The Red Cross Launch Wessex on the River Tigris 1916

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The Red Cross Launch Wessex on the River Tigris 1916

£6.95 £2.00

The Wessex , was paid for by public subscription in the Wessex Region of England and was one of the first Red Cross launches to be put into commission on the River Tigris during the Mesopotamian Campaign of 1915 -1918.

Description

Henry Cox
84 Pages | over 30 b/w illustrations

210x145mm, Paperback
9781897887228

Mesopotamia – The First World War

The Wessex , was paid for by public subscription in the Wessex Region of England and was one of the first Red Cross launches to be put into commission on the River Tigris during the Mesopotamian Campaign of 1915 -1918.

She worked almost night and day transporting wounded soldiers between river steamers, field hospitals, clearing hospitals and sea-going hospital ships to make space for the enormous number of casualties arriving daily from the Front.

Extract from The Log of the Red Cross Launch Wessex

This diary of events, which was kept by my father Sydney Cox, Captain of the Wessex, reveals something of the enormous medical organization for dealing with the casualties flooding back from the front, where higher up the river there was fierce fighting with the Turks. Each day’s events were recorded in pencil in a small notebook. He very carefully noted the number of men on each trip.
The stark numbers in the log leave the suffering of the wounded to the reader’s imagination, but on the few occasions when my father told me of his Tigris experiences, I realised he had been deeply affected by what he had seen. It is no wonder that he seldom spoke about it during his lifetime and I was unaware that he had kept this record. Reading the diary raised many questions that I would have liked to have asked my father. Writing a log at the end of his long days, he used many abbreviations, which I have done my best to interpret. I have left the day’s total of men carried by the Wessex in the margin and reproduced his comments verbatim as the horror of the enormous number of casualties unfolded. To make the log easier to read the abbreviations have been written in full in this book.
Besides carrying soldiers wounded in fighting the Turks, the Wessex carried others delirious from tropical diseases, including the dreaded cholera. Wessex plied between field hospitals set up on the riverbanks, depots, supply piers and the numerous steamers converted into hospital ships, which anchored in the river. My mother, Florence May Cox was a nursing sister on the hospital ship Erinpura that sailed between the Tigris and Bombay.
© Henry Cox 2002

Additional information

Dimensions 210 x 147 x 1 cm

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