June 1943 on the operating table in New Guinea

BDB2856D-C6A5-44DA-BBD9-5CA6F1DC624F

From June 1943 – a day in the life of the Field Ambulance,

Last night the Fuzzy Wuzzies brought him in on the improvised stretcher – he had copped a mortar bomb 12 hours ago and was despairingly low…

…now that surgeon battled to keep that little spark of life flickering for as long as he did was a miracle…picture a scene in a ramshackle thatched hut and the faces of the M.O. nad his orderlies reflected in the light of a hurricane lamp as they worked quietly and efficiently over the wounded man. A bottle of blood serum hangs from the rafters and from it leads the glass and rubber tubing into a vein. The serum drips steadily and the casualty opens his eyes for an instant and gives a long sigh – the M.O. mutters “he may make it”…but two hours later he passed away quietly and the long struggle for life had been in vain…

…next day his cobbers carried him to his grave, stumbling, slipping and sometimes wading thigh deep through a boulder strewn stream to get to a suitable site…a few words, simple but sincere said by his NCO and the grave is filled in and a bottle containing the dead man’s particulars are placed on the grave and a rough cross of saplings tied together with vines and his tin hat placed over it was erected.

His cobbers filed silently back to their hut engrossed in their own thoughts and flopped on their bunks…one man, veteran of Libya, Greece & Crete picked up the Army newssheet scanned through it then suddenly got to his feet with a ferocious look and said, “Christ almighty wouldn’t it ______ you” and stormed out of the hut.

I wondered what had “bitten him” so picked up the paper he had thrown down – and suddenly understood – “Strikers demand holiday in lieu of Anzac Day”…The opinions of the rest of the occupants are not fit to print!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s