This blog is a companion to the Database of Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington

Friday, November 2, 2012

What the well-dressed stretcher bearer is wearing

I have been very fortunate in having been given access to a photograph album, courtesy of Robin Benjamin, which had been sent home in 1917 by brothers George Gordon Williams and Harold James Williams, at that time serving with 12 Field Ambulance. 

Gordon Williams embarked with the 6 Field Ambulance on the Ajana on 4 June 1915, and his brother Harold with the 23 Infantry Battalion.  Gordon transferred to 12 Field Ambulance on 27 October 1916, and Harold joined him there a few weeks later on 13 December 1916.  

The photos are small snaps of low resolution, but I would like to try and identify some of the men who worked with Gordon and Harold by putting them in the next few posts. 

Harold Williams on the left, and Gordon Williams on the right, at this point they are serving with 12 Field Ambulance.

Some of the photos have inscriptions on the back, but most do not.  None of the photos are of the 23 Inf Bn. 


  1. Very minor comment - I expect one is on the left, and the other on the right?
    These informal photos, where you genuinely see the people are so much more powerful than posed ones, no matter what the resolution.

  2. My left foot doesn't know what my right hand is doing. I have edited the post to show that they are not both standing on the left, thank you very much.

    Agree with your sentiments, the next group of photos showing the men on the job shows just what an arduous job it was, carrying wounded men, possibly long distances, on bad tracks. Which is not to mention the danger involved closer to the lines.

    And looking at these photos, I realise there is not much about them to suggest to the soldiers on the other side that these were non-combatants. Once their jackets were off, there was no insignia to denote ambulance corps.