I’d never seen this amazing photo before until September 2018. Pictured is the Blantyre Ambulance in May 1915. Several postcards exist showing the ambulance at Calderglen and Caldergrove, but this photo was the first I’d seen it at Milheugh House, the former house beside the Calder Falls.
The ambulance was bought by funds raised by several well known Blantyre ladies, following their dedication and hard work with many events collecting donations.
Gordon Cook, who has written extensively about this subject provides a short extract from his research: “The motor ambulance arrived in Blantyre on Saturday, May 1st 1915. It was parked in Commercial Place, just off Stonefield Road, at three o’clock as had been intimated, and over two thousand people turned up to the dedication service. All the local ministers were there, and Rev Charles S. Turnbull told of how the idea for the fund had originated with the four young ladies mentioned earlier, the Misses Jackson, Cochrane, Moore and Bannatyne, and how, with the assistance of other well known local ladies they had “worked assiduously to make the scheme a success.” He also spoke encouragingly as to how the money was raised.
These ladies from Blantyre had raised an amazing £505 11s 4d in six months, and had delivered a Darracq motor ambulance, which cost £450 completely fitted out. The ambulance was fully equipped to accommodate patients on stretchers, with room also for eight sitting as well as a seat for an attendant. The ambulance, with the single word ‘Blantyre’ painted in white just below the windscreen, was driven through Blantyre that afternoon, stopping here and there along the way to allow the public to inspect it. It was officially handed over to the Red Cross Society and as early as Wednesday morning it was in action, transporting wounded soldiers to Stobhill Hospital.”
With thanks to Margaret Stewart for permitting a scan of the rare postcard.