- Morris, Kenneth N., Surgeon Lieutenant, RAN
- Biographies and personal histories, WWII operations
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Canberra I
- July 1992 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
The amount of morphine used was terrific – 1 grain seemed to be just a nice dose – often repeated if necessary. I’ve really seen what shock is now.
Some of the effects of blast from shell explosions were amazing. I saw one lad with the skin and part of the muscles of his chest and part of his abdomen peeled right back although there was no evidence of him having been hit with anything. In another instance an officer staggered into the aft first aid station with no visible injury and just fell dead – possibly had had ruptured lungs. There were a number of perforating chest wounds – little could be done under such conditions and they either died very rapidly or developed a localised haemothorax which gave no trouble whatsoever.
Fortunately there were very few penetration wounds of the abdomen. It was about ten hours before we got down to decent conditions for work so that most of the worst cases died before we got at them.
There is much more to tell but I think that the guts of it is above so I’ll leave it at that for the time being.
A Tribute to HMAS CANBERRA
Lost in Action 9/8/1942
84 killed – 109 wounded
They set the pace and the standard for us who followed – We had the privilege to carry on.
They have no grave, but the cruel sea,
No flowers lay at their head.
A rusting hulk is their tombstone,
Afast on the ocean bed.
On every ocean, while caps afloat,
they have no crosses row on row.
But those who sleep beneath the sea,
We will remember them.
LEST WE FORGET