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Gulf War

Information about the Army Medical Services during the First Gulf War Operation Granby of 1990 to 1991 including the Field Hospitals such as 33 General Surgical Hospital and 22 Field Hospital:

The Gulf War of August 1990 saw the largest deployment of the QAs since World War Two. In the UK it was codenamed as Operation Granby whilst in the United States of America the codenames were Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield.

Two QARANC officers were posted to Saudi Arabia along with other members of the tri-service to work with staff at the Saudi Arabian Military Hospital in Dharan.

22 Field Hospital

In September 22 Field Hospital Aldershot deployed to Bahrain Island and then forward to Wadi Al Batin in Northern Saudi Arabia. In October 1990 the staff of the Cambridge Military Hospital Aldershot were mobilised as 33 Field Hospital to Al Jubayl on the East coast of Saudi Arabia under the leadership of Colonel Eric Gruber von Arni the Matron and Chief Med Nursing Middle East (cited in the book
Sub Cruce Candida: A Celebration of One Hundred Years of Army Nursing).

No 4 RAF War Hospital

No 4 RAF War Hospital took over from 22 Field Hospital and one of the nursing staff was Bob Widders who has written about his experiences in his book A Few Deeds Short of a Hero. He describes working under ColPro (Collective Protection), how he and his colleagues coped with Scud missile attacks, wearing respirators and NBC protective suits, vaccinations against biological warfare such as anthrax and botulinism, taking NAPS tablets with the worry over side effects and running the Bahrain International Marathon representing the RAFWH.

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33 General Surgical Hospital (also referred to as 33 Field Hospital) opened in a tyre factory and at its full capacity during the height of the Gulf War had 600 beds and 936 military staff (Cited in Vol 11 No 2 of The Gazette of the Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps Association).

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PTSD assistance dog Lynne book

My PTSD assistance dog, Lynne, and I have written a book about how she helps me with my military Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, and depression. I talk about my time in the QAs and the coping strategies I now use to be in my best health.

Along the way, I have had help from various military charities, such as Help for Heroes and The Not Forgotten Association and royalties from this book will go to them and other charities like Bravehound, who paired me with my four-legged best friend.

I talk openly about the death of my son by suicide and the help I got from psychotherapy and counselling and grief charities like The Compassionate Friends.

The author, Damien Lewis, said of Lynne:

"A powerful account of what one dog means to one man on his road to recovery. Both heart-warming and life-affirming. Bravo Chris and Lynne. Bravo Bravehound."


Buy the Paperback.

QARANC Poppy Pin Badge Royal British Legion RBL
This beautiful QARANC Poppy Pin Badge is available from the Royal British Legion Poppy Shop.

For those searching military records, for information on a former nurse of the QAIMNS, QARANC, Royal Red Cross, VAD and other nursing organisations or other military Corps and Regiments, please try Genes Reunited where you can search for ancestors from military records, census, birth, marriages and death certificates as well as over 673 million family trees. At GenesReunited it is free to build your family tree online and is one of the quickest and easiest ways to discover your family history and accessing army service records.

More Information.

Another genealogy website which gives you access to military records and allows you to build a family tree is Find My Past which has a free trial.

32 Field Hospital

Other QARANC and RAMC units deployed to the GulfWar included a conglomeration of BMH Hannover, Berlin, Munster and Rinteln, who started training at Chester Camp in December 1990 and were deployed 10 January 1990 to 26 March 1991 as 32 Field Hospital and the Territorial Army (TA) unit 205 (Scottish) General Hospital. They were classed as the frontline field hospital, and were about 50km behind the frontline.

The staff of 32 Field Hospital decorated their entrance with a garden and the book Sub Cruce Candida: A Celebration of One Hundred Years of Army Nursing has a picture of what they nicknamed The Desert Rose Home of 32 Field Hospital. This Commanding Officer's rose garden was well cared for during the conflict and proved therapeutic for the staff and was not an unusual practice by QA's during periods of war and conflict. On the World War One Photographs page there are Sisters of the QAIMNS tending to their gardens in Basra Hospital, Mesopotamia.

The regimental band of the Gordon Highlanders served with 32 Field Hospital during Op Granby (cited in The Gordon Highlanders: A Concise History by Trevor Royle).

