Among the many officers of the R.A.M.C. I must confess that my strongest sympathies are with those who are in charge of the little field hospitals. These handy hospitals have their own transport, and move with the various brigades or divisions. The officers who command them have little comfort, little rest, the least luxurious mess, and the hardest of work. They bear the brunt of the campaign so far as the medical and surgical needs of the Army are concerned. They must be always ready, always at hand, prepared to be full of patients one day and empty the next; and those whose lives are spent with them can certainly claim that they have "no abiding city."
The officers in charge of these hospitals are picked men, but as sound experience is necessary they are often men who are no longer young, and who may claim that they have already had their share of roughing it. They are, perhaps, more than any others, the most exposed to criticism. If anything goes wrong at the front a large proportion of the blame falls upon them, and if all goes well their names appear in no roll of honour.
No surgeon who saw these men could be other than proud that he belonged to the same profession as they did. Of their work at Colenso, at Spearman’s Farm, and before Pieters I can only say that it was, to my thinking, a credit to the medical department of any army.