Transcript: Ep. 5 - The Wounded | Nov 11, 2017

A logo on a black background fades in and reads: "TVO Originals".

(theme bugle music plays)
An opening slate reads "Breakthrough Entertainment."

An old World War One clip shows a cannon being fired.
[gunfire]

A civilian and a soldier walk up to a cannon on display in a garden.
A caption reads "Prospect Cemetery, Toronto." A multi-faced flagpole
base reads "To the memory of those who in the Great War died for king
and country. 1914-1919." The two face the flagpole and stand at attention.

The civilian in a blue shirt, Norm, with gray hair in his fifties, says SO, ANDREW, THIS IS
THE SOLDIERS PLOT
IN PROSPECT CEMETERY.
AND MOST OF THE MEN BURIED
HERE DIED OF WOUNDS RECEIVED
IN THE GREAT WAR.
(dramatic music plays)
WE ALL KNOW ABOUT THE GREAT
WAR, AND WE ALWAYS FOCUS
ON THE DEAD.
BUT FEW PEOPLE REALIZE THAT
MORE THAN 20 MILLION SOLDIERS
WERE WOUNDED DURING THE WAR.
NOW, FOR YOU, THIS
IS A PERSONAL STORY.

A caption reads "Major Andrew Beckett, Trauma Surgeon, Canadian Forces."

Andrew says I'VE BEEN ON A
NUMBER OF TOURS WITH THE
CANADIAN ARMY, INCLUDING
THE KANDAHAR AIRFIELD IN
AFGHANISTAN, LOOKING
AFTER OUR WOUNDED.
A LOT OF INJURIES WE SAW
WERE FROM SHRAPNEL AND FROM
EXPLOSIONS, AND
ALSO GUNSHOT WOUNDS.
SO MANY OF THE INJURIES
WOULD BE VERY SIMILAR.

Clips show wounded being offloaded from a helicopter, then scenes of
injured in the Great War.
(rotor whirring)

Norm says NOW, THE MEDICAL
SERVICES IN THE GREAT WAR
WERE ACTUALLY VERY
SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE THEY
DEVELOPED SOME UNIQUE
SYSTEMS IN TREATING
THE SOLDIERS.
THAT WAS TRYING TO GET
THEM TREATMENT AS QUICKLY
AS POSSIBLE.
(dramatic piano music plays)

Andrew says AND SO IN THE FIRST
WORLD WAR, THEY BROUGHT
NURSES AND DOCTORS UP CLOSE
TO THE FRONT LINE... AS CLOSE
AS POSSIBLE.
AND IN AFGHANISTAN,
WE DID THE SAME THING.
SO THERE'S MANY SIMILARITIES
IN TERMS OF OUR OVERALL
THINKING ABOUT
CASUALTY CARE.

Andrew reads off a gravestone.

Andrew says IN LOVING MEMORY OF
PRIVATE JOHN FINN.
92nd BATTALION.
GASSED IN THE SOMME.
AGE 24 YEARS.

Norm says JOHN FINN WAS ONE OF
THE 130,000 CANADIAN
SOLDIERS WHO WERE WOUNDED
DURING THE GREAT WAR.

Over a clip showing a soldier carrying a wounded companion on his back,
an episode caption reads "The Wounded."
(dramatic piano music plays)

Troops march. Norm appears superimposed on the marching troops.
(bugle calls)

Norm says I'M MILITARY
HISTORIAN NORM CHRISTIE.
I'VE BEEN TOURING THE OLD
WESTERN FRONT FOR 30 YEARS.
BY VISITING THE FAMOUS AND
NOT SO FAMOUS CEMETERIES
AND BATTLEFIELDS, YOU'LL
GET A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE ON
THE WAR, AND THE MEN AND
WOMEN WHO FOUGHT IT
ON THE GREAT WAR TOUR.

Over the old clips a maple leaf emblem forms. Over it, a title caption
reads "The Great war Tour with Norm Christie." A view moves along a
road in a rural area.

Norm, the driver, says WE'RE DRIVING THROUGH
NORTHERN FRANCE, THROUGH
THE RURAL COUNTRYSIDE.
AND THESE WERE THE FAMOUS
FIELDS OF THE GREAT WAR
BATTLES 1914 TO 1918.

An old clip shows troops headed by a military band. As Norm speaks, clips
show the developments he mentions, including the manufacture and testing
of huge artillery pieces.

Norm continues AT THE OUTBREAK OF THE WAR,
NO ONE COULD HAVE EVER
IMAGINED THAT MORE THAN
17 MILLION MEN WOULD BE
KILLED, AND 20 MILLION
MORE WOULD BE WOUNDED.
PRIOR TO THE GREAT WAR,
THE WORLD HAD WITNESSED
UNPRECEDENTED DEVELOPMENTS
IN SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY.
MEDICINE HAD ALSO MOVED
FORWARD AND WAS ABLE TO
SAVE LIVES, WHICH ONLY A
FEW YEARS EARLIER WOULD
HAVE BEEN UNIMAGINABLE.
THE BENEFACTORS OF THESE
MEDICAL ADVANCES WOULD BE
THE SOLDIERS WOUNDED
IN THE GREAT WAR.
HOWEVER, THEY WOULD ALSO
BE THE VICTIMS OF THIS
SCIENTIFIC AND
INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION.
THE SCIENCE OF MEDICINE HAD
ADVANCED, BUT SO TOO HAD
THE SCIENCE OF WAR.
[explosion]
YOU HAVE TO KEEP IN MIND
THAT TENS OF MILLIONS OF
SHELLS WERE FIRED
IN THESE FIELDS.
AND A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF
THOSE SHELLS NEVER EXPLODED.
AND EACH COUNTRY,
PARTICULARLY FRANCE, HAS A
BOMB DISPOSAL UNIT THAT HAS
TO COLLECT AND TAKE CARE OF
THESE UNEXPLODED SHELLS.

The Land Rover Norm is driving pulls into a Bomb Disposal Depot in France.

Norm continues RIGHT NOW, WE'RE GOING
TO GO AND SEE ONE OF THE
TOP SECRET BOMB DEPOTS.
WHEN YOU SEE THIS LEVEL OF
DESTRUCTIVE POWER, EVEN FROM
THE DUDS, YOU START TO
UNDERSTAND THE GRIEVOUS
NATURE OF BEING WOUNDED
IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR.

He gets out, greets a man and says BONJOUR, FRED.

Fred says BONJOUR, NORM.

Norm says CA VA?

Fred says COMMENT CA VA?

He walks with Fred to some rusty old shells.

(speaking French)
Norm says "A British 15-inch shell from the First World War, yes.
Is this the biggest shell you have from the war?"

Fred says "It's the biggest one we've found in this area."

Norm says "How heavy is it?"

Fred says "700 kilos."

Norm says HIGH EXPLOSIVE.
SO, A BIG MORTAR, A GIANT MORTAR.

Fred says OUI.

In an old clip a giant mortar fires.
[explosion]

Norm says SO, THE ENGINEERING AND
SCIENCE WAS WORKING VERY
HARD AT PRODUCING
MORE DEADLY WEAPONS.
AND YOU CAN IMAGINE WHEN
THIS EXPLODES, THE CASING
IS GOING TO BREAK UP.
AND YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE
THOUSANDS OF FRAGMENTS OF
SHELL OF VARIOUS
SIZE GOING OUT THERE.
[explosion]
DURING THE WAR, FOR THE
BRITISH, THE 18-POUNDER WAS
THE BIGGEST ONE THEY FIRED.
[explosion]
DURING THE BATTLE OF ARRAS,
THEY FIRED ABOUT 4 MILLION 18-POUNDERS.
HIGH EXPLOSIVE? AND SHRAPNEL.

Taking some shot from a bag, Norm says EACH 18-POUNDER SHELL WOULD
HAVE ABOUT 300 OF THESE.
IT COULD EXPLODE OVERHEAD
AND THEN FIRE THEM OFF
IN AN ARRAY.

This is shown happening.
[explosion]
Norm continues AND THE IDEA IS THAT THEY
WOULD KNOCK OUT INFANTRY,
THEY'D CUT BARBED WIRE.
THEY WERE VERY, VERY EFFECTIVE.
AND BECAUSE THEY ARE LEAD,
WHEN THEY MAKE IMPACT, THEY DEFORM.
AND THEY GET INTO THE BODY
AND THEN MAKE A LARGE HOLE.
SO ONCE YOU ARE HIT
WITH ONE OF THESE,
YOU ARE IN REAL TROUBLE.
BETWEEN THE HIGH EXPLOSIVE
AND THE SHRAPNEL, THAT'S
WHERE YOU HAVE THE
MOST OF THE WOUNDED.
80 PERCENT OF THE
WOUNDED ARE FROM SHELLS.

(speaking French)
To Fred, Norm says "What do you think about the soldiers in the trenches?"

Fred says "That was a terrible time... just terrible."

Norm says "There's lots of engineering and science involved here."

Fred says "Yes... all engineered to kill soldiers. It's such a tragedy!
A lot of wounded and many gassed."

Norm says "To be suffocated by gas... that must have been terrible!"

Fred says "Yes, terrible.

They stand looking at dozens of retrieved shells in the storeroom of
the depot.

Norm says WE'RE DRIVING SOUTH
FROM ARRAS INTO THE
DEPARTMENT OF THE SOMME,
WHERE THE GREAT BATTLE OF
1916 TOOK PLACE.
IT WAS THE FIRST MAJOR
BRITISH OFFENSIVE.
AND IT WAS CATASTROPHIC.

A clip shows the battle.
[explosion]

Norm continues ON THE FIRST DAY, THE
BRITISH ARMY TOOK 60,000
CASUALTIES, INCLUDING 20,000 KILLED.
SO WHEN THE CANADIANS CAME
DOWN IN SEPTEMBER 1916,
THEY WERE AWARE THERE WERE GOING
TO BE VERY HEAVY CASUALTIES.
THEY WERE ALSO AWARE
THAT THE MEDICAL CORP
WOULD HAVE TO PERFORM AT
ITS HIGHEST LEVEL TO BE
ABLE TO HANDLE THE WOUNDED.

In off, Norm continues
EARLY IN THE GREAT WAR, THE
UNPRECEDENTED FIRE POWER
WAS INFLICTING SUCH
TERRIBLE WOUNDS ON THE
SOLDIERS THAT THEY WERE
DYING BEFORE THEY COULD
RECEIVE MEDICAL CARE.
TO INCREASE THEIR CHANCES
OF SURVIVAL, THE MEDICAL
SERVICES DEVELOPED A NEW SYSTEM.
IT WOULD BRING MEDICAL
TREATMENT CLOSER TO THE FRONT LINE.
THE FIRST STAGE IN THIS
SYSTEM WAS DELIVERED BY THE
BATTALION'S MEDICAL OFFER.
DOCTOR HAROLD MCGILL SERVED AS
MEDICAL OFFICER OF THE
31st BATTALION, ALBERTA.

