Blood and Bandages

Fighting for life in the RAMC Field Ambulance 1940-1946

Liz Coward, William Earl

Treating the wounded, often under fire, before removing them from danger in North Africa and throughout the entire Italian campaign. Detailed memories and experiences.
Date Published :
June 2017
Publisher :
Sabrestorm Publishing
Illustration :
full color throughout
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781781220085
Pages : 160
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock


War changes everyone and for those lucky enough to survive there can be no return to the carefree days before the hell of war broke out. William Earl was a 26 year old Chemist’s Assistant working in Boots the Chemist when his call up papers arrived and his life changed forever.

Joining the 214th Field Ambulance Royal Army Medical Corps as a Nursing Orderly William’s role was no soft posting. He was assigned to the Field Ambulance, so followed the infantry into battle to treat and recover the wounded, often under fire, before removing them from danger.

Designated a non-combatant and bound by the Geneva Convention, William’s unique story bears witness to the extraordinary fortitude of the men who had to remain calm, objective and humane despite the brutalising conditions.

Seeing action in North Africa and throughout the entire Italian campaign at places such as Salerno, Anzio and the Gothic Line William recalls his experiences in detail with the emotion of someone who lost many friends and was the last comforting voice to many a dying soldier.

Having gone to war leaving a loving wife and new baby virtually alone to fend for themselves was a constant worry and circumstances grew worse as the years went by. Only by shutting the door on the years they were parted did they ensure the survival of their love and marriage.

William is a charming, intelligent and independent man who will shortly be celebrating his 102nd birthday. Liz Coward has written his moving story with extracts from his letters home, original photographs, training manuals and official war diaries.

Blood and Bandages is a very personal, honest and moving account of one man’s life over 6 years of war. A war which left William asking the guilty question on many a soldiers lips: “Why did I survive when so many of my friends didn’t?”

About The Author

Liz Coward graduated from the University of Surrey with a BA in History and Classical Studies. After qualifying as a Solicitor she spent ten years practising in the South-East before studying at the London College of Communication where she graduated with an MA in Screenwriting. Liz is a freelance journalist and speaker whose work has also been broadcast on the BBC and whose scripts have been produced and performed. Liz lives on the South Coast with her husband and son.


"Blood and Bandages is easy to read and a unique perspective of WWII."

- All About History

"Superb account of William Earl's career as a Nursing Orderly in various WW2 campaigns."

- Books Monthly

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