Objects Database

Neil Robertson Stretcher

Accession Number


Object Name

Neil Robertson Stretcher




Hermione Cooper

Accession Date


Brief Description

Neil Robertson naval/cave rescue stretcher. Wooden slats covered with cream coloured canvas. Two fold over pieces and three wide canvas straps with metal buckles. Head rest at the top and nylon rope attached to large metal ring.


canvas, wood, metal, nylon


150(l) x 35(w) x 10(h) cms.

Number Of Objects


Inscription Description

"RMR GREENOCK" on the headrest and "IIE AD" stencilled on the back.




A lightweight carrying device modelled on Japanese bamboo litters, the Neil Robertson rescue stretcher was developed in the early 1900s by John Neil Robertson. Used for lifting an injured person vertically, the stretcher is made from stout canvas reinforced with bamboo slats. The canvas is wrapped around the patient and secured with strong canvas straps. A lifting rope is attached to a ring above the patients head, while a guideline is tied near the ankles and used to stop the stretcher swaying as it is hoisted up. This style of stretcher was specifically designed for use on ships, where casualties might have to be lifted from engine-room spaces, holds and other compartments with access hatches too small for ordinary stretchers. The original name of the Neil Robertson stretcher was 'Hammock for hoisting wounded men from stokeholds and for use in ships whose ash hoists are 2 ft. 6 in. diameter.
Since those times the Neil Robertson stretcher has also been used in factories and mines and for other emergency rescue situations. It is still possible to buy this type of stretcher although the slats are now more likely to be made of wood.
The particular stretcher we have in the collection was donated by Robert Skinner, though it seems at one time to have been part of "RMR Glasgow" stores. 'RMR' is the Royal Marine Reserve and though it is probably unused, the nylon lifting ropes will be out of date for health & safety regulations. Early stretchers had manilla lifting ropes. The Neil Robertson has largely been replaced by more modern stretchers such as the Paraguard, though it was, and still is, an excellent piece of kit.

Acquisition Date



Brand new

Condition Check Date


Normal Location


Current Location



Spectrum : UK Museum documentation standard, V.3.1 2007



Go Back

Related Items

Paraguard stretcher

Click to see larger view

Click image for enlarged view

Click to see larger view

Click image for enlarged view

Back to top