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The Roles of an Army Doctor

Heroes Remember

The Roles of an Army Doctor

Interviewer: Life is different as an army doctor than life as a civilian doctor? Very much so. Yes. Interviewer: Describe that for me. Well an army doctor could serve in a number of different capacities. For example: he might be a doctor in a hospital, an example is where we called Fifteen Canadian General which was a Toronto hospital. Two and fourteen were Montreal hospitals. And a doctor in a hospital perhaps wasn't that much different than in civilian life except he was subject to certain regulations that applied to all army people. Or he might be in one of two army organizations. One being a field ambulance,another being in a casualty clearing station or he might be a regimental medical officer. Say that 48th Highlanders have a medical officer, a single medical officer and the duties and the life of all of those were quite different.

Mr. Meiklejohn describes some of the various roles for doctors in the army, showing how the types of service varied greatly.

Dr. Robert Meiklejohn

Dr. Robert Meiklejohn was born in 1907, in Harriston, Ontario, and remained there throughout his youth, participating in cadets and the local militia. While attending medical school in England during the 1930s, Mr. Meiklejohn visited Germany. He returned from his visit certain war was imminent. Dr. Meiklejohn re-joined the militia upon his return to Canada, leading to quick enlistment upon Canada's declaration of war. Frustrated after almost a year of performing medical exams on troops, Dr. Meiklejohn transferred to the 16th Field Ambulance (whom he had been a militia member of) when it was activated, and was posted overseas. After arriving in England, Dr. Meiklejohn was posted to a newly created field surgical unit, a section of an advance surgical unit stationed within a few miles of the front lines, and posted to Italy. After losing their equipment when the ship was sunk during the journey, the unit was posted with British Forces for a few months before reuniting with Canadians. Following the Italian Campaign, Dr. Meiklejohn's unit was transferred to France to join Canadian troops heading into Holland. Dr. Meiklejohn finished his service in Holland bringing relief to the starving population. He returned to Canada soon after VE Day.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Dr. Robert Meiklejohn
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Royal Canadian Army Medical Corp / 4th Armoured Division

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