Caring under Fire Across Three Continents: The Hadfield-Spears Ambulance, 1941-1945.

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During the Second World War, the Hadfield Spears ambulance took care of around 22,000 wounded and/or sick patients across three continents. This article analyses how military attacks and instances of violence impacted on the psychological, emotional, and physical health of those attending the wounded within this mobile unit. While historiography of Allied medicine develops apace, analysis of the health service of the French external resistance remains rare. Yet the history of the Hadfield Spears Ambulance provides a fascinating window into the neglected issue of attacks on healthcare in wartime, as well as a fresh scope for combining macro and micro perspectives. The deployment of both approaches suggests potent ways to connect intimate responses to attacks to broader histories of Allied cooperation. Crucially, it offers rich insights into the development of a transnational ‘ethos of stoicism’, which helped to sustain the hospital’s community, in a fraught Allied diplomatic context.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial History of Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2023


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