Lessons learned in service

Extracts from a war diary of 24th Field Ambulance which outline some the difficulties faced by the unit, (Catalogue ref: WO 95/1703)


                                                                  WAR DIARY                            24th Field Ambulance 21



Place Date
May 12 1915


Hour                                                Summary of Events and Information

The following points arise out of these operations.

i.              Field dressings: these are applied too tightly. The bandage is very thin & when damp becomes a constricting cord. Several cases has oedematous limbs [build-up of fluid in the body] for this reason. If cases cannot soon be collected the dressings should be changed, otherwise they get impervious [unbreathable] from dried discharge & retain discharges in wounds. Some cases out several days without dressing did better than those who were dressed early but got the dressings impervious.

ii.            Wheeled stretcher frames, allotted now 2 per ambulance helped greatly. There should be at least 6 per ambulance.

iii.           There is a need for a large canvas [tent] on poles to act as a shelter where wounded have to be grouped out in the open, e.g. at a point such as a wagon rendezvous.

iv.           Extra Bearers & Medical Officers. Casualties occur too rapidly in some parts of an action to be dealt

Remarks and references to Appendices


                                         WAR DIARY         24th Field Ambulance 22



Place Date Hour                                              Summary of Events and Information Remarks and references to Appendices
May 12th 1915


    with by the Field Ambulance concerned. Arrangements should be made beforehand, in the case of a planned action, for stretcher bearers & officers of other Field Ambulances belonging to troops which are not at all or but lightly engaged to be temporarily transferred for duty where wanted.

v.            Extra motor ambulances. There should be restored our normal establishment i.e. seven instead of four as at present. They can easily go where horsed vehicles cannot & their evacuating power is greater- at least four fold.

vi.           A Divisional Ambulance Transport officer should be appointed from among the Transport officers of the Field Ambulances to regulated their traffic & divert the vehicles to points where they are most wanted.



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