A contemporary photo shows the doctor. In another the batallion poses.
A caption reads "Memoir... Harold McGill, Medical Officer, 31st Batallion,
C.E.F."

(gentle piano music plays)
On the tape, Harold says WHEN WAR BROKE
OUT, I WAS ENGAGED IN THE
PRACTICE OF MEDICINE.
THE UNIT'S COMMANDING
OFFICER INFORMED ME,
MUCH TO MY DELIGHT, THAT
HE HAD CHOSEN ME TO BE
THE MEDICAL OFFICER.
I WAS ALONE WITH OVER A
THOUSAND MEN UNDER MY CARE.
ALL NEW RECRUITS HAD TO BE
VACCINATED AGAINST TYPHOID,
THAT FEARFUL SCOURGE
OF ARMIES IN THE PAST.

Norm says IN SEPTEMBER 1916,
MCGILL AND THE 31st ALBERTA
BATTALION, WERE ORDERED TO THE SOMME.

Harold says WE'D AT
LAST COME TO POZIERES,
ON THE FAMOUS BATTLEFIELD
OF THE SOMME.
AND IT MUST BE REMEMBERED
THAT THE TERRIBLE ARTILLERY
FOUND AT THE SOMME, NOT
ONLY DESTROYED THE VILLAGE,
BUT ERADICATED IT COMPLETELY.
NOTHING ABOVE THE GROUND ENDURED.
FOR THE MOST PART, THE
TROOPS MOVED IN TRENCHES,
AND LIVED IN DUGOUTS.

Walking in a cellar, Norm says THIS CELLAR DATES
BACK TO NAPOLEONIC TIMES.
AND IT WAS USED BY THE
BRITISH ARMY DURING THE
BATTLE OF THE SOMME IN 1916.
AND YOU CAN SEE THAT IT'S
INCREDIBLY WELL-BUILT WITH
THE LIMESTONE BRICKS.
SO THAT MEANS IT WOULD
BE PRIME REAL ESTATE FOR
SOLDIERS OF THE GREAT
WAR, BECAUSE IT OFFERED
PROTECTION FROM THE GERMAN SHELLING.
AND IT WAS IN UNDERGROUND
DUGOUTS AND CELLARS LIKE
THIS, THAT THE MEDICAL
OFFICER WOULD ESTABLISH THE
REGIMENTAL AID POST.
AND AS HE WAS A MEMBER OF
THE BATTALION, HE WOULD
RECEIVE THE SICK WITH
TRENCH FOOT, TRENCH FEVER.
THEY WOULD COME IN ON SICK
PARADE EVERY DAY TO HIM.

Andrew speaks. A caption reads "Major Andrew Beckett, Trauma Surgeon,
Canadian Forces."

Andrew says LARGE NUMBERS OF
SOLDIERS WOULD BE LOST
OUT OF THE BATTALIONS
BECAUSE OF TRENCH FOOT.
SOME LEADING TO AMPUTATION.
AND THIS WAS, THE PHENOMENA
OF TRENCH FOOT, THIS WAS
FROM HAVING CONSTANTLY WET
FEET AT TEMPERATURES LESS
THAN TEN DEGREES,
STANDING AROUND IN WATER.
THE FOOT WOULD DEVELOP BLISTERS.
THE BLISTERS WOULD GET
INFECTED, AND SOMETIMES LEAD
TO AMPUTATION.
AND TRENCH FEVER, THIS
REQUIRED A LOT OF STUDY BY
THE MEDICAL AUTHORITIES
IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR
TO UNDERSTAND WHERE
THIS WAS COMING FROM.
IT WAS A BACTERIA SPREAD BY
THE BODY LICE AT THE TIME.
AND THIS WOULD CAUSE A FEVER
THAT WOULD KEEP COMING
BACK... JOINT PAINT.
A LOT OF SOLDIERS WERE LOST
FROM AFFECTIVE FIGHTING
STRENGTH BECAUSE
OF TRENCH FEVER.

Harold says THE SOMME REVOLTED
AND SICKENED ME BEYOND MY
POWER OF EXPRESSION.
OFTEN, YOU MIGHT NOTICE
A PATCH ON THE GROUND
DISPLAYING A METALLIC LUSTRE.
AS YOU APPROACHED, THIS
PATCH WOULD DISSOLVE INTO
A CLOUD OF LOUDLY
BUZZING BOTTLE FLIES.
AND UNDERNEATH COULD BE SEEN
THE TATTERED FRAGMENTS OF
WHAT HAD BEEN A LIVING
HUMAN BEING A FEW DAYS BEFORE.
THE AIR IN THE DUGOUT
WAS LITERALLY THICK WITH
HOUSEFLIES OF THE LOATHSOME
BLUEBOTTLE VARIETY.
[flies buzzing]

In the cellar, Norm continues
THESE PLACES REALLY GIVE
US AN IMPRESSION OF
WHAT IT WAS LIKE DURING
THE FIRST WORLD WAR.
TO US, IT'S VERY
GRIM, IT'S VERY DAMP.
YOU HAVE EARTHEN FLOORS.
BUT FOR THE SOLDIERS OF THE
TIME, THEY WERE A HAVEN.
IT WAS IN PLACES LIKE THIS
THAT THE MEDICAL OFFICER WOULD
RECEIVE THE WOUNDED
FROM THE FRONT LINE.
DURING QUIET TIMES, A
MEDICAL OFFICER COULD
HANDLE THE SICK AND
HANDLE THE WOUNDED.
BUT DURING A BATTLE, HE
COULD NOT COPE, AND HE HAD
TO BE ASSISTED BY THE
VARIOUS FIELD AMBULANCES.
FOR THE CANADIANS, THEIR
GREAT ATTACK ON THE SOMME
ON SEPTEMBER 15th, 1916,
WOULD REALLY TEST THE
CANADIAN ARMY MEDICAL CORP.
(dramatic music plays)

Harold says THE TIME HAD
COME FOR ME TO PICK OUT
THE POSITION FOR THE
REGIMENTAL AID POST DURING
THE COMING BATTLE.
I RETAINED ONLY OUR
DRESSINGS, MORPHINE,
IODINE, AND A
FEW INSTRUMENTS.
WE WERE CLEARING FOR ACTION.
(tinkling music plays)

Norm continues ON THE MORNING OF SEPTEMBER
15th, 1916, 30,000 CANADIAN
TROOPS LEFT THEIR FRONT
LINE TRENCHES TO MAKE
THE ATTACK ON COURCELETTE.

A clip shows the attack.

Harold says I HAD A CLEAR
VIEW OF THE ATTACK.
TWO TANKS WERE IN SIGHT.
THE MEN WERE GOING
FORWARD AT A STEADY PACE.
ARTILLERY AND MACHINE
GUNS WERE PUTTING ON AN
INTENSE BARRAGE.
[explosion]
OUR FIRST CASUALTY WAS
SERGEANT TURNER OF C. COMPANY.
HE HAD A SEVERE ABDOMINAL WOUND.
I ATTENDED THE WOUNDED
SERGEANT IN THE OPENING.
I ATTACHED A RED TICKET TO
THE CASUALTY WHICH MEANT
URGENCY, AND SENT THE CARRYING
PARTY ON OUT WITH HIM.
HE RECOVERED, I'M
PLEASED TO REPORT.
AND I BELIEVE HE IS
NOW A BANK MANAGER
IN NORTHERN ALBERTA.

Andrew says AT THE TIME OF THE
GREAT WAR, A LOT OF
ABDOMINAL WOUNDS WERE
TREATED EXPECTANTLY, WHICH
MEANS YOU JUST WATCHED
THEM TO SEE HOW THEY DID.
BECAUSE ANESTHESIA WAS
DEVELOPING, BUT IT WAS
SOMEWHAT PRIMITIVE.
AND, CERTAINLY, A LOT OF
PEOPLE WITH ABDOMINAL WOUNDS,
THEY WOULD DIE BECAUSE
NOT MUCH COULD BE DONE.
[artillery fire]

Harold says WITHIN MINUTES, THE
GERMAN COUNTER-BARRAGE CAME
BACK AT FULL STRENGTH.
WE DID NOT HAVE LONG
TO WATCH THE SHOW
FOR SOON WOUNDED, WALKING
FIRST, BEGAN TO ARRIVE.
(dramatic music plays)
BY THIS TIME, THE STREAM OF
WOUNDED HAD NOW SET IN, AND
THE DUGOUT AND THE TRENCH
WERE FILLED WITH BADLY WOUNDED.
WE DRESSED THE LINE CASES IN
THE TRENCH, OR IN THE OPEN.
I SENT OUT MESSAGES TO THE
FIELD AMBULANCES, AND TO THE
BRIGADE FOR CARRYING PARTIES.
ONE ARRIVED FROM THE 29th
BATTALION AND CLEARED OUT
ALL THE STRETCHER CASES.
AND MORE CASUALTIES
SOON TOOK THEIR PLACES.

Andrew says INITIALLY, YOU WOULD
HAVE BEEN OVERWHELMED BY
THE HUGE NUMBER OF CASUALTIES.
PROBABLY YOU COULDN'T
COMPLETELY ASSESS AND TREAT
EXPEDIENTLY BECAUSE
THERE WERE SO MANY.
ONCE YOU TREAT A PATIENT,
AND YOU PASS THEM ON TO
THE NEXT LEVEL CHAIN
EVACUATION, YOU HAVE NO
IDEA WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM
BECAUSE THEY'RE LOST IN
THE SEA OF OTHER CASUALTIES.

Harold says A GERMAN WITH A
SMASHED SOLDIER LAY ON A
STRETCHER WHILE CULLEN
WAS AT ONE END OF THE
STRETCHER, AND I AT THE OTHER.
A SHELL STRUCK AND
EXPLODED BETWEEN US.
CULLEN AND I WERE BOTH
THROWN TO THE BOTTOM
OF THE TRENCH.
HE HAD A SLIGHT SCALP WOUND,
AND I HAD A LEG BRUISED.
THAT DUGOUT WAS FILLED
WITH THICK ACRID FUMES
OF THE EXPLOSIVE.
WE WERE NOW BADLY CONGESTED
WITH WOUNDED, AND I SENT
URGENT MESSAGES FOR
CARRYING PARTIES.
(loud dramatic music plays)

In a trench lined with corrugated iron Norm continues
THIS IS A COMMUNICATION
TRENCH THAT WAS USED BY BRITISH
SOLDIERS IN 1916.
IT RUNS ABOUT 1800 METRES
TO THE FRONT LINE SYSTEM.
AND, CERTAINLY, SOLDIERS WHO
WERE WOUNDED IN THE FRONT
LINE WOULD HAVE BEEN
TRANSPORTED BY STRETCHER
DOWN THIS COMMUNICATION TRENCH.

Norm and a lady open a gate leading to the trench.

