CROWN COPYRIGHT: THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES, WO95/3988
Went with DMS and DDMS to Boulogne to see the new Hospital Ship the Brighton – smaller than the Saints – not much lying down accommodation. Saw Miss Harries who is in charge and 3 others who have only been appointed temporarily they said. The St. Patrick was along side and I was able to talk to Miss Holmes the new Matron – instructed her in any matters of difficulty or in need of advice to refer to the Assistant Principal Matron Boulogne if I was not near.
Then went to 11 General Hospital, the Colonel very worried about the Hospital which is not at all well kept. Went round with him and the new Matron Miss Lang. To hide dirt and disorder towels and sheets have been placed in most curious places. These I have ordered to be removed and am going in a week’s time and see what improvements have been made. The wards are in good order and the patients appear to be well looked after but all the duty rooms etc. in great disorder. Have arranged with DDMS for the employment of scrubbers as is done in most of the other Hospitals in Boulogne and Wimereux to relieve the orderlies. This the recent MO did not approve of. Am completing the Staff to 43.
Then to 13 General overflowing with dreadfully wounded men. This Hospital has been increased with the addition of 4 huts to 672 beds. Staff 50 – 12 on night, 38 on day which includes operating theatre. The OC said it would be impossible to speak too highly of the Nursing Staff in this recent rush, that their work had been magnificent, everyone of them doing everything they could possibly do. The surgeon too wished specially to mention the work of Miss Ivin and Evers during these recent days when there had been on an average of 50 operations daily. Here 8 charwomen are employed as scrubbers and are most satisfactory. The Nursing Staff are accommodated in 2 Hotels, the Matron in Charge in one and a Senior in the other.
After lunch to 14 Stationary. Miss Steenson the new Matron doing well. Beds in building 308, in compound 200, in huts 176 – enterics, SF, diphtheria, cerebro-spinal meningitis. Time of visit 507 men and 29 officers suffering from infectious diseases. This Hospital is excellent in every way, spick and span, patients well nursed. At each visit one sees new improvements – excellence is aimed at in every department. 8 charwomen are employed here. A laundry is attached where all patients clothes are washed – this is done by some of the men of the Company. The Auxiliary to this Hospital, which will be under canvas will be ready for the Nursing Staff by May 6th. This unit is next to 8 Stationary and will expand out to that site when 8 Stationary moves, with huts at the other side of the road. This is expected to take place next month. Miss McCreery will be in charge of this new unit.
Then to Convalescent Camp which is first rate in every way, and one of the recreation huts given by Mrs Baines and her friends is quite the best of the kind I have seen – well kept and pretty. The flowers all over this camp. At this Camp I say Kipling’s poem to Lord Roberts mounted and framed in black.
Called at Canadian Stationary Hospital on Matron-in-Chief Canadians. She was at Le Treport, so invited her to dinner tomorrow evening when she is expected to return.
To 7 Stationary Hospital where as well as 200 officers in beds, the ante room and Mess Room had beds on the floor to receive overflow – these had been filled twice over. Here I had to try to obtain some extra help, where I had taken some nurses to assist with opening new units – this I did. Then to Red Cross to see the Commissioner about his daughters being taken on by the VADs.
Then to Rawal Pindi Hospital – the Chateau is now ready, which means another additional 200 beds in this unit, 50 of which are to be for officers. Arranged for Miss Hayes, Q India Retired, to go to Marseilles with 2 Reserves to manage a Hospital there of 20 beds, 5 for officers. 2 Indian Sisters now working there to come to Rawal Pindi for duty. Changed the Sisters at Meerut Indian Hospital and arranged that Miss Knapp as Matron, and Miss McLean as Sister should go to Lahore General Hospital, Calais to begin and when ready the remainder of the staff should be sent.
Then to 13 Stationary. Various of the Staff had gone off with Measles. This also filled to overflowing everywhere. Everyone says the wounds are worse than ever. Saw Lady A. Gordon Lennox and Hon. Ivy who is Princess Victoria’s representative for the Nurses’ Club. She had just returned from London and brought with her framed portraits of the Princess and King and Queen for the Wimereux Club. The Rouen one is now open. There had been a question there of tennis courts in connection with this club. This, HRH did not approve as the clubs are opened with the intention of a place of rest, for tea and where writing can be done, the papers seen and baths had, this last being a particular luxury as the bath question is a great difficulty everywhere. The next is to be started at Etaples as here shortly there will be nothing short of 500 nurses. Here the question of erecting a hut is under consideration, as the town is not suitable, even if it were near enough which it is not. Lady Ponsonby arrived and was anxious to go to Etaples about this matter, as she is on H.R.H. Committee, but as her permit was made to Abbeville she was not able to spend the night at Boulogne.
