World War I: Regimental aid post
Official photograph, undated. Crown copyright
This photograph shows a regimental aid post somewhere on the
Western Front during World War I. The scene is one of apparent
confusion with stretchers, men and equipment strewn over a field a
short distance behind the lines. Each battalion in the British army
had a medical officer and a team of twelve stretcher-bearers
trained in first aid.
The photograph seems to have been taken shortly after an
evacuation of wounded from the field: a group of bearers in the
foreground slump exhausted on the ground, and one is apparently a
casualty himself. Others inspect their charges. One stretcher in
the middle holds a body covered in a sheet, presumably dead.
The next stage for the casualties would be to an Advanced
Dressing Station, and then on by ambulance to a Casualty Clearing
Station and Hospital for the worst cases.