David Rowlands: Military Artist
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The Medical Treatment Facility at Camp Bastion   The Medical Treatment Facility at Camp Bastion

Medical and Nursing personnel from the Royal Navy, British Army and the Royal Air Force work at the Hospital to serve the needs of sick and injured members of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. They also provide care for other NATO forces, the Afghan National Army and Police, as well as other casualties of conflict.

In 2008 I was based with the Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) and flew with them by Chinook into the battle-zone. I watched the medics treating the wounded in flight. On arrival at the heli-pad the ambulances and fire-tender are waiting. The casualties are stretchered onto an ambulance for the short journey to the Field Hospital. There, the stretchers are transferred to a hospital trolley and wheeled into the Emergency Department where each patient is stabilized and assessed before receiving treatment.

On my previous visit to Camp Bastion the Field Hospital had been under canvas. By the time of my next visit (2008) the tents had been replaced by a new, purpose-built Medical Treatment Facility. I witnessed the procedure as casualties arrived, and the activity in the Emergency Department (ED). I was privileged to watch at close quarters the calm professionalism and care with which soldiers and Afghans, afflicted with horrible wounds, were quickly treated by the dedicated medics.

Most of the Medical and Nursing personnel at the Hospital are Territorials.

This painting is my tribute to the outstanding work of the staff of the UK Medical Group who strive to save the lives of the injured. While I was painting this, I was profoundly saddened as another soldier whom I am proud to call a friend was fatally wounded by gunfire. He and several of his comrades who were killed and wounded in the same incident passed through just such a scene as I was painting.

Medium: Oil on Canvas

Printed image size(s): B2 only (58 x 38 cm)

Owner: 243 (The Wessex) Field Hospital (Volunteers)

Price(s): £65