CROWN COPYRIGHT: THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES, WO95/3988
Lord Kitchener arrived on way to Headquarters. Went over No.1 Ambulance Train. Sent Miss Barbier to Abbeville for letters and sent a letter to DMS. All Hospitals crowded with wounded and the amount of work tremendous. Everyone doing their utmost. The nurses without any exception doing magnificent work. The Red Cross people paying higher prices over our heads. 12 of our people turned out of their rooms and with difficulty got them other accommodation, in one instance day and night nurses obliged to occupy the same rooms.
12 Nurses arrived from St. Nazaire for duty when required at Clearing Hospital – have put them on duty at 13 Stationary Hospital until they are required. Miss A. L. Walker is in charge and Miss C. Mackay on night duty. 6 are on duty over Red Cross. Went to the Ordnance about tables and forms which they could not provide and I was given authority to purchase locally what I wish ... 7 small tables only – forms are to be made. Met Cols. Burtchaell and Barefoot – went over Carisbrooke Castle, then to Hotel Dervaux to see D.G. and from there to the Station where a large number of slightly wounded had arrived on their way to Rouen and where it had been difficult to cope with the dressings. The Red Cross having fed and helped to dress the men, extra Medical Officers had to be procured to cope with the situation. Left with Col. Barefoot for Abbeville where I had to go to report and to receive letters and instructions.
Returned to Boulogne in Surgeon-General’s new car. Before doing so telegraphed to Miss Reid and her staff from Le Mans to proceed to Rouen for duty at No. 6 General Hospital and all available nurses from 3 General Hospital, St. Nazaire, to proceed to Boulogne for 2 Stationary Hospital . On arrival at Boulogne reported my arrival to DDMS.
Saw OC 13 Stationary Hospital and arranged for Miss Barbier to superintend the unpacking of Lady Algernon Gordon-Lennox things. Went with Sir J. R. Bradford to see the Australian Hospital (Lady Dudley’s) a Hotel some distance beyond No.14 Stationary. Like all other Hospitals is composed of many small rooms . The situation is good and when settled should be a very good hospital. At the time of the visit, they were short of beds and many of the patients were on stretchers. The Nursing Staff, Australians, were wearing the Army uniform. 13 Stationary Hospital very full and requiring a proper nursing head. Now that Miss A. L. Walker is there as Matron things will able to be managed with some method. On the way from Abbeville met the Queen of Portugal waiting on road side while a new tyre was put on. 5 nurses from No.9 General Nantes arrived. 5 more Reserves expected – telegraphed for again.
Busy all day trying to straighten out things at 13 Stationary. Mrs. Duncombe very kind in providing teas for the nurses and Sir Maurice DeBansen providing many luxuries.
Madame O’Gorman came from Calais about starting a hospital there – sent her to see Sir A. Sloggett. Took Nursing Sister Congleton to see 2 Stationary Hospital and arranged for 4 nurses to go at once. Accommodation for staff at Hospital . This Hospital will be a good one – the school, a new one, and the position good. The difficulty at present scarcity of water. Telegraphed for 40 nurses. 32 nurses going to Rouen, 8 going to Boulogne. Miss Holman interested in 13 Stationary Hospital, Miss Angela Forbes causing trouble.
Visited 7, 13 and 14 Stationary Hospitals, 11, 13 and 14 General – all very full. 11 not satisfactory – very full and floors dirty. The difficulty being everywhere the amount of work the orderlies have to do in consequence of the constant arrival and departure of patients. Have obtained sanction for charwomen to be employed and paid out of imprest account. Visited the new Ambulance Train from London. Lord Knutsford arrived from Boulogne. He came to see me and waited half an hour. Received telegram saying 20 Canadian nurses were arriving for employment. Supplied 2 more Clearing Hospitals with 5 nurses each - wire for more nurses at 11 Stationary Hospital – these I supplied.
