As in any war, medical services were crucial to the level of losses. Unfortunately, during the South African War they were not of a high standard. Often it took several days to get a wounded trooper to a hospital and infections quickly developed. There was also a high level of disease, especially enteric fever and typhoid. Far more men died of disease than were killed on the field of battle. Nurse Sister Teape of Christchurch, who is shown in this image of a hospital tent, wrote of the Bloemfontein General Hospital: 'The place was a hotbed of fever, the dreaded enteric raged everywhere, and no wonder, with no sanitary arrangements whatever'. (Quoted in John Crawford and Ellen Ellis, To fight for the empire, Auckland: Reed, 1999, p. 45)
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Canterbury Museum, Canterbury Regiment Association Collection
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