Classification of wounds used by the British Army in the First World War

The following method of classification of wounds appears in the few admissions registers that remain and which are held at the National Archives in collection MH106. They are sometimes seen in the notes recording wounds on a man’s service record.

I. Gunshot wounds of the head
1. Contusions and simple flesh wounds of the scalp
2. With fracture of the cranium without depression
3. With fracture of the cranium with depression
4. Penetrating the cranium
5. Perforating the cranium

II. Gunshot wounds of the face

1. Simple flesh contusions and wounds
2. With fracture
3. Fracture with lesion
4. With fracture of the lower jaw

III. Gunshot wounds of the neck
1. Simple flesh contusions and wounds
2. With injury of the …

IV. Gunshot wounds of the chest

1. Simple flesh contusions and wounds
2. With injury of bony or cartilaginous parietes without lesion of contents
3. With lesion of contents by contusion, or with non-penetrating wound
4. Penetrating
5. Implicating contents

V. Gunshot wounds of the abdomen
1. Simple flesh contusions and wounds
2. Contusion or non-penetrating wound with lesion of …
3. Penetrating or perforating, with lesion of …

VI. Gunshot wounds of the back and spine
1. Simple flesh contusions and wounds
2. With fracture of vertebra, without lesion of spinal cord
3. With fracture and lesion of spinal cord

VII. Gunshot contusions and wounds of the perineum and genital urinary organs, not being at the same time wounds of the peritoneum

VIII. Gunshot wounds of the upper extremities
1. Simple flesh contusions and wounds
2. With contusion or fracture of long bones
3. Simple fracture of long bones by contusion
4. Compound fracture of …

IX. Gunshot wounds of the lower extremities

1. Simple flesh contusions and wounds
2. With contusion or fracture of long bones
3. Simple fracture of long bones by contusion
4. Compound fracture of …

X. Gunshot wounds with direct injury of the large arteries not being at the same time cases of compound fracture

XI. Gunshot wounds with direct penetration or perforation of the larger joints

XII. Gunshot wounds with direct injury of the large nerves not being at the same time cases of compound fracture

XIII. Wounds caused by sword or lance

XIV. Bayonet wounds

XV. Miscellaneous wounds

 

Links

A soldier’s life

The casualty evacuation chain