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Casualty Assessment

Heroes Remember

When a man was wounded he was picked up by the medical orderlies in his unit, seen by his regimental medical officer and then evacuated. And they had jeeps fixed up to carry stretchers so you seen he was assessed and he's only two or three miles down the line, he came to us. And one medical officer was assigned as a triage officer and he was a well trained chap, could assess the situation. That officer I think had probably as big a responsibility as anybody in making those decisions as to who would go where. If you, if it was not serious and he was just hit in the extremities, like arm, we'd send him back farther down to the casualty training station. But we kept the tough ones, the abdominal wounds, the chest wounds and the, where the legs had been fractured, compounded fractures. And so the type of surgery we were doing was pretty extensive surgery.

Mr. Meiklejohn describes how wounded men would arrive at the casualty clearing station, be assessed and treated or sent further behind the lines.

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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