2nd July 1916 Sunday

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On the second day, Douglas and his team start to get the true picture of what was unfolding at the front as the casualties began to roll in.

“On July 2nd, we all went to the C.C.S. to help the staff there to cope with the never ending stream of wounded. A large string of ambulances, ammunition lorries, waggons, full of wounded right through the village was slowly coming into the hospital. I got to work in a hut amongst the walking wounded cases, most of the wounds were caused by machine gun bullets and the poor men although very cheery, were dead tired and full of dust and mud. Most of them were wounded in more than one place. Many different regiments were represented: Royal Scots, Tyneside Scots, H.L.I. (Highland Light Infantry), Borderers, Lincolns , Lancs and Yorks, and &c.

There were four of us and a nursing sister working together in this hut and we attended to hundreds of cases. It was a large hospital in marquees, tents and huts and a battalion of H.L.I. acted as stretcher bearers. Only fifteen cases died during the day. All day hospital trains were evacuating wounded from a siding close by. Most of the wounded had laid out in the open for fourteen hours before being picked up and removed by stretcher bearers.

All the men were confident that the German’s casualties were much heavier than ours. One of the 15th Royal Scots told me that the Battalion had been practically wiped out. We left off work at about 9pm after six hours unceasing toil but we were glad that we could help.”

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