Royal Army Medical Corps Commemoration 2023
RAMC Corps Sunday takes place each year on the anniversary of the formation of the Royal Army Medical Corps which occurred in 1898.
It is marked by serving and retired medical personnel at church services when they remember their fallen comrades and those for whom they cared, and they re-dedicate themselves to serve faithfully in adversity and to live up to the Corps motto, In Ardius Fidelis – Faithful in Adversity.
One hundred years ago in 1922, four identical memorials were placed in Westminster Abbey, St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, St David’s Cathedral in Wales and in St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. The names of the 6,783 personnel of the Royal Army Medical Corps fell in the Great War are enrolled in the Golden Book in the Chapter House, Westminster Abbey. Ireland provided more than its fair share, as graduates from all the medical schools on the island served with the Royal Army Medical Corps.
This year, in Dublin, the Royal Army Medical Corps Association’s annual event, with members of the Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, was marked on Sunday 25 June, by kind permission of the Dean and Chapter, in the National Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Patrick. The Commemoration Service, marking the 125th Anniversary of the Royal Army Medical Corps and the 100th Anniversary of the establishment of the Defence Forces MEdical Corps, was coordinated by Brigadier John Graham (Retd) Royal Army Medical Corps and an active member of the Military Heritage of Ireland Trust.
The Choral Evensong was led by the Dean, Very Revd William W. Morton, B.Th., M.A., M.Mus., Ph.D., and sung by the Cathedral Choir (Lay Vicars Choral). The First Lesson was read by Dr Maura Briscoe President of the Association of Medical and Dental Graduates, RCSI. Brigadier Robin Simpson, Colonel Commandant of the Royal Army Medical Corps read the Second Lesson.
The Sermon was preached by The Reverend P.M. Rutherford M.Th., M.A, Chaplain, Royal British Legion Republic of Ireland District, and formerly Assistant Chaplain-General HM Forces.
Following the Choral Evensong, a Commemorative Service was conducted at the RAMC Memorial in the North Transept. Brigadier John Graham recited The Exhortation and The Kohima Dedication.
Those who laid wreaths included Colonel Ken Millar, the National Chairman of the RAMC Association, Brigadier Robin Simpson, the Colonel Commandant of the RAMC, Dr Maura Briscoe RCSI, Colonel Anthony Corcoran Director Defence Forces Medical Branch, Colonel Seán Grant British Defence Attaché, Lieutenant-Colonel Ken Martin President Royal British Legion Republic of Ireland District, and Dermot Higgins President of the Organisation of Ex Servicemen and Women.
The Military Heritage of Ireland Trust was represented by its Chair Brigadier-General Paul Fry (Retd), along with Brigadier-General Paul Pakenham (Retd) and Lieutenant-Colonel Eamonn Fogarty (Retd).
RAMC Memorial St Patrick’s Cathedral Dublin
The Irish RAMC Memorial is located in the North Transept of St Patrick’s Cathedral, and is identical to the one in St George’s Chapel, in Westminster Abbey. Personnel of the RAMC who fell in the First World War are recorded in the Golden book in Westminster Abbey. The inscription reads:
ROYAL ARMY MEDICAL CORPS
In memory of 743 Officers and 6130 Warrant Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Men who fell in the Great War, and whose names are enrolled in a Golden Book placed in the Chapter House.
“They loved not their lives unto the death”
RAMC’s Regimental Collect
O God, whose blessed Son was made perfect through suffering, give thy grace, we beseech thee, to thy servants of the Royal Army Medical Corps, that by loyalty in hard service after the example of Saint Luke the beloved physician, we may be found faithful in ministering to those who need, for his sake who went about doing good, the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
The Royal Army Medical Corps Association was established in 1925 to further the camaraderie of the First World War veterans, with Sir William Leishman being the first President.