No. 1 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station

The medical staff of the stations treated emergency cases and then, if necessary, evacuated the wounded soldiers to hospitals further behind the lines or in England for more extensive medical aid. While the stations were staffed by Canadians, they administered to wounded soldiers from all Allied armies and a few enemy soldiers. Not everyone brought to the stations would survive, however, and the official records of their deaths may be sparse. 
 
The chaplains of No.1 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station maintained a separate register about some of the servicemen who died at No. 1 CCCS, which provides us with a possibly unique account of the passing of these 879 soldiers. The chaplains who signed most of the records were James Patrick Fallon, Walter Francis O’Neill Fisher, Andrew Dunn Reid, John Knox Tibbits, Geoffrey Cyril d’Easum, Robert Kerr Lambert, and Ralph Lionel Brydges. The original journal is held at Library and Archives Canada as the Record of Deaths, 17 February 1916–10 February 1919, a record  maintained at No. 1 CCCS, (Record Group 9, series IIIC10, volume 4556).
 
No. 1 CCCS, originally designated as No. 2 Clearing Hospital, was organized at Liverpool, Nova Scotia, and at Valcartier, Quebec, in August and September 1914. The unit, consisting of 11 officers and 75 other ranks commanded by Major F. S. L. Ford, was part of the first contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. It arrived in England in October 1914 and was posted to France in February 1915. On 6 March 1915, it was redesignated No. 1 CCCS.
 
No. 1 CCCS settled in near Aire, France, and remained there until January 1916. According to Sir Andrew Macphail, author of Official History of the Canadian Forces in the Great War 1914–19: The Medical Services (http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/his/docs/CFGW_MedSvc_e), the station received 550 casualties within two days of its arrival. Casualty clearing stations were not stationary, but they moved infrequently. During the course of WW I, No. 1 CCCS was located in France, Belgium and, at the end of the war, in Germany. Throughout the war, the station had a capacity that ranged from 200 to 900 beds. It ceased operations in February 1919 and was demobilized two months later, upon arrival at Halifax, Nova Scotia.
 
For further information about the history and operations of No. 1 CCCS, see the “Canadian Army Medical Corps” section in the Guide to Sources Relating to Units of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, available on the Military Heritage portal of the Library and Archives Canada website (www.collectionscanada.ca). Macphails’s book, cited above, also includes a chapter devoted to the organization and operation of casualty clearing stations.
 
The chaplains used many abbreviations in their entries:
 
A or Ar = arrived
A or Ad or Adm or Adted = admitted
Abd = abdomen
B or bur = buried
Br = British
Cem or Cem’y or Cemet = cemetery
CE or C of E = Church of England
CF = Canadian Forces
Comp or Cpd = compound
D = died
Frac or Fract = fracture
G or Gr = grave
Gas P = gas poisoning
Gen = general
GSW = gunshot wounds
L or Lt = left
M or Mil or Mil’y = military
M or Meth = Methodist
MC = military cemetery
N-o-k = next-of-kin
Non Con = Non-conformist
P or Pl = plot
P or Pres or Presby = Presbyterian
Penet or pen or peng = penetrating
Pleurs = pleurisy
POW = prisoner of war
R = row
R = right
RC = Roman Catholic
Sh = shoulder
SW = shrapnel wounds
W = wounded
Wds = wounds