Had breakfast with Lord Knutsford who expressed himself pleased with all he has seen. Miss Fox asked if her sister might go a trip on the train which I of course refused. Left immediately after lunch with Col. Barefoot and Major Fawcus for Abbeville, taking letters from Col. Burtchaell to Majors Fell and Birrell and stopping by the way at Le Touquet to see the Duchess of Westminster’s Hospital which is first rate in every particular – situation, building arrangements and close by. Most luxurious accommodation for the Medical and Nursing Staff in a prettily furnished, comfortable sort of Villa Bungalow. The accommodation for the patients is excellent; the building a large Casino with magnificent rooms and every modern convenience and ample space for stores, offices, theatres etc., situated not far from the sea and in the middle of pine woods. The DMS is asking that the subsistence allowance for Nursing Sisters should be increased from 3 to 6 francs a day.
Left Abbeville early and arrived Boulogne. Went at once to office. The Canadian nurses arrived – Miss Barbier met them. They had lunch and then were sent to three Hospitals; 10 to No.11, 4 to 7 Stationary, 6 to 14 Stationary.
Met Lady Algernon Gordon-Lennox who has brought lots of beautiful things for 13 Stationary Hospital which she is going to decorate herself entirely. She also brought a box of luxuries for Sisters on the Ambulance trains from Queen Alexandra, which I have written and thanked Her Majesty for at Lady Algernon Gordon-Lennox request. No.7 Ambulance train has been shelled while the patients were being entrained at Ypres. He has strongly recommended all 4 Nursing Sisters for special recognition in consequence of their most satisfactory behaviour under most trying conditions. A wire from London to supply 1 QAIMNS for duty on Red Cross train. Letter from Matron-in-Chief in which she said she and Sir A. Keogh thought it was a pity we had employed Red Cross nurses. Wrote explaining that they were only taken as a temporary measure and could be dismissed when no longer required. Wired to OC Ambulance Trains saying I had staff for No.10 and 1 for Red Cross train when required.
Went to DDMS office and arranged matters for during my absence. Gave Lady Algernon Gordon-Lennox a letter for Queen Alexandra. Heard that the Matron-in-Chief had been told by Miss Holman I understand that when the pressure came at Boulogne there were nothing but Red Cross nurses there – this is untrue, and I have written immediately to London on the subject, telling her that 13 General Hospital and 11 General Hospitals were there and that the staff of 11 General was utilized at 7 Stationary which was then ready, until 11 General Hospital was opened and ready to receive patients. Arrived at Rouen late – a thick fog – didn’t know where Sir A. Sloggett was staying. Had difficulty in getting a room at any Hotel.
Went first thing to office and found that DDMS (Col Skinner) and Sir A. Sloggett had just left for station to see Ambulance trains – followed them. Missed Sir A. who had gone on with his staff to Paris. Met Col. Barefoot and Major Moore OC Ambulance trains and also 8 nurses recently arrived from London who were on their way to Boulogne for duty. Drove to racecourse and saw 10 and 12 General Hospitals and 10 Stationary all under canvas making the best of things – a foggy day and everything damp and wretched looking, but the patients in the marques looking comfortable and well cared for. On all sides heard only of the excellent work of the Nursing Sisters. Had lunch with Col. Skinner. Wired to DMS about Sisters for Ambulance Train No.10 which was starting from Rouen instead of Boulogne as originally intended. After lunch went to 6 General Hospital – under canvas – working under difficulties, and not properly established. Col. Du Cane spoke very highly of Miss Reid’s capabilities, she having taken over vice Miss Dods now at Boulogne. From there to No.8 General Hospital where I saw Miss Suart and Colonel Nash and explained about the necessity of reducing their number of QAIMNS in consequence of the largely increased number of units, all of whom must have some QAIMNS. Both rather selfish and unreasonable about the matter. Returned to Abbeville 8.30pm – wired Sir A. Sloggett to let him know that I had arranged matters to meet all requirements.
