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Memorandum on the Treatment of Injuries in War (1915)

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MEMORANDUM ON THE
TREATMENT OF INJURIES IN WAR

Based On Experience of the
Present Campaign, July 1915

H.M.S.O., London, 1915

A very rare official War Office medical manual, published in July 1915. The book was edited by Lieut-General A. T. Sloggett (1857-1929), the Director-General of the British Army Medical Services in the Field during WW1. Sloggett was a very experienced medical officer, who had served in many campaigns throughout the Empire, and knew a great deal about war wounds, having been shot in the chest and seriously wounded at the Battle of Omdurman in September 1898.

Memorandum on the Treatment of Injuries in War summarized the experience gained in military hospitals in France during the first year of the war, with a view to 'attaining some uniformity of treatment based upon definite observation'. It was said to be of great assistance in establishing methods of treatment and enabling general instructions to be easily circulated to the front line. All Medical Officers serving at the front were to be issued with a copy of the Memorandum, and the treatments advocated were expected to be adhered to as closely as possible. According to Sloggett, 'The recommendations are designed to meet the conditions under which the Medical Service has been working, as to (a) the actual character of the wounds, and some special features dependent on climatic conditions, environment, and new methods of warfare; (b) the primary transport of sick and wounded men from the field; and (c) the rapid transference of patients to England'.

The book includes detailed instructions and advice on the treatment of a wide variety of wounds and injuries sustained in war, including gunshot wounds, shrapnel wounds, high-explosive wounds, fractures, head injuries, spinal injuries, gas gangrene, gas poisoning, penetrating wounds, chest wounds, trench foot, etc.

The book is illustrated with photographs.

The Royal Army Medical Corps was established in 1898. Previously there had been two distinct organisations within the Army Medical Services, the Medical Staff Corps and the Medical Staff (officers). These two organisations were reorganised as the Royal Army Medical Corps on 23rd June 1898. RAMC medical officers were thus granted the same rank structure as the rest of the British Army. Within three months, RAMC personnel were serving in the Sudan, and soon after the corps was deployed in the Anglo-Boer War. During WW1 the RAMC’s job was both to maintain the health and fighting strength of the forces in the field and ensure that in the event of sickness or wounding they were treated and evacuated as quickly as possible. Every battalion had a medical officer, assisted by at least 16 stretcher-bearers. The medical officer was tasked with establishing a Regimental Aid Post near the front line. From here, the wounded were evacuated and cared for by men of a Field Ambulance in an Advanced Dressing Station. The hospitals set up immediately behind the lines were often housed in tents, including wards and operating theatres. This was particularly true of Casualty Clearing Stations -these were basic hospitals and were the closest point to the front where female nurses were allowed to serve. Patients were usually transferred to a stationary or general hospital at a base for further treatment. A network of ambulance trains and hospital barges provided transport between these facilities, while hospital ships carried casualties evacuated back home to ‘Blighty’.

Condition:

In good condition. The boards are in good condition, with general signs of wear and use, and some marks. The binding and hinges are good and secure. The text  and illustrations are in good condition, with some creased corners and a few marks.

Published: 1915
Maroon boards with gilt titling
Illustrated with line drawings and photographs
Dimensions: 105mm x 130mm
Pages: 130