Matron-in-Chief Canadians came to dinner. I have arranged to meet her tomorrow and take her to Lady Gifford’s Home, as she is anxious to get some hints as she is about to open a Rest Home for Canadians in London, in a house lent by the Hon. Lady Murray. Mrs. Dalrymple née Stevens called – is anxious to be taken on the Reserve. Has been working for the French since September – gave her the necessary instructions.
Went to Red Cross. Saw Miss Fletcher with reference to nurses for Malassises, also with reference to lately appointed Red Cross to the Reserve. Always a certain amount of uncertainty as to when they are free and where they can be found. Miss Ward, now on Red Cross anxious to join Reserve – was in S. Africa, nursed the Duke of Clarence, now working at Malassises. Gave instructions for her to apply officially to War Office.
Matron-in-Chief Canadians, Col. Forest and I went to Lady Gifford’s Rest home for Nurses. Had lunch there. They were both very impressed with everything. It is most comfortable and luxurious and well run. Can now accommodate 19 and hopes later to take more when rooms without fireplaces can be used as bedrooms. Lady Gifford is also hoping to get another Home quite near, lent too for the same.
On our return Matron-in-Chief Canadians took me round 1 Canadian Stationary Hospital, under canvas next to 8 Stationary, being full of slightly wounded cases. The 2nd in command showed me all his arrangements, but at present nothing is in order. It should be a very good unit later. I took the Matron and Miss MacDonald then to see 8 Stationary Hospital and they were very impressed with our arrangements. Miss Stronach took great pains in showing and explaining everything to them.
Letter from Matron-in-Chief forwarded from Headquarters. Surprised at my request for more nurses and pointing out I must not shirk VADs. Have no idea of doing so – everyone here has determined to make them a success where they can be posted with safety. Miss Beadsmore Smith dined with me.
Saw Colonel Carr, arranged about Hon. Ivy Gordon-Lennox going to Etaples to see site for Club. DGMS has been approached about Hut being supplied, this has been done from DG London’s advice. Went to 7 Stationary and 11 General before returning to Abbeville where I arrived 1pm in time for lunch.
I have neglected to mention on May 2nd visiting 2 Stationary Hospital also which was full of patients, everyone of them seem to have either lost a leg or an arm, it was dreadful. Arrangements are being made to send all German wounded to the Hospital, for since the Crucifixion of the Canadian Sergeant Major it is not safe to have any Germans near the Canadians.
On arrival at Abbeville received a despatch letter from DGMS re Red Cross matters and a letter from Miss Brice-Miller, asking if arrangements can be made for their permits, and also the authority for them to bring over a car. This the IGC is arranging. The house – a Chateau which has been taken at Le Touquet is splendid one – beautifully furnished and owned by an Austrian. During my absence I find Miss Barbier had received report of Ambulance Flotilla, the particulars of Miss Pearse’s end and funeral. She had arranged and filed all letters and has been getting on with the Register of the Nursing Staff now in France, a careful record which may be asked for when the war is over. Found also that new nursing staffs were being asked for, for:
Section 1, 5 Stationary Hospital, the new Isolation Hospitals at Havre and Wimereux.
Lahore General Hospital, Calais, 14 and 15 Trains; the Highland Division Casualty Clearing Station and 19 General Hospital, Etaples which is expected any day, and that all nominal rolls have been checked.
Wrote to M-in-Chief with reference to these units and to give her the latest news from Havre, enclosing all the correspondence since the beginning of Miss Pearse’s illness. Sent also an anonymous letter received from Rouen, from some Q Reserves.
Letters arrived from Miss French Q India, marked confidential, with reference to unhappy condition of things existing as far as she is concerned with Miss Watt, the Lady Superintendent. Had already arranged she was to go to Meerut operating theatre with Miss Anderson to release Miss Knapp as Matron and Miss Maclean as Sister for Calais. Letter from Miss Dalton – wanted to join VADs and to be put on a Train. Gave her necessary instructions but said she could not work on a Train – only fully trained are permitted.
