American Volunteer Motor Ambulance Corps

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The American Volunteer Motor Ambulance Corps,[1] also known as the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Corps, was an organization started in London, England, in the fall of 1914 by Richard Norton, archeologist and son of Harvard professor Charles Eliot Norton. Its mission was to assist the movement of wounded Allied troops from the battlefields to hospitals in France during World War I. The Corps began with two cars and four drivers. The service was associated with the British Red Cross and St. John Ambulance.

The "Harjes" part of the name refers to Henry Herman Harjes, a French millionaire banker who wished to help Norton by donating funds and ambulances. When John Dos Passos joined the corps in 1917, the service had thirteen sections of six hundred American volunteer drivers and three hundred ambulances. The famous poet and writer of the Yukon Gold Rush Robert W. Service also joined the Ambulance Corps in 1915 in the Somme and wrote soon afterwards a new book of war poetry, Rhymes of a Red Cross Man, in 1916.


  1. ^ "Richard Norton's American Volunteer Motor-Ambulance Corps". 20 October 2009. Retrieved 13 June 2012.