Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 129 )
I called for two volunteers, two men at the front of the class came forward, grinning sheepishly at each other. ‘Right!’ I began, ‘I will begin by teaching you how to bandage a head wound, which I am informed is a wound often received in this campaign. The Boers apparently tend to favour the high ground.
I placed the two volunteers front and centre, so that the other eight could observe me demonstrating to one of them how to successfully bandage the other. I took it very slowly and deliberately, I wanted the men to be able to watch and mimic my movements. My reasoning was that if I could get them doing it reasonably correctly, I could then fine tune them on an individual basis.
To my obvious delight, my two volunteers picked up on my methods almost immediately, Then realisation dawned on me. These were not raw civilians, they were trained men who to a certain extent were used to learning new methods, to them this was just another challenge.
I thanked and praised my volunteers and returned them to their seats, asking for two more volunteers to replace them. the new volunteers once again grasped the fundamentals of bandaging quite easily. I sneaked a look at the Sergeant and he seemed quite pleased with his troopers performance.
I decided then and there, that the following week I would double the amount of men to be trained. I felt the need to justify the Colonel’s faith in me. The initial day flew by, by the end of the day I had ten men who could competently bandage head wounds and also position and place arms in a sling. In the grand scheme of things, maybe not a major achievement, but I felt justifiably pleased.
(C) Damian Grange 2019