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War Medicine

WW1 Uncut Episode 11 of 12

Saleyha Ahsan explores some of the aspects of medical care in WW1 that fascinate her most, given her experience as both an emergency medicine doctor and an ex-army officer.

Saleyha travels to the beautiful 13th-Century abbey of Royaumont, to the north of Paris. It was here that the Scottish Women's Hospital movement established its first all-female run unit. Many of the women were suffragettes and as well as determined to put their skills to good use were also keen to demonstrate how they were any man's equal when it came to providing medical care in the most challenging circumstances.

Recently Saleyha herself had experience of providing care in a conflict zone when she worked in harrowing conditions in war-torn Syria. Saleyha looks at some of the equipment available to frontline medics a century ago, including a rare look inside the contents of a first-aid kit bag that belonged to one of the Royal Medical Corps' stretcher bearers.

And in the final part of this episode Saleyha is given access to the Army Medical Services archive to look into one of the most vital but often overlooked aspects of WW1 medicine: the battle to stop infection.

Release date:

19 minutes

World War One on TV and Radio

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Marking the centenary of World War One across the BBC

World War One at the BBC

World War 1 - BBC

New perspectives on the war that changed everything.

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