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Published in NZMJ 1915;12(45):187–188. The following extracts are taken from correspondence to the Editor from a medical officer:— Gallipoli, 18th June, 1915.I am afraid I have not let you know how things were going so often as I might, but better late than never. To sum up the whole thing, for the last two months we have had a hell of a time. I cannot give you full details, but owing to the nature of the country here (very like the country behind Paekakariki) we have had to be within half a mile of the firing line the whole time, and for the last two months we have done all our work under continuous fire. Rifle bullets and machine guns whistle over us, shrapnel and lyddite from field guns have played on us the whole time, and occasionally 10-inch and 12-inch melinite shells from the forts in the Dardanelles burst around us.Our operating tent is a most amusing sight; it is more like a sieve than a tent, and yesterday I had my sterilising orderly knocked over by a bullet while at work. I have made dug-outs for the patients that are fairly secure—only one of them has been killed, though several have been wounded. I have lost five killed and 15 wounded of my own men. The first day of the landing here all the bearers were sent ashore under O'Neill, and the tent divisions were on the transports to attend to the wounded, who were brought off in barges. The men did wonderfully, and were the talk of the beach. We had all the wounded who could be got at evacuated to the ships by midnight the first day. O'Neill, I am glad to see, got the D.S.O. I will never forget the beach when I arrived on it—dead men lying everywhere in heaps, just as they had fallen. The shrapnel and fire were terrific, and it is marvellous how our men hung on at all.I am afraid the casualty list will be a big shock in New Zealand. We are now acting as a clearing station on the beach, where we do all necessary operations. We have done scores of trephinings and laparotomies with suturing and resections of gut. No abdominal wounds survive if not operated on. There are always multiple perforations, and very often the gut is torn completely across. When the Turk bullet lodges in the tissues it is always reversed with the point backwards, and the wounds are often worse than a dumdum. All carriage of wounded is by hand, and it is very hard work for the bearers. We managed to capture a dozen little donkeys from the Turks, and most leg wounds come down riding the donkeys. They often ride right on alongside the operating table.We have advanced dressing stations along each flank, but it is usually impossible to bring the wounded in till dark, as the country is full of Turkish snipers. I recommended one of the bearers for the D.C.M., and he got it for bringing a man in from in front of the trenches. I have been very lucky myself, and though I have been hit twice—once by shrapnel and once by the fuse of a shell—I have only been bruised.I had men killed all round here, and it is very curious the way they spin round and round before they fall, just like rabbits. Well, as I write this—which, I fear, is rather disconnected, being interrupted by the crack of bursting shrapnel and the roar of our own guns—I am in a dug-out looking out over the Aegean Sea. It is calm as a lake and very blue. Just in front is the island of Imbros and to the right Samothrace. Beyond over the horizon we can see Mount Athos and the mountains of Bulgaria. It is an ideal place for a holiday but for the Turks.The beach is a wild confusion of swearing men, bucking mules, and falling biscuit boxes. Pinnaces from the warships (which are in hiding somewhere) bustle round bringing in barges of supplies and taking off wounded to the hospital ship in the offing. All water has to be brought ashore and carried up the hills. Since we have been here we have seen all varieties of warfare concentrated on a very small area. We have had greater naval bombardments than the world has ever seen; we have seen a big battleship sunk before our eyes; we have seen an enemy submarine sunk; we have seen aeroplanes (both enemy and our own) drop bombs and fight in the air, a German one being brought down smash.We have fought with shell, shrapnel of all sizes, rifles, machine guns, howitzers, hand grenades, saps and mines. We have sprung mines under the Turks, and have had their mines sprung under us—and all in an area of a few square miles. Well, the mail is just closing, so I will close this. I am censor of letters to the company, and it is a devil of a job.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Correspondence Email

