In the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915, doctor-soldiers, stretcher-bearers and medical corpsmen of both the Allied and the Turkish armies scrupulously followed both the letter and the spirit of the Geneva Conventions. In spite of their non-combatant roles within the imposts of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, under whose emblems they serviced, medical members of both the Allied and Turkish medical services suffered great losses. Of the 66 medical officers and 536 other members of the Australian Army Medical Corps on Gallipoli, 293 were killed or wounded or evacuated sick, a casualty rate of 47 percent. This figure was the highest such casualty rate for Allied medical personnel in all the military campaigns of the twentieth century. The Turkish figures were even higher. During armistice-truces, some of which lasted for several hours for the evacuation of the wounded and the retrieval of the dead, medical officers of both sides occasionally collaborated in their work of humanity. This account describes one such encounter, and the gift of a surgical medical kit by a wounded Australian Regimental Medical Officer to his Turkish counterpart – a tiny event in the sweep of great events, but one symbolic of an ethos of medicine and humanity higher than the tragedy of war.
|Number of pages
|Journal of Military and Veterans' Health
|Published - Oct 2015
|Australasian Military Medicine Association (AMMA) Conference 2015 - Hobart, Australia
Duration: 9 Oct 2015 → 11 Oct 2015
Conference number: 2015