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Observations of an Orderly by Ward Muir

OBSERVATIONS OF AN ORDERLY

Some Glimpses of Life and Work in an English War Hospital

by

L.-CPL. WARD MUIR, R.A.M.C. (T.)

Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co., Ltd., 4 Stationers' Hall Court : : : London, E.C.4 Copyright First published July 1917

Novels by the Author of "Observations of an Orderly"

THE AMAZING MUTES WHEN WE ARE RICH CUPID'S CATERERS

Also Editor of

"HAPPY--THOUGH WOUNDED" The Book of the Third London General Hospital

TO

LT.-COL. H.E. BRUCE PORTER, C.M.G.

OFFICER IN COMMAND OF THE

3RD LONDON

GENERAL HOSPITAL

Some passages from _Observations of an Orderly_ have appeared, generally in a shorter form, in _The Spectator_, _The New Statesman_, _The Hospital_, _The Evening Standard_, _The National News_, _The Dundee Advertiser_, _The Daily News_, and _The Daily Mail_. The author desires to make the usual acknowledgments to their editors.

The coloured design on the paper wrapper is by Sergeant Noel Irving, R.A.M.C. (T.), a member of the unit at the 3rd London General Hospital.

CONTENTS

I PAGE MY FIRST DAY 19

II LIFE IN THE ORDERLIES' HUTS 33

III WASHING-UP 51

IV A "HUT" HOSPITAL 65

V FROM THE "D BLOCK" WARDS 79

VI WHEN THE WOUNDED ARRIVE 93

VII "T.... A...." 107

VIII LAUNDRY PROBLEMS 121

IX ON BUTTONS 137

X A WORD ABOUT "SLACKERS IN KHAKI" 147

XI THE RECREATION ROOMS 159

XII THE COCKNEY 173

XIII THE STATION PARTY 201

XIV SLANG IN A WAR HOSPITAL 219

XV A BLIND MAN'S HOME-COMING 235

I

MY FIRST DAY

The sergeant in charge of the clothing store was curt. He couldn't help it: he had run short of tunics, also of "pants"--except three pairs which wouldn't fit me, wouldn't fit anybody, unless we enlisted three very fat dwarfs: he had kept on asking for tunics and pants, and they'd sent him nothing but great-coats and water-bottles: I could take his word for it, he wished he was at the Front, he did, instead of in this blessed hole filling in blessed forms for blessed clothes which never came. Impossible, anyhow, to rig me out. I was going on duty, was I? Then I must go on duty in my "civvies."


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