Gulf War Postcard 1991

The image above is a postcard produced in 1991 from artist Douglas N. Anderson from his watercolour painting depicting a QA Nursing Officer Captain in ward dress and a Corporal in combat dress with a Field Hospital background. It formed part of The British Army Series entitled No. 81 Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps. It was printed by Albany House, Coleshill, Birmingham and published by Geoff White Ltd, Blackwell, BS19 3JA, Avon. (with thanks to Terry Hissey)

33 Field Hospital

33 Field Hospital Reception Department treated 6000 patients of which 3000 became in patients and over 200 surgical procedures were performed (cited in the book Sub Cruce Candida: A Celebration of One Hundred Years of Army Nursing).

The book Sub Cruce Candida: A Celebration of One Hundred Years of Army Nursing has many photographs from the Gulf War including the staff of 22 Field Hospital filling sandbags during Operation Granby in Bahrain, the setting up of the main war, a church service, a street trader near to 22 Field Hospital in Bahrain, the tented hospital at Wadi al Batin, the main entrance of 33 Field Hospital at Al Jubayl in Saudi Arabia, a tented ward at 33 Field Hospital on Christmas Day, the recovery ward, the visit of General Sir Peter de la Billiere the Commander of the British Forces, staff dressed in NBC kit against a Scud attack, examples of NBC drill posters with the face of Saddam Hussein and the Medical Reception Station (MRS) Old Port Barracks Al Jubail.

Memories of a Nursing Officer who served with 212 Field Hospital (Birmingham) in Kuwait and 34 Fld Hosp in Iraq can be read on the DKMH Catterick page.

The QAs returned to the region over a decade later during Operation Telic.

The QAs received many honours for their service in the Gulf War and these include:

Lt Col (Later Colonel and DANS) K. George, Matron 22 Field Hospital, and Lt Colonel E. Gruber von Arni (then RAMC but later Colonel L/QARANC and DOS QARANC) both received the Royal Red Cross First Class in the Gulf Honours List.

From the London Gazette 52588:

Ministry of Defence, Whitehall, LONDON S.W.I

29th June 1991

The Queen has been graciously pleased to give orders for the following appointment to the Royal Red Cross in recognition of service within the operations in the Gulf:

To be Ordinary Associates of the Royal Red Cross,
Second Class:

Captain Ruth Margaret BOULTON (519057), Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps.

Captain Agnes Caldwell SMITH (525561), Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (Territorial Army).

Major Marie WATSON, T.D. (503362), Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (Territorial Army).

(With thanks to Terry Hissey for the London Gazette information)

If you would like to contribute any info, photographs or share your memories of the Gulf War then please contact me.

New post apocalyptic military survival thriller

Former Royal Air Force Regiment Gunner Jason Harper witnesses a foreign jet fly over his Aberdeenshire home. It is spilling a strange yellow smoke. Minutes later, his wife, Pippa, telephones him, shouting that she needs him. They then get cut off. He sets straight out, unprepared for the nightmare that unfolds during his journey. Everyone seems to want to kill him.

Along the way, he pairs up with fellow survivor Imogen. But she enjoys killing the living dead far too much. Will she kill Jason in her blood thirst? Or will she hinder his journey through this zombie filled dystopian landscape to find his pregnant wife?

The Fence is the first in this series of post-apocalyptic military survival thrillers from the torturous mind of former British army nurse, now horror and science fiction novel writer, C.G. Buswell.

Download Now.

Buy the Paperback.

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.

Free Book Operation wrath

Free Book.
The death of the Brotherhood will be avenged.
RAF gunner Jason Harper and a team of Special Air Service operators are enraged after the death of their brothers by a terrorist drone strike. They fly into south-eastern Yemen on a Black-op mission to gather intelligence and avenge the death of their comrades.
Can they infiltrate the Al-Queda insurgents' camp, stay undetected, and call down their own drone missile strike and get home safely?
Will they all survive to fight another day?
Operation Wrath is a free, fast-paced adventure prequel to the non-stop action The Fence series by military veteran author C.G. Buswell.
Download for free on any device and read today.

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

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