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RAMC profile of:
James Chambers SPROULE L.R.C.P & S.I., L.M.
 
 


Place or Date
of Birth:
Omagh, Co Tyrone on 28th August 1887

Service Number:

TF Number:

Rank: Brigadier

Unit: 131st Field Ambulance

Attached To:

Enlistment Location:

Also Served: Various - see below

Outcome: Continued to serve after the war

Date Died: 15/5/1955
Age Died:

Where Buried and/or Commemorated:

Awards: OBE; MiDx2; Croix de Guerre [French]

Gazette Reference: 12/12/1919; 24/12/1917 & 10/7/1919; 16/1/1920
 


Other Information:

James was educated at the Royal School, Raphoe, and received his medical training at the Dublin Royal Colleges. He obtained the Irish Conjoint diploma in 1912, and took the Belfast D.P.H. in 1926. James gained a commission within the R.A.M.C. under the rank of Lieutenant on 26th July 1912. He entered the war in France attached to the 2nd Bn. Royal Welsh Fusiliers and served with them until 2nd November 1914, when he transferred to serve with the 19th Field Ambulance. In the ‘Medical Officer’s diary and narrative of the First World War’ by Travis Hampson MC, Travis wrote that on 2nd November 1914 - “I took Lt Harbison out to relieve Sproule as MO to RWFs. Sproule joining us for a time. Harbison not knowing the lie of the land I had to land him up at Battalion HQ which were in a ditch a little distance behind their fire trenches. Having introduced him, I was just going on to the other RAPs when the adjutant said 'have a spot of rum, doctor, before you start' ....." On the 18th November (Armentieres) Travis noticed:  "After breakfast went with Sproule to Houplines (a suburb to the East), where our B Section, which is already there, is going to take the first tour of duty."  Later the same day he wrote:  "After a look round it was getting dark, so Sproule and I set off back and lost ourselves in the dark streets. Finally got in to dinner in our sumptuous residence."  Then finally on 28th November he stated “News of a great Russian victory brought by Browne, Greaves and Sproule who had walked up to see us and stayed to tea.” On 19th December, James was invalided home due to sickness. On 30th March 1915, he was promoted to Captain, and became Medical Officer i/c Longmoor Camp until late July, when he married Clare Aldous in Plymouth.  He was then briefly attached to the RAMC HQ Depot in Aldershot. On 17th September 1915 orders were received for James to take command of No 13 Motor Ambulance Column (aka ASC Company 566), and after assembling the men and around 25 vehicles he sailed from Southampton to Rouen on 21st/22nd September. He remained in charge of this unit until 24th February 1918. On the 25th February 1918, he arrived to take over command of the 131st Field Ambulance from Temporary Lieutenant Colonel Robert Herbert Mills-Roberts. After the Armistice was signed he briefly became CMO for the 38th Welch on 23rd April 1919, and later was D.A.D.M.S. for Boulogne District until 10th January 1920. On 5th March 1920, James was posted to India. He remained there until 11th November 1924, when he returned to England and was stationed in Aldershot until 5th December 1927, he then returned to India until 10th April 1933. During this time, in 1926, James became a specialist in Hygiene. From 15th November 1935, he began serving in Egypt. James also saw active service during World War Two. He was the Commanding Officer of the 2/10 General Hospital in Egypt from 28th August 1939 and then Deputy Director of Hygiene at General Headquarters of the Mediterranean Force 1940-1941; Deputy Director of Medical Services II Corps District 1942-1943 and 2 Corps 1943-1944, as well being the Deputy Director of Health at HQ of the Eastern and Scottish Commands from 28th January 1942 until 9th March 1947. He was again mentioned in despatches - London Gazette 1st April 1941 and was awarded the CBE on 30th December 1941. During the two wars, James took up temporary positions - from 3rd March 1918 - 16th May 1919 he served under the rank of acting Lieutenant Colonel and from 21st July 1919 - 9th January 1920 he served under the rank of acting Major. On 26th July 1924 he gained the full rank of Major, which he held until 6th December 1934 when he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. He was then promoted to Colonel on 15th April 1940 and Honorary Brigadier on 10th March 1947. James was the fourth son of Alexander H R Sproule, J.P. of Finona, Tyrone. [Sources of information: The Medical Officers in the British Army 1660 - 1960; 1918 Medical Directory, service record, 131st Field Ambulance War Diary, and James's family (Photograph courtesy of James's family] A family tribute to James can be found at http://www.ciaofamiglia.com/jcsproule/WWI_PDFS/Jimmy_Sproule_WWI.htm


 
Additional Information: Date Added: Wednesday 02 January, 2013
 
James at Bigbury-on-Sea whilst on leave in 1918, and at Chateau Longeau (Amiens) on 7th February 191...
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