Left early for Boulogne in the hopes of meeting DMS Found that 8 nurses from England had arrived – sent them to 13 Stationary and 2 Stationary. Replaced 2 QAIMNS on 4 train by 2 Reserves, leaving only 1 Q., Miss Fox on duty with 3 Reserves. Let Miss Fletcher (Matron Red Cross) know that 6 of her nurses would be relieved. Went to 7 Stationary Hospital. Learnt that an officers' wife had complained about accommodation and arrangements at Casino in 1 large ward for officers and had her husband transferred to 7 Stationary. The Macintosh of Macintosh* who is a patient there and gave Miss Smith a cheque for £100 to spend on the Hospital.
* Likely to be Angus Alexander Mackintosh, Captain, Royal Horse Guards, son of Alfred Douglas Mackintosh. A. A. Mackintosh died 13th October 1918.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry
Called on Mrs. Marker. Visited the Ladies' Hospital, Sir Henry Norman’s Hospital and 14 General Hospital. Lady Algernon Gordon-Lennox and the Honourable Ivy, Lord Roberts and Lady Aileen arrived and went over 13 Stationary Hospital. From there they went on to GHQ (Lord R. and Lady Aileen) – Lady A.G.L. and daughter came to stay in Boulogne and devote herself entirely to 13 Stationary Hospital. She had brought over every possible convenience including operating and glass tables. Queen Alexandra sent over portraits of herself and King Edward for the Nurses’ tea room. Returned to Abbeville in the afternoon. DMS ... pleased with the hospitals. Telegraphed for 50 more nurses required to complete establishments in Rouen.
Left early for St. Omer. Saw Surgeon General O’Donnell who arranged for Major Symons to take me to Hazebrouck to see No.3 and 5 Clearing Hospitals where nurses are now employed. We first visited No.3 Clearing Hospital where a convoy of wounded had just arrived. The Hospital is in a building – a school, where the men were being comfortably accommodated, mainly on stretchers. There were a certain number of beds on the first floor where the more seriously wounded had been placed. Everything was well arranged and the patients were getting every care and attention. There was also quite a useful operating theatre. Here there were five Nursing Sisters, Miss Holmes being in charge. They were accommodated in comfortable billets but messed at the Hospital, the Sisters from No.5 Clearing Hospital which is quite close messing there also. Had lunch with the Sisters and afterwards visited No.5 Clearing Hospital. This promises to be good too, but at the time of my visit was only just becoming established and there was much to be done. Here there are 5 Nursing Sisters also, Miss Newman being the senior. They are billeted, draw rations and mess with No.3 Clearing Hospital staff. We returned to St. Omer by 3pm when I went over No.1 Clearing Hospital where Miss Caulfield is the senior of the 5 Nursing Sisters there. Major Symons is in charge. Part of this Hospital is at the Lycee and part in a wing of the French Hospital – it is admirable in every way. A certain number of beds and where there are stretchers, they are raised from the ground by small tressels which raises them to about the height of an ordinary bed. An atmosphere of comfort, order and great cleanliness pervade the whole of this Hospital, an excellent kitchen and quite a good little operating theatre with everything in readiness for an emergency of any kind. I then was taken to 10 Stationary Hospital in another big school – Miss Tunley being Matron in charge – accommodation for 300 – equipped with all the requirements including sheets and pillowcases and the Matron was well stocked with Red Cross garments having that day received 2 bales of beautiful garments from the Queen. Everything was beautifully clean and the boards spotless, and without spending large sums of money they were well equipped with all requirements. The French soldiers and car left on my return to Boulogne and I received news of my new English car. I was sorry to part with the French soldiers who had been most satisfactory in every way and I am sure don’t want to go into the fighting line.
Busy all day. A telegram saying ‘D.G. reports 8 General Hospital is 10 short of nurses’. This I knew was not the case – wired OC 8 General Hospital to verify and found they were 1 above establishment! In the afternoon Col. Juine Watson came to say a wire had been received from Lord Roberts* saying he was coming tomorrow morning and wanted to see me at 10am at Maurice’s Hotel. Wrote a letter of thanks to Colonel Wake when dispensing with some of the Red Cross nurses – kept a copy for DMS to see which afterwards sent to the War Office.
* Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts
Wire from Lord Roberts to say that he was not coming and cancelling all arrangements. Later a wire asking Sir Wilmot Herringham to go and see Lord Roberts in consultation. Went to see Miss A. B. Smith about Colonel Marker's* illness and death. Sent to enquire after Mrs. Marker and sent some flowers. After lunch with Sir A. Sloggett’s permission we drove to St. Omer to enquire. Saw Lady Aileen who was anxious I should remain so sent Miss Barbier back and remained myself.
*Colonel Raymond John Marker: Died of wounds received at Ypres on 4 November 1914. His body was one of the few men repatriated to England for burial during the Great War.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry
St. Omer 3.30pm
Staff Nurses Caulfield and Hale were on duty and everything which possibly could be done was done. During the afternoon he – Lord Roberts – seemed to be improving, but at 7 p.m. he had a severe rigor which lasted some time after which he passed peacefully away at 8 p.m.
Lady Aileen went with General Wilson – I and the nurses remained.
Lady Aileen with Major Wake left for home. I sent the nurses back to their duties as the Hospitals all were busy and remained. In the afternoon an Indian body guard arrived from the trenches with Lieut. Scoones in charge. The Headquarters staff and many others including Prince Arthur of Connaught came. Lord Roberts lying peaceful and calm looking as if merely asleep.
Many flowers arrived from French, Belgian and General Joffre and English. Remained all day. General Wilson most kind and busy with Col. Ward and Capt. Browning making all funeral arrangements – Joseph the valet remaining until the removal to England. The Prince of Wales arrived and is to be on General French’s staff.
Funeral service at Hotel de Ville. A most impressive procession and service – streets lined – many regiments represented, and members of French Headquarters Staff present as well as our own. After service remains taken to Boulogne en route to England where another service took place before the embarking. General Wilson going home with Col. Ward, Capt. Browning and Joseph the valet. I returned with Major Evans in car provided for me.
Returned to Abbeville where many letters were awaiting me.
Heard that Miss Fearnley St. Thomas’ Hospital stationed at 11 General Hospital was seriously ill – haemorrhage. Visited the Red Cross Hospital, a small house in the town where the local sick are accommodated. 3 Red Cross nurses and a Red Cross MO in charge – 3 other Red Cross nurses on duty at the Rest Camp at the railway station.
Very cold, snowing. Visited the Rest Camp on Station. A Sister on duty by day with 2 dressers and 2 nurses on night, where dressings are done and where all can be fed. In telephonic communication with the Hospital so that those who may be considered too ill to go on can be taken to the Hospital in the town.
Still colder. Started early for Boulogne. Met Col. Burtchaell in DDMS office and went with him over one of the Indian Hospital Ships which was most excellent, and fitted up with every possible convenience for the different Indians who have to have different dieting according to their class. The ship was filling up, all invalids to be taken to Netley, the ground floor being set apart entirely for them. After lunch went to see Miss Fearnley, who I could see was very seriously ill. Sir J. Bradford and Mr. Headley had been called in consultation. She was in a good room – had a special on day and night. Her father in Gibralter and relatives in London had been informed.
Then went to 14 General Hospital where it was arranged that Miss Clements should set apart a 3 bedded ward for sick sisters.
Called upon the Indian Nursing Sisters.* Saw them all (7). Told them that they would be required for the British Hospital opening at Wimereux and that the Sisters from Orleans and Marseilles were to join them, and that if their staff was not sufficient to run the Hospital I would provide them with Reserves to complete their establishment. I informed them that I was acting under instructions from the DMS. They all seemed exceedingly nice and appeared very pleased at the arrangements. On my return found a Lady Baird awaiting me, very anxious to assist in the nursing as she had been visiting the Hospitals and making enquiries from the Nurses who had shocked her by telling her of how it was impossible to nurse the patients properly in consequence of the numbers. She had had a year's training at Bart's** and with a nurse friend was anxious to get permission to nurse in the Army Hospitals. I pointed out to her that this was not possible, and that there were ample nurses for all requirements, and that I was able to get from the War Office as many as were required.
