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“Blighties” and a Good Sleep

Heroes Remember

“Blighties” and a Good Sleep

Anything, what you wanted was a nice clean blighty, something you didn't mind a leg or getting a wound but you had visions of nice clean sheets, good food and so on and chances of a bit of leave but it just didn't always work out that way. I know I had one wound and I thought well boy I'll have a beautiful blighty, I'm gonna sleep in, that's one thing that everybody wanted so bad was a chance to sleep without somebody, “Okay come on, wake up!” Working party, fatigue party, ration party, digging party, flaring party, wiring party, patrol, you name it - we had em all. So you had visions of getting all the sleep you blinging well want. Well I thought I was well away. Four o'clock in the morning, “Okay son, turn over we gotta have our irrigation,” and they had this irrigation was what they called a decant (sp) solution, it was kind of a red solution, I forget what was in it but it sluices through your wound - a tube went into it and just sluiced through it and oh my God when that cold, when that cold decant (sp) solution hit there it was murder and so never, never no way that doggone people would never let you get a good sleep.

Mr. Henley discusses the fact that a 'blighty', a condition or wound requiring hospitalization in England, offered everyone a good night's sleep. However, his rehab requires being awakened at 4 am every morning to have his leg wound irrigated.

Roy Henley

Roy Henley was born in London, Ontario on September 29, 1898. After enlisting in Toronto in 1916 with the 166th Queens Own Rifles, he was discharged with suspected tuberculosis. Mr. Henley re-enlisted, sailed to England aboard the horse transport SS Welshman, and joined the Quebec Regiment. Mr. Henley's recollections are detailed, sometimes graphic and occasionally humorous. His experiences spanned many battles; the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele, Cambrai and Arras.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Roy Henley
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War

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