Norm continues THIS TRENCH IS AT AVRIL
WILLIAM'S GUEST HOUSE IN THE
VILLAGE OF AUCHONVILLERS ON THE SOMME.
SHE EXCAVATED THE TRENCH AND
OPENED IT TO THE PUBLIC.

On site, Norm continues SO THIS IS YOUR TRENCH.

With short blond hair in her sixties, Avril says YUP.
THIS IS A COMMUNICATION TRENCH.
YOU CAN SEE IT BECAUSE
IT IS NEARLY STRAIGHT.

Norm continues WHAT WE'RE INTERESTED IN
ARE THE MEDICAL SERVICES.
SO THE SOLDIER WOUNDED IN
THE FRONT LINE TRENCHES HAD VERY LITTLE.
HE JUST HAD HIS FIELD DRESSING.
AND THEN HE WAS DEPENDENT
ON THE REGIMENTAL STRETCHER
BEARERS ON GOING AND FINDING
HIM AND BRINGING HIM BACK,
USUALLY UNDER FIRE, AND
TAKING HIM TO THE MEDICAL
OFFICER FOR HIS INITIAL TREATMENT.

Avril says YEAH.
THEY WOULD HAVE COME FROM
THE FRONT LINE, THROUGH THE
TRENCHES AND INTO THE CELLAR.

Norm says WHERE HE WOULD GET
HIS FIRST TREATMENT BY
THE MEDICAL OFFICER.

Avril says HERE, BECAUSE IT'S IN A
WAR ZONE, IT'S QUICK.
SO... ANYTHING THAT WAS HANGING
OFF YOU CUT OFF, YOU PACKED
WOUNDS, STOPPED BLEEDING.
GAVE THEM A CUP OF TEA,
AND BACK BEHIND THE LINES.

Norm says YEAH.
AND, OF COURSE, A LOT OF
THEM WERE SO BADLY WOUNDED,
THAT THEY'RE NOT
GOING TO MAKE IT.
SO THEY WOULD DIE HERE.

Harold says ONE OF THE FIRST
CASUALTIES WAS POOR BEN JONES.
A PIECE OF SHELL CASING TORE
AWAY THE SIDE OF HIS SKULL.
HE DIED WITHIN A SHORT TIME.
WE PLACED HIS BODY OVER THE
SIDE OF THE TRENCH, AND HAD
NO TIME TO GIVE ANY FURTHER
THOUGHT TO HIS MEMORY.

Bodies lie stacked beside a trench.

Pointing, Avril says WE KNOW THAT THERE WAS A
BURIAL GROUND JUST HERE.
BECAUSE 15 WERE BROUGHT IN
TO THE MILITARY CEMETERY
AFTER THE WAR.

Norm says SO THIS WOULD BE
BASICALLY THE ADVANCED
DRESSING STATION, OR
THE REGIMENT LAY POST.
AND IF YOU DIDN'T MAKE IT,
YOU WOULD BE BURIED...
STRAIGHT AWAY. RIGHT BESIDE IT.

A clip shows the battle.
[artillery fire]

Walking in a field, Norm says AS THOUSANDS OF
WOUNDED WERE BEING
EVACUATED, THE CANADIANS
WERE STILL FIGHTING IN THE
VILLAGE OF COURCELETTE.
IN THE EARLY STAGES, THE
ATTACK WENT VERY WELL.
THE CANADIANS GOT ACROSS NO
MAN'S LAND, AND INTO THE GERMAN LINES.
THE GERMAN ARTILLERY FIRE
WAS VERY HEAVY, AND THERE
WERE MANY CASUALTIES.
AT THIS POINT, WITH MAYBE
ONE OR TWO THOUSAND MEN
WOUNDED, THE STRETCHER
BEARERS OF THE 5th CANADIAN
FIELD AMBULANCE WERE BROUGHT FORWARD.

A caption reads "Memoir... Frederick W. Noyes, 5th Canadian Field
Amblance.

Frederick says THE STRETCHER
BEARERS LABOURED INCESSANTLY,
CLEARING THE WOUNDED
FROM AROUND COURCELETTE.
[explosion]
THE ROADWAYS AND TRENCHES
WERE WELL-NIGH IMPASSABLE.
STRETCHER BEARING UNDER
SUCH CONDITIONS WAS QUITE
DIFFERENT FROM THE PARADE
GROUND, WHERE WE HAD BEEN
SO CAREFULLY DRILLED DURING TRAINING.
UNDER ACTUAL BATTLE
CONDITIONS, WE SIMPLY PICKED
UP OUR WOUNDED MAN AS
TENDERLY AS POSSIBLE,
BANDAGED HIM QUICKLY, AND
CARRIED HIM OUT AS FAST AS
HIS WEIGHT, TERRAIN, AND OUR
FEAR IN LEGS WOULD LET US GO.
WHAT MAN WHO CARRIED WOUNDED
COULD EVER FORGET THE
TERRIBLE GROANING, CURSING,
AND PLEADING OF THE POOR
FELLOW, HALF ROLLING OFF A
SHOULDER-HIGH STRETCHER.
AND HOW MANY TIMES DID WE
GO THROUGH ALL THIS ONLY TO
FIND, ON REACHING THE AID
POST, THAT THE WOUNDED MAN HAD
DIED ON THE WAY.

A clip shows troops attacking. A photo shows a young soldier in uniform.
A caption reads "Memoir... Alexander McClintock, D.C.M., 7th Batallion."
[whistle blowing]

Norm says ONE OF THE 80,000
CANADIAN SOLDIERS FIGHTING
ON THE SOMME WAS SERGEANT
ALEXANDER MCCLINTOCK.

On tape, Alexander says THAT DAY ON THE
SOMME, I GAVE ORDERS TO ADVANCE ACROSS
THE BATTLEFIELD. NOT A MAN HESITATED.
I SAW FOUR OF OUR MEN,
APPARENTLY UNWOUNDED,
LYING IN A SHELL HOLE.
I STOPPED TO ASK THEM WHAT
THEY WERE DOING THERE.
AS I SPOKE, I FELT A
SENSATION AS IF SOMEONE HAD
THROWN A LUMP OF HARD CLAY
AND STRUCK ME ON THE HIP,
AND I TUMBLED IN
ON TOP OF THEM.
THEY HAD ALL BEEN SLIGHTLY
WOUNDED, AND I HAD 22 PIECES
OF SHRAPNEL EMBEDDED IN MY
LEFT LEG BETWEEN THE HIP AND THE KNEE.

Norm walks in the fields and picks up something.

Norm says HERE'S A FEW SHRAPNEL BALLS
FROM THE FIGHTING IN 1916.
THEY'D HAVE A TIMER ON THEM
SO THEY'D EXPLODE IN THE AIR.
[explosions]

Andrew says THE SHRAPNEL BALL
HITTING YOUR BODY WOULD
CAUSE A LARGE ENTRY WOUND,
DAMAGE THE LOCAL TISSUE.
THEN IT COULD TRAVEL THROUGH
THE MUSCLE AND BREAK BONE.
THESE ARE DEVASTATING WOUNDS.
AND ALSO, ALL THESE WOUNDS
ARE DIRTY, LEADING TO
POTENTIAL INFECTION.

Photos show serious gash-type wounds.

Alexander says I SAID, YOU
ALL PROCEED TO THE REAR,
AND IF YOU CAN GET
SOMEONE TO COME AFTER ME,
I WILL BE OBLIGED TO YOU.
THEY COULDN'T HAVE TRAVELLED
MORE THAN 50 YARDS, WHEN A
HIGH EXPLOSIVE SHELL MUST
HAVE FALLEN RIGHT AMONGST
THEM, AND SIMPLY
BLOWN THEM TO BITS.
I LAY IN THE SHELL HOLE FOR
ABOUT SEVEN HOURS, SUFFERING
MORE FROM THIRST AND COLD
AND HUNGER THAN FROM PAIN.
SO I DID WHAT ANY SOLDIER WOULD DO.
I LIT A CIGARETTE.

Andrew says THE CURRENT CANADIAN
DOCTRINE IS THAT ALL COMBAT
CASUALTIES SHOULD HAVE
ADVANCED FIRST-AID WITHIN
TEN MINUTES OF WOUNDING.
IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR,
CASUALTIES MAY HAVE GONE
FOR HOURS, AND PERHAPS
DAYS, WITHOUT ANY FIRST-AID
WHATSOEVER, WAITING FOR
SOMEONE TO EVACUATE THEM.

Alexander says I LAY THERE FOR
HOURS, AND I SAW A BATCH OF
GERMAN PRISONERS WITH AN ESCORT.
I ASKED FOUR PRISONERS TO
HELP ME, AND ONE OF THEM
GOT OUT HIS RUBBER GROUND SHEET.
EACH TOOK A CORNER, AND
CARRIED AND HALF DRAGGED ME
TOWARDS THE REAR.

Andrew says TO MOVE SOMEBODY OFF THE
BATTLEFIELD TAKES A LOT
OF PHYSICAL STRENGTH AND
ENDURANCE, AND ALSO COURAGE.
BECAUSE TO PULL A FULLY
KITTED WOUNDED MAN OFF THE
BATTLEFIELD OVER ROUGH
TERRAIN IS TREMENDOUSLY
PHYSICALLY DEMANDING.
(gentle piano music plays)

Alexander says I SIGHTED A
REGIMENTAL DRESSING STATION
AND SIGNALED MY FOUR
STRETCHER BEARERS TO CARRY
ME TOWARDS IT.
THE MEDICAL OFFICER
WAS AT THE DOOR.
HE LAUGHED WHEN HE SAW
ME WITH MY OWN SPECIAL
AMBULANCE DETAIL.
WELL, WHAT DO YOU
WANT, HE ASKED?
WELL, I SAID, I THINK
I WANT A DRINK OF RUM.

A helicopter evacuates troops.
[helicopter whirring]

Andrew says IN AFGHANISTAN, MANY
OF THE EVACUATIONS WERE
DONE BY HELICOPTER RIGHT
FROM THE POINT OF WOUNDING,
RIGHT BACK TO THE COMBAT
HOSPITAL, WHICH IS A FULL
SURGICAL HOSPITAL.
NOW, IN OPERATIONS IN
AFGHANISTAN, WE COULD BRING
IN HELICOPTERS ANY
TIME WE NEEDED.
BUT IN THE GREAT WAR,
CONSTANTLY THE EVACUATIONS
WERE DONE UNDER FIRE.
MANY STRETCHER BEARERS
WOULD GO OUT TO RECOVER
CASUALTIES, AND THE
STRETCHER BEARER PARTY
WOULD NEVER BE SEEN AGAIN.

Frederick says ON SEPTEMBER 15th,
DICK MITCHELL WAS KILLED,
SLIM RUSSELL AND BALDY
RUTHERFORD WERE WOUNDED.
THE FOLLOWING DAY COLONEL
CAMPBELL, WILLY MCFARLANE,
LOUIE FINCH, HERBIE GRANT,
ANDY NICHOLSON, WILLY HANNY,
ANDY PARKER, TOMMY PENDER AND
GEORGE GRINDLY, WERE KILLED.

