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The Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) is a specialist corps in the British Army which provides medical services to all British Army personnel and their families in war and in peace. Together with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, the Royal Army Dental Corps and Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps, the RAMC forms the British Army's essential Army Medical Services.The RAMC does not carry a Regimental Colour or Queen's Colour, although it has a Regimental Flag. Nor does it have battle honours, as elements of the corps have been present in almost every single war the army has fought. Because it is not a fighting arm, under the Geneva Conventions, members of the RAMC may only use their weapons for self-defence. For this reason, there are two traditions that the RAMC perform when on parade:
Insignia The RAMC, like every other British regiment, has its own distinctive unit insignia.
History Medical services in the British military go as far back as the formation of the Standing Regular Army after the Restoration of Charles II in 1660. This was the first time a career was provided for a Medical Officer (MO), known as the Regimental Surgeon, both in peacetime and in war. The Army was formed entirely on a regimental basis, and a MO with a Warrant Officer as his Assistant Surgeon was appointed to each regiment, which also provided a hospital. The MO was also for the first time concerned in the continuing health of his troops, and not limited to just battlefield medicine. This regimental basis of appointment for MOs continued until it was abolished in 1873. In 1898, officers and soldiers providing medical services were incorporated into one body known by its present name, the Royal Army Medical Corps.The RAMC began to develop during the Boer War, but it was during the First World War that it reached its apogee both in size and experience. During Britain's colonial days the RAMC had set up clinics and hospitals in countries where British troops could be found. In modern times it has once again contracted and its main bases, the Queen Alexandra Hospital Millbank, and the Cambridge Military Hospital, Aldershot, have now closed.The military medical services are now very much tri-service, with the hospital facilities of Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy combined. The main hospital facility is now the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine in Birmingham, a joint military-NHS centre. The former Royal Naval Hospital Haslar in Gosport, near Portsmouth, became the tri-service Royal Hospital Haslar, however it was decommissioned in March 2007. The majority of injured service personnel are now treated in Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham, despite recent press coverage of poor conditions there.
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Derriford NHS hospital in Plymouth, North Allerton NHS hospital in Yorkshire, and Frimley Park Hospital (near Aldershot) also have military wards.
Order of Precedence
Successive changes in title
Gallantry Awards Since the Victoria Cross was instituted in 1856 there have been 29 Victoria Crosses and two bars awarded to army medical personnel. A bar, indicating a subsequent award of a second Victoria Cross, has only ever been awarded three times, two of them to medical officers. Twenty-three of these Victoria Crosses are on display in the Army Medical Services Museum. The corps also has one recipient of both the Victoria Cross and the Iron Cross. One officer was awarded the George Cross in the Second World War. A young female member of the corps, Private Michelle Norris, became the first woman to be awarded the Military Cross following her actions in Iraq on June 11 2006.
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Trades/Careers In The 21st century RAMC Officer Careers:
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