Claude Shepperson (1867-1921)
Casualty Clearing Station in France
Part of the set 'Tending the Wounded' in the series 'The Great War: Britain's Efforts and Ideals'
Issued by the Ministry of Information
Museum no. Circ.296-1919
Shepperson was a landscape and figure painter, illustrator and print-maker. Here he shows a casualty clearing station which was a temporary medical facility - effectively a small mobile hospital - near the scene of the fighting.
The wounded were taken here for treatment including surgery if needed, and then sent home to proper hospital facilities in Britain. Many young women volunteered to work as nurses. The writer Vera Brittain wrote a moving account of her time in France as a VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) nurse.
Many VAD nurses were from the middle and upper classes and were sent out to France after only a short period of basic training. The conditions in which they worked were quite shocking: they were expected to deal with severely traumatised soldiers, many suffering from shell-shock, and there was a severe shortage of effective pain-killing drugs, even for men undergoing major surgery such as amputation.
This lithograph can be found in Print Room Box 6.