LIEUTENANT GEORGE HAROLD LUNAN
ROYAL ARMY MEDICAL CORPS
13TH MAY 1915 AGE 23
BURIED: POELCAPELLE BRITISH CEMETERY, BELGIUM
George Lunan had only been out of medical school a year when the war broke out. He joined up immediately and served with the Royal Army Medical Corps attached as a medical officer to the 9th Queens Royal Lancers. He was killed in the trenches at Frezenberg Ridge on 13 May 1915 during the Second Battle of Ypres.
Two weeks later the Dundee Evening Telegraph carried a report of his death as related to Lunan's father by a fellow medic:
"He was in the trenches with A Squadron of the 9th Lancers, and he heard that there were wounded in C Squadron trenches. To reach the latter trenches he had to go over some open and very dangerous ground. He never hesitated, but, accompanied by his dresser, Corporal Steadman, RAMC, he ventured on this journey. He reached the parapet of C trenches, and there was shot through the heart by a bullet from a German rifle. His death was instantaneous. His whole regiment grieved for the loss of their 'young doctor officer'.
Another letter described how Lunan had already dressed the wounds of more than 60 men on the day he was killed. Although the letters are full of conventional platitudes - including one suspects the business of Lunan having been shot through the heart and dying instantaneously - one still gets the impression that he was both an able and a brave man. Front-line doctors working in the trenches at regimental aid posts were frequently told that they must wait for the casualties to be brought to them by the stretcher bearers, rather than expose themselves to greater danger by going out to the casualty. But doctors found it difficult to obey and many, like Lunan, consequently lost their lives in this way.