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War Surgery and Medicine



It was the policy in the Middle East Forces to use deep-pit latrines wherever possible. In nearly all British permanent and semipermanent camps this system superseded the bucket removal system. The deep-trench latrine was used by the Division in Greece, the Suez Canal area, Baggush, Syria, and Italy. Principles of their construction were an adequate depth, with a minimum of eight feet, and the provision of a fly-proof superstructure, while constant inspection was necessary to remedy any wear-and-tear and carelessness in their use. In the forward areas, especially in the Western Desert where the subsoil was of rock, making the construction of deep pits impossible, the problem of innocuous disposal was solved by the introduction of the incinerator latrine. For this petrol tins were used as receptacles and the contents were incinerated daily by ignition of a small quantity of petrol and some oil. From Tripoli, early in 1943 onwards, the Hygiene Section made latrine seats for issue to units, and then in Italy developed and produced a collapsible, portable latrine.

Urinals were in the main of the soakage pit type with a trough or funnel superstructure.