What’s it all about Alfie 1WW in 3 Minutes continued.

“What’s it all about, Alfie?
Is it just for the moment we live?
What’s it all about when you sort it out, Alfie?
Are we meant to take more than we give” BACHARACH/DAVID/BASTOS RIBEIRO

This, is what it is all about when I am left in peace.

A.comparison between Henry Wade’s Surgical Car, it use by the Scottish Horse at Gallipoli, the development of the idea and use by the Australians in the Campaign in Palestine up to, and including, the capture of Jerusalem , with the then standard model of evacuation and surgical treatment of the wounded. The time period covered is the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, Murray’s and Allenby’s campaign from the Canal to Jerusalem in 1917. Wade’s Surgical Car was conceived in the South African Wars during the late 19th century, early 20th century. although it took the outbreak of the Great War to get one built by Wolseley the car makers. This car was taken to Gallipoli by Wade and the Scottish Horse. following the evacuation from the peninsular the car was shipped to Cairo. Wade was promoted to Assistant Director of Medical Services Egyptian Expeditionary Force, and the car was given to the Australians. the Australians liked the idea of a mobile surgical unit, but preferred Ford vehicles to the Wolseley. The pneumatic tyres on Fords were better suited to driving in the desert than the solid tyres of the Wolseley. The Wolseley did however continue in service, and was last known to be still in service in 1919. The thesis may end at December 1917 as the ground can be traced and explored from Kantara, where the car was first based, in Egypt to Jerusalem where Allenby entered in December 1917. The Campaign continued into Syria and onto Damascus, over ground not easily followed at the current time because of the political situation in Syria. Although I hope by this stage in the campaign sufficient comparisons can be drawn, and it would not be necessary to view the ground. The nature of the ground, is important in drawing fair comparison as to the operational capabilities of the various options and units available to Allenby. I have explored the area in modern day Israel. Yet to explore Sinai, but the area is easily accessible if required and the crossing between Egypt to Israel via Gaa is normally open.

The research breaks down to

1) From the Veldt to Gallipoli
The Boer Wars were where Wade formulated the idea for the Surgical cars. Gallipoli was where they were first used. The chapter would touch on the medical and surgical problems faced by the British Army and the Royal Army Medical Services faced regarding the treatment of wounded and or soldiers with diseases during the Anglo- Boer wars, and the solutions the Royal Army Medical Corps and individuals, notably Wade devised.

2) The Palestinian Campaign, A brief guide as to where the Medical Services were throughout the campaign.
To establish a fair basis for comparison the various medical units will be placed in the context of the campaign. Both location and the roles the various Medical Units were assigned and the part they played in the campaign


Arthur Graham Butler, Official History of the Australian Army Medical Services, 1914–1918 Volume I – Gallipoli, Palestine and New Guinea (2nd edition, 1938) http://www.awm.gov.au/histories/first_world_war/AWMOHWW1/AAMS/Vol1/

John D. Grainger, The Battle for Palestine 1917, The Boydell Press ISBN 978184382638, 2006.

Colonel A.P. Wavell, The Palestine Campaigns, third edition, Constable and CO, London, 1933.


3) Standard Egyptian Expeditionary Force Treatment of the Wounded
The system of casualty recovery and transport to the base hospitals

4) The Surgical Cars in the Campaign
By the time of the Capture of Jerusalem there were thirty surgical cars in operational use in the campaign

5) The Australian Advanced Operating Unit
The Australians rejected the idea of a surgical car, and used mobile hospital units consisting of Ford vehicles.

6) Types of wounds and comparisons in treatment and results
How the treatment of, for example, shot gun wounds to the lower limbs were treated
7) Lessons Learned or Ignored.
Could lessons have been learned that would have been useful in later conflicts. Was it not only quicker but better to treat wounded soldiers at the scene of their injuries, or wait until they could be evacuated?

8) Biographical Notes

Brief details of the principle people named including
Col C.J. Storey, Capt Russell VC. MC. RAMC, and Henry Wade

I try to use Tables and compare the types of wounds, recovery rates/deaths in various Field Ambulances Hospitals and the Mobile Units. The aim of the research is:

A)to see if the changes brought in to use since the Anglo-Boer Wars brought about better treatment of the wounded.
B) which of these changes brought about the best/most effective treatment.
C) Could these treatments still be relevant to the modern British Army

and anything else I regard as relevant


As part of my research I study both recent work such as, Eran Dolev, Allenby’s Military Medicene, life and death in World War 1 Palestine. ISBN 978-1-84511-290-5, Dugald Gardner, Surgeon Scientist, Soldier. The Life and Times of Henry Wade. ISBN 1-85315-661-2.Professor J.C. De Villiers M.D, Healers, Helpers and Hospitals. A history of Military Medicine in the Anglo-Boar War as well as works published at, or close to the events. These include, works by, Major-General Sir W.G. Macpherson, History of the Great War, Medical Services. Volume 3, which deals with the medical services in Egypt,Sinai, and Palestine, and History of the Great War, Medical Services. Volume 4, which deals with Ambulance Transport during the Great War, and Unit/Regimental Diaries at the various National Archives.
Professor J.C. De Villiers M.D, The South African Journal of Military History Vol 6 No.3 ,June 1984. While not and authority on Wade, Professor J.C. De Villiers M.D, of Cape Town, has published extensively on Military Medicine in the Boer Wars, during which Wade formulated his idea for a surgical car.

Suitability as a Researcher.
I am committed, interested, methodical, rigorous. and determined.
Have also spoken to Eran Dolev, very briefly by email. Eran Dolev was a former Surgeon General and Commander of the Israeli Defence Force Medical Corps
and Professor Gardner at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, where Henry Wades papers are kept.

Relationship to published Literature and Current Research.
Over the years the Great War in Palestine, with the possible exception of T.E Lawrence, has been a neglected field of study. The Literature available to the general reader is sparse, and sensationalises the influence of Lawrence. The Thesis would redress some balance to the available literature and add to the historical knowledge of the Great War in relationship to the campaign in Palestine.

Piece of piss really.


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