Leave of absence home granted to Miss Barber, 2 General Hospital Havre when the recent tragedy took place. Letter from Miss Richards asking for more help. Sent Nurses Best, Charles, Lyons, Kempthorne and (Gray taken over from Red Cross). Sent list of Red Cross nurses taken over by Reserve and how disposed of, sent to War Office. Received wire from “Dehorted” asking for temporary staff to be supplied for Hospital Ship Anglia – this has been done.
Telephone message from 4 General saying Miss Byers has small growth on chin and has been advised to go to Boulogne to see a consultant and have a microscopic slide taken. Telephoned to Boulogne asking for arrangements to be made for her admission to 14 General Hospital. Asked if Miss Williams could carry on for a day or two until we hear result. This can be arranged – they are 10 below establishment – will fill vacancies on arrival of VADs which I have wired for. There are 8 at 4 General already; will release nurses elsewhere whose vacancies shall be filled by VADs.
Miss Kaye’s and Miss Harrison’s resignations have been accepted – Miss K. to take up other work in England, Miss H. to be married. Heard that Miss Warrack Q India had facial erysipelas and that Nurses Clarke and Anderson-Hart had gone from 3 General to England convalescent enterics. Arranged Staffs for Dieppe, Isolation, Havre and Wimereux, 14 and 15 Trains. Moves from 3, 10, 9 General, 10 Stationary.
Miss Steen came to see me. Sent for her with reference her staff who had been in the habit of going for walks with the officers and which had been reported to me - said it was done with her consent. I told her it must cease. Am moving several. She was very upset to hear of Miss Pearse’s fate, she had been with her at Tidworth. Another Sister asked for, for 10 Casualty Clearing Station – this was supplied at once. Miss Stewart Richardson granted 7 days leave in consequence of her mother’s illness.
Received wire from “Dehorted” informing us that 50 VADs come 11th, 27 Reserves 12th, 50 Territorials 15th and asking if they could be put together – could supply a Matron if possible. Wrote M-in-C thanking her for welcome supply. If wished could arrange about Territorials. With reference to Matron thought it would be better for her to work under on of our Matrons and have a Hospital later. Enclosed anonymous letter from Rouen.
Invitation received from I.G.C. for Miss Brice-Miller and party proceeding to France to open Rouen Rest Home for Nurses. Col. Carr and Col. Guise-Moores came about their respective areas.
Office work all day. Requests for nurses. Numbers of cases in the Hospitals suffering from gas fumes. Miss Warrack QAMNS India at 14 Stationary with erysipelas of face. Arranging nominal rolls and deciding where to place VADs arriving. DMS left for Rouen yesterday. Miss Birkbeck, a VAD Rouen with measles. Miss Clayton, 9 General with burn of face, the result of a methylated spirit lamp upsetting – not very bad.
Left early for G.H.Q. arriving 11am. To office, saw DGMS and DDGMS about 2 groups of nurses from Rouen who had not been returned since last rush. On to Hazebrouck to North London CCS with Miss McPherson in charge – many gas cases doing well. Everything much improved and in order. Then to 10 CCS where I found that although the rush was over, neither the Sister in Charge or the OC were wishing to return nurses to Rouen where they are urgently required. Then tried to see DMS 2nd Army but was unable to find his office, he having recently moved them on to Bailleul. A little difficulty with OC 2 CCS who seemed to think that his nurses were never to be moved – Station not very full but there were a great many too bad to be moved and requiring constant attention. Heard heavier and more constant firing than I have ever done before – great preparations being made for casualties expected. Stayed at 10 Stationary Hospital where I arrived quite late. Was busy till a late hour with official correspondence. Everyone very busy here, so many wounded as well as enterics and cerebro-spinal. Had to supply 4 nurses for new Water Flotilla and 5 for Highland Division Casualty Clearing Station, 3 nurses Rest Station St. Pol.
Spent the day at DGMS office working at names for Despatches, matters in connection with the Red Cross. Left for Abbeville 5pm. Arrived to find everyone extremely busy. Trains already beginning to arrive with wounded and many letters to be attended to.
