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Stretcher bearers showed great courage.

THE courageous work of stretcher bearers deserves just as much recognition as the soldiers who fought in World War One.

For while soldiers had weapons oering at least some protection, stretcher bearers would run into No Man's Land and into the line of re to pull back fallen comrades on the battle eld.

Many of those who took on this role were men who couldn't bring it upon themselves to kill anyone, but wanted to do as much as they could for the war eort.

Some survived while many others invariably didn't.

Doris Lawrence, of Weoley Castle, got in touch to tell us about one brave Royal Warwickshire Regiment stretcher bearer, who could have won a Victoria Cross several times over, according to her father.

She said: "I'd like to put on record about a very brave World War One private soldier who served in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

"His name was George Brittain, who was a distant relative, and according to my Dad, George deserved a dozen VCs.

"George was a stretcher bearer who invariably saved many lives by heroically going on to the battle eld, under heavy gun re, rescuing wounded and dying men.

"'ere was one account when George picked up a wounded man who had been shot and he did not have a tourniquet to put on his wound, so he pressed his thumb over the wound to stem the !ow of blood which acted as a tourniquet.

"He carried him back to the eld hospital where they had to prise his thumb o the soldier's wound.

"Unfortunately, George's heroism was not recognised and he did not receive any high honour."

Stretcher bearers would wait until signalled, they would run with a stretcher to the casualty, lift him on to it, and try to carry him away

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Stretcher bearers carrying a soldier |in for treatment.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jun 21, 2014
Words:311
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