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[Page 20]

The Army Medical Corps

then, as there was plenty of space gained by the new but unsuccessful advance. The dressing sheds however were well protected by means of wooden beams, corrugated iron sheets, and sandbags, and they were well hidden in excavated recesses, which were cut away from the hillsides.

Hurriedly performed operations were carried out at these depots from where the more serious cases were immediately embarked on the hospital ships for further treatment. The field hospitals were always overtaxed for accommodation especially after an attack of any magnitude. Sickness greatly increased the difficulties. Dysentery was the most common complaint. Men were lying about through sheer exhaustion. The food in the lines was generally plentiful but was unsuitable and monotonous, and the flies brought filth and disease. The men were overworked. No reinforcements were immediately available, and so we were constantly being called upon to do extra fatigue work. All these things helped to increase sickness, but the A.M.C. handled the situation with masterful skill and administering the best medical aid possible under conditions which were most miserable.

The hospital ships conveyed their patients direct to the various Australian stationary hospitals which were excellently equipped as regards medical comfort and general conveniences.

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