“Left leg,” one of the nurses said flatly. “Over there.”
They placed Alec’s stretcher onto the wooden floor of the tent. It really hurt when they lifted him onto the bed, and then Alec was on his back on a canvas bed.
“Hello there soldier,” a nurse with a clipboard said. “What’s your name?”
“Alexander Morey, Alec.”
“Rank, number and unit?”
“Gunner, 27606, twelfth field artillery battalion.”
“Don’t you worry Alec; we’ll look after you as soon as we can.”
“Thank you nurse.”
Alec waited in the midst dull groans of pain, and although his leg hurt he wasn’t as bad as some of the men there. The doctor dealt with the infantryman just arrived, and Alec knew that poor man was in a bad way. Alec looked away and then he sensed someone nearby and looked up at the doctor.
“Hello Alec; I’m Dr Louis Middleton and we’ll see what we can do for you.” The doctor touched Alec’s leg and then unwound the bandage. Alec watched him peel the material back while frowning. He looked at Alec. “I’m sorry but we’ll have to amputate.”
Alec’s heart jumped. “Amputate!” he exclaimed. “Is there any other way?”
“I’m afraid not; your bone’s been broken in many places and there’s a lot of shrapnel.”
“I’m a cricketer….”
“I’m sorry but with shrapnel you’ll get infected by dirt from the explosion. You wait here and we’ll come for you when we’re ready.”
Alec lay alone on his bed. Surely they didn’t have to cut his leg off; surely there was a better way? He never expected to get hurt let alone loose his leg. He was going to be cut-up and destroyed and not be a man anymore. Bloody war; he never should have enlisted; white feathers or not! Alec watched the doctor bending over another bed and telling another soldier more devastating news. Alec waited, cursing the war, until the nurse came to him.
“I have to inject you now,” she said, before unbuttoning Alec’s tunic to expose his arm. The injection didn’t hurt compared to the dull pain of his leg, and a few moments later Alec felt strangely blissful and peaceful. Two uniformed stretcher bearers came to his bed.
“G’day mate; it’s time for your operation.”
Alec was lifted onto a tall, wheeled stretcher, had a blanket draped over and taken to another tent smelling of chloroform. The operating tent. There a doctor in a white coat splattered with blood waited beside a stainless steel table. A second doctor was at the end, and a nurse was opposite with a stainless steel trolley full of instruments. Alec was lifted onto the stainless steel table and the doctor at the end placed a gauze mask over Alec’s face. The mask was sickly sweet and Alec felt very, very tired. Despite all that was happening to him he drifted away.
About the Book
Author: Mark Morey
Genre: Historical Fiction
In 1917, the mud of Flanders soaked up the blood of a quarter of a million men. If the war continued like that, the Allies would lose. One battle turned that around and was the beginning of a hundred days of advances to victory. This is a story about how that was done.
Two Australian soldiers experience the last two years of the Great War. Martin Ward is a lieutenant working alongside Major-General John Monash, and he sees the transition from slaughter at Passchendaele to breaching the Hindenburg Line. Alec Morey is a gunner severely injured in Flanders, and he returns to Australia to watch on in amazement as the Australian Imperial Force plays the major role in victory.
This is a fictional account of a story not well known; using real events, fictional characters and real-life characters to tell the tale of how the Great War was won.
I am part-time in the workforce and a part-time author, and writing technical documentation and advertising material formed a large part of my career for many decades. Writing a novel didn’t cross my mind until relatively recently, where the combination of too many years writing dry, technical documents and a visit to the local library where I couldn’t find a book that interested me led me consider a new pastime. Write a book. That book may never be published, but I felt my follow-up cross-cultural crime with romance hybrid set in Russia had more potential. So much so that I wrote a sequel that took those characters on a journey to a very dark place.
Once those books were published by Club Lighthouse and garnered good reviews I wrote in a very different place and time. My two novels set in Victorian Britain were published by Wings ePress in July and August of 2014. These have been followed by my story set against the background of Australia’s involvement on the Western Front. Australia’s contribution to the battles on the Western Front and to ultimate victory was well out of proportion to the size of the nation and the size of their force. Once you read this story you will appreciate the great things that our nation achieved.
Mark Morey: http://markmorey.blogspot.com.au/
Createspace estore: https://www.createspace.com/5727185