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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Standard of Surgery

Standard of Surgery

The Consultant Surgeon, Middle East Force, in his report at the time, had the following comments to make on surgery generally during the summer battles of 1942:

.… The surgeons at base units had nothing but praise for the work of their colleagues in the forward units, and few criticisms were forthcoming. I formed the impression that there was yet a further improvement in the standard of the work, and several divisional surgeons voluntarily stated that they thought the work was ‘first-class’. It was certainly an impressive sight to see so many severely wounded men looking remarkably well and free from pain, at all events, in these, the earlier days of their incapacity. From officers and other ranks who were casualties, I heard no complaints, in fact, much praise of the medical services.

During the period July to September 1942, including the battle of Alamein, Major S. L. Wilson was senior surgeon of a surgical page 364 team attached to New Zealand field ambulance dressing stations. He operated continuously during long periods without rest, providing major surgery for the most seriously wounded, with outstanding skill and devotion. This, taken in conjunction with his previous service, frequently under conditions of the greatest danger, was a most distinguished and meritorious contribution to battle surgery and earned him the DSO.