» Site Map

» Home Page

Historical Info

» Find Friends - Search Old Service and Genealogy Records

» History

» QAIMNS for India

» QAIMNS First World War

» Territorial Force Nursing Service TFNS

» WW1 Soldiers Medical Records

» Field Ambulance No.4

» The Battle of Arras 1917

» The German Advance

» Warlencourt Casualty Clearing Station World War One

» NO 32 CCS Brandhoek - The Battle of Passchendaele

» Chain of Evacuation of Wounded Soldiers

» Allied Advance - Hundred Days Offensive

» Life After War

» Auxiliary Hospitals

» War Graves Nurses

» Book of Remembrance

» Example of Mentioned in Despatches Letter

» Love Stories

» Autograph Book World War One

» World War 1 Letters

» Service Scrapbooks

» QA World War Two

» Africa Second World War

» War Diaries of Sisters

» D Day Normandy Landings

» Belsen Concentration Camp

» Italian Sailor POW Camps India World War Two

» VE Day

» Voluntary Aid Detachment

» National Service

» Korean War

» Gulf War

» Op Telic

» Op Gritrock

» Royal Red Cross Decoration

» Colonels In Chief

» Chief Nursing Officer Army

» Director Army Nursing Services (DANS)

» Colonel Commandant

» Matrons In Chief (QAIMNS)

Follow us on Twitter:
Follow qaranchistory on Twitter

» Grey and Scarlet Corps March

» Order of Precedence

» Motto

» QA Memorial National Arboretum

» NMA Heroes Square Paving Stone

» NMA Nursing Memorial

» Memorial Window

» Stained Glass Window

» Army Medical Services Monument

» Recruitment Posters

» QA Association

» Standard

» QA and AMS Prayer and Hymn

» Books

» Museums

Former Army Hospitals


» Army Chest Unit

» Cowglen Glasgow

» CMH Aldershot

» Colchester

» Craiglockhart

» DKMH Catterick

» Duke of Connaught Unit Northern Ireland

» Endell Street

» First Eastern General Hospital Trinity College Cambridge

» Ghosts

» Hospital Ghosts

» Haslar

» King George Military Hospital Stamford Street London

» QA Centre

» QAMH Millbank

» QEMH Woolwich

» Medical Reception Station Brunei and MRS Kuching Borneo Malaysia

» Military Maternity Hospital Woolwich

» Musgrave Park Belfast

» Netley

» Royal Chelsea Hospital

» Royal Herbert

» Royal Brighton Pavilion Indian Hospital

» School of Physiotherapy

» Station Hospital Ranikhet

» Station Hospital Suez

» Tidworth

» Ghost Hunt at Tidworth Garrison Barracks

» Wheatley


» Ambulance Trains

» Hospital Barges

» Ambulance Flotilla

» Hospital Ships


» Berlin

» Hamburg

» Hannover

» Hostert

» Iserlohn

» Munster

» Rinteln

» Wuppertal


» TPMH RAF Akrotiri

» Dhekelia

» Nicosia


» Alexandria


» Shanghai

Hong Kong

» Bowen Road

» Mount Kellett

» Wylie Road Kings Park


» Kamunting

» Kinrara

» Kluang

» Penang

» Singapore

» Tanglin

» Terendak

Overseas Old British Military Hospitals

» Belize

» Falklands

» Gibraltar

» Kaduna

» Klagenfurt

» BMH Malta

» Nairobi

» Nepal

Middle East

» Benghazi

» Tripoli

Field Hospitals

» Camp Bastion Field Hospital and Medical Treatment Facility MTF Helmand Territory Southern Afghanistan

» TA Field Hospitals and Field Ambulances

No. 6 Casualty Clearing Station

We are seeking information about No. 6 CSS (Casualty Clearing Station) who we think were mustered at Catterick in September 1939 with Matron Marian Winfield Bannister and eight other QAIMNS (Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service). The nurses of 6CCS BEF (British Expeditionary Force) were evacuated in the evening of the first day from Dunkirk in 1940 on The Worthing. They were still nursing on the voyage home. An account of their last few days up to and including the journey home is in the National Archives. Marian and Gretchen Leyland's hand written accounts are included. Does anyone know the 6CSS movements prior to this? Did all the RAMC (Royal Army Medical Corps) men make it home to Britain?

If you can help with info then please contact us.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

One last war army novel

An army veteran moves his family into a village, but his nightmare neighbour starts a battle of wits with him. Who will win this One Last War?

