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The Divisional Review
The Official Magazine of the Southgate
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The Divisional Review was published monthly during the Second World War. The magazine was “devised to keep in touch with our absent members now scattered all over the world”.
During the War, complimentary copies were sent to members serving in the armed forces and they were encouraged to write back, their letters being published in future issues.
Latest developments were detailed; the Divisional Surgeon and others wrote articles to “keep all First Aid abreast with scientific progress.” Members’ contributions included articles in prose and verse, often witty and amusing. In its praise, the Review was described as, “happily mingling humour with exhortation and instruction”.
The Review was received with much enthusiasm; there are many letters showing great appreciation, particularly from those members stationed abroad. They describe how much they eagerly looked forward to the magazine’s arrival. Writing in April 1941, AC2 D. W. Daniel expresses his gratitude,
“I think it’s a magnificent effort; devoured every word of it, including the adverts., and then felt homesick for routine examination, competitions, exercises and the Black and White uniform.”
Similarly, in September 1944, Cpl A. Cantor describes how it is,
“keeping the 118th united and in touch with each other, and perpetuates the fine esprit-de-corps among us all”.
There are descriptions of treatment of casualties at home and abroad. Many of the members are using their St John first aid training by serving in the armed forces medical corps. On the battlefronts, there are descriptions of Mobile Units, the Friends Ambulance Unit, Surgical Units, Field Dressing Stations and Casualty Clearing Stations.
There are anxieties over members reported missing and sad obituaries. Some members are held in Prisoner of War camps. There is jubilation at the news of the end of the War in Europe and Japan, the happy anticipation of returning home, the longing to “see old faces again”, “to return to the 118th fold”. Members request a reunion dinner is arranged, “how grand the reunion will be”.
There is a set of the magazines in the Imperial War Museum.
I also have a full set of the 4 volumes covering the years 1941 to 1944 and about half of 1945. If you are conducting private research and think a family member might have written an article for the magazine, please contact me and I will endeavour to provide more details.
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