Ambulance
    24th Field Ambulance
    19 Field Ambulance
    23 (Parachute) Field Ambulance

    21 Field Hospital
    22 Field Hospital
    32 Field Hospital
    33 Field Hospital
    34 Field Hospital
    84 Field Medical Equipment Depot

    However following the Hansard parlimentary questions archive, reveals that in 1990 there were 22 Major RAMC units


    So what were the names and cold war duties of the missing 11 units?

    Someone suggested these might be the BMH's, However there were 13 of those in the late 80's.

    Many thanks if you can help, apologies if this is not the right forum.
  2. I'm pretty sure 29 Field Ambulance was still "alive" during the period mentioned.

  3. Didn't the armoured brigades have a dedicated field ambulance?
  4. Hi guys, thanks for the replies.

    28 and 29 merged to become 1st Armoured Division Field Ambulance in 1978
  5. Were 33 and 34 Fd Hosps not formed in 1996?
  6. I did my RMA3 at 2 Armoured Field Ambulance Feb/March '89 I think at Roberts Barracks, Osnabruck.
  7. Was the TA included in the number. Are we just talking regular?

    The OPs list is correct as far as I recall. Although I see no mention of BMHs and mil hosps overseas and UK
  8. Hi

    This number only includes regular units, in addition they would be supported by a further 29 TA RAMC units.

    There was some discussion whether this number included the BMH's, on the Military History and Militaria. But there were 13 of those at the time, rather than the missing 11 if the list up top is correct.

    Thank you for your assistance.

    You might be correct about 34, but 33 deployed to the Gulf in 91. But thank you for bringing it up, I shall investigate further.
  9. I was posted to 34 on its formation in 96 in Strensall. Thought 33 came around at the same time in Gosport.

    Having read further in to it, BMHs were referred to as Fd Hospitals, 33 was CMH in Aldershot and formed as a separate entity away from Aldershot in 96 when CMH closed.

    I believe Rinteln was know as 29 Fd Hosp.
  10. Is the Blood Unit, cant recall its name (I remember doing a blood donation course there in the mid nineties) still in Aldershot, I think it was near the soldier mag offices? Does that count as a Major unit?

    Or did it come under another unit command?
  11. Major Regular RAMC Units in 86/87 (TTW = Transition to War)

    In 1st British Corps, 1 and 3 Armoured Divisions each had two Armoured Field Ambulances, 4 Armoured Division had only one, until the arrival of 19 Brigade on TTW. All Armoured Field Ambulances were understrength at only 60-70% WE. This was a deliberate cost saving act by the bean counters. This was compounded by the CO of 4 Armoured Field Ambulance, who through sheer domination, forced Med Branch HQ Ist BR Corps to reinforce his unit at PE by taking 15 X Pax + 2 X 432 Amb/Load from 1, 2 , 3 and 5 Armoured Field Ambulances. He reasoned that as 4th Armd Div were committed to the Covering Force Battle and unlikely to be reinforced he needed to be at 80% WE in Peace. To counter the under manning the Armoured Field Ambulances relied totally on the Regimental Bands for reinforcement on TTW, before IRs and the earmarked TA Field Ambulances arrived in Theatre. Each Armoured Field Ambulance had 2 or3 earmarked Bands and 1 TA Field Ambulance.

    All of the static Hospitals had War Roles, some moved to OPLOC’s others stayed put. Generally the BAOR Hospitals became Field Hospitals and formed the Forward Surgical Complex (FSC) in the Forward Combat Zone (FCZ). The others became General Hospitals and either remained in the UK or formed, with the TA General Hospitals, the Rear Surgical Complex (RSC) which was in the Rear Combat Zone(RCZ), as well as the Comm Zone and L of C. A number of TA Field Ambulances also mobilised to the RCZ and the L of C. Casualties from the FSC Field Hospitals in FCZ were evacuated by either Ambulance Coaches or Ambulance Train to General Hospitals of the RSC in the RCZ. Air Evac was an aspiration only. All BMH’s had wartime Military Designations and Establishments. I am afraid that I don’t remember their Military Designation’s.

