Treating the Wounded
In November 1916, the Harvard Corporation, feeling that lack of continuity of medical personnel was deleterious to the endeavor, voted to maintain the Harvard Surgical Unit for the duration of the war and place it under the supervision of Hugh Cabot as Chief Surgeon. Cabot agreed to this appointment provided that Harvard abandon its neutral status.
Arrangements were then made to change the official status of the Unit from one of neutrality under the Geneva Convention to one of avowed sympathy with the cause of the Allies and to make the Unit an integral part of the British Army. The British Government thereupon agreed to grant to members of the Unit who signed for the duration of the war commissioned rank in the Royal Army Medical Corps without requiring them to take the oath of allegiance to Great Britain, a privilege never before granted to persons not subject of that Empire.
In February 1917, Dr. Cabot became the Officer Commanding at No. 22 General Hospital. Many of the patients were British and Canadians soldiers who had been wounded in the fighting around Ypres.