WALKING WOUNDED ON A HOSPITAL SHIP
Weather permitting, walking wounded usually
travelled on the deck of the overcrowded hospital ships for the short crosschannel
passage from France to England. Their passage to England is illustrated
by the following three sketches.
The best place to sleep, on a summer night in a full hospital
ship, for a man whose wound is not grave enough to cause serious "shock"
and consequent need of much artificial warming.
This drawing was done in the warm early autumn
of 1916. All "walking wounded" wear lifebelts, if their injuries
permit, during the Channel crossing, and each "stretcher case"
has a lifebelt under his pillow, if not on. The necessity for this, in a
war with Germany, has been proved by the fate of too many of our hospital
The deck of a British hospital ship is one of the most cheerful places
in the world. Every man is at rest after toil, is about to see friends
after separation, can smoke when he likes, and has in every other man on
board a companion with whom endless reminiscences can be exchanged, and
perhaps the merits and demerits of the Ypres salient, or the most advantageous
use of "tanks," warmly debated, as is the custom of privates
of the New Army. Silent or vocal, a great beatitude fills the vessel.