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War Surgery and Medicine



These were a unit responsibility. Standard patterns were suitable and good. Fly-proof boxing and lids were insisted upon, with usually a built-in fly trap to catch any flies in the holes. Where wire gauze was available troops often netted the whole latrine into a hut. Unless properly done this served to keep the flies in rather than exclude them. In some cases, especially New Caledonia, these latrine holes served as gross breeding places for flies, and treating with diesel oil to immobilise the larvae and flaming with petrol to burn the wings of adult flies was done regularly each day.

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Digging holes both in rock and sand was a problem often solved by building the latrine above ground level or using a 44-gallon drum.