Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

War Surgery and Medicine



As already stated, the CCS was originally too cumbersome and without transport. It was then altered by providing transport for a certain number of the units, which were then attached to corps. These were called Mobile CCSs, and followed closely behind the Army during the advance from Alamein to Tunis. Our 1 NZ CCS functioned from Alamein onwards and was one of the first to be made mobile, and it rapidly developed the facility to change page 52 camp. The individual wards were made independent units by basing them on a 3–ton truck, in which all tentage and equipment and staff were transported from one site to another. With a stabilised plan of layout of the camp, the ward lorry was able to be driven to its exact location in any new camp. If the CCS was holding patients unsuited for evacuation, a detachment was left behind when it went forward, and if large numbers were being held arrangements were made for another CCS to leapfrog ahead and leave the full CCS stationary till it had dealt with its serious cases. The equipment of the CCS was altered to suit the new function. The newly formed FSUs were attached to an active CCS to strengthen its surgical potential and FTUs were also attached. Nursing sisters were also added to the establishment, six being attached to our CCS at Alamein, and they remained attached throughout the war. They were even attached to the active MDS when conditions warranted this on the Sangro front.

The CCS was the unit best equipped to carry out the major forward surgery, and, if it was mobile, was able to be placed so that casualties could reach it in adequate time. If that was impossible, then the light section could be pushed forward either to join an MDS or an FDS. The most important aspect was the holding of the serious cases—any unit operating on this type of case must be so constituted and located that it could hold them. The name of the unit and its exact establishment was immaterial.

In Italy there was not quite the same necessity for the CCS to be mobile as generally it was not shifted so often or so far, but it still generally remained a tented unit. The attachment of one or more FSUs and an FTU became the routine whenever the CCS was actively employed to deal with casualties. A dentist was also attached to take charge of fractured jaws. A physician was also added to the unit for general purposes and also to look after chest cases. Thus the CCS became a mobile unit, very well staffed to deal with serious casualties.