The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918
Dressing Station Scenes
Dressing Station Scenes.
Three days and nights on trek, then a delicious night's sleep. But we were up at 04.30 next day, and on the move again. At about 10.30 we reached the site selected for our dressing station, and unloading the camels, pitched the operating tent and prepared everthing for receiving the wounded. The cooks soon had a fire going and made dixies full of beef-tra and cocoa. Every wounded man is given a drink on arrival at the station.
The attack had begun before we took up our position, and we had not long to wait before the first casts arrived at the station. Most of them were slightly wounded, and had walked or ridden in from the firing line. We quuickly dressed or re-dressed the wounds. Sume of the men had used first field chessings, others had no dressings at all on their wound.-. When we had made the boys as comfortable as possible and given then? fags, of which our Padre seemed to have an inexhaustable supply, they were quite cheerful, and joked about " backsheesh " wounds. Those who had mounts and were able to ride, wers sent off in batches to the collecting station, about five miles away.
There was a steady influx of cases during the whole afternoon, but it was not until after dark that the mo-t seriously wounded started to come in; they were carried in cacelets. Each had been attended to by a Regimental M.O. in the field, and to his tunic was attached a label bearing his number, name, etc., a brief descrip-tion of his injury, ano details of treatment received in the held. The most serious, i.e, heemorhage cases, had a label with a red border. The "red tabs" are given precedence to the "white tabs", and are brought before an M O. as soon as possible. Outside the tent, at one end, were rows of men waiting to be treat-ed; inside, our staff was hard at work by the light of an acetylene lamp, and these was blood everywhere; the air reeked with the smell of blood and antiseptics. At the o her end of the tent, outside, were the cases that had been treat-ed ano were waiting to be conveyed to the collecting station: near them lay men mortally wounded, and the dead.
There were many sad incidents that night, but one especially that brought a lump into my throat. A young Light Horseman, wounded in the chest, called for his wife and the baby son had never seen, for it was barn after he left Australia. He died with the names of these loved ones on his lips.