This soldiers information was sent in by Joe Szanyi. Arthur Joseph DesRoches was Joe’s Grandfather. Arthur lived in Summerside PEI where Joe’s mom grew up. 6 Kids, oldest was Joe’s uncle Junior (Arthur Joseph) and then 5 daughters, Ruby (Joe’s mom), Elsie, Linda, Helen and Sheila. Wife was Lucy. Arthur Joseph died in the 90's of emphysema many years after serving in the Canadian Army as a stretcher bearer. You don’t hear a lot about the role of stretcher bearer, so I decided to look into this more, and share some information and the dangers of the role of an Army Stretcher Bearer.
Chapter IV, Article 25 of the Geneva Convention states that "Members of the armed forces specially trained for employment, should the need arise, as hospital orderlies, nurses or auxiliary stretcher-bearers, in the search for or the collection, transport or treatment of the wounded and sick shall likewise be respected and protected if they are carrying out these duties at the time when they come into contact with the enemy or fall into his hands." Article 29 reads "Members of the personnel designated in Article 25 who have fallen into the hands of the enemy, shall be prisoners of war, but shall be employed on their medical duties insofar as the need arises."
In modern times, most combat medics carry a personal weapon, to be used to protect themselves and the wounded or sick in their care. When and if they use their arms offensively, or carry arms that qualify as offensive, they then sacrifice their protection under the Geneva Conventions.
Traditionally, medical personnel did not carry weapons and wore a distinguishing red cross, to denote their protection as non-combatants under the Geneva Convention. This practice continued into World War II. However, the enemies faced by professional armies in more recent conflicts are often insurgents who either do not recognize the Geneva Convention, or do not care, and readily engage all personnel, irrespective of non-combatant status. For this reason, some modern combat medics are armed combatants and do not wear distinguishing markings.