The "Harvard Hospital" at Camiers


Paul Dudley White (1886-1973)
Plan of No. 22 General Hospital, September 6, 1916

Bequest of Dr. White to the Library of Harvard Medical School, 1973

Cardiologist Paul Dudley White was a member of one of the later contingents of the Harvard Surgical Unit.  His war diaries include this plan of the No. 22 General Hospital on the right with a diagram showing its proximity to several other general hospitals of the British Expeditionary Force on the left,



The Harvard Surgical Unit was first under the command of Dr. Edward H. Nichols (1864-1922) and then William E. Faulkner (1863-1932). Herbert H. White, director of the Harvard University Press, was the unit's business manager, working first in Boston, later in France, to organize its operations.


Paul Dudley White (1886-1973)
Drawing of his tent at Camiers, 1916

Bequest of Dr. White to the Library of Harvard Medical School, 1973.





Because America had yet to enter the war, the Harvard Surgical Unit was officially a neutral organization, and it travelled under the auspices of the Red Cross. The Unit, though, remained with the British Expeditionary Force and was part of the British Army. It was stationed at the 22nd General Hospital at Camiers and would remain through January 1919.

The hospital was organized like a traditional British Army base hospital, with the chief surgeon holding the rank of lieutenant-colonel and majors, captains, and lieutenants below him.  Hugh Cabot later recorded that, "The officers wore the British uniform, modified by leaving off some of its essential insignia and held suitable rank within their Unit corresponding to that of officers of the Royal Army Medical Corps."

The Harvard Surgical Unit
The "Harvard Hospital" at Camiers