Observations of an Orderly eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 129 pages of information about Observations of an Orderly.
if they could.  On the occasions when we have had calls for overseas volunteers, the response has always exceeded the demand.  The people who, looking at a party of hospital orderlies, remark—­it sounds incredible, but there are people who make the remark—­“These fellows should be out at the front,” may further be reminded that “these fellows” now have no say in the choice of their own whereabouts.  Not a soldier in the land can decide where or how he shall serve.  That small matter is not for him, but for the authorities.  He may be thirsting for the gore of Brother Boche, and an inexorable fate condemns him to scrub the gore of Brother Briton off the tiles of the operating theatre.  He may (but I never met one who did) elect to sit snugly on a stool at a desk filling-in army forms or conducting a card index; and lo, at a whisper from some unseen Nabob in the War Office, he finds himself hooked willy-nilly off his stool and dumped into the Rifle Brigade.  This is what it means to be in khaki, and it is hardly the place of persons not in khaki to bandy sneers about the comfortableness of the Linseed Lancers whose initials, when not standing for Rob All My Comrades, can be interpreted to mean Run Away, Matron’s Coming.  The squad of orderlies unloading that procession of ambulances at the hospital door may not envy the wounded sufferers whom they transmit to their wards; but the observer is mistaken if he assumes that the orderlies have, by some questionable manoeuvre, dodged the fiery ordeal of which this string of slow-moving stretchers is the harvest.



We rather pride ourselves, at the 3rd London, on the fame of our hospital not merely as a place in which the wounded get well, but as a place in which they also “have a good time.”  The two things, truth to tell, are interlinked—­a truism which might seem to need no labouring, were it not for the evidence brought from more rigid and red-tape-ridden establishments.  A couple of our most valued departments are the “Old Rec.” and the “New Rec.”—­the old and new recreation rooms.  The new recreation room, a spacious and well-built “hut,” contains three billiard tables, a library, and current newspapers, British and Colonial.  This room is the scene of whist-drives, billiard and pool tournaments, and other sociable ongoings.  Sometimes there is an exhibition match on the best billiard table:  the local champion of Wandsworth shows us his skill—­and a very pretty touch he has:  once the lady billiard champion of England came, and defeated the best opponent we could enlist against her—­an event which provoked tremendous applause from a packed congregation of boys in blue.

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Observations of an Orderly from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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