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Managing the
War Effort

Home Front

at War

Newfoundland Regiment

Royal Naval Reserve

Forestry Corps

Volunteer Aid Detachment

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Letter 4



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Letter 4        | Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 |

Sometimes an orderly comes through to help me a little bit. I have to wait on the patients such as giving them drinks, the bed pans, then perhaps the stretcher bearer comes in for a man to go to the theatre to have his wounds opened, or his hand off, whatever the case may be.

Well! if he is a helpless patient, I’ve got to try to do the best I can to get him on the stretcher or run for an orderly, or look for Sister to help; then when he is taken away his bed has to be made into an operation bed ready for him again; just as you finish that in comes the stretcher bearers for another one; by the time he is ready to go, the other one is brought back then put on his bed, a vomiting basin given him, and watched at intervals for vomiting, hemorrhages etc.

VAD members at work, n.d.
Courtesy of the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador (PANL P13-A1), St. John’s, Newfoundland.
(20 Kb)

Transport Papers, n.d.
Courtesy of the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador (PANL 3-01-001), St. John’s, Newfoundland.
(36 Kb)

Then probably we are warned by the Sergt [sic] that a convoy is going out at such a time to England. He names the patients in each ward who are going: I have these to prepare for travelling: I tell you mother its nothing easy to dress a helpless patient, pulling vests, shirts, cardigan, jacket, drawers, pants; sometimes you can only get one leg in the drawers, and only one sleeve of the jacket; then one must see that everything as regards their papers go with them. These papers indicate when they are taken sick, to what hospital they are sent, his name, regiment, rank, where wounded etc; essential papers.

Injured soldiers, n.d.
Courtesy of the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador (CNSA P3-C1), St. John’s, Newfoundland.
(20 Kb)

Well, while getting them ready for the stretcher bearers to take them to the reception tent before getting on the travelling boat, perhaps a convoy has just come down from the line; in they come, stretcher after stretcher; oh my! Their clothes have to be cut off; shirts pants and everything, such a state of blood and mud; they are then washed; and one has to handle them very very carefully especially if he shot [sic] in the head. No head case is allowed to sit up at all. Some of them can’t see at all, all smashed to pieces; one poor young boy lying day after day with eyes bandaged. Think of them blind for life and so young.

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