130th (St John) Field Ambulance Research Group

With kind permission of Helen Cleaves - Granddaughter of 48542 Pte James Cleaves

With kind permission of Helen Cleaves – Granddaughter of 48542 Pte James Cleaves

The 130th (St John) Field Ambulance research group members are a small team with connections to St John Ambulance and the Royal Army Medical Corps. We are dedicated to the commemoration and history of this unique Welsh unit.

The 130th was one of three Field Ambulance units raised to support Lloyd George’s Welsh Army. The majority of the men in the unit were experienced St John First Aiders and stretcher-bearers working in the South Wales coalfields. The unit was formed by Herbert Lewis, Deputy Commissioner for St John Ambulance District X1 (South Wales). It was the only WW1 unit allowed to call itself “St John” and to wear the St John insignia as part of the uniform.

The 130th served in France and Flanders from 4th December 1915 until the end of the war. The men served at the infamous Battle at Mametz Wood in 1916 and the 3rd Battle of Ypres in 1917. Amongst the Awards and Decorations the men earned at least 26 Military Medals for gallantry, two Distinguished Conduct Medals and two Croix de Guerre. They served with distinction and the Commanding Officer was the only C.O. of a Welsh unit to remain in charge from his appointment until his discharge from the service.

Our aim is to use personal journals and diaries, newspaper reports together with the Regimental Diary and photographs to present the most comprehensively available unit history of any WW1 unit.

Any use of copyrighted images is accidental, and any such material will be promptly 
removed from this site upon notification from the copyright holder