1914 Star,
Lot 55
1914 Star,
Sold for £360 (US$ 604) inc. premium
Lot Details
1914 Star,
(W.Brightwell. Amer: Amb: Hosp:). Extremely fine. (1)


  • Mr W.J.C.Brightwell served as an Orderly with the American Ambulance Hospice in Neuilly Sur Seine, Paris. The MIC has the disembarkation date as September 1914. He applies for the 1914 Star on the 4th December 1918. His address being 18 Ainger Road, Primrose Hill, London, and 147 Kensington, Liverpool.

    The American Colony of Paris organized an "Ambulance" the French term for a temporary military hospital, just as it had done in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 when the "American Ambulance" had been under tents set up near the Paris home of its founder, the celebrated Paris-American dentist, Dr. Thomas W. Evans. The "American Ambulance" of 1914 took over the premises of the unfinished Lycée Pasteur in the suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine—and was run by the nearby American Hospital of Paris.

    The volunteer drivers of 1914 found themselves behind the wheels of motorized, not horse-driven, vehicles: Model Ts, purchased from the nearby Ford plant in Levallois-Perret.

    In the autumn of 1914, when the war front moved away from Paris, the American Ambulance set up an outpost in Juilly and sent out detached units of volunteer drivers to serve informally with the British and Belgian armies in the north.

    In early 1915, one of those drivers A. Piatt Andrew—was appointed "Inspector of Ambulances" by the head of the American Ambulance, one of his colleagues from the Taft Administration. In April 1915, Andrew succeeded in soliciting an agreement from the French High Command authorizing "foreign sanitary sections" to work at the front as part of the French Army Automobile Service. This marked the formal beginning of American Ambulance Field Service, three units of which made their mark during battles in northern France, the Champagne, Verdun and the Vosges.
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