Competing Interests

For the PDF of this article,
contact nzmj@nzma.org.nz

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Published in NZMJ 1915;12(45):187–188. The following extracts are taken from correspondence to the Editor from a medical officer:— Gallipoli, 18th June, 1915.I am afraid I have not let you know how things were going so often as I might, but better late than never. To sum up the whole thing, for the last two months we have had a hell of a time. I cannot give you full details, but owing to the nature of the country here (very like the country behind Paekakariki) we have had to be within half a mile of the firing line the whole time, and for the last two months we have done all our work under continuous fire. Rifle bullets and machine guns whistle over us, shrapnel and lyddite from field guns have played on us the whole time, and occasionally 10-inch and 12-inch melinite shells from the forts in the Dardanelles burst around us.Our operating tent is a most amusing sight; it is more like a sieve than a tent, and yesterday I had my sterilising orderly knocked over by a bullet while at work. I have made dug-outs for the patients that are fairly secure—only one of them has been killed, though several have been wounded. I have lost five killed and 15 wounded of my own men. The first day of the landing here all the bearers were sent ashore under O'Neill, and the tent divisions were on the transports to attend to the wounded, who were brought off in barges. The men did wonderfully, and were the talk of the beach. We had all the wounded who could be got at evacuated to the ships by midnight the first day. O'Neill, I am glad to see, got the D.S.O. I will never forget the beach when I arrived on it—dead men lying everywhere in heaps, just as they had fallen. The shrapnel and fire were terrific, and it is marvellous how our men hung on at all.I am afraid the casualty list will be a big shock in New Zealand. We are now acting as a clearing station on the beach, where we do all necessary operations. We have done scores of trephinings and laparotomies with suturing and resections of gut. No abdominal wounds survive if not operated on. There are always multiple perforations, and very often the gut is torn completely across. When the Turk bullet lodges in the tissues it is always reversed with the point backwards, and the wounds are often worse than a dumdum. All carriage of wounded is by hand, and it is very hard work for the bearers. We managed to capture a dozen little donkeys from the Turks, and most leg wounds come down riding the donkeys. They often ride right on alongside the operating table.We have advanced dressing stations along each flank, but it is usually impossible to bring the wounded in till dark, as the country is full of Turkish snipers. I recommended one of the bearers for the D.C.M., and he got it for bringing a man in from in front of the trenches. I have been very lucky myself, and though I have been hit twice—once by shrapnel and once by the fuse of a shell—I have only been bruised.I had men killed all round here, and it is very curious the way they spin round and round before they fall, just like rabbits. Well, as I write this—which, I fear, is rather disconnected, being interrupted by the crack of bursting shrapnel and the roar of our own guns—I am in a dug-out looking out over the Aegean Sea. It is calm as a lake and very blue. Just in front is the island of Imbros and to the right Samothrace. Beyond over the horizon we can see Mount Athos and the mountains of Bulgaria. It is an ideal place for a holiday but for the Turks.The beach is a wild confusion of swearing men, bucking mules, and falling biscuit boxes. Pinnaces from the warships (which are in hiding somewhere) bustle round bringing in barges of supplies and taking off wounded to the hospital ship in the offing. All water has to be brought ashore and carried up the hills. Since we have been here we have seen all varieties of warfare concentrated on a very small area. We have had greater naval bombardments than the world has ever seen; we have seen a big battleship sunk before our eyes; we have seen an enemy submarine sunk; we have seen aeroplanes (both enemy and our own) drop bombs and fight in the air, a German one being brought down smash.We have fought with shell, shrapnel of all sizes, rifles, machine guns, howitzers, hand grenades, saps and mines. We have sprung mines under the Turks, and have had their mines sprung under us—and all in an area of a few square miles. Well, the mail is just closing, so I will close this. I am censor of letters to the company, and it is a devil of a job.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Correspondence Email

