Thursday, 23 November 2017

Blood Donation by Bedford Soldier

Carluke War Memorial (© Kevin Rae, Wikimedia)

Friday 23rd November 1917: In a heroic act of self-sacrifice a soldier from Bedford has allowed a large quantity of his blood to be transferred to a dying soldier in France. Sapper H. E. Greenaway of the Royal Engineers, the son of Mr. E. Greenaway, a dairyman of Iddesleigh Road, was a member of the Salvation Army Band at Bedford before the war. He joined the Royal Engineers Signal Service on 30th September 1914 and has been in France since September 1915, attached to a number of different companies. He was wounded in July this year. While in hospital at Rouen a volunteer was needed to give a blood transfusion to Gunner Andrew Selkirk of the Royal Field Artillery, who had been wounded at about the same time. Sapper Greenaway came forward and a large amount of his blood was taken. Sadly, the transfusion was not able to save the life of Gunner Selkirk, from Carluke in Scotland. He had been brought into the hospital with an extremely severe wound to his back and left leg from a shell explosion, which was followed by blood poisoning. The soldier’s widow said in an interview that she did not know how to thank Greenaway for the sacrifice he made to try to save her husband, “a noble act” which showed the quality of many of the men fighting for their country.

Source: Bedfordshire Standard, 23rd November 1918

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