* British nurses of Queen Alexandra's Military Nursing Service India
** St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London
Nurse Fearnley still very ill – haemorrhage not so severe but she had been vomiting. Went to the Red Cross Society to obtain 4 Red Cross nurses for 13 General Hospital so that the Matron could take over the nursing of the enterics, which were accommodated in the Casino grounds and thus relieve 7 Stationary Hospital Nursing Staff of that duty. Saw Sir Saville Crossley.
Arrived Abbeville 11.30. After lunch went on to Rouen arriving there 6.30. Went straight to DDMS office where I found 36 Reserves had arrived for duty at 5 General Hospital and through some mistake Miss Denne the acting matron and 3 QAIMNS had not joined. These instructions were issued at once.
Still bitterly cold. Immediately after breakfast went to No.5 General Hospital beyond the Racecourse under canvas. It had been snowing heavily and was freezing hard. The Camp was mainly pitched. Nothing in order and in an entirely uncomfortable and unsatisfactory condition, 2 marques being lashed together in most instances. Inside they were very crowded, lighted by lamps and warmed with indifferent stoves – all doorways and ventilators were closed. The Nurses' accommodation was also very indifferent.
There were about 300 minor cases, many of whom were going by train to Havre. From there I went to No.9 General, situated opposite on the other side of the road. It had arrived more recently but was in a better condition, much more ship shape. The marques were more comfortable, and better arranged. Boarding the marques had already begun and tarpaulin was down in all the others. Stoves had been provided for all marques – the cold was intense. Col. Scott the officer in charge spoke in the highest terms of the Matron and her staff of then 19 Nursing Sisters and until the Hospital had its full complement of beds the rest of the Staff was not required.
No.6 General Hospital in the same neighbourhood, also under canvas was the next I visited. Lt.Col. Du Cane ... officer in charge, Miss Reid Matron, staff of 40 – 2 more Nursing Sisters expected in the evening. The arrangements for the Sisters were good and their Mess Tent excellent – warm, comfortable, flowers on the tables and a very excellent mid-day meal, well cooked and very hot. Not many patients in Hospital and the marques being moved from one position to another. Two of the nursing staff were laid up with rheumatism and after lunch I went with Miss Reid to the Red Cross Hospital for officers to see whether it would be possible to have some beds set aside for Nursing Sisters. This I did with the approval of both the DMS and the DDMS and with their knowledge. Sir Saville Crossley, the officer in charge, arrived and set aside 12 beds for Nursing Sisters and it was arranged that the Sick Sisters should be transferred from No.6.
I then went to No.12 General at the Race Course, Lt. Col. Jameson officer in charge, Miss Cheetham Matron with a complete establishment. This hospital has been much longer established and in many respects is most comfortable. All marques are not yet boarded., the nature of the cases not very serious. The arrangements for the Nursing Staff not very satisfactory but huts are being supplied without delay and the loose boxes boarded in and lined and converted into a Mess and ante room., with the Matron’s rooms at one end and the kitchen at the other. When this is completed they will all be most comfortable.
No.10 General also on the Race Course is a very good Hospital in every respect. Lt. Col. Bullen officer in charge, Miss Mark Matron, her staff complete. All under canvas – The Nursing Sisters tents boarded and supplied with hanging lamps and stoves and the marques for the patients nearly completed – 498 patients in Hospital at the time of the visit.
The … [gap in text] spoke in the highest terms of the Matron and her staff. 11 Stationary Hospital, also on the Race Course, Major McMunn officer in charge, Miss Minns Matron. Another very satisfactory Hospital in every respect, about to move with the Scottish Red Cross Hospital to the Rifle Ranges, where No.3 Stationary Hospital will take its place. On returning to the DDMS office learnt that No.3 Hospital had just arrived with 15 Nursing Sisters and that also 16 Nursing Sisters had arrived from England. All we arranged to be accommodated at the Convent of Visitation until the Hospital was ready. Stayed at Hotel Angleterre.
