Joe Brown


R.A.P. stretcher-bearers with a casualty take cover in a shell-hole at the Escaut Canal as a mortar-bomb explodes. TRIBUTE to an Infantry Battalion’s Regimental Aid Post. This is based on an article in the 8th Battalion Royal Scots newspaper “First o’ Foot” published on the 15th December 1945 by the Battalion’s Education Department (amongst the souvenirs from Private William Charles Russell's kitbag). Five German 88mm shells rent asunder a solitary house of the banks of the Escaut on a murky September evening in 1944. Black smoke and tongues of flame shot skywards and then came the revving of engines. ‘The R.A.P. has been hit!’ echoed throughout HQ Company of the 8th Royal Scots and volunteers and trucks were soon on the scene to rescue the wounded, the brave soldiers of the Royal Scots who had been unmercifully shelled by the enemy. During the hectic and tenacious battle against the German stand at the Gheel Canal in Belgium where the enemy repeatedly counter-attacked in their efforts to halt the Allied advance, the 8th Royal Scots Regimental Aid Post fought against terrific odds to succour and evacuate the wounded. It was not accomplished without cost – many first-class soldiers laid down their lives during the operation. Escaut was another example of the supreme heroism which characterised the work of the R.A.P. More often than not they were forced to set up a dressing station right in the line of fire with the knowledge that the enemy was indiscriminate in his choice of targets. But sheer determination and complete disregard for danger always carried them through, and when we recall that the Battalion suffered 1102 casualties from the Normandy bridgehead to the Odon River, it is possible to visualise the immensity of their task. Joe Brown

Joe Brown, Aug 9, 2013
    • Bernard85
      good day jo brown.aug, rap.i have read the tribute to those brave men.the photo of those unarmed men putting there lives on the line for there wounded a sight to behold.i am sure you saw this many times.i would like to think those strecher bearers got out of that shell hole with there wounded mate,regards bernard85
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