I have been enjoying learning about Ambulances. I came across this:
This comes from: "History of the American Field Service in France: "Friends of France"
Not the body almost looks like a T ambulance.
Elsewhere it stated:
"We decided accordingly at an early date not to accept gifts of miscellaneous cars and to limit our service to not more than two types of automobiles. Each section would be given two heavy cars two or three ton trucks of a uniform make one to be fitted out as a workshop with simple machinery hand tools and a stock of spare parts for the section's ambulances the other to be equipped as an ambulance with benches for fifteen or twenty sitting cases to be used in case of heavy evacuations in the rear and also to serve for the transportation of tents and other heavy section equipment when the section moved from one locality to another. One of these cars was to be used also to trail a specially designed rolling kitchen, with which each section was provided a kitchen, fitted up like a small room on wheels with a stove bins for coal wood and flour shelves and hooks for pots and kettles drawers and cupboards for meat vegetables canned foods and smaller articles all arranged after the manner of a gypsy wagon so that it could be drawn up by the roadside or before any cantonment and a hot meal quickly prepared without other installation or shelter."
Hey Matthew, I have a photo of the kitchen of Evacuation Ambulance Company 8 on my steam powered computer, when I get it working, I will add it to this thread. The reason that Model Ts were popular for ambulances was because the French found that standardizing was important, the T was light weight and could travel well in most conditions, they felt it was better to transport fewer men in each ambulance, that way the driver would not have to go partly loaded or wait for more passengers. The British went with the larger transports, and it did not work as well. The T was chosen as it was simple and easy to repair, there were automobile manufacturers that offered free cars for use as ambulances, but ambulance company decided that paying full price for Fords would work better in the long run. Ford did not give the charities any quantity discount, they could not even get a dealer price, but had to pay full price for the Ts used to save lives.
In Italy, the Ford would not work on the mountain roads, so the 1916 GMC ambulance was used, it could transport 4 litters to the 3 in a Ford, Evac Ambulance Co. 8 was sold 12 GMCs rather than the 20 Ford Ts that they planned on using.
Interesting that they were using trucks for kitchens. I'm in the process of putting together a book about my grandfather in WWI. He served in the 103rd Regiment, 51st Brigade, Battery A Field Artillery. We recently found the diary he kept during his time in England and France which gives in some places a day-by-day account of what was going on. Initially he was a cook, however they did not have motorized vehicles. They were still using horse drawn wagons. He talks about what they had for meals, setting up the kitchens, and packing them up when they moved to another location. Later he became a driver bringing supplies to the front lines. Here he talks about making all night trips to the front lines with a load of shells with a four hitch team.
There are a couple of places where he mentions they disembarked from the train and were transported to camp in automobiles or trucks. Everywhere else he talks about the horses and wagons.
It is so great that you were able to keep your family history in the family! I have been reading about history of the ambulances. There are literally thousands of pages on Google books free and fun to read. Much in line with what your grandfather recorded.
The kitchen was actually a trailer (the state "to trail").
Dave, great idea to put together a book from your grandfathers diary
I'd like to recommend you reading another book made from the preserved diaries of twenty people involved in WW1 at different fronts; The Beauty and the Sorrow by Peter Englund. http://www.amazon.com/The-Beauty-Sorrow-Intimate-History/dp/030759386X/ref=sr_1_ 1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334309677&sr=1-1 It's interesting to follow a few of all the people whose lives were affected by that terrible conflict.
I didn't pick up on the fact that it was a trailer! Should have read more closely.
Roger, Thanks for the link. I'll have to pick that up.
Here are a few excerpts from my grandfather's diary relating to these topics.
Camp de Coelquidan - France
Nov. 4, 1917 - Sunday - Cloudy
Had breakfast of bacon, bread and coffee. Took a walk with Coker. Beef stew for dinner. Wrote a letter to Ma. Billie Wood wants me to go to work in the kitchen as a fireman. Am going to work in the morning.
Nov. 5, 1917 - Monday - Fair
Went to work at half past six. There isn't much to do just now as there are two of us working. Have four fires to keep going so have to keep some wood cut.
Jan 9, 1918 - Wednesday - Fair
Made a cook today. Made an allotment of twenty dollars.
Northwest of Toul France
April 21, 1918 - Sunday - Fair
Our dugout was hit twice last night. Once on top and the other time the shell broke in the entrance. Good thing we have another. The kitchen was hit about eleven o'clock and four men hurt. Father Farrel was wounded in the arm. There were fifteen fellows in there. Received orders to roll out our rolls. Some of the fellows left for Rangerville(?). I and four others were left here to take care of the stuff left behind. Wagon came at two o'clock next morning for some stuff. Went to bed at two thirty. One fellow got hit. Germans kept up shelling all day.
Belleau Woods - France
July 8, 1918
Left Epieds at 7 o'clock for Beauvardes between Fresnes. Shelled three times before dinner and had machine gun fire at intervals. B Battery caseon smashed and one man killed. Plenty of wounded brought down from the front line and plenty of horses killed. Slept in a wine cellar for two nights then slept over our P.C. As I was carrying a wounded man out to the wagon a shell landed about fifteen feet from us and killed six horses. Another shell landed about fifteen feet from our kitchen and wounded a horse. One night the eight guns fired at once and kept us awake most all night.
I can't imagine living trough all that.
Here is a photo of a traveling kitchen taken in Allentown Penn, where the ambulance companies were trained.
Can you tell the people to get out of the way so we can see the vehicles;)
Hey Matthew, there is no one on the other side, just go around and look from that side.
Somewhere, in all my stuff I have packed away, is a "photo history" of the war, published right after. It is in poor condition, the pages are tattered. The cover was missing when I found it in an antique shop about forty years ago. I never even knew the title of the book.
But that book is full of so many of the best photos I have ever seen of that conflict. What is even better, is that a number of the margins have hand written notes about the images. There are names and dates, mentions of having "met this man", or "stayed in this building".
The only comment to even hint at the person's identity, is of an airship "crashed in" his "cousin's" (farm or field). But the cousin is not identified.
I really need to dig it out and make sure it ends up in the right place. I made some inquiries about thirty years ago. But resources are much better today.
I love this stuff. Thank you to all who post here.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
It sounds like a copy of Collier's History, is it a large format book, they were printed on pages about the size of a legal sheet with a horizontal format. Most that I have encountered are missing the covers. Any old book with margin comments from the period are a plus, but just like the captions that are printed in books, the comments have to be taken as possibilities rather than fact (although I think a larger percentage of hand written captions are correct compared to printed captions)
It could be a Collier's. The format sounds right.
I need to dig out a lot of the stuff I have collected over the years.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
If you find it, I would love to see any T photos it has!
If it is Colliers, I do not think there are any T photos.
As I recall, and it has been about thirty years since I looked at it, there are no T photos. Only a few of ground motor transportation. A few of horses, several airplanes, B-limps (if I recall correctly, there used to be A-limps, B-limps, dirigibles and Zeppelins. Source of the word blimp. Ralph or others may correct me, I like to get educational discussions going.) and ships. Lots of photos of battlegrounds.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I found this photo here: http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/medicalmuseum/414546320/sizes/l/photostream/
Any ideas on the truck?
Yeah T related, note rear end;)