faulogo chinese textFAU China Convoy Reunion Group

China Convoy

July 1941 - May 1942
May 1942 - Feb 1945
Feb 1945 - Jan 1951

Transport Work
Medical Services
Recon & Rehab
Wartime China
Lest we forget
Medical Work
Along with the transport work the Convoy undertook the provision of a broad range of medical services. Although some FAU medical teams operated field hospitals near to the fighting on the Salween front most were engaged with setting up new facilities away from the fighting or revamping some of the 100 or so western Inland Mission Hospitals which had been operational before the Japanese invasion.

About 15 medical teams were deployed consisting of at least one qualified doctor and five or six other staff. A broad range of medical procedures were carried out from ophthalmic work and brain surgery to obstetrics and gynaecology. Some specialist expertise was developed in dealing with femur injuries and abdominal wounds. The most challenging cases were often reserved for Dr Bob McClure.

McClure was a Canadian surgeon who had been born in north east China at his fatherís Mission Hospital. He had been foisted upon the Unit as its first commander by FAU headquarters in London, primarily because of his missionary pedigree, his Chinese experience and fluency in the language and customs and because of his all round expertise as a surgeon. Although at first his presence and role was resented, he came to be held in the highest regard by the Unit for his expertise and his incredible energy.

The majority of medical work was, however, not in treating casualties of combat but in dealing with public health and disease. The Unit undertook extensive inoculation programmes against small pox, kala-azar, typhus and other diseases. The treatment of dysentery, typhoid, malaria and relapsing fever formed the majority of the cases they dealt with, but they frequently had to respond to the challenges of periodic pockets of cholera and even an outbreak of bubonic plague in south west Yunnan.

The Unit also provided extensive training to Chinese Army medical staff and civilian medical operatives in a wide range of procedures but also in running facilities and above all in hygiene and nutrition.
medical services
One of many thousand innoculations

medical services
Dr Bob McClure treating patients