Washington University School of Medicine Oral History Project

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Patients' huts, Base Hospital 21, Rouen, France
The sandbags surrounding the patients’ huts were meant to provide some protection in case of air raids. When Base Hospital 21 arrived in Rouen, France in June 1917, there were only two patients’ huts of about 30 beds each and a small ward of 10 beds attached to the operating room – all other patients were housed in tents. The tents were adequate in spring and summer, but in winter the one stove in each tent hardly provided enough heat to keep patients, doctors or nurses warm. During the winter and spring of 1917-1918, the unit built several wooden huts for patients. However, less seriously injured patients continued to be housed in tent wards.