Buy my latest novel on Kindle or Paperback.

If you like this page and would like to easily share it with your friends and family please use the social networking buttons below:


Marian's nurses were: Australian nurses Sister Agnes McCoy Hartrick and Sister (Mrs) Faith Mortimer Brownhill; Sisters Gretchen Leyland and Teresa Lyons, who had both trained at Guy's Hospital; Sister Kate D (Kathleen Doris) Roberts from Liverpool; Sister Eileen Symon, who had trained at Hull Royal Infirmary, and Sister Jean (possibly Jessie Campbell) McKechnie from Argyll.

Stuart Cresswell has been researching his father's experience with the BEF in 1939 and 1940, for a talk originally to be given on 6th June this year, the 80th anniversary of the end of Operation Dynamo. He had been in the OTC (Officers Training Corps) at school and university and was commissioned on 13th May 1939 into SARO (Supplementary Army Reserve of Officers, renamed after the war as Regular Army Reserve of Officers) as lieutenant and called up on 31st August.

Initially he was medical officer with 42nd Royal Norfolks, but from 11 November 1939 until after returning via Dunkirk he was with the Light Section of No 6CCS as a major and in charge of radiology.

Stuart has the reports of both Marian Bannister and Gretchen Leyland (typewritten) incorporated into the 6CCS War Diaries for May 1940. The normal diaries having been destroyed when they expected to be captured. He also has the report of Lt Col Wheatley the commanding officer, Major Blackburne (possibly the adjutant) and another unidentified. He also has the war diaries for 6CCS from November 1939.

Until 29th February 1940 the Heavy Section remained at Verquin (about 30 miles west of the Belgium border and 45 miles south of the coast) closed but designated to go forward into Belgium when "activities" started. The war diaries report mostly "Administration and Training" with occasional forays to recce other sites as possible for CCS. The Heavy Section had nearly 100 tons of equipment which needed a railway train and 48hours notice to move.

On 2nd February the Light Section were posted to Metz to the Hospital Militaire Legouest there. They were to take no equipment but to take over that of the unit they were relieving, 1CCS. The Light Section comprised 4 officers, 4 nursing sisters and 26 OR.

A quarterly report of 15th March listed the principal cases: Influenza 58; Rubella 29; Carbon monoxide poisoning 9; Frostbite 6. There had been 11 wounded by gunshot. There had been 298 admissions: 19 officers and 274 Other Ranks. About two thirds were returned to their units with the remaining third evacuated some 200 km further back. One evacuation that month listed 9 medical cases (8 lying 1 sitting) 10 surgical (5 lying 5 sitting) and one sitting VD. Listed as Gastro enteritis, Pneumonia, Phthisis, Myocarditis, Tonsillitis, Bronchitis, Trochantari Bursitis; Hernia, Acute appendicitis, injury right knee, Fractured clavicle and head injury, GSW right leg, soetic hand, Piles, Paraphimosis, Paratitis, IAT finger; Gonorrhoea. These were of course before enemy activity in the west.

On 28th March the Light section returned to the area of Verquin, to a chateau at Vaudricourt.

The Germans invaded on 10th May. That was also the day that Winston Churchill took over as Prime Minister.

On 12th May the Light Section 6CCS moved forward to Haaltert, 60 miles into Belgium about 17 miles NW of Brussels and about 40 miles back from the Front at the River Dyle, the Heavy Section followed by train.

On 15th May the Heavy Section left Haaltert by train (part of the withdrawal) for Hazebrouch which would take two days. Sisters Leyland and Bannister were on that train. The Light Section (with Major Cresswell) remained to receive other casualties (though he is not sure for how long).

On the night 19/20th May the Heavy Section moved by train to Bailleul; the Light Section followed by day. They set up in the Mental Hospital at Bailleul "in spite of the presence of some 1800 female lunatics" nursed by nuns.

On 21st (or more likely 24th) May 6CCS received orders to return to Belgium: an error, having reached Messines they returned to Bailleul. Sister Leyland mentions Sister EM Symon at this time. On 21st May over 1000 patients were admitted.

700 patients were evacuated from Bailleul by train to Dunkirk.

On 26th May (completed on 27th May) everyone was evacuated to a farm on the Abeele-Stenvoorde road.

Also on 26th May the Sisters and 17 German prisoners were evacuated to Dunkirk. They boarded to Hospital Ship Worthing at 2100 hrs. This was the day that Churchill authorised Operation Dynamo. Sister Bannister reported 0500 on 27th May "Arrived at Newhaven".