Competing Interests

For the PDF of this article,
contact nzmj@nzma.org.nz

View Article PDF

Published in NZMJ 1915;12(45):187–188. The following extracts are taken from correspondence to the Editor from a medical officer:— Gallipoli, 18th June, 1915.I am afraid I have not let you know how things were going so often as I might, but better late than never. To sum up the whole thing, for the last two months we have had a hell of a time. I cannot give you full details, but owing to the nature of the country here (very like the country behind Paekakariki) we have had to be within half a mile of the firing line the whole time, and for the last two months we have done all our work under continuous fire. Rifle bullets and machine guns whistle over us, shrapnel and lyddite from field guns have played on us the whole time, and occasionally 10-inch and 12-inch melinite shells from the forts in the Dardanelles burst around us.Our operating tent is a most amusing sight; it is more like a sieve than a tent, and yesterday I had my sterilising orderly knocked over by a bullet while at work. I have made dug-outs for the patients that are fairly secure—only one of them has been killed, though several have been wounded. I have lost five killed and 15 wounded of my own men. The first day of the landing here all the bearers were sent ashore under O'Neill, and the tent divisions were on the transports to attend to the wounded, who were brought off in barges. The men did wonderfully, and were the talk of the beach. We had all the wounded who could be got at evacuated to the ships by midnight the first day. O'Neill, I am glad to see, got the D.S.O. I will never forget the beach when I arrived on it—dead men lying everywhere in heaps, just as they had fallen. The shrapnel and fire were terrific, and it is marvellous how our men hung on at all.I am afraid the casualty list will be a big shock in New Zealand. We are now acting as a clearing station on the beach, where we do all necessary operations. We have done scores of trephinings and laparotomies with suturing and resections of gut. No abdominal wounds survive if not operated on. There are always multiple perforations, and very often the gut is torn completely across. When the Turk bullet lodges in the tissues it is always reversed with the point backwards, and the wounds are often worse than a dumdum. All carriage of wounded is by hand, and it is very hard work for the bearers. We managed to capture a dozen little donkeys from the Turks, and most leg wounds come down riding the donkeys. They often ride right on alongside the operating table.We have advanced dressing stations along each flank, but it is usually impossible to bring the wounded in till dark, as the country is full of Turkish snipers. I recommended one of the bearers for the D.C.M., and he got it for bringing a man in from in front of the trenches. I have been very lucky myself, and though I have been hit twice—once by shrapnel and once by the fuse of a shell—I have only been bruised.I had men killed all round here, and it is very curious the way they spin round and round before they fall, just like rabbits. Well, as I write this—which, I fear, is rather disconnected, being interrupted by the crack of bursting shrapnel and the roar of our own guns—I am in a dug-out looking out over the Aegean Sea. It is calm as a lake and very blue. Just in front is the island of Imbros and to the right Samothrace. Beyond over the horizon we can see Mount Athos and the mountains of Bulgaria. It is an ideal place for a holiday but for the Turks.The beach is a wild confusion of swearing men, bucking mules, and falling biscuit boxes. Pinnaces from the warships (which are in hiding somewhere) bustle round bringing in barges of supplies and taking off wounded to the hospital ship in the offing. All water has to be brought ashore and carried up the hills. Since we have been here we have seen all varieties of warfare concentrated on a very small area. We have had greater naval bombardments than the world has ever seen; we have seen a big battleship sunk before our eyes; we have seen an enemy submarine sunk; we have seen aeroplanes (both enemy and our own) drop bombs and fight in the air, a German one being brought down smash.We have fought with shell, shrapnel of all sizes, rifles, machine guns, howitzers, hand grenades, saps and mines. We have sprung mines under the Turks, and have had their mines sprung under us—and all in an area of a few square miles. Well, the mail is just closing, so I will close this. I am censor of letters to the company, and it is a devil of a job.

Summary

Abstract

Aim

Method

Results

Conclusion

Author Information

Acknowledgements

Correspondence

Correspondence Email

Competing Interests

Contact diana@nzma.org.nz
for the PDF of this article

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