Rows of plain white gravestones stand in a military cemetery.

Frederick continues WHO CAN'T REMEMBER THE
SEEMING FUTILITY OF THE
WHOLE MAD BUSINESS?
OR WHEN A BEARER WAS HIT
AND FELL INTO A RUDDY,
STINKING SHELL HOLE?

Standing in the military cemetery, Norm says THIS IS COURCELETTE BRITISH CEMETERY.
AND IT OVERLOOKS THE BATTLEFIELD
OF SEPTEMBER 15th... 16th, 1916.
MANY OF THE MEN BURIED HERE
WERE KILLED IN THAT BATTLE.
BUT FOR THE 4,000 CANADIAN
WOUNDED, THEIR JOURNEY HAD
ONLY JUST BEGUN.
STRETCHER BEARERS CLEARED
THIS FIELD AND CARRIED THE
MEN BACK TO THE RIDGE WHERE
THEY WERE PICKED UP BY
MOTORIZED FIELD AMBULANCES,
AND TAKEN TO THE CASUALTY
CLEARING STATION.
AMONGST THE GRIEVOUSLY
WOUNDED WAS SERGEANT
ALVIN WARTMAN, OF THE 5th
CANADIAN FIELD AMBULANCE.

A photo shows Wartman.

Frederick says WORD REACHED US
THAT SERGEANT WARTMAN HAD
BEEN AWARDED THE
DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT MEDAL.
SERGEANT WARTMAN'S REMARKS
TO A WOUNDED INFANTRYMAN
WERE TYPICAL OF HIM.
A GRATEFUL RIFLEMAN WAS
THANKING WART FOR HIS CARE
AND KINDNESS WHEN WART
STOPPED HIM AND SAID, "WHY?
THAT'S WHAT WE'RE HERE FOR.
WE'RE NOT FIGHTING MEN.
YOU FELLOWS ARE THE REAL
SOLDIERS, AND IT'S OUR JOB
TO HELP YOU.
THERE'S NOTHING IN THE
WORLD TOO GOOD FOR YOU."
WE WERE NOTIFIED THAT
SERGEANT WARTMAN D.C.M.,
HAD DIED, IN NUMBER 3
CASUALTY CLEARING STATION
AT PUCHEVILLERS.
WE WERE DEEPLY SADDENED
BY WARTMAN'S DEATH.
A BETTER MAN HAD NEVER LIVED.
HE WAS THE MOST
RESPECTED AND BEST LOVED
NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICER
OUR UNIT HAD EVER HAD.
NOT A FEW MEMBERS OF THE 5th
WERE PRESENT AT WARTMAN'S
FUNERAL, AND THERE WERE NO
DRY EYES AS HIS BODY WAS
BEING LED AWAY.

On site, Norm says THIS IS PUCHEVILLERS
BRITISH CEMETERY,
AND IT WAS USED BY THE
CASUALTY CLEARING STATIONS
LOCATED IN THIS SMALL FRENCH
VILLAGE TO BURY THE MEN WHO
HAD DIED OF WOUNDS AT THAT
CASUALTY CLEARING STATION.

An old photo shows the clearing station with tents set up.

Norm continues THROUGHOUT THE BATTLE OF
THE SOMME, HUNDREDS OF
THOUSANDS OF MEN WERE
WOUNDED, AND EVERY ONE OF
THEM WAS EVACUATED BY
FIELD AMBULANCE THROUGH A
CASUALTY CLEARING STATION.
FOR MANY, THEY WOULD BE
TREATED, AND THEY WOULD
THEN MOVE ON.
IN SOME CASES, THE MAN WOULD
BE SO BADLY WOUNDED THAT HE
HAD NO CHANCE FOR SURVIVAL,
AND HE WOULD BE PLACED IN A
MORIBUND WARD, WHICH IS
LITERALLY A HOSPICE, WHERE
THEY WOULD LET HIM DIE PEACEFULLY.
ONE OF THOSE MEN WAS
SERGEANT ALVIN WARTMAN OF
THE 5th CANADIAN FIELD AMBULANCE.
HE HAD RECEIVED A SHRAPNEL
WOUND THROUGH HIS BACK,
PENETRATING HIS RIGHT LUNG.
AND HE HAD NO CHANCE FOR SURVIVAL.
AND THIS IS HIS HEADSTONE.
SERGEANT ALVIN WARTMAN,
DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT MEDAL,
CANADIAN ARMY MEDICAL CORP.
DIED OF WOUNDS 16th OF OCTOBER, 1916.
HE WAS DEEPLY LOVED BY HIS COMRADES.

Leaving the cemetery, Norm continues
PUCHEVILLERS WAS HOME TO
SEVERAL CASUALTY CLEARING
STATIONS, INCLUDING
NO. 44 C.C.S.
TO WORK AT A CASUALLY
CLEARING STATION, YOU HAD
TO BE EXPERIENCED, AND YOU
HAD TO BE TOUGH, BECAUSE
IT WAS A GRUESOME JOB.
IN JULY, 1916, CANADIAN
NURSE, KATE WILSON, WAS
ASSIGNED TO NO. 44 C.C.S.
AND THE FEW WEEKS SHE
SPENT THERE WERE HELL.

Over a photo of a nurse in her thirties in full uniform, a caption reads
"Memoir... Kate Wilson, Nursing Sister, C.A.M.C." A group of nurses poses
in another contemporary photo.

Kate says THERE WERE ONLY TEN
SISTERS ALLOWED AT THE
CASUALTY CLEARING STATION
OWING TO THE FACT THAT
WE WERE ONLY FIVE MILES
BEHIND THE FIRING LINE.
THERE WAS ALWAYS THE DANGER
THAT THE ENEMY MIGHT MAKE
A PUSH FORWARD.
IN WHICH CASE, THE FEWER
WOMEN THERE, THE BETTER
FOR ALL CONCERNED.
THE MATRON EVEN SUGGESTED
THAT AT ALL TIMES WE CARRY
A TUBE OF MORPHINE IN OUR POCKETS.
SHE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE
BETTER FOR US TO TAKE AN
OVERDOSE THAN TO BE
CAPTURED BY THE GERMANS.
BUT SHE LEFT IT TO US
WHETHER TO ACCEPT HER ADVICE.
AS A MATTER OF FACT, I NEVER DID.

Andrew says SO MANY OF THE NURSES THAT
WENT OVER TO THE FIRST
WORLD WAR AS PART OF THE
CANADIAN ARMY MEDICAL CORP.
WERE THE "CREME DE LA CREME."
OF CANADIAN NURSING.
THESE WERE PROFESSIONAL
NURSES THAT HAD GONE TO
VERY PRESTIGIOUS NURSING
SCHOOLS, LIKE THAT AT THE
ROYAL VICTORIA MCGILL AND
TORONTO GENERAL HOSPITAL.
AND THEY ALL WANTED
TO SERVE OVERSEAS.

Kate says MY FIRST NIGHT ON
THE WARD... WHAT A WARD OF HORRORS.
OUT OF 48 BEDS, ONLY
TEN MIGHT LIVE
TO SEE THE BASE HOSPITAL.
PERHAPS THE HEAD CASES
WERE THE MOST HARROWING.
A BOY WOULD COME IN WITH ALL
HIS SENSES, AND SUDDENLY
I WOULD HEAR A SCREAM.
AND I WOULD FIND HE HAD
GONE ABSOLUTELY INSANE.
OFTEN WITH ALL HIS BANDAGES
TORN OFF AND HIS WOUND
HEMORRHAGING WITH PARTICLES
OF HIS BRAIN OOZING OUT
OF THE OPEN WOUND.

Horrific images show head wounds.

Kate continues ALWAYS, I WAS PRAYING THAT
THE END WOULD COME SOON AND MERCIFULLY.

Andrew says SO HEAD WOUNDS,
WHICH WE STILL SEE IN
AFGHANISTAN, WHERE A
PROJECTILE HAS GONE THROUGH
THE SKULL INTO THE BRAIN.
AND ONE OF THE PROBLEMS IS
THE SKULL IS A CLOSED BOX,
AND THERE'S NOT MUCH ROOM
FOR BLEEDING TO OCCUR.
THIS CAUSES A BUILD-UP OF
PRESSURE IN THE BRAIN.
AND WHEN THE PRESSURE BUILDS
UP IN THE BRAIN, THE BRAIN
WILL COME OUT OF SKULL FRACTURES.
IF THERE'S A FRACTURE INTO
THE AUDITORY SYSTEM,
THE BRAIN CAN COME OUT THE EAR.

Kate says ONE NIGHT, AN
OFFICER CAME TO MY WARD.
SISTER, I AM BRINGING
IN A GERMAN PRISONER.
IN AN INSTANT, I WAS UP IN ARMS.
I LOOKED DOWN THE ROWS OF
WOUNDED MEN, VICTIMS FROM
THE FIRE OF GERMAN GUNS.
I DECIDED I JUST
COULD NOT DO IT.
THE CAPTAIN JUST
LOOKED AT ME.
"SISTER, HE IS ONLY A BOY."
HE LOOKED SO DISAPPOINTED
IN ME THAT I CONSENTED.
HE WAS SUFFERING FROM A
TERRIBLE ABDOMINAL WOUND.
ONE LOOK AT HIS TERRIFIED
FACE, AND HE WAS NO LONGER
A HATED HUN, JUST A SMALL,
WOUNDED BOY, WITHOUT
A FRIEND ON ANY SIDE.
WHEN I SLID MY ARM UNDER HIS
HEAD TO GIVE HIM A DRINK OF
WATER, HE LOOKED UP
INTO MY FACE AND SMILED.
THEN CAUGHT MY HAND AND KISSED IT.
I COULD NOT KEEP THE TEARS FROM MY EYES.
DAWN HAD STILL NOT COME WHEN
THE BOY'S TIRED EYES LOST
THEIR FRIGHTENED EXPRESSION,
AND CLOSED FOR THE LAST TIME.
HIS HELPLESSNESS AND YOUTH
HAD WIPED AWAY ALL HATE.

Norm stands outside a brick chapel.
[church bell ringing]

Norm says THIS IS THE OLD
CHURCH IN BARLIN,
AND IT PREDATES THE
FIRST WORLD WAR.
BARLIN IS A SMALL MINING
VILLAGE IN THE PAS-DE-CALAIS,
AND DURING THE WAR, IT
WAS HOME TO THE NUMBER 6
BRITISH CASUALTY
CLEARING STATION.
(piano music plays)

In off, Norm continues IN MAY 1917, KATE LUARD
WAS STATIONED CLOSE TO THE
FRONT LINE IN THE VILLAGE
OF BARLIN, NEAR VIMY RIDGE.

A photo shows a defiant looking woman in her forties in nurse's uniform.
A caption reads "Memoir... Kate Luard R.R.C., Nursing Sister."

