First World War
Andreans Who Served in the
Dental and Medical Corps
The first dedicated "uniformed" dental service
in Canada came into being as the Canadian Army Dental Corps on May 13, 1915.
Since this date, the service has been reconfigured a number of times: It
became the Canadian Dental Corps on August 30, 1939 and the Royal Canadian
Dental Corps on January 15, 1947. The present-day Canadian Forces Dental
Services was formed on January 1, 1970.
Medical services first became an official part of the country's military organization as the Canadian Army Medical Corps in July 1904. They became the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps in 1919.
The process of evacuation has remained basically similar since the First World War. First, stretcher-bearers carried the wounded to their own unit's Regimental Aid Post. Here, they became the responsibility of a Field Ambulance run by the medical services, which was responsible for transporting them to various stages of care farther back. First to be encountered were Advanced and Main Dressing Stations close behind the lines, where proper dressings were applied. The next stop in the process was the Casualty Clearing Station, which was the first facility where surgery could be undertaken. In the First World War, this was also the earliest stage where nursing sisters were present. From there, after initial recovery, patients could be shipped further back to Stationary and General Hospitals for more serious attention and longer-term convalescence.
In the First World War, the survival
rate of those who actually came under their care was 89 per cent,
During the 40 years, which followed Napoleonís defeat at Waterloo on 18th June 1815, the British Army forgot the lessons it had so painfully learned during the Peninsular War. This neglect culminated in the disastrous medical scandal of the Crimean War when provision of medical support were entrusted to members of the wealthy and aristocratic classes who regarded soldiering as a hobby, wore highly exotic uniforms and gave no thought to the medical or logistic support to the army. As a consequence the responsibility fell to "Civil Departments" who were largely untrained in war. Emerging from this fiasco was the formation in 1855 of "The Medical Staff Corps" composed of "...men able to read and write, of regular habits and good temper and of a kindly disposition". In 1857 the Medical Staff Corps was reorganised into the "Army Hospital Corps" a title it held until 1884 when it reverted to its former name.
It was in 1898 that all ranks became fused together into a single Corps. Queen Victoria, on the 23 June 1898 added her forthright signature to the top right hand corner of a Royal Warrant which signified her will and pleasure that a "Corps be formed styled the Royal Army Medical Corps". Thus on 1st July 1898 the Corps was born and the Centenary was recently celebrated.