Stretcher bearer

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A stretcher-bearer is a person who carries a stretcher along with another person at its other end, particularly at a time of war or during an emergency involving a serious accident or disaster[1] where it is necessary to move injured people from one place to another. In the case of military personnel, for example, stretcher-bearers remove the wounded and dead from a battlefield even when under heavy enemy fire. During the First World War many wounded troops had to wait where they fell until the stretcher-bearers arrived and, if successful, were able to find them under fire. Many men died before the stretcher-bearers (a close modern equivalent would be a Combat Medic) could retrieve them from the battlefield and many more were never found. If there was a temporary cessation of hostilities, stretcher-bearers would go out into No Man's Land and attempt to locate any survivors. A famous stretcher-bearer and ambulance driver during the First World War was the young Ernest Hemingway.[1]

This common noun appears between 1875 and 1880. It is largely used before and during the First World War.

References / notes[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Stretcher bearer. Wikipedia: The free encyclopedia. Accessed 18 April, 2017.

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