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of the R.A.M.C. are constantly ly progressing to convalescence, emulated by the men who serve or when perhaps he is fading out with them. There is no doubt of life, the gentle touch of a that in the line nearest the woman's hand and the soothing enemy, where work must in- tones of a woman's voice are to evitably be to some extent him of inestimable value. Good rough and ready, when grave and attentive as male nurses danger is hovering near, and may be, their care lacks somea hospital must, as it were, thing which is supplied by that “come into action” with the of the “ministering angels. ” utmost rapidity, and not always This has been recognised for under the most favourable sur- some years, and
of rounding circumstances, the ladies called the Army Nursing men of the R.A.M.C. are the Service has been formed for best possible nurses. It has hospital duty in England and been suggested that some lady the Colonies, India being pronurses should be attached to vided for by the Indian Nursing the field hospitals; but the con- Service, which is a separate sensus of opinion among those body. The sisters of the Army who are responsible that the Nursing Service all go through work is well done, and among a course of instruction at Netley, the poor Tommies who form and there become accustomed the cases, is that the ladies to military ways and military would be quite out of place so discipline. A large number of near the battlefield, and that it them are now in South Africa, is much better to rely entirely and how admirably their work on the men who have always is done will be told by the proved themselves to be so good invalids who are now returning and efficient. It is obvious, to England. As the Army too, that, if a lady nurse falls Nursing Service would be unsick, it would be impossible in able to meet all the calls upon a field hospital to provide that it, it is supplemented by sisters she should have the care and from the Army Nursing Reserve, privacy due to her sex, an organisation managed by a
But in the case of our sick committee of which Princess and wounded soldiers there is Christian is president, and into still a very important place for whose benevolent work she has lady nurses. Immediately after thrown her whole energy. The the first shock of a wound, the followers in the footsteps of patient's thoughts are still full Florence Nightingale are now of the excitement of the fight, many. The good work that or else he is nearly unconscious she initiated has now become of surrounding influences. a commonplace of warlike orlong as he is attended to, there ganisation, the difficulties that is little room for the sway of the she found in her path have mind over the body; but when passed away for ever, and all he finds himself in a stationary the world recognises the noble or base hospital, during the long- practicalness of her aims. drawn-out days while he is slow- Some comment has been made
on the omission of special sani- regard of danger in the battletary officers from the staffs of field, if the fact of their officers our armies. The fact is, how- and men being large sharers in ever, that such officers are now the death and injury that smite in no way needed. Every officer the personnel of an army, are of the R.A.M.C. goes through a any of the conditions that mark course at Netley on all matters true soldier, the R.A.M.C. connected with sanitation, and
“No men are more of is perfectly competent to advise soldiers than we.” This must in every such detail. The medi- be iterated again and yet again; cal officer attached to each unit for, in the face of these very is responsible to the principal palpable facts, there can be no medical officer of the division doubt that in certain military for the proper condition of his quarters, and those, so far, very camp, and a most careful eye is influential quarters, there is still kept upon the sources of water- a deep-rooted feeling of anisupply, the food, and all mat- mosity against the medical serters that can possibly affect the vice. Or is it possible that the wellbeing of the men, How feeling is rather one of jealousy thoroughly sanitation is at- because that service has been tended to is shown by the so eminently equal to a great excellent general health of all occasion, when the purely comthe troops, although typhoid batant administration has, to fever is known to be very say the least, not been
too prevalent in South Africa dur- successful? Specific army status ing the autumn and summer. has been granted to the mediThe only places where there cal department, but this has have been any serious outbreaks not apparently always are among the besieged gar- ried with it the recognition risons and one or two camps that is due. For a salient exclose to the enemy, and their ample of what is meant it may conditions are of course beyond be pointed out that the name the control of any sanitary of the principal medical officer science, however perfect and of the last Soudan expedition however energetic in action. was omitted from the otherwise
A A very ill-advised commander comprehensive list of those to in the English army once said, whom the thanks of Parliament not so very long ago, that the were tendered. The record of
“were not sol- special acts of gallantry perdiers but only attendants upon formed by our officers and men soldiers.” It may be perhaps in South Africa is somewhat difficult to define what special slow in reaching us, and what qualifications or employments has come has been wanting in make a man a soldier; but if fulness. Perhaps it is only the entire self - abnegation in the despatches of successful generals cause of duty, if patient endur- that can be expected to contain ance of fatigue and hardship in eulogies of subordinates, howthe course of military opera- ever well they may have served, tions, if the profoundest dis- however brilliant an example
they may have given. But, that, while our soldiers have be-
guished itself, and we cannot
“Before he was brought in he had no possible ground for complaint, been lying for seven hours in the sun and that I may rest satisfied that in a donga._ Here he was attended all the medical arrangements are by, Major Babtie, R.A.M.C., who completely satisfactory to him. I
I rode into the donga through a hail of pressed him if he could suggest im- bullets, and whose horse was killed provement, and he said he could not.
under him. Major Babtie kept by I have given the matter every con
the wounded men in the donga until sideration, and can only express my
the battle was over, and as he alone admiration of the arrangements made had water in his water - bottle he by Colonel Gallwey and the Royal doled out water to each man in a Army Medical Corps, and Mr Treves
minim measure, 1 drachm to each. assures me that he entirely agrees
The courage and daring of Major with me."