Went with the DDMS Col. Skinner to see the new buildings which have been taken and which when completed will be very fine and where it probable that No.6 will move when ready. It consists of fine big wards and ample accommodation for Nursing and Medical Staff as well as the Company – should be ready by the 3rd week in December.
From there we went to the Rifle Ranges which will be ready in a week. Quite good buildings which will accommodate about 300 beds, good storeroom, bath and laboratory accommodation. Accommodation to be increased by marques which were already pitched and boarded. The Nursing Staff to be under canvas in a sheltered position facing the morning sun.
From there to No.8 General where I had lunch and went round the Hospital which is in a most satisfactory condition, Lt. Col. Nash in charge, Miss Suart Matron, establishment complete. Huts are nearly completed for the Nursing Staff when they will all be together and will be much more satisfactory in every respect. On receipt of wire from London, arranged for 4 Reserves from Havre to join the Asturias and the Nurses at Le Mans, Angers and Nantes – 10 in number – when no longer required to proceed to Havre to complete the establishments of No.1 and No.2 General Hospitals.
Went to see Miss Roscoe about the pay sheets, then to the Pay Office, then on to Havre, arriving there 2pm Saw the Commandant, Col. B. Williams. Went with DDMS, Col. Caton-Jones to Casino – 182 beds, Major Potter in charge, Miss Lyde Sister in charge, with 14 Sisters, 8 Orderlies and 2 Batmen. The cases mainly medical. A beautiful building, well lighted and supplied with excellent stoves. Bath and lavatory accommodation has been very much improved and is now very good.
The Nursing Staff well accommodated in the building and all cooking for patients and Nursing Staff done in the hospital kitchen.
From there to the Palais de Regatte. Major Martin in charge, Miss Jacob and 11 Nursing Sisters. Another magnificent building, well lighted and heated with every convenience, in a beautiful position commanding a most beautiful view. Everything was in first rate order and the patients looked thoroughly well cared for. Both the Casino and here I found most comfortable dining halls for the men who are up.
Then to Gare Maritime.
Lt. Col. Morgan in charge and Miss Richards Matron both in charge of all other buildings. A staff of 13 here and 8 Nursing Orderlies, 10 GDO and 2 Batmen.
Nursing Staff accommodated – this requires enlarging. The cooking in Hospital done for patients and nursing staff. Since my last visit four huts have been added, one intended for enterics. When these are ready the staff will need to be increased – each hut will accommodate 35 men.
Beds at Gare Maritime 230 – can be increased to 450.
Then to Officers' Hospital A first rate well furnished house, Major Potter in charge, Miss Barber Sister in charge with 6 Sisters, 4 Nursing orderlies, 2 GDO and a woman cook. Accommodation for 28 officers and 6 Sick Sisters. Nursing staff also well accommodated in the building. I spent the night there and was more than comfortable.
Visited No.1 General Hospital at Sanvie, Officer in charge Colonel Macdonald, Miss Hodgins Matron and a staff of 39. This hospital is entirely under canvas and is in first rate condition. All marques boarded, provided with stoves and lighted by electric light. The nursing staff are billeted out, but they have a large marque as a duty room and the Matron has a bell tent for office. The arrangements for nursing the enterics seemed excellent. Attached to this hospital is also a marquee for services and a small wooden mortuary. Wired to Rouen to send 10 newly arrived nurses to Boulogne to fill unexpected vacancies made by more nurses being required for the front.
Before leaving for Rouen went with Col. Caton Jones to see the Hotel des Emigrants which has just been taken over as a [interpreted as] Stationary Hospital No.6.
Fine big building in the town, concrete floors, central heating, electric light, good bath and lavatory accommodation. Suitable rooms for operating theatre and stores, excellent kitchens. A Nursing Staff will be required which will have to be accommodated elsewhere. The only draw back seems to be no grounds whatever as this building is situated in the town.