On 28th May Lt Col Wheatley heard that the Belgians had laid down their arms and that the road to Dunkirk was open to the enemy. All available documents were destroyed, and they prepared for capture. However no further enemy activity and a thunderstorm allowed them to escape. They used a Michelin road map to find a devious route to Bergues outside Dunkirk. It was here in maintaining a Regimental Aid Post that his Father was Mentioned in Despatches (though he was recommended for Military Cross and has the citation).

On 30th May Lt Col Wheatley reported "Lt King was given permission to evacuate Dunkirk after delivering the salvaged stores. The CO and Maj Cresswell finally took an ambulance of wounded and others who had been collected at Teeteghem to Dunkirk and embarked with them at 0300 30 May with the permission of DDMS 3 Corps (Deputy Director of Medical Services). All embarked."

Stuart is not sure of the dates because Sisters Bannister and Leyland and Lt Col Wheatley report the same event on different days! They were relying on memory many months later. If you can add to the story of No 6CCS then please contact me and I shall pass the info on.

Forces War Records

Forces War Records are a genealogy site where you can find military records of over 6 million British Armed Forces personnel cross matched with over 4000 Regiments, Bases and Ships. This link includes a free search and a special discount of 40% off membership offer for visitors who use the discount code AF40 if they decide to become a member.
Search Now. A unique feature is their WW1 Soldiers Medical Records section.

If you would like to contribute to this page, suggest changes or inclusions to this website or would like to send me a photograph then please e-mail me.

This website is not affiliated or endorsed by The Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC) or the Ministry of Defence.

» Contact

» Advertise

» Poppy Lottery

» The Grey Lady Ghost of the Cambridge Military Hospital Novel - a Book by CG Buswell

» The Drummer Boy Novel

» Regimental Cap Badges Paintings

Read our posts on:

» Facebook

» Instagram

» Twitter


» Army Discounts

» Help For Heroes Discount Code

» Commemorative Cover BFPS 70th anniversary QARANC Association

Present Day

» Become An Army Nurse

» Junior Ranks

» Officer Ranks

» Abbreviations

» Nicknames

» Service Numbers

Ministry of Defence Hospital Units

» MDHU Derriford

» MDHU Frimley Park

» MDHU Northallerton

» MDHU Peterborough

» MDHU Portsmouth

» RCDM Birmingham

» Army Reserve QARANC


» Florence Nightingale Plaque

» Photographs


» Why QA's Wear Grey

» Beret

» Army Medical Services Tartan

» First Time Nurses Wore Trousers AV Anti Vermin Battledress

» TRF Tactical Recognition Flash Badge

» Greatcoat TFNS

» Lapel Pin Badge

» Army School of Psychiatric Nursing Silver Badge

» Cap Badge

» Corps Belt

» ID Bracelet

» Silver War Badge WWI

» Officer's Cloak

» QAIMNSR Tippet

» QAIMNS and Reserve Uniform World War One

» Officer Medal

» Hospital Blues Uniform WW1


» Armed Forces Day

» The Nurses General Dame Maud McCarthy Exhibition Oxford House London

» Edinburgh Fringe Stage Play I'll Tell You This for Nothing - My Mother the War Hero

» Match For Heroes

» Recreated WWI Ward

» Reunions

» Corps Day

» Freedom of Rushmoor

» Re-enactment Groups

» Military Events

» Remembrance

» AMS Carol Service

» QARANC Association Pilgrimage to Singapore and Malaysia 2009

» Doctors and Nurses at War

» War and Medicine Exhibition

» International Conference on Disaster and Military Medicine DiMiMED

» QA Uniform Exhibition Nothe Fort Weymouth

Famous QA's

» Dame Margot Turner

» Dame Maud McCarthy

» Lt Col Maureen Gara

» Military Medal Awards To QAs

» Moment of Truth TV Documentary

» Sean Beech

» Staff Nurse Ella Kate Cooke


International Nurses Day

International Midwife Day


» Search

» Site Map

» Contact

» Other Websites

» Walter Mitty Military Imposters

» The Abandoned Soldier

We are seeking help with some answers to questions sent by readers. These can be found on the Army Nursing page.

» Find QA's

» Jokes

» Merchandise

» Mugs

» Personalised Poster

» Poppy Badges

» Stamp

» Teddy Bears

» Pin Badges

» Wall Plaques

» Fridge Magnet

© Site contents copyright 2006 - 2020 All rights reserved.
Privacy/Disclaimer Policy