Babtie on this occasion call for some
recognition from the medical proLord Methuen thus concludes fession, if not from the military auhis despatch after the Modder thorities." River fight :
Then the Morning Post's' “Again I call attention to the correspondent, writing of the splendid hospital arrangements, for battle of Magersfontein :at 4.45 P.M. on the day after the fight all my wounded were on the
“It is most necessary here to say way to Capetown. I am glad to
a word in praise of the Army Medihave been slightly wounded, because cal Corps, who faced a hot fire all in no other way could I bave learnt day long, going close up to the firingthe care taken of the wounded; and
line to bring back our wounded. It there was nothing officer or private the day 500 wounded men should
seems almost incredible that during soldier required that was not pro- have been brought back by the Medi: vided at once, and the medical officers never tired in their endeavour to cal Corps, though to get them back alleviate suffering.”
stretcher-bearers and searchers had
to cross and recross a zone of fire The despatch also contains nearly a mile wide.” the following mention : “He
Writing of the same battle, (Colonel Paget) draws attention to Captain Moores, R.A.M.C., spondent says :
the Daily Telegraph' correwho, although wounded in the hand, said nothing, but con
“When the ambulance was brought
up about noon, the Boers would not tinued his duties."
allow it to come
nearer than 500 From other sources we know yards. Ensor, however, went on
alone within 300 yards of the enemy actual battlefield, the R.A.M.C. and brought back a wounded man,
have given examples of the although a heavy fire was directed him by the Boers. Captain
most extraordinary endurance Probyn, attached to the Gordon in carrying out their duties Highlanders, walked erect up and after the actual fighting is down the firing-line attending to the over,-an endurance so much wounded officers and men under a beyond the ordinary capacity of hail of bullets."
human powers, that it can only And so on and so on.
be accounted for by believing Several officers of the that they are stimulated by the R.A.M.C. have met a soldier's noblest professional zeal and the death in the field. The first to most eager and high-minded give his life for his country was philanthropy. After the battle Major Gray, who fell while of Magersfontein the medical ministering to the wounded at
men worked incessantly for Elandslaagte. Then Captain thirty-six hours. . After the Hughes, one of the most brilliant battle of Colenso Mr Treves young English scientists, died by writes :Buller's side at Colenso. Even that unemotional commander “Some 800 wounded were passed telegraphed, “We had all
through the field hospitals and dealt
with by sixteen surgeons. Those who learned to love him ”; and it harshly criticise the Medical Departhas been written of him in a ment should have seen the work great professional journal, “ His done on the memorable Friday on
the Naval Hill before Coleuso. No untimely death is a loss not
work could have been done better. only to the Royal Army Medi- The equipment was good, the arcal Corps, but also to the pro- rangements elaborated, and the officers fession at large and to medical worked on hour after hour without science.” And, alas ! there are
rest or food under the most trying possible conditions.
No greater others.
strain could have fallen upon a deA very spirited ditty has partment, and all concerned met the come before us. It was pub- brunt of it valiantly and well. One lished in the 6 Morning Post,' could not be other than proud of and it is no discredit to it to
one's profession." say that it is evidently inspired And be it remembered that the by the study of Rudyard Kip- men who did this great work, ling.
Its last lines seem to work which involved as much sum up very perfectly all that toil to the brain as it demanded we think about the R.A.M.C. in the utmost skilfulness of hand, the field :
did not come to it fresh and un“But, here's to the man of the R.A.M.C. fatigued. Many of them had Buzzing about on the field like a bee,
had a weary march, many of Tending the wounded where lead's them had been present and em
flying hot, Biting his lip when he gets hisself shot: ployed during the long and Brave as the best of us, hurt and no bitter action. The temperature tell,
was over 100°, and the atmosDoctor he may be—he's soldier as well.” phere was permeated with dust. And, besides their chivalrous Truly a marvellous feat ! courage and readiness in the Something has
said of our Army's Medical by himself and his predecessors. Service in the field, of its mar- He has within the last few vellously perfect organisation, months had to face a gigantic of the individual initiative, cool task, and to face it at the head courage, skill, endurance, and of a service which is miserably sense of duty shown by its undermanned. Complaintshave, members in the most trying in one or two instances, been tests that can well be made of so-called shortcomings ceived; but it must be re- in the department that he conmembered that there are other trols, but they have been the officers of the R.A.M.C. who, outcome of profound ignorance though they are not serving as to real facts, and in no single in the field, have to discharge case have they been justifiedduties as essential to the effici- indeed they have always been ent working of the department. triumphantly refuted. The A long succession of most able, strain has been terrible, but in experienced, and practical men no detail has the medical serhave built up the present sys- vice given way. Surely there tem of administration and exe- is here a combination of science, cution, and it has been the of business capacity, of patriotic good fortune of Surgeon-Gen- feeling, of profound sense of eral Jameson, the present duty, which our nation should Director-General, to see how be proud to see in servants of admirable in every respect is the State. Surely it should the result of the labour done not be ungrateful.