    Unlike today, the then unwritten Treatment Philosophy was “The Most For The Least”. In simple terms Medical Main Effort was focused on the least injured to get them back into Battle, while the worst injured became P1 (expectant). Thank the good Lord that Ivan Blinked and the 3rd Shock Army never forced us to implement such a policy.

    The list of Major RAMC/AMS units that I recall from that era is as follows:

    23 Para Fd Amb
    19 Field Ambulance Colchester ( 4 Div on TTW)
    24 Field Ambulance Catterick ( 2 Inf Div on TTW)
    1 Armoured Field Ambulance Hohne ( 1 Div) (The Title Armoured Division Field Ambulance had gone)
    2 Armoured Field Ambulance Osnabruck (I Div)
    3 Armoured Field Ambulance Sennelager (3 Div)
    4 Armoured Field Ambulance Minden ( 4 Div – supported by 19 Fd Amb on TTW)
    5 Armoured Field Ambulance Munster - (3 Div)
    DMED BAOR in Bielefeld (War role as 84 F Med)
    BAOR Rehab at Iserlohn (Moved to Corps Reinforcement Group on TTW)
    BMH Berlin (Allied War Hospital – instant POW’s)
    BMH Munster ( Fd Hosp on TTW)
    BMH Iserlohn ( Fd Hosp on TTW)
    BMH Rinteln (Fd Hosp on TTW)
    Military Wing Musgrave Park Hospital – Op Banner
    Cambridge Military Hospital ( Fd/Gen Hosp on TTW)
    Royal Herbert Woolwich (Fd.Gen Hosp on TTW)
    Tidworth Military Hospital. (Fd/ Gen Hosp on TTW)
    Catterick Military Hospital (Fd/ Gen Hosp on TTW)
    BMH Hong Kong
    BMH Nepal
    18 Fd Amb (-) Hong Kong
    DMED Ludgershall (? F Med on TTW)
    The Blood Supply Depot at Aldershot.
    The Royal Army Medical College at Millbank
    The RAMC Depot at Keogh
    David Bruce Laboratories – Tidworth
    DMRU Headley Court
    QA Depot Aldershot
    RADC Depot Aldershot
    AMS Field Training Centre Chester
    In addition to these there were many MRS’s in the UK and BAOR
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Cheers for the additional information. Its becoming increasingly clear that these missing units, are the BMH's in their 'War-time' role as Field/General Hospital's. So thank you

    The parliamentary Questions site states that a major unit is at "Battalion strength". So I am guessing the blood unit would have come under the command of 33 Field Hospital. But thanks for the info. I keep digging up info on small units like this, plus Field Surgical teams and Field Psychiatric teams.
  13. That is utterly fantastic! Thank you very much for this information. All I could hope for and more, thanks for the detailed explanation of the wartime roles too.

    It should now simply be case of tracking down the wartime designations.

    Thank you once again selectvestry.
  14. The Army Blood Supply Depot was co located with 84 in Andover, the unit is now known as M&GS Blood Supply Team, part of MOD Abbeywood.
  15. great info, although the Herbert no longer existed during the period requested, nor did Tidworth Military Hospital (it was a MRS) or BMH Nepal but there was 2 Field Hospital (later retitled 22 Field Hospital) in Aldershot, QEMH in Woolwich, 16 Field Amb in Colchester, BMH Hannover and of course KEMH FI. 'Catterick Military Hospital' was the Duchess of Kent Military Hospital, there was no longer a Field Amb in Hong Kong, the BMH had a Med Support Section. The RADC 'Depot' was the HQ & Central Group RADC and the Army Blood Supply Depot (ABSD) was in ALdershot next to where they used to knock out 'Soldier Magazine'.
    As correctly stated, the Role 4 hospitals all had TTW designations upon deployment such as 33, 34 Field Hospital etc