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Author Topic: makeshift stretchers  (Read 4537 times)
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« on: 15 September 2011, 01:35:18 pm »

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143 Posts   Posted - 24/10/2002 :  1:43:41 PM 
Still looking at 2nd Gaza - noticed following 2 comments relating to the use of rifles as stretchers. The first quote is from Patrick Hamilton "Riders of Destiny" page 23 and relates to the 2nd Gaza(Hamilton was with the 4thLHFA)- "Then the answer came to me in a flash right out of the blue...something not in the text books,and never before mentioned,tried or thought of.Dozens of discarded rifles and bandoliers were lying around all over the place.By putting three bandoliers,at head, centre and foot, round two rifles we improvised strechers."
The next from Red Cross files concerning the death of 51 Tpr M.M Donnelly also relates to 2nd Gaza The witness was one of the 'bearers' 1194 F.R Keary - "I knew casualty well.He was called Maurice.There were four of us engaged in carrying a wounded man named D Carrington whose number is 121 of the 11th L.H.When we were retiring on the 19th April at Gaza we were not S.B but we carried casualty on our rifles as is the practice....."
Is anyone aware if this practice was used prior to Gaza? It seems likely to my mind that it would be,although i havent come across reference to it. Also wouldn't the use of rifles by men working under the red cross make them legitimate targets? Although perhaps under the circumstances it wouln't make much difference.I would be interested to hear peoples thoughts on Patrick Hamiltons claim to discovery.
Veteran Forum Member

1353 Posts    Posted - 24/10/2002 :  4:49:49 PM 
The practice of carrying wounded on rifles is still used today.

Two of the mans mates would carry the wounded soldier in the sitting posn on one of their rifles or the wounded mans weapon.

The man carried on the rifles would hold the sholders of the two carriers.

The stretcher of three or more bandiers is an old one also but again mostly for either sitting or crouch wounded as the rifles were not long enough for a man to lay and be carried also. There was also shirts, trousers and other things could be used.

I also heard that the rifles could have there bayonets fixed in the scabards to lenghten the rifle for a laying man.

There were no trees or bushes to cut down for make ship stretchers, so the men had to use what was around.


Forum Member

143 Posts    Posted - 24/10/2002 :  5:19:37 PM 
Steve, i thought P.H's claim a bit rich.
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