Kate says THE GREAT EXCITEMENT
IS TO WALK TO A RIDGE
NEARBY AND TO WATCH SHELLS
BURSTING IN THE TRENCHES.
NOW, ABOUT THE HOSPITAL,
THE SURGICAL DIVISION IS
A THEATRE BUILDING.
WE CAN TAKE 400 LYING DOWN
CASES, AND THERE'S A HUGE
ATTIC WHICH CAN TAKE
400 WALKING CASES
IF WE HAVE A PUSH.

(piano music plays)
Standing outside an old brick building, Norm says THIS IS THE OLD THEATRE
IN BARLIN, AND YOU CAN
STILL SEE ITS ORNAMENTAL
FEATURES UP NEAR THE ROOFTOP.
IT WAS APPROPRIATED BY THE
NUMBER 6 CASUALTY CLEARING
STATION IN 1916, AND USED
AS AN OPERATING THEATRE.
THIS IS WHERE THE
WOUNDED WERE CLASSIFIED.
THOSE LIGHTLY WOUNDED WOULD
BE TREATED AND MOVED BACK
TO THEIR UNIT. THOSE THAT COULD BE
TRANSPORTED WOULD BE MOVED ON.
BUT THOSE WHO WERE CRITICALLY INJURED,
AMPUTATIONS, ABDOMINAL WOUNDS, HEAD WOUNDS,
WOULD BE TREATED HERE.
OF THE SOLDIERS WHO WERE
WOUNDED, ROUGHLY 10 PERCENT WOULD DIE.
AND HALF OF THEM WOULD
DIE HERE AT THE CASUALTY
CLEARING STATION.

White nursing tents appear at a clearing station.

Kate says MAY 22nd, AND IT'S A BLACK DAY.
THE INTENSE GERMAN BOMBARDMENTS HAVE FILLED
ALL OF THE CASUALTY CLEARING STATIONS.
WE'VE HAD THREE OFFICERS IN.
ONE NEARLY DIED WHEN HE WAS
HAVING HIS FOOT TAKEN OFF.
ONE, WHO HAD HIS ARM BLOWN
OFF, WAS LYING IN A DUGOUT
AND IT TOOK TWO
HOURS TO DIG HIM OUT.
HE WAS THE MOST CHEERY OF ALL.
ANOTHER ONE WAS BURIED FOR 15 HOURS.
HE DIED THIS EVENING.

Andrew says MY EXPERIENCE IN
AFGHANISTAN WAS AT KANDAHAR
AIRFIELD AT THE ROYAL
MILITARY HOSPITAL, WHERE
I WAS ONE OF THE TRAUMA
SURGEONS AT THE HOSPITAL.
SO THAT WOULD BE SIMILAR TO
THE FIRST WORLD WAR, WHERE
THEY WOULD ARRIVE AT THE
CASUALTY CLEARING STATION,
AND WE WOULD TAKE THEM
IMMEDIATELY TO SURGERY FOR
REMOVAL OF DEAD AND INJURED
TISSUE, FOR CONTROL OF
BLEEDING, AND FOR CONTROL
OF CONTAMINATION.
ONE OF THE DIFFICULT THINGS
YOU SEE IS THAT YOU HAVE A
CASUALTY COME IN THAT PEOPLE
HAVE WORKED ON TO KEEP...
THEY'VE TRIED TO KEEP THE
PERSON ALIVE... AND THEN YOU
BRING THE PATIENT ONTO A
STRETCHER, AND IT'S OBVIOUS
THEY'VE JUST PASSED AWAY,
AND THERE'S NOTHING YOU
CAN DO FOR THIS PATIENT.

Kate says MONDAY, MAY
29th, WE HAD A RUSH
OF EMERGENCY CASES THIS MORNING.
THREE HAVE DIED TODAY.
THERE SEEMS TO BE AN UNUSUAL
NUMBER OF CHARMING BOYS WHO
HAVE JOINED THE ARMY IN
TREMENDOUS KEENNESS,
AND ARE NOW FILLING THE CEMETERY.
ONE CALLED REGGIE SOMETHING,
WHO TALKS LIKE A GENTLEMAN,
IS SLOWLY LOSING THE FIGHT
WITH HIS LUNG WOUND.
ANOTHER, CALLED JACK, IS PARALYZED
FROM A FRACTURED SPINE.
HE SAYS, "WONDERINGLY,
WHAT IS IT, SISTER?
I CAN'T MOVE MY LEGS.
WILL IT BE ALL RIGHT?"

Andrew continues IN KANDAHAR, THE LARGE AMOUNT
OF THE INJURIES WE SAW WERE
FROM IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICES,
OR ROADSIDE BOMBS.
SO THESE WERE ALL EXPLOSIVE
FRAGMENTATION INJURIES,
WHICH WOULD BE VERY SIMILAR
TO CASUALTIES OF THE
FIRST WORLD WAR.
PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS
FROM THE FIRST WORLD WAR,
THEY WOULD RECOGNIZE THESE
WOUNDING PATTERNS OF
BILATERAL AMPUTATIONS,
PATIENTS CUT IN HALF BY
FRAGMENTS IN SHELLING.

Kate says IT IS PACKED TONIGHT.
I'VE BEEN MOSTLY IN A
GHASTLY HUT FULL OF
HEAD CASES FALLING
OFF THEIR STRETCHERS.
COMPOUND FRACTURES, TWO
AMPUTATIONS AND FIVE
FRACTURED FEMURS.
SOME OF THE WOUNDS THIS
TIME, ARE, FOR SOME REASON,
CRAWLING WITH A SEETHING,
WRIGGLING MASS OF LIVE MAGGOTS.

A photo shows a pair of maggot-infested hands.

Kate continues I'VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE.

Andrew says I THINK ANY SURGEON
THAT WALKS INTO THAT
ENVIRONMENT FROM THE
CIVILIAN WORLD IS OFTEN
STUNNED BY THE DEVASTATING
NATURE OF THESE WOUNDS
BECAUSE YOU'VE NEVER SEEN
ANYTHING LIKE THAT BEFORE.
AND HOW YOU DEAL WITH THAT
IS YOU DEAL WITH IT BY
BEING EXPOSED TO IT, AND
YOU LEARN HOW TO COPE WITH IT.

Kate says WE'RE ALL
GETTING A BIT TIRED.
THE LAST TWO DAYS, WE HAVE
BEEN ABLE TO SLIP AWAY TO
THE NEAREST SLAG HEAP FOR
TEN MINUTES OFF, AND SIT
ON THE GRASS AND FEEL THE
BREEZE, AND SEE THE FRONT
SPREAD OUT BELOW.

Andrew says PATIENTS WILL ALWAYS
BE OUR PRIMARY CONCERN.
AND SOMETIMES, WE'RE
FIGHTING A DIFFERENT ENEMY
THAN THE REST OF THE
EXPEDITIONARY FORCE...
WE'RE FIGHTING DEATH.
AND SOMETIMES, FOR A LOT
OF PEOPLE, DEATH BECOMES
A PERSONAL ENEMY.

Kate says SATURDAY,
JUNE 3rd... CAPTAIN W. IS
A PARTICULARLY CHARMING
BOY, AND HE IS DYING
TONIGHT OF GAS GANGRENE.

A photo shows a scared-looking young man in a hospital bed. He is
practically skin and bones.

Andrew says BY THE TIME
OF THE GREAT WAR,
ANTIBIOTICS HADN'T
BEEN DISCOVERED.
AND ABOUT 10 PERCENT OF
ALL BATTLE WOUNDS WERE
COMPLICATED BY INFECTIONS,
ESPECIALLY THE PHENOMENA
OF GAS GANGRENE.
A GAS FORMING BACTERIAL
INFECTION OF THE MUSCLES.
[explosion]
BECAUSE IN THE FIRST WORLD
WAR THE BATTLEFIELDS WERE
FARMERS' FIELDS.
AND FOR CENTURIES, THESE
FARMERS' FIELDS HAD BEEN
FERTILIZED WITH HUMAN WASTE.
SO THEY WERE LOADED FULL OF BACTERIA.
AND THIS BACTERIA CAUSES
VERY DEVASTATING INFECTIONS
OF THE MUSCLE.
AND THE MUSCLE, ESSENTIALLY,
TURNS INTO LIQUID. AND THE PATIENT
GETS VERY SICK.
AND ALSO THE ORGANISM... IT
FORMS CARBON DIOXIDE GAS,
AND THIS CAUSES THE
PHENOMENON KNOWN AS GAS
GANGRENE, WHERE YOU HAVE
GAS IN THE TISSUES.
IT HAS THIS VERY SWEET,
PUNGENT, ROTTEN ODOUR
THAT'S UNMISTAKEABLE.
(dramatic piano music plays)

Kate says CAPTAIN W. DIED
OF GAS GANGRENE THIS EVENING.
THE THIRD SON KILLED IN
HIS FAMILY, I BELIEVE.
SO IT WON'T MAKE A PRETTY
LETTER TO WRITE TO HIS
MOTHER TOMORROW.
SATURDAY JUNE 4th, A SISTER
AND I GOT OFF THIS EVENING
AT SIX AND WALKED
TO THE CEMETERY.
WE COUNTED THE GRAVES
SINCE SUNDAY WEEK.
50 IN A FORTNIGHT DIED OF
WOUNDS AT THIS ONE LITTLE
CASUALTY CLEARING STATION.

Norm walks into a military cemetery and up to a grave.

Norm says THIS IS THE GRAVE OF
JOHN PERCY BRADLEY,
44th BATTALION MANITOBA,
CANADIAN INFANTRY.
HE'D ARRIVED AT THE FRONT IN
MAY 1917, AND ONLY A MONTH
AND A HALF LATER, HE
WAS HIT BY A SHELL.
HIS WOUNDS WERE SO SEVERE
THAT HE HAD NO CHANCE OF SURVIVAL.
HE WAS BROUGHT TO THE
MORIBUND WARD OF THE
NUMBER 6 CASUALTY
CLEARING STATION.
THERE, ONE OF THE NURSES
WROTE TO HIS MOTHER.

A photo shows a soldier standing by a woman in her fifties. A caption
reads "Memoir... Jenny Orchardson, Nursing Sister."

Jenny says MY DEAR MISSUS
BRADLEY, YOUR DEAR BOY,
PRIVATE J.P. BRADLEY,
ASKED ME TO WRITE TO YOU.
HE WAS BROUGHT HERE THIS
MORNING, FATALLY WOUNDED, IN
LEGS AND ABDOMEN, AND PASSED
PEACEFULLY AWAY AT 1 P.M.
HE ASKED ME TO CONVEY HIS
BEST LOVE TO YOU... HIS
MOTHER, AND TO TELL YOU
HE DID NOT SUFFER MUCH.
HE WAS A BRAVE, SPLENDID LAD.
AND MY HEART GOES OUT TO
YOU IN THIS GREAT TRIAL AND SORROW.
YOURS VERY SINCERELY,
SISTER JENNY ORCHARDSON.
(rhythmic music plays)

Norm drives along a straight road. An old clip shows ancient ambulances
driving along a road.

