|Previous||1 of 3||Next|
small (250x250 max)
medium (500x500 max)
large ( > 500x500)
Loading content ...
SPANISH MEDICAL AID COMMITTEE 24 New Oxford Street, W.C.1. MARCH BULLETIN Teruel. Here is news of the great battle round Teruel and of the magnificent work done by our autochir and its personal. "I am with the medical services and we are nearer the front than any hospital has ever been. Ankle-deep in mud, surrounded by ruined houses, living always within the sound of booming artillery, we are faced hour after hour, day after day with grim reality. All is well organised. Surgeons are specialising on cases, abdominal wounds being treated in the first hospitals, limbs a little further on, a hospital for sickness and frost-bite in another place. Mobile equipes, consisting of a surgeon, his assistant, the theatre nurse and her assistant, an anaesthetist and a few others, move from place to place, rapidly and efficiently setting up operating rooms wherever they are wanted. Ambulances run to and fro, bring in men from the line, and evacuate them to the rear after operation. Stretcher-bearers go in and out. Here is action; here is the fight. We never become used to the horrible suffering, but we are encouraged in our work by the knowledge that very few of our comrades die in our care. One of our English nurses said, 'I like the work when I am fighting for men's lives'. Teruel was taken by the Spaniards. As all the world knows, Teruel was taken by the Spanish People's amy; no Internationals were there. The only foreigners were those on the English autochir (the travelling operating theatre given by the Society of Lithographic Artists and Designers in England). This came up to the front just before Christmas. It was driven by Charles Innocent and Jim Smyth, who also worked as assistants in the operating room. The Spanish surgeon, Dr Quemada, was in charge of the equipe and the theatre nurse was Kathleen Cresswell, who recently came from England. Dr. Fuhrman was there too and was in Teruel on Christmas Day. This equipe did some fine work, especially with limb cases. They worked all night alternating with a Spanish equipe that worked all day. In this way there was no break and wounded were never kept waiting unnecessarily. For a while they worked in conjunction with an ambulance train. All of us on this front saw the Old Year go out in a blizzard that closed the roads for a day or so. The drivers of the autochir and the ambulance and lorry drivers battled their way through this over the high passes. Under conditions of terrible cold, with the snow blowing horizontally, our autochir drivers kept on, knowing that the precious instruments they carried were needed at the front, knowing too that at any hour the road might become impassable; and before the passes closed they got through. Dr D'Harcourt, the Chief Surgeon of the Spanish Medical services, has written and thanked them all for their work in that historic fight. The other Britishers came up at the New Year, being stationed at a village so near the fighting that severe wounds were treated within an hour. Here three surgeons, Dr. Barsky (American), Dr. Dumont (Belgian) and Dr. Braggi (Catalan) have their equipes. With them are working Dr. Reginald Saxton, who has worked at the front during the whole of the war; Dr. Jerry Steele; Phyllis Hibbert, Dorothy Rutter, Lilian Urmston - nurses from England; Una Wilson from Australia, Esther Silverstein and Irene Goldin and others from America. Keith Andrews from London and Robert Webster from Pittsburg are working on the sterilising van. Percy Cohen, who is driving the Rolls Royce Ambulance presented by Lord Faringdon, is also on this front. His ambulance is particularly useful at this hospital where men with bad abdominal wounds have to be evacuated. A little way off two more English nurses, Joan Purser and Ada Hodson are working with two Catalan surgeons. All these International comrades have been commended for bravery by the General.
|Archive collection||Archives of the Trades Union Congress|
|Archive folder||Spanish Rebellion: Medical Aid 1937-1940|
|Issuing organisation||Spanish Medical Aid Committee|
|Document date||March 1938|