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Remembered Today:

I`m done for!


PhilB
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In a current thread, this appears:-

2nd Lieut. B.M. Coates and Corporal Felton while out on patrol on 7th September were seen by the enemy when about sixty yards from their trenches and were fired upon. Corporal Felton was hit in three places, Lieutenant Coates was also hit. Lieutenant Coates told Corporal Felton he was done for and to go back.

Now, I`ve seen this kind of dialogue in films, but I didn`t think it happened in real life. I expected, that after being hit, a man would cling on to hope of survival rather than assume he`s going to die. Do mortally wounded men know that they`re going to die? Phil B

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Phil,

To be honest I am not sure, the account came from the Regimental account of the 10th, all I can presume is that this was as reported by Corporal Felton at the time.

Andy

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In true Victor comic tradition!

If the corporal had been hit three times I dont think he was about to run off anywhere in a hurry do you!

I think there would of been a little more F-ing and blinding to be honest!

Steve.

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There are a couple of ways to look at this... of course you'll never know the story of this particular person since none of us were there at the time.

Most often when someone is injured rather than opine about who should get what when they die, the only thoughts going through their mind is 'Oh my god this hurts!'

However there are documented instances of people who have been seriously injured who, recognizing the continuing danger wave off help or get others out of harms way. The two instances I can think of happen to be plane crashes. In a single seater plane wreck the pilot survived, by the time the EMTs arrived to rescue him he realized the plane was about to blow so he waved them off, shortly there after the plane did ignite and the pilot died, and certainly the EMTs would have died as well. Another instance was when the plane crashed into the Potomac and one survivor past the life ring onto others so that they might be rescued. Of all the people on the plane who perished he was the only one who did not die of blunt force trauma.

Andy

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Just so that you can all see the account, in true victor style indeed, but as no-one was there to contradict this?????

post-1871-1135701306.jpg

Edited by stiletto_33853
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There's an obit in today's Torygraph, of a chap who won an MC as a Lt in 1 Seaforths in Malaya: when the Company commander was wounded and two other platoon commanders killed, he took command and rescued his men. The obituary states:

"The company commander sent a runner to bring up reinforcements and gave the order to pull back. He was then severley wounded, but when Brown (subject of the obit) and a comrade emerged from cover and tried to drag him to safety, he ordered them to leave him. He was then hit by automatic fire and killed."

Now the company commander may not have known he was going to die (but must have had a good idea) - the point here, and in many other cases, i suspect, was that attempting to rescue him would have resulted only in more casualties. Maybe the point is that training (and - dare I say it - upbringing) led to the command to "leave me"?

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There's a story somewhere on the Forum about an officer who fell while leading his men across No Man's land - according to his men he waved them on calling 'Don't mind me.'

Marina

Edited by marina
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Hi Steven, :)

I think that there was a dramatic sense to many things in the press of the Great war !!

I can believe though, that towards the moment of death, that type of language may have been used.

Cheers

Tim.

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I would have thought so Phil, if you can see a gaping hole in your stomach with todays breakfast and yesterdays dinner oozing out with blood and intestines i am sure you would know that it is going to be one hell of a mess inside and the chance of putting it all back together in the next 5 minutes are slim.

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Phil

I think the answer is yes. I think the person who is injured or ill is somehow aware of the gravity of the situation. Let me give an example.

A young chap I worked with lay ill in hospital and asked his family to be with him that night as he feared something might happen. It did. He had a massive heart attack and died.

A wounded soldier in the open battlefield could have the same feelings and be aware that others who attempted to "save" him would be placing themselves in peril.

Chris

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I would have thought so Phil, if you can see a gaping hole in your stomach with todays breakfast and yesterdays dinner oozing out with blood and intestines i am sure you would know that it is going to be one hell of a mess inside and the chance of putting it all back together in the next 5 minutes are slim.

Or if you were hit & could neither feel nor move your limbs - you'd be fairly certain that you had a major spinal injury & weren't going to walk out of this one.

There are also cases where shock is so massive that the pain doesn't cut in immediately - reputedly, that is, Not certain myself, and don't want to find out.

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Hi Phil, :)

I agree, I have read many accounts where this is mentioned and there seems to be something in the human makeup, that knows when the time is nigh !!

Cheers

Tim.

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I recall a series on TV about the US Civil War a few years back. Someone commented on the number of photos of dead soldiers with their shirts and trosers opened up: apparently, a belly wound was nearly always fatal, so wounded men tended to open their clothing to see what they'd got. That being the case, i imagine they must have had a pretty good idea.

In another example, the father of a good friend of mine died some years ago (stomach cancer - not pleasant). he'd been ill for some time, and was in a hospice; when his wife left him after visiting one night, he said goodbye in a very final way, as if he (and she) knew they woudn't see each other in this life. They didn't.

