by William Earl & Liz Coward
Treating the wounded, often under fire, before removing them from danger in North Africa and throughout the entire Italian campaign. Detailed memories and experiences.
War changes everyone and for those lucky enough to survive there can be no return to the carefree days before the hell of war broke out. William Earl was a 26 year old Chemist’s Assistant when his call up papers arrived and his life changed forever. Leaving a wife and new baby virtually alone to fend for themselves was a constant worry and circumstances grew worse as the years went by. Joining the 214th Field Ambulance Royal Army Medical Corps as a Nursing Orderly William’s role was no soft posting. He was assigned to the Field Ambulance, so followed the infantry into battle to treat and recover the wounded, often under fire, before removing them from danger. Seeing action in North Africa and throughout the entire Italian campaign at places such as Salerno, Anzio and the Gothic Line William recalls his experiences in detail with the emotion of someone who lost many friends and was the last comforting voice to many a dying soldier. William is a charming, intelligent and independent man who will shortly be celebrating his 102nd birthday. Liz Coward has written his moving story with extracts from his letters home, original photographs, training manuals and official war diaries. Blood and Bandages is a very personal, honest and moving account of one man’s life over 6 years of war. A war which left William asking the guilty question on many a soldier’s lips: “Why did I survive when so many of my friends didn’t?”