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Experiences with the Australian Army Medical Corps at Gallipoli


Major John Corbin served as a surgeon with the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station (1ACCS) at Gallipoli. The 1ACCS was the most forward unit at Anzac Cove where specialist surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses, radiologists and a dentist were to be found. Between 25 April and 20 December 1915, 37 100 men were evacuated through the 1ACCS. Major Corbin went on to serve in France and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. He survived the war and died in 1930. This is an edited extract of an article originally published in the MJA on 5 February 1916.

In making a few remarks on my experiences since leaving Australia as a member of the Expeditionary Force, I must ask for your tolerance if there is an excess of the first personal pronoun.

It is sufficient to describe the trip on the Kyarra, which carried five hospital units from Australia, as one of great discomfort, lasting six weeks before we arrived at Alexandria.

The No. 1 Australian Stationary Hospital disembarked on the 23rd of January, and entrained for Cairo. On arrival we were sent to Maadi, an English suburb of Cairo, near which the Light Horse camp was situated … Our life settled down into a dull routine, with the exception of my own, for, on the 10th of February, I developed pleurisy and bronchopneumonia, finally being sent to the No. 1 General Hospital at Heliopolis, where I remained…