Royal Army Medical Corps and Royal Canadian Medical Corps
This section is dedicated to our friend, Brian Scott Jeznach (March 2, 1960 - May 22, 2010) who was a good friend and very much missed. He began the work we share below.
The 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion was part the the 7th Brigade, 6th Airborne Corps. The 7th Brigade was served by 224th Parachute Field Ambulance (RAMC). Some of the 224th were distributed to each of the 7ths infantry battalions whilst the balance of the 224 PFA provided the advanced medical care for the more severely wounded. Operation Varsity saw the 224th assign its entire No. 1 section (M.O. and 16 men) which dropped in two "sticks" with the 1CanPara.
The 1CanPara also had its own medical personnel - a medical officer was attached to the Battalion's Headquarters (Captain Colin Brebner and after his injury during the D-Day jump. P.G. Costigan) while each company headquarters had four stretcher bearers (medics). One of the stretcher bearers, Topkin, was a recipient of the Victoria Cross.
In the Field
Front line medical care and evacuation was carried out by the Battalion's medical staff and any attached PFA personnel. Wounded men would be carried to the Regimental Aid Post (RAP) for initial treatment, stabilization and evacuation to the next units in the evacuation scheme, Casualty Clearing Post (CCP), Field Dressing Station (FDS) and thence to the Casualty Clearing Station (CCS) which was a small hospital in its own right. This was how it was "supposed to work." In practice, the airborne groups often found themselves treating cases at a lower level of organization owing to circumstances of time and accessibility of transportation to evacuate the wounded. If things went well, patients could quickly be removed to the rear and even air evacuated back to Britain.
We would be remiss if we did not acknowledge the assistance of those who have helped so much with the material and information presented here: Niall Cherry, members of 16 Parachute Field Ambulance Living History Group (especially Richard Townsley and Edward Sayer), Ronan Coleman and our former Medical Officer, Scott Jeznach.
We highly recommend you visit our sister organization, 16 Parachute Field Ambulance Living HIstory Group's website for more information on WW2 Parachute Field Ambulances.