OLD PLYMOUTH . UK
www.oldplymouth.uk
 

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: August 26, 2018
Webpage updated: September 01, 2018

        

AMBULANCE SERVICES IN OLD PLYMOUTH  /  AMBULANCE SERVICES IN OLD DEVONPORT

PLYMOUTH AND DISTRICT AMBULANCE SERVICE

Born on November 4th 1910 by Mr Hugh Hedley Vicars Miller, and his two younger brothers, the George Street Ambulance Corps was initially attached to the George Street Baptist Chapel.  The Corps gave "First Aid" lessons and in time provided a handcart to carry patients to hospital or between hospitals.  It was known by several alternative names including the Plymouth Ambulance Corps and Torpoint Nursing Association when they held a "Flag Day" at Torpoint in August 1920.  Their official badge, illustrated below, used title of the Plymouth and District Ambulance Service.

The badge of the Plymouth & District Ambulance Service

The Plymouth and District Ambulance Service cloth badge.
From the author's collection.

On Friday October 1st 1920 a meeting took place at the Red Triangle Hut at Saint Budeaux, at which a Saint Budeaux Division and a Devonport Women's Division were formed.  A Division for Ford and Keyham Barton was expected to follow shortly.

A depot at the Royal Albert Hospital and Eye Infirmary, Devonport, for the Service's fourth motor ambulance was officially opened by the Lady Mayoress, on Saturday October 2nd 1920.  The Mayor of Plymouth, Alderman Ovell R Dunstan, presided and inspected the guard of honour while the Morice Town Salvation Army Silver band played a selection of music.  After the ambulance had been dedicated by the Reverend Chancellor Ponsonby, the Mayor presented medallions and certificates to members of the Service.  The new Station would be staffed day and night by members of the newly formed Devonport and Stoke divisions.

In April 1921 the Plymouth and District Ambulance Service was incorporated into the Saint John Ambulance Brigade, where it was joined by members of the Great Western Railway Company and the Plymouth Co-operative Society's Saint John's Divisions.

In spite of the above-mentioned amalgamation, the Service continued to exist and operate.  Amongst its last patients were Marine C H Hill, of Bickleigh Barracks, and Miss P Howarth, of 7 Pier Street, Plymouth, who were in collision with a motor vehicle while walking near the George Hotel at Roborough.  The date was Saturday July 3rd 1948 and the Plymouth and District Ambulance Service took them  to the Prince of Wales's Hospital.

On Monday July 5th 1948, the day the National Health Service came in to existence, Mr W Edwin Beckly handed over the Service, with its ten motor ambulances, to the Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Alderman H J Perry, at a ceremony in the J H Beckly Memorial Ambulance Station at Greenbank, and the City of Plymouth Ambulance Service was born.