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'Not Diagnosed' And 'Self-Inflicted' Wounds

Heroes Remember

'Not Diagnosed' And 'Self-Inflicted' Wounds

It was a sad commentary though but nobody knew, medical officers, what was the diagnosis they put it on, something, it was on the tag they put on, they put a tag on your button hole that gave all the description of whether you're wounded or what, or something neurosis they just wrote, the MO just wrote, neurosis. Oh ya ND, not diagnosed and that was well you were gonna be in big trouble from there on when you had that tag on ya because not only that, the worse trouble was when you had a tag with SIW on it, that was then you were in trouble, self inflicted wound and there's so many you'd realize that there are no blinking heroes in a front line trenching. Everybody got ideas of how to get out of it and how to get out of the bloody war. One of them, you take a bullet and you break the point out and take the cordite about three of four of these little slips of cordite and chew them then the medical officer, oh my God this man's got a terrible heart, boom, he's out of the line and on his way back to a hospital. He's out of the army. It worked fine for a long time. I worked one and it didn't work, I worked it this way I got a cut across, it was quite, it was giving me trouble, so somebody said well try an old copper fastener. I fastened a copper on you think it'd would work, nah it didn't work. It healed up nicely, but you'd do anything to get out.

Mr. Henley discusses the fact that soldiers with psychological trauma were labeled 'ND'– not diagnosed. He also describes self-inflicted wounds as a way to escape the front line, and some methods used in self-injury.

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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