The original manuscript of Battlefield Surgeon (initially titled A Doctor in the War) contained more than 200 black and white photographs. Dad took more than 2,000 pictures during his overseas duty, most of which survive as strips of negatives, carefully labelled. Considerations of page count and expense, however, dictated that the number of photos to appear in the final, published book had to be limited to around 75. There’s no denying that this abridgement, however necessary, diluted the impact of the book; accordingly, I decided to present a selection of the deleted photos, as well as others, on this website.
Finally, I have also included a small selection of photos of Dad after the war, including some from late in his life, when Parkinson’s disease stole his abilities and even, at the end, obliterated his very personality. For all its inspiring elements, his story doesn’t end happily. For all that he did, for all those he saved, his reward was to die witless and crippled—unaware, finally, even of the dedication and devotion of his beloved wife, Marion. Everything he cherished was taken away, not by some outside agency, but from within his own body—with which he had done such wonderful things, but which ultimately betrayed him.
Working in a field hospital. These photos reveal the core around which all else in the lives of the members of the 2nd Aux revolved—the reason they had been selected for this duty, the purpose for which they sailed the Atlantic to North Africa in late 1942 and early 1943, the mission they accepted and accomplished so successfully.