Wednesday 15th March; 7:30pm

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Woodcote Village Hall, Reading Road, Woodcote, RG8 0QY

The Role of the Medic in Modern Warfare

by Col David Vassallo
David’s talk will be very much an overview of developments over past and recent conflicts, highlighting key lessons relevant to today – and to tomorrow, as a prelude to Chris Parry’s very timely talk on 4th April ‘The War in Ukraine’.


Serving as a Medical Orderly attached to 1st Battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, 19-year-old Private Michelle Norris climbs onto a Warrior armoured vehicle, under sustained sniper fire, to treat the gravely wounded commander. For her selfless bravery Private Norris became the first female to be awarded the Military Cross. June 11th 2006, Al-Amarah, Iraq.

About the speaker - Col (retd) David Vassallo

David Vassallo, originally from Malta, is a consultant military general surgeon who served for 35 eventful years in the Royal Army Medical Corps before retiring in 2018. He has extensive field hospital experience in war zones, his first deployment being to the First Gulf War, followed by multiple tours in Bosnia, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan.
David has a passion for military and military medical history, attested by three books and many articles, as well as chapters on the history of Operations Telic and Herrick for the official medical history of these campaigns. He has a Masters in the History of Warfare from King’s College London, his dissertation being on the transformation of the UK’s Defence Medical Services in recent conflict. His talk ‘The role of the medic in modern warfare’ will draw on his deep insights into historical developments and lessons that have materially influenced the saving of life on the battlefield and beyond, and their relevance for today’s conflicts – and tomorrow’s.
He is now Chairman, Friends of Millbank (the former Royal Army Medical College in London), whose website is full of historical resources. He organises monthly talks, open to all, which celebrate the history, achievements and ongoing relevance of military medicine. BMMHS members are especially welcome at these talks.
David also actively promotes the BMMHS three-volume series ‘Glimpses of War’ through the Friends of Millbank website, see


His chosen charity is the Museum of Military Medicine – he is raising funds for this Museum’s forthcoming move from Aldershot to a stunning new location in Cardiff Bay in 2023.

Funds raised from this talk will go to the Museum of Military Medicine – These funds help to support the Museum’s  move to a stunning new location in Cardiff Bay in 2024.

Col (retd) David Vassallo FRCSEd MA L/RAMC

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