I'm in no particular rush to find out, thanks.

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Or if you were hit & could neither feel nor move your limbs - you'd be fairly certain that you had a major spinal injury & weren't going to walk out of this one.

There are also cases where shock is so massive that the pain doesn't cut in immediately - reputedly, that is, Not certain myself, and don't want to find out.

The shock thing is true, my mate cut all his fingers off on a saw one day and never felt a thing, also there wasnt much blood as i think his body managed to shut down luckily, i saw him after an hour and he was joking around with a big bandage on his hand, the throbing came later when he was waiting for them to be sewn back on--which didnt work as they had been in ice to long and got frozen.

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On the other hand I am sure I have read accounts where people give it all the "its too late I'm a goner" and it turns out to be just a light wound.

Alistair

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A couple of points interest me here. A badly injured man is not a good judge of how serious his condition is.Sometimes he will guess correctly and other times wrongly. This goes for unskilled onlookers as well. Sometimes even experienced medically trained personnel get it wrong. This, however tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If the doctor puts you in the ' going to die soon ' room, then you probably will.

It was common for men to try to retrieve a wounded officer, especially if he was popular. An officer might try to prevent men endangering themselves by saying there was no point. If you are wondering why men would take risks to retrieve an unpopular officer during an attack, consider him as a ticket to the rear lines. This might be another reason for an officer to refuse help. He would rather the man carried on the attack.

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My little addition to this thread. I came across this entry with photo (very young) today:

Pte. Gregory Bryan, 28th Batt. CEF. Was born in Gleichen, Alberta in 1895. After receiving his education...he entered the service of the Bank of Montreal at Red Deer, Alberta. He enlisted in August, 1915, as a Private in the 78th Battalion, Canadian Infantry, and went overseas in October with a reinforcement draft. In March, 1916 he arrived in France, where he was attached to the 28th Battalion.

During the offensive on the Somme he was severely wounded in the morning of September 15, 1916, while advancing in the attack at Courcelette. When the stretcher-bearers came to him he told them not to waste time over him for he was beyond aid. "There are lots of boys lying around," he said, "who have a good chance of living if they are attended to at once. Go and do your best for them." He died on the field a few minutes later.

Bank of Montreal, Roll of Honour

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Far more interesting is the case quoted in "old soldiers never die" of the chap who saw a rat looking at him and he knew his time was up!! the following story to this incident is very strange!!

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I recall a series on TV about the US Civil War a few years back.

In the same programme was told how soldiers in hospitals, feeling the end coming on them, would 'lay themselves out' to save the nurses trouble.

Marina

Edited by marina
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I would have thought so Phil, if you can see a gaping hole in your stomach with todays breakfast and yesterdays dinner oozing out with blood and intestines i am sure you would know that it is going to be one hell of a mess inside and the chance of putting it all back together in the next 5 minutes are slim.

I knew I shouldn't have been eating while reading this thread!

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Seriously wounded men also refused to be taken down to the hospitals, knowing they were done for, they wanted to remain with their mates.

Also, having been around and observed the effect and consequences of serious wounds, they probably knew their chances.

Kim

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Seriously wounded men also refused to be taken down to the hospitals, knowing they were done for, they wanted to remain with their mates.

Also, having been around and observed the effect and consequences of serious wounds, they probably knew their chances.

Kim

Generally, I think we are mixing up two issues here.

First, there are the wounded who tell others to not try to rescue them-- Generally, I suspect this was often not so much that they knew they were dying, but wanted to prevent others from being hurt/killed trying to save them. There is no doubt that this type of event happened, though I suspect most of the episodes you read about were "sexed up" a bit for publication. As to whether these men "knew they were dying", I think the evidence is that was not always the case. I am aware of some who gave these orders in various wars who were subsequently captured, some who were rescued, and some who got back to their lines themselves, not to mention those who died.

On a broader issue-- do people who are about to die know it? Having watched quite a few people die, I can definitely state that the answer is "Some do; some don't". There is of course the intellectual knowledge of some that "With this wound, and with the medical care available, I am going to die". Of more interest is the significant number of patients who simply know their time is here, who prepare themselves, and who then die. In many cultures, a standard belief is that people actually choose their time to die, preparing themselves, and then dying almost on command. Others do not seem to recognise (or admit) that they are dying, and to whom death seems to come as a great surprise. Doc2

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the answer is "Some do; some don't".

The doctors in my family claim they don`t actually see that many people die. The nurses do, however, and would agree with your assessment. Some do and go easily, some do and fight against it. They do say, though, that many people are in comas. In warfare the case is somewhat different in that the man is not at the end of a terminal illness or comatose, but suddenly thrust into the possibility of imminent death. A different scenario? Phil B

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