A Kiwi surgeon recounts his experiences of life under fire tending to the wounded in the first year of World War One. Illustrated with more than 15 photos of the author, his unit and the locations of the battles he witnessed.
“Arthur Anderson Martin was born in Milton, Otago, New Zealand, on 26 March 1876...When war broke out that year  he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps, serving in France and Belgium. His advocacy and practice of immediate specialist surgery - even under fire - for wounds to abdomen, chest, and upper femur, won acclaim in the British Medical Journal. He frequently placed himself at risk while tending the injured and was mentioned in dispatches by General John French in 1915 and General Douglas Haig in 1916. His book, A surgeon in khaki, was considered by critics to be a well-judged account of front-line medical conditions.
After eight months’ duty in the field he returned to New Zealand for rehabilitative rest. However, he was immediately appointed to a commission investigating accommodation and hospitalisation at Trentham camp after severe outbreaks of measles, pneumonia and cerebrospinal meningitis. It was thought by leading politicians that his reputation would give medical weight to the findings of the commission. Even during his brief return to civilian practice in Palmerston North he was active in training the Rifle Brigade Field Ambulance at Awapuni. He returned with them to France, and was soon back in front-line service on the Somme.
He was wounded at Flers on 17 Sep. 1916, and died in Amiens base hospital the same night. The loss of two of New Zealand’s most promising surgeons, Gilbert Bogle and Martin, on the same day led to the issue of orders for much more caution by doctors under fire than Martin had advocated. The death of a gifted surgeon was mourned in newspapers throughout New Zealand. On 1 Jan. he was posthumously appointed a DSO.”-Te Ara Encyclopaedia Of New Zealand