Medical Equipment – WW1 Uncut – BBC

in World War [one] Industrial warfare caused unprecedented damage to Soldiers bodies the challenges to medics were huge The Royal Army medical Corps or our AMC was in charge of looking after their health of the British Army’s forces treating the wounded and saving lives as A doctor [myself] it’s amazing to look what seems to [mine] modernize the very crude equipment. I would have had to use back in World War one Today, I’m being allowed to examine [close-up]. The kit used by my predecessors I’m just looking at a picture of two stretcher bearers just young guys [actually] standing there very straight and proud with their stretchers One of them is John Hill and this Is his Satchel? I’m going to have a look inside to see what a stretcher bearer from world war [one] would have been carrying silk Sterile Tubes, oh Wow these are little vials of silk kept sterile in this glass vial And it would have been used for stitching up wounds so that goes to show [that] even once they were scooping up people they were Possibly doing first aid along the way as well and under fire I’m going to carefully put the Lid back on that [there] would have been 12 of them in there, I Feel like I’m delving into a little treasure trove could this be a torniquet. I Think it is this looks like it’s all okay that you’d use to stop bleeding You tie it on the affected limb where you’ve got a wound [if] it’s bleeding out You go above it and yet you tie this on and wrap it around tight. I’m guessing that this is a ton okay? I may be wrong, but I can’t see what else it would be used for something else in here smells [so] old Was this a bandage well, I think their slings actually yep, they haven’t changed much still very much the same and this Is bit heavy there’s a lantern Because obviously when they went to pick [up] their casualties at night they had fallen during the day Wouldn’t be able to see anything so they needed a light Imagine that illuminating yourself as you went to pick up casualties Just goes to show how brave John Hill and his colleagues were I’ve also just found this it’s John [Hill’s] nursing dictionary and it’s got abbreviations to [all] Sorts of technical medical terms and equipment in here and it’s really quite interesting to note because today I’m always carrying little aid memoirs and pocketbooks of this that and the other on me And I have my own medical dictionary sitting on my desk at all times And even then a hundred years ago. He wasn’t deploying out into the field without his little aide memoire And it’s well [well-worn] [lover] This is an aladdin’s cave for me. It tells me so much about what it was like a hundred years ago And what we’ve got going on. Here is a royal army medical Corps sergeant Tending to a royal army medical Corps doctor what I like about this is that it [demonstrates] the reality Just because you’re a medic just because you wear the mMM limp doesn’t mean that you’re immune to being hit Guess what this is It’s an x-Ray from a hundred years ago It’s the x-ray of the neck and the bottom of the head of a stretcher bearer and this round dark circle here is Shrapnel and how do I know it’s shrapnel, this is The exact same shrapnel that you can see in the x-Ray and he also got extra bits of shrapnel in his head as well What became standard was everyone who had suffered a head or a neck injury was given an X-Ray? Before world war one started was a brand new technique Some people had adopted it others hadn’t but as a consequence of world war one and the way that it was used so extensively propelled the use of X-Rays throughout medicine One of the our AMC’s most important jobs was evacuating the wounded from the Battlefield This is a stretchy cart, and I have to say I’m pretty relieved I don’t have to use this to transport my patients around But this is precisely What the medics during world war one were using to transfer their patient around in the field hospital area? For a patient to get to the field hospital. They’d had a whole journey beforehand from the point of injury They’d be picked up by the stretcher bearers Taken to a regimental aid post and then further back To a dressing station and then further back still to the field hospital one of the developments during world war one was the idea that for a patient to really recover fully you had to take them away from the Chaos and the [frightening] sounds of A frontline area to a place where they’d have some peace and quiet some good nursing so that that could enhance their recovery And what we have here [is] an original Operating table from World war one and it’s a portable one at that Look at this look at this these are the handles that we use and it folds down So that it could have been moved around easily What I find really profound about this as I touch it is that on this table? the wounded Soldiers were being operated on by My predecessors in medicine and surgery I found that really quite profound very moving actually This is where Techniques were developed that have gone on [to] help us in the way that [we] practice medicine today


  1. My great grandfather fought in World War One. His name was Robert Hill. He was attached to a Highlander Regiment so he was Scottish. He survived the war of course but he never told anyone what he experienced at the front. My family will never knew what happened to him in the war. But whatever it was it was definitely unpleasant…

  2. The next time some racist idiot states that Muslims contribute nothing to British society point them towards this video and remind them of the gifted Muslim Doctors and nurses who save hundreds of people daily.

  3. The second she said "under fire" a electric bow exploded into a white mushroom cloud above our car!

  4. your 'predecessors' were actually getting shot at and dominated by British Imperialists, no matter how naturalized you may be at the UK now. haha

  5. No Morphine in the kit bag? Ouch… I can't say I've been shot or hit by shrapnel but I've been injured on duty once. I'm a paramedic and I broke my leg in an accident on duty. Most intense pain I've felt so far. My colleague administered me some i.v. Morphine some minutes after and it felt so heavenly. Not just because of the substance, which causes euphoria in the brain, but simply being relieved of this massive pain. I feel for the soldiers of all wars of every nation. The time from getting wounded until you are treated and relieved of the pain…
    Also respect to the doctor in the vid. She seems like a good person and a professional. Very good video!
    Greetings from Germany

  6. My Grandpa George Whittam was a stretcher bearer and the B flat cornet for the Lancashire Fusiliers. He was in the landings at Gallipoli. At Ypres he was gassed. I was a member of the Royal Australian Engineers and now I'm a nurse.

  7. my great grandfather was a WW1 doctor. He was stationed in France and also stayed to cure the Flu outbreak. His name is Alfred Thompson and he came back home alive.

  8. no way the lantern is for picking up casualties, that makes no sense. if it is night you must be silent and unseen? and the lantern would just blow your cower in no man's land(unless if it is in a trench).

  9. My great uncle Stephen Robinson I'm named after him fought for the Harlem hellfighters he was a field medic he survived the war I didn't learn anything from him because he died a few days before I was born

  10. My Great Grand father served in WW1 US Army , was wounded a Ypres, shot in the chest causing the loss of his left lung. I can only imagine the wounded laying on open ground while doctors operated on hundreds of men in minutes trying to save the critically wounded as fast as possible.

  11. What a lovely doctor and narrative she was so respectful of the horrors that those in the medical teams must have faced lovely video 😀

  12. No antibiotics at this time they didn't come in until WW2 so a minor infection meant possible death.
    Also self injectable morphine as in WW2 wasn't around then so if u were hit u couldn't just jab urself to ease the pain.

  13. The Xray image and 'schrapnel' is interesting. Should the object caught in the image be actually called 'Grapeshot' since it still retains its manufactured spherical shape, while schrapnel is created by the exploding and fragmenting shell?

  14. The deaths from sepsis blood poisoning must have staggering ,because of no antibiotics.Several years ago I had an I.V. Filter removed from my artery after surgery and I contracted Sepsis and nearly died and I was in a good hospital ,I can't begin to imagine the conditions those poor souls suffered under when even the slightest wound was a potential death sentence.

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