Observations of an Orderly eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 103 pages of information about Observations of an Orderly.

I PAGE MY FIRST DAY 19

II
life in the orderlieshuts 33

III
washing-up 51

IV
A “HutHospital 65

V
from the “D BlockWards 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.”

It was a disappointment.  Your new recruit feels that no small item of his reward is the privilege of beholding himself in khaki.  The escape from civilian clothes was, at that era, one of the prime lures to enlistment.  I had attempted to escape before, and failed.  Now at last I had found a branch of the army which would accept me.  It needed my services instantly.  I was to start work at once.  Nothing better.  I was ready.  This was what I had been seeking for months past.  But—­I confess it—­I had always pictured myself dressed as a soldier.  The postponement of this bright vision for even twenty-four hours, now that it had seemed to be within my grasp, was damping.  However—!  The Sergeant-Major had told me that I was to go on duty as orderly in Ward W—­an officers’ ward—­at 2 p.m. prompt.  I did not know where Ward W was; I did not know what a ward-orderly’s functions should amount to.  And I had no uniform.  I was attired in a light grey lounge suit—­appropriate enough to my normal habit, but quite too flippant, I was certain, for a ward-orderly.  Whatever else a ward-orderly might be, I was sure that he was not the sort of person to sport a grey lounge suit.

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Project Gutenberg
Observations of an Orderly from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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