Friday, 7 June 2013

Hospital Trains - Sepia Saturday



I have had to resort to the Internet to find some photos linked to this week's prompt, the kitchen on a WWI German hospital train.

Staying with WWI, I wonder about conditions on this Red Cross Train, no joint of meat for these sick and wounded French soldiers on their way to Paris in 1917.
A nurse touring the train distributing coffee
In WWII the British Medical Services provided medical transport.
Wounded soldiers playing cards in a hospital train in Belgium
(Photo ex Imperial War Museum - No. 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit, Sgt Biggins)
Trains like these were manned by both civilian and military crews, whose job it was to ensure safe and speedy travel for the casualties, including enemy wounded. Although damaged and disorganised.. trains played an important part in transporting casualties from hospitals and dressing stations to bases and evacuation areas. Casualties able to walk were given comfortable saloon coaches for the journey.

Sixty-nine years ago today at least one soldier was enjoying a cup of tea,
A soldier, evacuated from Normandy, on a hospital train,
7 June 1944 - One day after D-Day
He must have been going home judging by the smile on his face.

I must say that I am pleased that my experience on trains during my National Service was limited to night trains back to Catterick Camp.

To see what other warlike connections made this week take a trip across to Sepia-Saturday-180,

18 comments:

Wendy said...

The coffee on the hospital train on June 7 was probably the best coffee ever.

Maria Kristina Maano said...

I can't imagine the courage and strength those soldiers and nurses have in them...I can't imagine living in those times when there was war...

Speaking of trains during the war, I accidentally chanced upon an article about Sir Nicloas Winton and his successful transport of Czech children on eight trains from Prague to London. How I wish I can visit the train stations where those transfers took place.

Maria Kristina Maano said...

I saw a typographical error...

Should have been *Sir Nicholas Winton*

sorry for that ;)

Gail Perlee said...

The photographer caught that nurse boarding the train at just the right moment. Good action shot! Nice pictures of soldiers' lives depicted at happy & relaxed moments aboard a train somewhere along the way to or from war. Too bad they couldn't have been on a carefree holiday!

Jo said...

69 years, it doesn't seem so long ago. I don't really remember the war, but these pictures were great.

JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

Jackie van Bergen said...

That's a BIG step up to the train for the nurse - where are all the chivalrous men to help her up with their coffee?

Boobook said...

In WW2 my father-in-law travelled as an enlisted man from Melbourne all the way north to Townsville in Queensland. He and his mates absolutely loved the food and hot drinks provided by the local ladies at train stations all the way.

Sharon said...

The old trains had so much character.

I think the photo of the nurse was a set up.....or one of those young men would have been helping her rather than looking at the camera.

Patrica Ball Morrison said...

The nurse stepping onto the train looks like Mother Teresa...interesting assortment here.

aw said...

An intriguing collection of images, Bob. I have been researching some pieces on WWI recently but hadn't come across trains in that context so was interested to see these.
Ann

tony said...

He Looks A Happy Squaddie!

Brett Payne said...

I too vaguely recall a long, tedious train journey after basic training to my posting while doing National Service. I also recall getting off the train en route to visit a girl friend for half a day, and getting into quite some trouble when I arrived at the destination half a day late!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bob - such an interesting record - fascinating to see .. something I don't usually look at - cheers and doesn't he look happy as you say probably homeward bound ... Hilary

Little Nell said...

Well your search came up with some great images Bob. I do like the smiling soldier one.

Tattered and Lost said...

Wonderful images. The last has me thinking back to the John Schlesinger film YANKS.

Mike Brubaker said...

Good choices, Bob. I wonder if more soldiers chose coffee over tea in WW2.

ScotSue said...

Fascinating images that fitte4d in so well with the theme of trains and war.

TICKLEBEAR said...

Very classic images!!
Great choices!!
:)~
HUGZ