Caption: Two of the Column's ambulances. These were frequenty sponsored.
About the speaker: Emily is a military medical historian, researcher and lecturer. Her speciality is severe casualty, its infliction, treatment and long-term outcomes in 20th and 21st century warfare. She is historian in residence in the Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College, working primarily with the researchers and staff of the Centre for Injury Studies. The author of Wounded: The Long Journey Home From the Great War, her talks focus on the individual stages of the Great War casualty care continuum, from the battlefield through to eventual rehabilitation.
About the talk: The London Ambulance Column was a volunteer body quickly raised at the start of the Great War. It was tasked by the War Office with meeting the nightly train arrivals of seriously wounded soldiers (stretcher/'cot cases') at London's mainline stations and transporting them to hospitals in and around the capital for treatment. This meant that countless members of the Royal Army Medical Corps were freed up and could be deployed with their skills were more urgently need, for example, overseas at casualty clearing stations and field hospitals near the Frontline. Column members had ordinary day jobs but worked, most nights, long hours driving around the blacked out capital. They had a unique role and a unique perspective of the casualties of the war.
Caption: The Column's cap badge
Where we meet: We meet at the Royal British Legion Club, Queensway, Petts Wood, Orpington, Kent BR5 1DH. Meetings are held on the last Thursday of each month (except August and December). They start at 19:30, with the doors (and the bar) opening at 18:30. We do not charge entrance fees but do welcome donations of £5 or more towards our costs.
Getting there: The club is next to Morrison's supermarket and Petts Wood railway station. Parking at the rear of the club is free but you need to type your car registration into the machine (on the left as you enter the club). Failure to enter your registration can lead to a £50 fine. There's easy free parking in adjacent side streets.