Thursday, April 26, 2018
WWI Helmet Shows Sacrifice Of Dorchester's Dr. Charles Arnold
The stories of Dorchester's wartime heroes continue to spread across Nebraska and the nation.
We've all heard of the fate of Pvt. Charley Havlat in World War II. But have you heard of Charles Arnold and his efforts in World War I?
The U.S. Army helmet you see here belonged to Dr. Charles H. Arnold. It's a reminder of the bravery and sacrifice of Dorchester's early citizens.
It also is a reminder of our community's sometimes-forgotten links to British ancestry.
Dr. Arnold was a native of Dorchester and a DHS graduate. He received his medical degree in 1913. He enlisted with the British Expeditionary Forces during the first world war and served with the Royal Army Medical Corps on the front lines in France and Belgium.
Arnold was dressing a wounded soldier near Aveluy Wood, France, when a German sniper fired a bullet through his helmet. Although Arnold’s scalp was injured, he finished dressing the soldier’s wound before being attended to himself.
He was released to the American Expeditionary Force in January 1919 and was discharged the following month with the rank of major in the Medical Corps Reserve. After his military service, Dr. Arnold returned to his Lincoln practice, where he continued to gain honors and prominence.
He continued his studies at the University of Vienna in 1930 and 1933. When World War II began, he re-enlisted and was sent to England, where he served as consulting surgeon to more than 50 military hospitals in Europe.
Dr. Arnold would go on to have an active medical career, spanning 53 years. He served as a surgical staff member and lecturer on surgery at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Lincoln; a surgical staff member at Bryan Memorial Hospital in Lincoln; surgeon for Traveler’s Insurance Company; special lecturer in the surgical department at Creighton University School of Medicine; and surgical consultant and honorary professor of surgery at West China Union University at Chengtu, China, and at the Chinese Army Medical Center at Shanghai.
The Nebraska State Historical Society has a wonderful collection of materials that belonged to Dr. Charles Arnold and his family. Click here to learn more about Dr. Arnold's service and career.