Casualties

Casualties

The staff at a Home Front hospital. McEwen/Doherty Family Collection.
A "Blighty" meant there was a very good chance of returning home.

The care, and transportation of casualties and their evacuation from the Fighting Fronts was negotiated through a series of care and staging facilities on the Lines of Communication (LOC). The casualties were brought directly from the trenches by Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) stretcher-bearer parties and were given first aid.

The men were then taken to Regimental Aid Posts or Field Dressing Stations where they were treated by doctors from the RAMC. The medical intervention at the Aid Posts and Dressing Stations was limited to immediate life saving treatments. The casualties were then moved up the LOC to Casualty Clearing Stations (CCS) where they were cared for by military nurses, doctors, and medical orderlies.

It was at the CCSs that life or limb-saving surgery, specialist care and treatment were rendered within the first few hours or days. When the casualties’ injuries or conditions were stabilised, they were then moved further up the line on Hospital Trains to Stationary, Base, and General Hospitals.

The General Hospital was the last staging treatment facility before the casualties were transported on Hospital Ships back to the Home Front or "Blighty" as the Tommies referred to it. In the soldiers’ trench vocabulary, to receive a "Blighty" meant there was a very good chance of returning home.

© Alistair McEwen