Norm says WE'RE DRIVING ON A ROAD
WEST OF ARRAS, AND IT WAS
ALONG ROADS LIKE THIS
THAT THE FIELD AMBULANCE
WOULD EVACUATE THE
WOUNDED FROM THE FRONT.
THE ROUTE WE'RE ON RIGHT
NOW IS GOING TOWARDS THE
CASUALTY CLEARING
STATION AT DOULLENS.
DOULLENS IS A MEDIEVAL TOWN.
IT'S KNOWN FOR ITS
18th CENTURY CITADEL.

Norm walks into a crumbling ruin.

Norm continues THIS DILAPIDATED BUILDING
WAS ONCE A THRIVING HOSPITAL.
THE NUMBER 3 CANADIAN
STATIONARY HOSPITAL SET UP
HERE IN NOVEMBER 1916.
THEY SET UP WARDS HANDLING
MORE THAN 400 BEDS, AND
THEIR SPECIALTY WERE HEAD
WOUNDS FROM SHRAPNEL, OR
FROM SNIPER BULLETS, AND
FOR NERVOUS DISORDERS,
SUCH AS SHELL SHOCK.
IN 1918, DURING THE GREAT
GERMAN OFFENSIVES WHEN THE
GERMANS PUSHED CLOSE TO
THIS AREA, THE HOSPITAL
REMAINED, AS IT WAS VERY
BUSY, BUT IT WAS ALSO
VERY DANGEROUS.

Over a photo of the hospital as it was, a caption reads "War Diary...
Number 3 Canadian Stationary Hospital."

A man's voice says ON THE NIGHT OF THE
29th AND 30th OF MAY,
HOSTILE AIRPLANES WERE HEARD IN THE AREA.
THE NIGHT WAS CLEAR AND BRIGHT,
AND THE MOON WAS SHINING.
THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN NO
DIFFICULTY IN THE PILOTS'
RECOGNIZING IT AS A HOSPITAL.
THE HOSPITAL IS WELL MARKED
WITH RED CROSSES, WHICH
PILOTS SAY IS QUITE
VISIBLE FROM THE AIR.

Norm says BY MIDNIGHT ON MAY
29th, 30th, 1918,
EVERYTHING WAS QUIET AT
THE NUMBER 3 CANADIAN
STATIONARY HOSPITAL.
IT HAD BEEN A VERY BUSY DAY.
THE SERGEANTS HAD RETIRED
TO THEIR QUARTERS,
BUT THERE WAS ONE OPERATION
GOING ON ON THE MAIN FLOOR.
AND THERE SURGEON MEEK, AND
SURGEON SAGE, ACCOMPANIED
BY NURSES MCPHERSON AND
PRINGLE, WERE OPERATING ON
A WOUNDED SOLDIER.

The man's voice says ABOUT 12-25 A.M., HOSTILE
AIRPLANES PASSED OVER THE
HOSPITAL, DROPPED A FLARE,
AND A BOMB WAS DROPPED
WHICH STRUCK THE MAIN
BUILDING, WHICH COLLAPSED IMMEDIATELY.
THE SERGEANTS WERE IN THEIR
QUARTERS, AND THEIR ENTIRE
GROUPS WERE CASUALTIES.
THE SURGICAL TEAM ON DUTY
THAT NIGHT WERE FINISHING
THEIR OPERATION, AND THEY
WERE ALL VICTIMS OF THE BOMB.
ALMOST INSTANTLY, FIRE BROKE
OUT IN THE WHOLE GROUP OF BUILDINGS.
PERSONNEL KILLED... TWO
OFFICERS, THREE NURSING
SISTERS AND 15
OTHER RANKS ATTACHED.
PATIENTS KILLED, SEVEN.
THE FUNERAL OF THE VICTIMS
OF THE AIR RAID TOOK PLACE
THIS AFTERNOON, AND A VERY
IMPRESSIVE SERVICE WAS HELD.

Entering another cemetery, Norm says THIS BEAUTIFUL AND
ISOLATED CEMETERY IS KNOWN
AS BAGNEUX BRITISH CEMETERY.
BUT IT WASN'T ISOLATED
DURING THE GREAT WAR.
THESE FIELDS WERE FULL
OF THE MARQUEES OF THE
CASUALTY CLEARING STATIONS.
IN FACT, THEY STARTED THIS
CEMETERY BY BURYING THEIR DEAD HERE.
IT NOW CONTAINS 1400 BURIALS
OF SOLDIERS WHO DIED OF WOUNDS.

Standing beside a gravestone, Norm continues
THIS IS THE GRAVE OF CAPTAIN
ETHELBERT MEEK FROM REGINA.
HE WAS THE SURGEON IN THE
OPERATING THEATRE WHEN THE BOMB HIT.

Photos show all the operating staff killed.

Norm continues HIS PERSONAL INSCRIPTION
READS, A GIFTED SURGEON,
KILLED AT THE POST OF DUTY.
BELOVED BY ALL.
BESIDE HIM IS BURIED NURSING
SISTER AGNES MCPHERSON.
SHE WAS ATTENDING THE OPERATION.
AND BESIDE HER, NURSING
SISTER EDEN PRINGLE, WHO
WAS ALSO ATTENDING.
OUTRAGES AGAINST THE MEDICAL
SERVICES WERE NOT UNUSUAL.
THE GERMANS SANK
MANY HOSPITAL SHIPS.
THEY ATTACKED TRAINS.
AND THEY BOMBED
MANY HOSPITALS.
IT WAS A VERY
DANGEROUS OCCUPATION.
(piano music plays)

Andrew says WHEN I WAS IN
KANDAHAR, THERE WAS A
ROCKET ATTACK ON OUR CAMP.
AND IT LANDED ON A DINING
HALL AT DINNER TIME.
SO WE HAD LARGE NUMBER OF
CASUALTIES COMING RIGHT OVER
FROM THE DINING HALL
TO THE HOSPITAL.
WHILE YOU'RE TRYING TO
OPERATE ON PATIENTS AND
THERE'S INCOMING ROCKET
FIRE, IT'S DEFINITELY A
DIFFICULT EXPERIENCE
BECAUSE YOU DON'T KNOW IF
YOU CAN KEEP GOING
WITH THE OPERATION.
AND YOU DON'T KNOW HOW MANY
MORE PEOPLE ARE JUST GOING
TO WALK IN THE DOOR
WITH NO NOTICE.
AND... MAYBE, IN SOME WAYS,
SIMILAR TO WHAT THEY HAD IN
THE FIRST WORLD WAR WHEN
THEY WERE EXPOSED TO AERIAL
BOMBARDMENT AND LONG
RANGE ARTILLERY FIRE.

Walking beside train tracks, Norm says THIS IS AN OLD, DISUSED RAILWAY LINE
THAT RUNS RIGHT BESIDE
WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE
OLD CASUALTY CLEARING
STATION AT BAGNEUX.
THE OBJECTIVE OF THE
CASUALTY CLEARING STATIONS
WAS TO CLEAR THE WOUNDED
AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.
ANYBODY THAT COULD BE
MOVED, WOULD BE MOVED.
AND THEY PRIMARILY USED RAILWAYS.
ONE OF THE WOUNDED SOLDIERS
WAITING FOR A HOSPITAL
TRAIN WAS SERGEANT HAROLD
BECKER OF THE 75th BATTALION.

A photo shows Sergeant Becker posing with his fellow soldiers. A caption
reads "Memoir... John Harold Becker, 75th Batallion, C.E.F."

Harold says I WAS AWAKENED
AND TOLD THERE WOULD BE A
HOSPITAL TRAIN READY.
LONG ROWS OF US WERE LAID
OUT ON STRETCHERS IN THE
FINE SUNLIGHT, NOT FAR
FROM THE RAILROAD TRACK.
AND I COULD SEE A WHITE
TRAIN, WITH A LARGE RED
CROSS PAINTED ON EACH CAR.
OUR TRIP SOON STARTED.
I WAS VERY COMFORTABLE, BUT
MANY OF THE FELLOWS IN THE CAR
WERE IN BAD SHAPE, AND
OCCASIONAL MOANS COULD BE HEARD.
ALTHOUGH, FOR THE MOST
PART, SILENCE REIGNED.
NURSES PASSED UP AND DOWN
THE AISLE FROM CAR TO CAR,
CHANGING A BANDAGE HERE,
GIVING A DRINK OF WATER,
OR A HYPODERMIC THERE, AND
GENERALLY, MOTHERING
THEIR GRATEFUL CHARGES.
I FELT AN OVERPOWERING AWE
OF THESE NURSING SISTERS
WHO WORKED NIGHT AND DAY,
WHOSE DAILY WORK IT WAS TO
DO JUST THIS FOR AN ENDLESS
PROCESSION OF TORN AND
BLEEDING HUMANS, YEAR IN, YEAR OUT.
THE SISTERS ON THE TRAIN
SEEMED TO KNOW EVERY MAN'S
NEEDS BEFORE IT WAS VOICED.

A train toots as it arrives at a station.
[train whistle blowing]

A modern photo shows colourful little sand boats assembling on a beach.

Norm says THIS IS THE BEACH
AT BOULOGNE, FRANCE,
ALONG THE CHANNEL COAST.
YOU CAN SEE IT'S A
PLACE OF LEISURE.
THE KIDS ARE ENJOYING THEMSELVES
ON THEIR SAND SURFERS.
BUT FEW PEOPLE REALIZE THE
IMPORTANCE THAT BOULOGNE PLAYED
DURING THE FIRST WORLD WAR.
ALONG THIS CHANNEL COAST,
THERE WERE MORE THAN 100
BASE HOSPITALS THAT TREATED
2 MILLION BRITISH AND
EMPIRE SOLDIERS WHO WERE
WOUNDED AT THE FRONT.
40,000 OF THOSE MEN
NEVER MADE IT HOME.

An old clip shows a nurse assisting in an operation. A caption reads
"Memoir... Mabel B. Clint A.R.R.C., Nursing Sister C.A.M.C."

Norm continues MABEL CLINT, OF MONTREAL,
WAS AMONG THE NURSES CARING
FOR THE WOUNDED WHO WERE
WAITING TO BE EVACUATED.

Mabel says AS WE REACHED
BOULOGNE HARBOUR, WOUNDED
BEGAN TO ARRIVE ON THE
DOCK IN LONG LINES.
CANADIAN AMBULANCES WERE TO
BE SEEN RUNNING UP THE STEEP
GRAND RUE TO NUMBER 3
CANADIAN STATIONARY HOSPITAL.
IT WAS ESTABLISHED IN AUGUST
1914 BY SOME OF THE MOST
DISTINGUISHED SURGEONS AND
PHYSICIANS IN MONTREAL,
AT MCGILL UNIVERSITY.
THE NURSES CAME CHIEFLY FROM
THE TWO LARGEST HOSPITALS IN MONTREAL.

