Pte. J. B. Rowell, emigrated to Canada in 1912 for health reasons; his doctor ordered a more suitable climate. These health issues resurfaced during his time with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces (CEF) and would continue throughout his life; although he outlived all of his siblings.
He was eventually invalided out of active service because of his ill-health. On Monday 1st May 1916 he was admitted to hospital in Winnipeg and remained there until 4th May. Frequent hospital visits appear in his diary.
Got out of hospital this morning and turned out for muster parade at 10-45. Wrote to Bennett and Harris McKee.
From the 26th of April until 14th May 1916 the 11th Canadian Field Ambulance remain at the Agricultural College in Winnipeg, where it had been formed. The newly appointed Col. J. D. McQueen had arrived on the 25th April. He was “well pleased with the progress that had been made” in preparation. Daily routine during this time was not light, it was a time of preparation and training.
6.00 A.M., Reveille.
6.15 A.M., Roll Call and run.
7.30 A.M., Breakfast.
8.30 A.M., Physical Training.
9.15 A.M., Squad Drill.
10.30 A.M., Stretcher Drill.
12.00 Noon, Dinner.
2.00 P.M., Demonstration of First Aid and Bandaging.
3.00 P.M., Rifle Drill or lecture.
4.00 P.M., Company Drill.
6.00 P.M., Supper.
The presence of rifle drill on the Orders quoted is explained by the fact that guard duty had to be undertaken by the ambulance men … In respect to medical instruction also a good deal was accomplished. Lectures on anatomy, sanitation, disease, etc., were given almost daily by the officers, while first aid and stretcher drill took place in the Gym.