SCOTTISH AMBULANCE UNIT IN SPAIN
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES
Sir,- No doubt many of your readers have been following the movements of the Scottish ambulance unit which has gone to Spain to succour the sick and wounded in the civil war, irrespective altogether of politics or party. Humanity knows no frontiers. A small committee met here on August 26 and decided to telegraph to influential friends in Madrid for permission to send the unit. Grateful consent was telegraphed next morning. Support was asked and secured from an influential committee, and an executive set about the work at once. It was decided to send six motor-ambulances and a stores car. New vehicles were ordered in spite of the much higher cost because a breakdown of a single second-hand car would involve delay to the whole unit. The entire unit, completely equipped with medical and surgical stores and a personnel of 19, including one lady - all volunteers - paraded in front of the City Chambers on Thursday, September 17, at 12.40 and had a hearty send-off from the Lord Provost and an enthusiastic crowd of citizens at 1 o'clock. Almost a miracle of speed and efficiency. They proceeded via Dover, Calais, Rouen, Chartres, Limoges, Toulouse, and Perpignan, crossed the Spanish frontier yesterday afternoon, and early this morning I received a telegram dated Figueras, September 25, 9 p.m.: — " Wonderful reception here. A Government car is accompanying us to Madrid." Figueras is 16 miles inside the frontier and only 83 miles from Barcelona.
The committee have every reason to be proud, the whole scheme, including the fitting out and equipping of new cars, having been
planned and carried out without a hitch in a month.
But, alas, ways and means are still causing anxiety. Numerous small subscriptions are arriving, a few of them even in the form of postage stamps, proving self-denial on the part of the givers. And what of the 19 brave members of the unit itself who, in spite of discomfort and coming danger, are on the way to the front, without fee or reward except the sense of duty alone? Self-denial is a poor word to describe such service.
What can we do to recognize it? One friend has sent a cheque for £80 to add to the £20 already sent and make up £100, but we are a long way from the first £1,000, and another £9,000 must be received quickly to enable us to pay our way. An offer has come in of pound for pound for any subscription received up to £1,000.
Scottish Ambulance Unit for Spain, 5, Clevedon Road, Glasgow, Sept. 26.