Saxton, Reginald (IWM interview)

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Catalogue number
  • 8735
Production date
1984-11
Subject period
Alternative Names
  • object category: IWM interview
Creator
Category
sound

Object description

British doctor served with Spanish Medical Aid Committee and as volunteer with 14th International Brigade in Spain 12/1936-10/1938

Content description

REEL 1 Family background in South Africa and India, ca 1911-1921. Aspects of attending Repton public school, Derbyshire, England, during 1920s. Recollections of medical training and political development, England, 1929-1936: studying medicine; attending Cambridge University, 1929-1932; working at St.Bartholemew's Hospital, London; parents' divorce; development of political attitudes; recruitment to Communist Party, 1935. REEL 2 Continues: awareness of Spanish situation from 'Daily Worker' newspaper, 1936; volunteering for Spanish Medical Aid Committee with Kenneth Loutit and Archie Cochrane. Impressions of Soviet Union during tour with SMAC, 1935-1936: political situation; medical practice; staff shortages; deciding to go to Spain. Description of journey to Spain with second Medical Aid Committee including Patience Edney, 9/1936. Recollections of period as doctor with SMAC in hospital, Granen, 9/1936-1/1937: problems with POUM; main types of injury treated. REEL 3 Continues: buildings; staff; equipment; opinion of General Franco; amputating leg of Moorish soldier; question of medical aid for Spanish Nationalists; Anarchist attitude to International Brigade; rations; treating refugees; conditions; hygiene; background to move to Madrid with IB. Recollections of period with medical unit, 14th IB at Madrid and Villarejo de Salvanes, battle of Jarama, 1/1937-2/1937: opinion of Dr.Tudor-Hart; procedure for joining IB; uniform; treating wounded at Las Rosas; triage system of treatment. REEL 4 Continues: popularity of International Brigades, 1/1937; military situation at Jarama; journey to Villarejo de Salvanes and description of setting up hospital in town hall with Dr Tudor-Hart; nature of casualties; arrival of Dr Bethune and blood transfusion unit; duties; giving transfusion by funnel and tube. REEL 5 Continues: blood transfusion techniques; blood supplies for wounded from Jarama; syringe method of transfusion; conditions during battle of Jarama; question of contact with Spanish civilians; matching of blood types; blood supplies; question of air raids; [plays gramophone record of song, 'Jarama']; nationalities of patients. Aspects of leave in England, ca 4/1937-7/1937: collecting medical equipment from Spanish Medical Aid Committee; question of leave from Spain; blood supplies from staff at Brunete, 7/1937; story of treating lung wound of ambulance driver Julian Bell. REEL 6 Continues: treatment of lung injury; story illustrating heavy casualties at Jarama; routine, blood supplies at battle of Brunete, 7/1937; recollections of Dr Du Mont and Dr Leonard Crome; medical supplies; role of Madrid in Republican strategy; cadaver blood transfusions; treating Nationalist soldier. REEL 7 Recollections of work as doctor at hospital at Granen, 10/1937: buildings; beds; typhoid; hygiene; air raid precautions; behaviour of nurses during air raids; quality of medical staff; fitness tests for International Brigade volunteers; treatment of deserters. REEL 8 Recollections of work during battle of Teruel, 12/1937: opinion of course of battle; acquiring blood transfusion vehicle; establishing mobile laboratory at Valls; testing local milk supplies for poisons; problems of recruiting local blood donors; opinion of General Miaje's strategy in Madrid. Aspects of Ebro Offensive, ca 9/1938: background; cave hospital; crossing the river; digging in; transporting wounded; training for gas attack; retreat over the Ebro Offensive. REEL 9 Review of experiences in Spain, 1937-1938: reaction to leaving Spain, 10/1938; opinion of French government; opinion of role of air power and importance of Guernica raid. Aspects of life after returning to England, 1938-1945: question of victimisation of International Brigade volunteers; employment in Air Raid Patrol, Brighton; work with Army Blood Transfusion Service in Burma and India, 1939-1945. Opinion of nature of International Bde Association in GB.

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