Washington University School of Medicine Oral History Project

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Base Hospital 21 personnel
Base Hospital 21, staffed primarily with doctors, nurses, and enlisted men from Washington University, Barnes Hospital, and the St. Louis area, took over the running of British General Hospital No. 12, located near Rouen, France. When the United States entered the war, Great Britain’s first request was for doctors. The British had failed to conserve their supply of physicians and surgeons, allowing both doctors and medical students to fight in the lines. By the spring of 1917, Great Britain faced a serious shortage of medical officers. The first six American base hospitals left for Europe before the American fighting forces.