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A Surgeon in Belgium   By: (1875-1964)

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A Surgeon in Belgium by Henry Sessions Souttar is a remarkable account of one man's experiences during World War I. This extraordinary memoir takes readers on a captivating journey through the horrors and triumphs of war as seen through the eyes of a dedicated surgeon.

Souttar's writing style is both engaging and vivid, allowing readers to visualize the grim realities of the battlefield. With eloquent prose and meticulous attention to detail, he describes the chaotic scenes in the Belgian hospitals where he performed countless surgeries. As a reader, one can almost feel the tension and urgency present in these operating theaters.

What sets this book apart is the author's unwavering commitment to his profession and his patients. Souttar's dedication to saving lives, even under the most challenging circumstances, is awe-inspiring. He outlines the numerous obstacles he faced, such as limited medical supplies and overwhelming patient loads, yet his determination to provide the best care possible shines through.

Additionally, A Surgeon in Belgium offers a unique perspective on the devastating consequences of war. Souttar examines the physical and psychological toll it takes on soldiers and civilians alike. Through his encounters with wounded soldiers, he conveys the human cost of conflict and the lifelong impact it can have on individuals and their families.

Moreover, Souttar's narrative skillfully combines personal anecdotes with historical context, providing readers with a comprehensive understanding of the war's impact on Belgium. He doesn't shy away from discussing the atrocities he witnessed, shedding light on the harsh realities faced by both combatants and innocent civilians. This honest portrayal adds depth and authenticity to the memoir, making it all the more powerful.

In conclusion, A Surgeon in Belgium is a compelling and deeply moving memoir that offers a harrowing firsthand account of World War I. Souttar's storytelling mastery allows readers to fully immerse themselves in his experiences, ensuring an emotional and thought-provoking reading experience. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of medicine and the devastating effects of war.

First Page:


by H. S. Souttar, F.R.C.S. Assistant Surgeon, West London Hospital Late Surgeon in Chief, Belgian Field Hospital


To write the true story of three months' work in a hospital is a task before which the boldest man might quail. Let my very dear friends of the Belgian Field Hospital breathe again, for I have attempted nothing of the sort. I would sooner throw aside my last claim to self respect, and write my autobiography. It would at least be safer. But there were events which happened around us, there was an atmosphere in which we lived, so different from those of our lives at home that one felt compelled to try to picture them before they merged into the shadowy memories of the past. And this is all that I have attempted. To all who worked with me through those months I owe a deep debt of gratitude. That they would do everything in their power to make the hospital a success went without saying, but it was quite another matter that they should all have conspired to make the time for me one of the happiest upon which I shall ever look back. Where all have been so kind, it is almost invidious to mention names, and yet there are two which must stand by themselves. To the genius and the invincible resource of Madame Sindici the hospital owes an incalculable debt... Continue reading book >>

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