Rouen at midday
Arrived Rouen 12.30. Learnt from DDMS that the Nos. 6 and 5 Hospitals were moving to another site in consequence of the land being fouled and that No.8 was going to Le Treport, 16 miles from Abbeville. After lunch drove to 10 General where I found Colonel Barefoot. Also learnt that Sister Wilkin had gone to Red Cross Hospital suffering from chill. Then to No.9 to find that they were requiring extra staff to complete their establishment as all their beds were full. 20 sent – 24 Reserves recently arrived who had just been attached to 5 General which was then moving and would not require a staff until later. Had also arranged that Miss Hordley should take over 5 General and Miss Denne go to 2 Stationary, the smaller charge so as to relieve Miss Keen and allow of her returning to her own Hospital No.3 which was opening again in a large Hotel.
Left at 9am. Went to 8 General to let the Colonel and Matron know of the new arrangements to ward all Sick Sisters in future in the Red Cross Officers’ hospital, special wards and a Mess Room having been set apart for them. Met Colonel Barefoot and returned to Abbeville by midday where we learnt that poor Surgeon General Macpherson’s only son had been killed, he having only seen him the day before.
Reported to the DMS what I had seen, giving a written report as well. Col. Beveridge had just returned from Boulogne where he had been visiting the Convalescent Camp which wasn’t entirely satisfactory, and I suggested that one or two nurses might visit daily to assist in the dressings and help getting it into a more comfortable condition, and it was decided that I should go to Boulogne and see what could be done.
Arrived at Boulogne 11am. Went to DDMS office, discussed the question of 2 nurses going to Convalescent Camp – was advised to go and see the Officer in Charge and then to arrange with the Matron of 13 General (Miss Wilson) to supply two suitable Reserve Nurses to go by ambulance each morning at 8.30am to help with the dressings, supply what Red Cross garments might be required and return by ambulance which should wait for them. This I arranged. I received a letter from Lord Knutsford with an enclosure – a letter from ….. [she has blanked this out herself] stating that a Clearing Hospital had been without Chloroform and that patients had died from lack of proper treatment and attention. A most stupid letter and all absolutely untrue. This letter I gave to the DMS who shewed it to the IGC who had written a favourable report on this hospital 3 weeks before this letter had been written!
Saw Miss Steen about her coming move and about handing over to Miss Denne. Returned to Abbeville in the evening.
After lunch went with Colonel Barefoot to see the Hotel at Le Treport where No.3 is going to open and where an advance had already gone. Le Treport is about 16 miles from Abbeville. The Hotel – another Trianon – is a magnificent building situated in a rather exposed position overlooking the sea, with a golf links in the grounds. Every possible convenience, and sufficient accommodation for 520 beds as well as being able to accommodate medical, nursing and the Company under the one roof.
Good store, kitchen, bath and lavatory accommodation, electric light, lift, spacious rooms on ground floor, vastly superior to any other building we have. Central heating, beds and a certain amount of furniture being left also. This Hotel is quite new; Col. Clarke, some officers and part of the Company had arrived and were perfectly charmed with their new surroundings.
Left early for Boulogne. Went to office found DMS and DG had already arrived. A certain amount of excitement evident everywhere in consequence of the somewhat unexpected arrival of the King who was going to visit some Hospitals on his way to the Front. Went to 13 General Hospital where all the staff as well as IGC, and many others in attendance, were waiting, while the King and Prince of Wales with the Medical Headquarters Staff, with the staff of the Hospital were going round the Hospital. After the inspection was presented to the King by General Maxwell. Afterwards went round the hospital with Miss Wilson. The officers' ward is not at all satisfactory, large room, unagreable, noisy and comfortless in comparison with others. Am arranging to send a senior Sister to see what can be done to improve matters. Called upon Lady Algernon Gordon-Lennox who gave me the tea, biscuits and sweets for distribution to the Sisters on Ambulance Trains by Queen Alexandra. This was done and sent with a letter to the Senior Sister on each train.