Unit History: Armoured Field Ambulance
5 Filed Ambulance was established in Aldershot on 14 August 1914 under command of Lt Col RJ Copeland RAMC. The unit sailed from Southampton for Boulogne on 18 August 1914. Arriving at the French coast on 19 August, they boarded trains and arrived at Vaux Andigny on 22 August and then marched 32 miles over Pont-Sur-Sambre where they took over the sick and wounded from 4 Field Ambulance in order to release this unit to receive casualties from the Battle of Mons.
During this time, Arthur Martin-Leake was making his way to the seat of the war. Having been severely wounded when gaining the Victoria Cross in South Africa, he occupied his convalescence in obtaining the degree of Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. Despite holding a high administrative post in the Indian Railways, he contrived to gain passage to France, joined 5 Field Ambulance and, for conspicuous gallantry between 29 October and 9 November 1914 for the first time in history, he was awarded the Victoria Cross for the second time.
5 Field Ambulance was disbanded at the end of WW1, having taken part in many great battles including the Battles of the Somme, Arras, Cambrai and the Hindenburg Line. At the outbreak of WW2, 5 Field Ambulance was reformed at the Connaught Hospital, Aldershot under the command of Lt Col S Arnott DSO, and served in Arles, Marshiennes, India, Rangoon, Japan and Malaya. After WW2, the unit served in Cyprus and the Suez Canal Zone until 1958 when it disbanded. When 24 Field Ambulance was disbanded in September 1976, remnants of 24 Field Ambulance were used to form 5 Field Ambulance, which moved by arms plot Oxford Barracks, Munster.
The unit was renamed 5 Armoured Field Ambulance on 1 January 1982. The unit took part in Operation GRANBY 1990-91. In 1993 the unit moved to Fulwood Barracks, Preston and in that same year it was renamed 5 Field Ambulance RAMC. On 1 December 1999 the unit changed formation and name to 5 General Support Medical Regiment, and celebrated its 90th Anniversary on 13 August 2004.
Memories of Armoured Field Ambulance
(Memories written by members of Forces Reunited)
Armoured Field Ambulance Osnabruck in 1977
Written by Eric (Paddy) McNally
When I was leaving to go back to the UK. Rupert Martin gave me a lift to Guttershol in his yellow puddle jumper.
Rupert was quite a character in the unit. We were both RCT in an RAMC unit.
Biggest mistake I ever made was to leave the army too early. Should have done the 22yrs.
But I loved every minute of my service.