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Guest Hill 60

GSW

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Guest Hill 60

I know...I should be aware of this, but what does GSW mean in relation to the Medical Records of a soldier?

Is it:

General Service Wound or Gun Shot Wound?

Cheers, Lee

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Alan Lines

Lee, I have always assumed it stood for Gun Shot Wound. Interestingly though I have the papers of a CEF man who received a "GSW left foot" which turned out later on to have been a shrapnel wound. I don't suppose in the early stages of treatment too much attention was paid to what had caused the injury so I'm still sure it stood for Gun Shot Wound.

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Guest Hill 60

Alan,

Thanks for that. I also thought that it meant Gun Shot Wound but had that little thought that I might be wrong.

Cheers,

Lee

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Tom Tulloch-Marshall

Lee - yes it does mean gunshot wound, but it is an extremely unreliable notation in men's service records because subsidiary information such as medical board reports very often clarify the cause of the wound(s) as shrapnel or shell splinter. The most frequent occurence of this is in officer's service records where the War Office "arrival report" is filled in as "GSW" but the subsequent MB reports give much clearer and more detailed accounts of the actual cause. It is also common to see reference to "GSW (shrapnel bullet)" - which I suppose may derive from General Shrapnel's original shells being filled with musket balls (?).

Given the circumstances at the time I dont suppose that the exact nomenclature was really of any great concern - regards - Tom

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Guest Hill 60

Tom,

Thanks for confirming this.

One of my great grandfathers served in the 21st Bn CEF and he had GSW on his Medical Report. No one in the family knew he'd been shot, just that he'd been buried 4 times in one day by shell-fire!!

Cheers,

Lee

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Sgt York

My grandfather's entry in the 'Operations Book' of the Casualty Clearing Station he was treated at shows 'GSW', the actual wound was caused by a trench mortar.

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Andrew P

I had always assumed that GSW meant General Service Wound as a relation of mine was wounded three times in the war, two of these occasions by shrapnel. Both times he was wounded by shrapnel, GSW was put down on his service record.

Luckily the National Archives of Australia have an abbreviation list that comes out with the service record and I was able to ascertain what that abbreviation meant.

PUO was also a bit baffling until I saw that it meant Pyrexia of Unknown Origin.

Cheers

ADP

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