Andrew says NUMBER 3 CANADIAN
GENERAL HOSPITAL,
THE MCGILL UNIT, THIS WAS
ONE OF THE PREMIER MEDICAL
CENTRES OF THE COMMONWEALTH.

Norm says ALEXANDER MCCLINTOCK,
BADLY WOUNDED ON THE SOMME,
ARRIVES AT A HOSPITAL
ON THE FRENCH COAST
FOR FURTHER TREATMENT.

Alexander says IN THE SPECIAL
WARD FOR LEG WOUNDS, I WAS
LIFTED FROM THE STRUCTURE
IN WHICH I HAD TRAVELLED
ALL THE WAY FROM THE FRONT
LINES INTO A COMFORTABLE
BED WITH FRESH, CLEAN
SHEETS, AND INSTANTLY FOUND
MYSELF SURROUNDED WITH
QUIET, TRAINED, EFFICIENT CARE.
I FORGOT THE PAIN OF MY
WOUNDS AND THE DREAD OF THE
COMING OPERATION, WHEN A
TRAY OF DELICIOUS FOOD WAS
PLACED BESIDE MY BED, AND
A NURSE PREPARED ME BY
BATHING MY FACE AND HANDS
WITH SCENTED WATER.
ON THE FOLLOWING MORNING,
MY LEG WAS X-RAYED
AND PHOTOGRAPHED.

Andrew says X-RAY WOULD BE AVAILABLE
AT THESE LOCATIONS.
THIS WOULD BE USED FOR
LOCATING FRAGMENTS OR
BULLETS IN THE BRAIN OR IN LIMBS.
YOU WERE GETTING A LOT
OF VERY HIGH QUALITY,
INNOVATIVE SURGICAL
TECHNIQUES BEING PRACTICED
AT THE BASE HOSPITALS.
(piano music plays)

Alexander says I GOT MY FIRST
SICKENING DOSE OF ETHER,
AND THEY TOOK THE FIRST
LOT OF IRON OUT OF ME.
I SUPPOSE THESE WERE JUST
THE SURFACE DEPOSITS,
FOR THEY ONLY GOT
FIVE OR SIX PIECES.
HOWEVER, THEY CONTINUED
SYSTEMATICALLY.
I HAD FIVE MORE OPERATIONS,
AND EVERY TIME I CAME OUT OF
THE ETHER, THE ROW OF
BULLETS AND SHELL SCRAPS
AT THE FOOT OF MY BED
WAS A LITTLE LONGER.
AFTER THE NUMBER HAD REACHED
22, THEY TOLD ME THAT PERHAPS
THERE WERE A FEW MORE IN
THERE, BUT THEY THOUGHT THEY
BETTER LET THEM STAY BECAUSE
THE WOUNDS WERE INFECTED.

Norm says MAJOR GEORGE VANIER
WAS GRAVELY WOUNDED IN THE
LEGS AND WAS EVACUATED
TO A BASE HOSPITAL.
AS SOON AS HE WAS WELL
ENOUGH, HE WROTE HOME
TO HIS MOTHER.

A photo shows a soldier in his thirties with a moustache. A caption
reads "Memoir... George Vanier, 22nd Batallion C.E.F."

George says MY DEAREST MATER.
I WAS EVACUATED FROM
THE BATTLEFIELD TO THE
CASUALTY CLEARING STATION.
THE RIGHT KNEE WAS
SHATTERED, AND THE MEDICAL
OFFICER THEN SAID, EVEN IF
THE LEG WERE SAVED, I WOULD
NEVER BE ABLE TO USE IT.
THE LEG WAS AMPUTATED THE NEXT DAY.
MY PRESENT STATE IS
MORE THAN SATISFACTORY.
AND I WISH TO IMPRESS UPON
YOU THE NECESSITY FOR YOU
NOT TO WORRY.
I DO NOT EXPECT TO BE AT THE
BASE HOSPITAL VERY LONG.

Norm says THOUGH VANIER
PUT UP A BRAVE FACE,
HIS DIARY TELLS ANOTHER STORY.

George says I HAD A LONG NIGHT
OF SUFFERING RELIEVED ONLY
BY CONSTANT INJECTIONS OF MORPHINE.
I COULDN'T SLEEP LAST NIGHT
IN SPITE OF THE MORPHINE.
WOKE EARLY, SCARCELY RESTED,
WITH A SHARP PAIN IN THE
MUSCLES OF THE CALF OF MY LEFT LEG.
SLEPT VERY BADLY
WITHOUT THE MORPHINE.
SUFFERED A GREAT DEAL TODAY,
ALWAYS IN THE RIGHT LEG.
SLEPT VERY BADLY
WITHOUT THE MORPHINE.
MY, HOW THE HOURS
ARE SOMETIMES LONG.

Norm stands on a quay and says THIS IS THE SEASIDE VILLAGE
OF WIMEREUX, NEAR BOULOGNE.
AND, IN FACT, YOU CAN SEE
BOULOGNE HARBOUR JUST
OVER MY SHOULDER.
TODAY, IT'S A PLACE FOR
TOURISTS, BUT IT WASN'T LIKE
THAT IN THE GREAT WAR.
YOU CAN WELL IMAGINE THE
HOSPITAL SHIPS LEAVING
BOULOGNE FOR ENGLAND,
DEPARTING BEHIND ME.
BUT THE ESPLANADE WOULD HAVE
BEEN FULL OF NURSES AND DOCTORS
BECAUSE THE MEDICAL SERVICES
HAD TAKEN OVER WIMEREUX.
THERE WAS THE HEADQUARTERS
FOR THE BRITISH NURSING
SERVICE, THERE WAS A
CONVALESCENCE HOSPITAL FOR
THE NURSES, AND THIS
ESPLANADE WOULD HAVE BEEN
FULL OF NURSES.
THE CANADIANS IN THEIR
BABY BLUE, AND THE BRITISH
NURSES IN THEIR NAVY.
EVERYBODY HAD A MEMORY OF WIMEREUX.

Mabel says IN MAY 1918, SEVERAL
OF US WERE TRANSFERRED
TO NUMBER 1 STATIONARY HOSPITAL.
THE BEACHES AND THE
UNSPOILED AUSTERE NORTH COAST
OF FRANCE WERE A CONSTANT
SOURCE OF PLEASURE IN OUR OFF HOURS.
SINCE THE ENEMY ADVANCE OF
MARCH 1918, NURSING SISTERS
WERE ATTACHED TO WHAT HAVE
BECOME KNOWN AS SURGICAL
TEAMS, COMPOSED OF
SURGEON, NURSING SISTER,
ANESTHETIST, OFTEN A
NURSING SISTER, A
NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICER,
AND ORDERLY, SENT AS A
MOBILE UNIT TO WHERE
IT WAS MOST REQUIRED.
IT IS A THRILLING CHAPTER IN
THE HISTORY OF THE CANADIAN
ARMY MEDICAL CORP.

Andrew says AND THIS ALSO ALLOWED WOMEN
TO PLAY A GREATER ROLE
IN THE MEDICAL SERVICES,
VERY CLOSE TO THE FRONT.
AND I THINK MANY OF THE
NURSES THAT WERE INVOLVED
WERE REALLY PUSHING THE
ENVELOPES IN TERMS OF THEIR
OWN ROLE WITHIN SOCIETY
AND THE MILITARY.

Mabel says WE WERE IN
THE MIDST OF FIELDS.
ALL ABOUT US THE GRASS WAS
BLOOD RED WITH THICKLY
GROWING POPPIES.
THE BOYS LOVED TO LIE AMONG
THEM AFTER THEIR DRESSINGS WERE DONE.

Two convalescent soldiers in blue pose for a photo. One is in a wheelchair,
the other on crutches. Other relax on benches, smoking cigarettes.
A poster shows a soldier in a field of poppies. A caption reads "If ye
break faith... we shall not sleep."

Mabel continues AFTER A LONG SPELL IN THE
HIDEOUS FRONT LINE TRENCHES,
THE WOUNDED LADS LONGED FOR
A TOUCH OF PEACE AND BEAUTY.
IT WAS FITTING THAT THE
CONTRAST, YET SINISTER
LIKENESS OF THE SCARLET
MEADOWS SHOULD INSPIRE THE
BEST KNOWN VERSES
OF THE ENTIRE WAR.
THOSE OF OUR CANADIAN
SOLDIER POET, LIEUTENANT
COLONEL JOHN MCCRAE, M.D.
HIS GRAVE IS IN ONE OF THE
NUMEROUS BRITISH CEMETERIES
OUTSIDE BOULOGNE.

A photo shows McCrae in uniform.

Walking among crosses and graves, Norm says THIS IS WIMEREUX COMMUNAL CEMETERY.
AND THIS IS THE GRAVE OF THE
MOST FAMOUS CANADIAN OF THE
GREAT WAR, LIEUTENANT
COLONEL JOHN MCCRAE,
CANADIAN ARMY MEDICAL CORPS.
MCCRAE WAS A FAMOUS
PATHOLOGIST, A VETERAN OF
THE BOER WAR, AND ONE OF
THE FIRST MEMBERS OF THE
MEDICAL CORP. IN 1914.
HE FOUGHT AT THE FRONT IN
1915 AND SERVED AT THE BASE
HOSPITALS FROM 1916 AND '17.
MCCRAE, HIMSELF, WROTE THE
MOST FAMOUS POEM OF THE WAR,
"IN FLANDERS FIELDS," AFTER
THE FIGHTING AT YPRES IN 1915.
AND "IN FLANDERS FIELDS."
SHOWED A CERTAIN CONFIDENCE
IN VICTORY.
BY 1918, MCCRAE STARTED
TO SEE THINGS DIFFERENTLY.
AND HIS FINAL POEM, "THE
ANXIOUS DEAD," REFLECTS THAT
HE WAS UNSURE OF VICTORY,
THAT MAYBE HE HAD SEEN
TOO MUCH SUFFERING.

Andrew says JOHN MCCRAE BECAME
INCREASINGLY WITHDRAWN AND
DEPRESSED, ACCORDING TO
ACCOUNTS OF HIS COLLEAGUES
AT THAT TIME.
AND HE CAME DOWN WITH PNEUMONIA.
MANY PEOPLE SPECULATED THAT
HE WAS SEVERELY DEPRESSED
OVER THE EVENTS THAT
HAPPENED DURING THE WAR.
AND THE STRESS THAT IT
CAUSED UPON HIM LEFT HIM
VULNERABLE TO DEVELOPING
PNEUMONIA, AND THEN MENINGITIS.

Over a clip of the remains of a battle-scarred wood, a caption reads
"Poem... The Anxious Dead by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, M.D." A
photo portrait shows the author.

