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A post-war reunion of British Airborne medical officers

Captain David Wright

 

Unit : 16 Parachute Field Ambulance, attached to Headquarters, 1st Parachute Brigade

Army No. : 218952

Awards : Military Cross, Bronzen Leeuw.

 

Captain Wright was one of the two Medical Officers who succeeded in reaching Arnhem bridge. The manner in which this officer dealt with the very large number of wounded in inconceivably difficult circumstances is beyond praise. All the wounded were evacuated to the cellars of a house which was under continuous fire. The situation was made more difficult by the cutting of the water supply on the second day, after which very little water was available.

 

By the end of the third day of the engagement there were 200-300 wounded in the cellar. For three days Captain Wright worked incessantly without rest and there can be no doubt that his devotion to duty and skilful handling of the situation saved many lives. His calmness and cheerfulness instilled a great feeling of confidence among the wounded. On several occasions he moved to other houses in the perimeter through heavy fire to tend the wounded who could not be brought in, and assisted in the collection and bringing in of other wounded. Finally the Dressing Station was burnt down and had to be evacuated under enemy fire, at night. Captain Wright controlled this difficult situation very ably, maintained a high degree of discipline by his own example, and finally organised the transfer of the wounded to a German held hospital. Here, although already exhausted by his previous efforts, he recommenced work on the wounded.

 

Captain Wright's conduct throughout was beyond praise and in the highest traditions of the service, and was undoubtedly the means of saving very many lives.

 

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