Medical Units of 2 NZEF in Middle East and Italy
Fortunately for 5 ADS the enemy did not reply to the opening artillery barrage. Had he done so, the ADS, just forward of our own guns, would probably have been in an untenable position. A steadily increasing number of casualties poured in, and the medical officers and men of the company worked without a break during the night and all the next day. It was fortunate that additional ambulance cars were available to take the casualties back quickly to 5 MDS, then some eight miles way. In a period of 26 hours the ADS admitted and evacuated approximately 460 casualties.
One medical officer, assisted by orderlies, dealt with walking wounded only at the small German tent. A second medical officer, with the most skilled nursing orderlies, treated the serious cases and applied Thomas splints whenever lower limb fractures were involved. A third medical officer, with less skilled assistants, dealt with the miscellaneous wounded. As far as possible the orderlies and stretcher-bearers worked in rotational shifts. This ensured some rest for all from their very arduous and trying duties. Next day, 25 October, fewer casualties were received, the total admissions numbering 94. One ambulance car, en route from the ADS to the page 233 rear, ran over a mine and was damaged. During attempts to salvage the vehicle, it struck another mine and was so damaged that it had to be abandoned.