John says O GUNS, FALL SILENT
'TIL THE DEAD MEN HEAR
ABOVE THEIR HEADS, THE
LEGIONS PRESSING ON.
THESE FOUGHT THEIR FIGHT
IN TIME OF BITTER FEAR,
AND DIED NOT KNOWING
HOW THE DAY HAD GONE.
TELL THEM, OH, GUNS, THAT
WE HAVE HEARD THEIR CALL.
THAT WE HAVE SWORN AND
WILL NOT TURN ASIDE.
THAT WE WILL ONWARD,
UNTIL WE WIN OR FALL.
THAT WE WILL KEEP THE
FAITH FOR WHICH THEY DIED.
BID THEM BE PATIENT, AND
SOME DAY ANON, THEY SHALL
FEEL EARTH ENWRAPT IN
SILENCE DEEP, SHALL GREET
IN WONDERMENT THE QUIET
DAWN, AND IN CONTENT,
MAY TURN THEM TO THEIR SLEEP.

A clip shows modern docks. Norm walks as he speaks.

Norm says THESE ARE THE
DOCKS AT BOULOGNE.
AND THE TOWN HAS CHANGED A
LOT SINCE THE FIRST WORLD WAR.
GONE ARE THE OLD HOTELS, AND
IT LOOKS NOTHING LIKE THE OLD
POSTCARDS YOU SEE FROM THAT PERIOD.
BUT DURING THE FIRST WORLD
WAR, THIS WAS THE MOST
IMPORTANT PORT FOR THE
BRITISH EXPEDITIONARY
FORCE, AND ESPECIALLY
FOR THE WOUNDED.
ALL THE WOUNDED WOULD BE
CLEARED FROM THE BASE
HOSPITALS AND BROUGHT
DOWN ONTO THIS DOCK.
THEY'D BE LINED UP BY STRETCHERS.
THEN THEY WOULD BE PICKED UP
BY CRANE, LOADED ON THE
HOSPITAL SHIPS, AND SENT TO ENGLAND.
BEING SENT TO ENGLAND, OR
"BLIGHTY," WAS REALLY WHAT
ALL THE SOLDIERS WANTED.
BECAUSE IT MEANT YOU
WOULDN'T BE BACK TO THE
FRONT FOR AT LEAST A YEAR.

An old clip shows wounded soldiers being carried on stretchers on board
troop transport vessels.
(lyrical music plays)

A voice sings and says "TAKE ME BACK TO
DEAR OLD BLIGHTY
PUT ME ON THE TRAIN
FOR LONDON TOWN..."

With a smile, Andrew says SOME PEOPLE SAID
THERE'S GOOD BLIGHTIES
AND BAD BLIGHTIES.

As Norm speaks, photos show the wounds he describes.

Norm says THE "BAD BLIGHTIES" WOULD BE
ABDOMINAL WOUNDS, TRAUMATIC
BRAIN INJURIES, WOUNDS THAT
ARE CHRONICALLY INFECTED,
OR TRIPLE OR QUADRUPLE AMPUTATIONS.
..."BLIGHTY IS THE
PLACE FOR ME."

A ship leaves the dock.
(foghorn blowing)

Norm says AFTER MONTHS IN
HOSPITAL, MAJOR GEORGE VANIER
WAS EVACUATED TO ENGLAND.

George says MY DEAREST MATER,
I REACH THE HOSPITAL IN
LONDON THIS MORNING, AFTER
A MOST PLEASANT CROSSING
FROM BOULOGNE.
I'M NOW READY TO UNDERGO
PRELIMINARY TRAINING IN THE
USE OF MY PEG LEG, WHICH
I'VE BEEN GIVEN, AND UPON
WHICH I HOBBLE FAIRLY WELL.
JULY 14th, 1919.
TODAY, I WAS ABLE TO ATTEND
THE CEREMONY AT BUCKINGHAM
PALACE, AND I HAD THE HONOUR
OF RECEIVING FROM THE HANDS
OF THE KING, THE CROSS OF
THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE
ORDER AND THE BAR TO
THE MILITARY CROSS.
FOUR DAYS LATER, ON JULY
18th, I BOARDED THE
S.S. MINNOW FOR MY
JOURNEY HOME TO CANADA.

Norm says FOR THE WOUNDED
RETURNING HOME, THEIR FATE
WOULD BE AS UNCERTAIN
AS IT HAD BEEN IN WAR.
GEORGE VANIER BECAME THE
GOVERNOR GENERAL OF CANADA.
ALEXANDER MCCLINTOCK
RETURNED HOME TO THE
UNITED STATES WHEN THE WAR
WAS STILL RAGING IN 1917.
IN 1918, MCCLINTOCK'S
JOURNEY CAME TO A TRAGIC END.

(military music plays)
A train bearing soldiers arrives at a station. A band plays.
A caption reads "Newspaper Report, New York City, 1918."

A newscaster says ALEXANDER MCCLINTOCK
RETURNED TO THE UNITED STATES
AFTER HIS ADVENTURE WITH
THE CANADIAN EXPEDITIONARY
FORCE IN FRANCE.
HE RETURNED AND VERY
QUICKLY WROTE BEST O' LUCK...

The book cover appears. It reads "Best O'Luck - How a fighting
Kentuckian won the thanks of Britain and King."

The newscaster continues ...IT WAS DESCRIBED AS OVER
THERE, THE THRILL AND THE
HELL OF THE TRENCHES
DESCRIBED BY AN AMERICAN BOY.
THE SOLDIER-AUTHOR BECAME
AN INSTANT CELEBRITY AND A HERO.
BUT TORTURED BY THE INSOMNIA
BROUGHT ON BY HIS WOUNDS,
HE SHOT HIMSELF IN
A HOTEL IN NEW YORK.
ALEXANDER MCCLINTOCK WAS NOT
ALONE IN THIS, FOR THERE
ARE MANY CASUALTIES OF WAR
FAR BEYOND THE BATTLEFIELD.

Andrew says WAR IS A TRAUMATIC,
UNUSUAL EVENT IN PEOPLE'S
LIVES, AND IT WILL
FOREVER BE A PROBLEM.
FROM THE DAWN OF HISTORY TO
THE PRESENT TIME, PEOPLE
HAVE SUFFERED IN WAR AND
HAVE HAD POST-TRAUMATIC
STRESS DISORDER.
AND I THINK THAT
ISSUE WILL BE WITH US
AS LONG AS WE HAVE WARS.
(gentle piano music plays)

Trees stand in a grassy park. A caption reads "Prospect Cemetery, Toronto."

Walking there, Norm says FOR US, THE GREAT WAR ENDED
ON NOVEMBER 11th, 1918.
BUT THIS WAS NOT SO FOR
THE MANY WOUNDED SOLDIERS.
THEIR SUFFERING OFTEN
WENT ON FOR DECADES.
THE MAJORITY GOT ON WITH
THEIR LIVES, AND ONE OF THE
MOST AMAZING STORIES IS THE
STORY OF CURLEY CHRISTIAN.
HE WAS CANADA'S ONLY QUAD AMP.
CURLEY CHRISTIAN WAS
FROM PENNSYLVANIA.
HE WAS FARMING IN SELKIRK,
MANITOBA, WHEN HE ENLISTED
IN THE 78th BATTALION
WINNIPEG GRENADIERS.
DURING VIMY OPERATIONS,
APRIL 9th, 1917, HE WAS
BURIED BY A SHELL BLAST,
AND HE REMAINED BURIED FOR
FOUR DAYS BEFORE HE
WAS FINALLY DUG OUT.
BY THAT TIME, BOTH HIS
ARMS AND LEGS HAD BECOME
INFECTED WITH GANGRENE.
HE WAS EVACUATED TO ENGLAND,
AND BOTH HIS ARMS AND LEGS
WERE REMOVED.
HE WAS RETURNED TO CANADA IN
1918, AND HE LATER MARRIED
AND HAD A FAMILY.
AND IT'S ONE OF THE MOST
UNIQUE STORIES OF GETTING
ON WITH YOUR LIFE THAT
I'VE EVER ENCOUNTERED.

Curley is shown as a sunburned young man before the war.

Norm continues THIS IS HIS HEADSTONE.
CURLEY CHRISTIAN... PRIVATE,
78TH BATALLION C.E.F... DIED
MARCH 15TH 1954, AND HE WAS
70 YEARS OLD.

The maple leaf flies over the graves.

Norm continues ALTHOUGH MOST OF THE WOUNDED
GOT ON WITH THEIR LIVES
AFTER THE WAR, MANY WERE
BROKEN, NOT ONLY IN BODY, BUT IN MIND.
AND THIS STORY IS PARTICULARLY TRAGIC.
THIS IS THE GRAVE OF LEADING
AIRCRAFTSMAN, WILLARD DAFOE.
HE ENLISTED AS A 16-YEAR-OLD
IN 1914, WENT TO FRANCE IN
1915, WAS WOUNDED AT
COURCELETTE IN 1916, AND
AGAIN AT ARRAS IN 1918.
DURING THAT ACTION, HE WAS
AWARDED THE MILITARY MEDAL
FOR BRAVERY.
BUT WHEN HE GOT BACK TO
CANADA, HE COULD NOT ADJUST
TO CIVILIAN LIFE, AND HE
BECAME A FAVOURITE OF ALCOHOL.
(dramatic music plays)
DURING THE 1920s AND 1930s,
HE LOST HIS FAMILY, HE LOST
HIS JOB, AND HE BECAME
VIRTUALLY HOMELESS.
IN 1939, HE DECIDED HE COULD
REENLIST, AND HE JOINED THE
ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE.
BUT IN 1943, HE DIED
OF NATURAL CAUSES,
CERTAINLY BROUGHT
ON BY HIS DRINKING.
WILLARD DAFOE DIED
DECEMBER 11th, 1943.
25 YEARS AFTER THE GREAT
WAR ENDED, IT WAS STILL
CLAIMING ITS VICTIMS.

Over the clip of the soldier emerging from a trench with his comrade on
his back, the end credits roll.
(lyrical music plays)

Executive Producers, Nat Abraham, Norm Christie, Ira Levy, Michael McGuigan,
Peter Williamson.

Series Producers, Leanne Brennan, Peter Williamson.

Directed by Peter Williamson.

Written by Norm Christie.

Editors, Mike Stewart, Ryan Lalande.

Canada, produced in association with

British Columbia's Knowledge Network, TVO Makes You Think.

Norm Christie Productions.

Breakthrough Entertainment. 2016

A voice sings and says "TAKE ME BACK TO
DEAR OLD BLIGHTY
PUT ME ON THE TRAIN
FOR LONDON TOWN
TAKE ME OVER THERE,
DROP ME ANYWHERE
BIRMINGHAM, LEEDS,
OR MANCHESTER,
WELL, I DON'T CARE
I WOULD LOVE TO
SEE MY BEST GIRL
CUDDLING UP AGAIN
WE SOON WOULD BE WHOA!
TIDLEY-IDLEY-ITY, CARRY
ME BACK TO BLIGHTY
BLIGHTY IS THE
PLACE FOR ME."

Watch: Ep. 5 - The Wounded