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The Royal Army Medical Corps in the Great War...


...a new Images of War book from Pen and Sword


Title: The Royal Army Medical Corps in the Great War

Author: Michael Green

Publisher: Timothy McCracken

ISBN: 978-1-47389-232-3

This recent addition to the Images of War series by Pen and Sword is a little different from usual.  This is very much a story of the people, those who made up the medical services which supported the British and Commonwealth soldiers wherever in the world they served during WW1.

The book is split into 5 chapters which give a helpful outline as to the scope of the subject.  Following an Introduction it goes through Faces of the RAMC; The United Kingdom; France and Belgium; A Global War; and is rounded off with After the Conflict.  By far the bulk of the picture collection included in all of the chapters are portrait photos of individuals, and small or larger groups.  For the figure modeller and the re-enactor there are some interesting details to be gleaned from these, with changes to the uniforms depending on the season and the local climates, be it a winter on the Western Front or the heat of the Middle East.  The goatskin jackets make for an interesting look for one, though no doubt good for keeping warmer in a cold winter.

Among the pictures are what was clearly a popular pastime, the formation of a football team to occupy spare time, wherever in the world the units were serving.  There are also copies of archive documents, such as locally produced Christmas cards, journals and even postcards home from individuals.

The closest to the front line were the Field Ambulance units, and they were supported by the Advance Dressing Stations, then the Casualty Clearing Stations and behind them the General Hospitals, where the most seriously injured would be transferred back to the UK for more expert treatments.  There were both horse-drawn and motorised ambulances, along with hospital trains and even barges, let alone the large Hospital Ships.  A good way of acknowledging and remembering those members of the RAMC who had to cope with the huge number of wounded that had to be dealt with thanks to the many horrors of the modern weapons of warfare that took such a toll throughout WW1.

Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.


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