Wounded: The Long Journey Home From the Great War

wounded
By Emily Mayhew

(UK Title: Wounded: From Battlefield to Blighty, 1914-18)

Synopsis: A homage to the courage and determination of the men and women who cared for – and saved the lives of – the hundreds of thousands of British soldiers who were wounded at the Western Front.

This book takes the form of a journey: that of a wounded man from injury on the battlefield to recovery in a hospital in Britain. It tells that story through the personal testimony of those who cared for him – — stretcher bearers and medical officers, surgeons and chaplains, nurses and ambulance drivers – — and in the process it follows the injured soldier from the aid post in the trenches to the casualty clearing station in the rear, from the base hospital to the ambulance train returning him to Blighty. It was often the journey of a soldier with horrific and debilitating injuries who was lucky to be alive.

Those who cared for him were frequently on the verge of collapse, overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of casualties they had to deal with and unprepared for the terrible injuries they encountered. Yet with determination and improvisation they established a system of medical care that saved hundreds of thousands of lives and which in its basic structure has endured to this day. Wounded tells the story of the men and women who made it possible.

Painstakingly researched and written with novelistic immediacy, Wounded tells the full story of medical care in the war for the first time. But this is not just a book about the injured men and the medical personnel that treated them: their experience encapsulates what it was like to fight, live and die for four long years at the Western Front. Wounded is an important contribution to our understanding of the First World War.

Published: September 2013 | ISBN: 9781847922618

Author’s mini-bio: Emily Mayhew is a Research Associate at Imperial College and an Examiner at the Imperial College School of Medicine. She is also a consultant and lecturer to various museums including the Wellcome Collection, the Imperial War Museum and the Royal College of Surgeons. Her first book, The Reconstruction of Warriors, was published in 2004. – From RandomHouse Group

Times Higher Education Book Review
Publishers Weekly Book Review
Express co.uk Book Review
Not Running a Hospital Book Review

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