Medical Services in the First World War

WW1 Medical Museums & Archives

Army Medical Services Museum, Surrey, England

The museum holds collections for the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC), Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAVC), Royal Army Dental Corps (RADC) and Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC).

Army Medical Services Museum

Lijssenthoek Visitor Centre, Poperinge, Belgium

This Visitor Centre was opened in late 2012. It is situated next to the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery and in the location where Casualty Clearing Stations treated the wounded who were evacuated from the battle sectors of the Ypres Salient.

The Visitor Centre is free and open daily from 10.00 - 18.00 hours.

For visitor information and more about the centre see the contact details below:

Address: Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Boescheepseweg 35A, 8970 Poperinge, Belgium

Telephone: +32 (0)57 33 32 28



British Army Nurses' Service Records: National Archives, Kew, Surrey

Service Records for over 15,000 nurses are held at the National Archives in Kew, Surrey. Records in series WO 399 are for:

Website: www.nationalarchives British Army Nurses' Service Records 1914-1918

St John Ambulance Museum & Archive, London

The museum in London is carrying out a project with Heritage Lottery Funding to provide public access to its archive documents relating to the 45,000 volunteers in the First World War.

The St John Ambulance Brigade Hospital in Étaples was arguably the most significant initiative of the British Order of St John during the 20th century. Over the course of the conflict, the Hospital received 35,000 patients. It was staffed and maintained principally at the Order’s expense, a unique and unprecedented achievement by a voluntary organisation. Through cartoons, sketches and photographs, volunteer Veronica Nisbet’s scrapbook captures the Hospital’s endeavours to heal and care for the sick and wounded, from a very personal and often humorous perspective, working for the Order’s principle: ‘in the service of humanity’.

During the First World War St John Ambulance set up and ran a hospital in Étaples, France. It was funded and staffed by the Order of St John and was well known for its excellent medical facilities and standard of care. Reports were sent back to the Order of St John in London on a weekly basis and provide a fascinating insight into everyday life in a First World War hospital. They detail everything from staff and casualty numbers to entertainments, important visitors and even the weather.

To see more about the online Étaples Reports visit the link:

Website: Etaples Reports

To find out about the museum, its archives and online records see the museum website:

Address: Museum of the Order of St John, St John's Gate, London, EC1M4DA

Telephone: 020 7253 8162



Useful Websites

The Long, Long Trail

Chris Baker's excellent website has pages about the British Army medical services, including the treatment of wounded and sick soldiers, with related pages about the Field Ambulances, Casualty Clearing Stations, Base Hospitals and UK hospitals.

Website: Treatment of Wounded and Sick Soldiers

Royal Army Medical Corps in the Great War

An excellent private website produced in memory of Reginal Leonard-Barrett-Cross, historian of the RAMC. The website is dedicated to him and the British Army's Army Medical Services. The website contains good information about the history of the RAMC and the part played in 1914-1918.

There is a good description of the RAMC Chain of Evacuation from the battlefield to the hospitals on the home front. The site contains a substantial amount of research on the website providing profiles of medical services' personnel and the units they served with.


Royal Army Medical Corps: National Army Museum

A webpage giving information about the Corps, its badge and items in the museum's collections related to this unit.

Website: Royal Army Medical Corps

Red Cross Volunteers in WW1

Find First World War volunteers or a Red Cross hospital on a database of over 90,000 records.


Scarletfinders: British Military Nurses

A highly recommended private website by Sue Light with extensive research on women's military nursing, advice on researching nurses in the First and Second World Wars and recommended books.


Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) on Spartacus Educational

The website includes primary source accounts.

Website: Voluntary Aid Detachment

Related Topics

History of the Great War Based on Official Documents: Medical (British Official History)

History of the Great War Based on Official Documents: Medical

Official History of the Australian Army Medical Services, 1914-1918

Official History of the Australian Army Medical Services, 1914-1918

The Not Forgotten Association

This Tri-Service Association was founded in 1920 to offer entertainment and leisure activities for men and women who had been wounded in the course of duty while serving in the Armed Forces in the First World War. Almost 100 years later it is still providing services for serving and ex-serving military personnel. Find out more on our page at:

The Not Forgotten Association