Behind The Lines: The Crimson Coast

The ‘Crimson Coast’ extended along the Northern French coast where the British Base Hospitals were located during the Great War. Here men shattered by wounds were treated, in the massive Base Depots new soldiers were prepared for the front line and women worked in changing ways behind the front. In this episode, we visit Le Treport and Etaples, including the cemeteries in both locations.


Podcast Extras:

10 Comments on “Behind The Lines: The Crimson Coast

      • Hi I give a talk on the RAMC in the Great War mainly to WFA branches and from my notes….Hospital Beds allocated to the BEF on the Western Front and in the UK
        1914 18,000 
        1918 637,000 with over 50% of this number being in the UK
        I’m not sure if this helps with your question but as Paul said would take a lot of research……Also from my talk to give you an idea of the scale…By the end of the Great War Hospital Admissions to the UK from France and this includes both sick and wounded:
        Officers 129,675
        Men 2,525,350
        Total 2,655,025


  1. Thank you Paul for another fascinating episode. Your great uncle Bill’s story sounds very similar to my great grandad who was conscripted into a pioneer battalion and was wounded in Flanders and evacuated back to Boulogne. His death notice in the local paper mentioned that my great grandmother went across to visit him and was with him when he died and attended his burial at Terlincthun. We were quite surprised to discover this but, like you said, it was actually not uncommon for next of kin to cross the Channel to visit loved ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Given the number of CWGs in local churchyards all over the UK, I presume some from training accidents, but many dying of wounds sustained overseas, is there any kind of analysis of where people died in WW1? How many died on the battlefield, including the missing, how many at RAPs, CCSs, General Hospitals (I had a relative in General Hospital No8 in Rouen prior to being shipped back to Blighty and a Red Cross Hospital at Werneth near Oldham), and those who died having been shipped back home?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think there are any statistics that would cover all of those points. It would be possible, but would involve quite some research. Deaths at RAPs weren’t recorded as such.


  3. Great episode! I reread The Monocled Mutineer a few weeks ago and forgot completely he was shot on 6th June 1920 in Penrith…a day in history that is overshadowed by events in 1944……Look forward to the next episode…..


  4. Another great episode.

    My Great-Uncle served in the 2nd Canadian Hospital in Le Tréport for 3 years. In the archives in Ottawa I found a diary written by someone else there (but amazingly happened to know my G-Uncle) and relates how a Doctor fell off the cliffs to his death. There are photos of his funeral at the nearby cemetery in various places.

    I can also recommend a book by Jean-Luc Dron about the hospitals. Mostly in French but some English and lots of photos! “1914-1919 des hôpitaux Alliés au Tréport”.


  5. Excellent coverage of the behind the lines aspects. Especially interesting was explanation of the deployment of troops to units with which they had no connection. My great uncle was killed near Mailly-Maillet in April 1918, aged 18. He was born and bred in Warrington, then Lancashire but finished up in the Norfolk Regt. Vic took me to his grave on the 90th anniversary of the Kaiserschlacht tour in 2008, the first family member to do do so.


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