All the morning at work. 4 sets of nurses sent for during the night for Lillers. After lunch left with Miss Barbier for Boulogne. Went to office to arrange about Red Cross nurses doing Station work, in consequence of our shortage of nurses. Then to Red Cross to arrange matter. Left Miss Barbier to meet nurses arriving during the week and help Miss Barwell with accommodation taking particulars and seeing them off to their various units.
Returned by Etaples to see how 18 General Hospital was getting on. Found Home Sister of a big Hospital too big a job for Miss F. Bishop. Will send her to 2 General to manage one of their units. Miss Hodgins very busy and cheerful, saying she can manage for the present. Was obliged to take 7 nurses to meet pressing needs. Returned 9pm to find Colonel Barefoot ill with a violent attack of pain. A wire from Dehorted 30 VADs arriving instead of 50. The need of nurses to complete present establishments is getting a serious question, independent of these numbers expected to arrive. Wired Dehorted to ask if I could employ Nurses Lamming and Harcourt who had applied April 15 to be accepted by Reserve and had been waiting. Sent application form to a Miss Piggott, American Ambulance, who was anxious to nurse enterics.
Miss Barbier brought Hon. Ivy Gordon-Lennox to Abbeville to meet Lady Ponsonby and General Stewart in connection with Huts for Nurses Club Etaples. Sir A. Lawley came about many Red Cross matters – posting of Red Cross Nurses, their employment at Rest Stations, Mrs. Brice-Miller’s Convalescent Home, and also very anxious to know whether his daughter has been accepted. Wire from Dehorted giving names of 19 nurses who can be taken on to Reserve. Col. Barefoot better, will be able to return to duty tomorrow. Anxious to do so today. Nurses from St. Pol returned and returned to Boulogne. Nurses wired for Dieppe. Rang Miss A. B. Smith up to make necessary arrangements. Beds being increased everywhere – quite impossible to increase the nursing establishments or even have them up to their present strength in many instances.
Left for Boulogne after getting the letters. Arrived 12. Went to meet 28 reserves with Miss Barbier. Had lunch with Sir Bertrand Dawson and afterwards went to 14 General and 14 Stationary about the accommodation of the VADs when the staffs increase as they certainly should with the increased beds and build up everywhere it will be quite impossible for these all to be accommodated together. Went to DDMS office where I learnt 141 Canadians are expected as well as 37 arriving in the afternoon to complete Canadian establishments. If these 141 can be used in our Hospitals they will be the greatest boon, as everywhere our establishments are far below strength, with our increased beds. Then to 7 Stationary where I met Lady Methuen who had come over to see her son. Everywhere hospitals are overflowing with patients unable to be moved. Went on board St. David – their first voyage after alterations. They were busy loading up that boat at 6.30pm, then after seeing 37 Canadians, went to Red Cross and then drove back arriving 9.30pm.
Wires awaiting re more Canadians arriving – if they could be accommodated. Wired to know the number – when they could come and that we would employ them. 2 more nurses wanted for Water Ambulance – settled it. 1 nurse wanted for emergency train – nurses for Princess Christian train ordered to proceed. Nurse wanted 5 Casualty Clearing Station to take place of one with measles.
Busy all day answering letters, arranging about nurses arriving and issuing instructions to 19 Red Cross nurses in France just taken on to the Reserve. Sergeant Major … got his commission; dined in the Mess – leaving for Aldershot. Some difficulty in arranging for nurses departure in consequence to train service being disorganised owing to the wounded, the arrival of troops and disposal of supplies. Letter from Miss Brice Miller – still difficulty about getting over. Arranged with the Red Cross to supply the nurses for Rest Stations – this will relieve ours now the Red Cross and VADs will do this duty wherever they are needed.
Left 10am after answering letters for Calais via Boulogne, where I met Miss Barbier who was able to give me the latest news with regard to the meeting of all nurses and VADs since I saw her. Stayed an hour, had lunch. Learnt all VADs and Canadians had been sent and seen off to their various destinations, also that the 3 TFNS ordered on Tuesday for Calais had not left the Rawal Pindi British General Hospital – was leaving this morning. Arrived Calais 3pm. Went to ADMS office. Was driven by Col. Fell to see nurses' quarters which are excellent and can accommodate 10. Then to Casino which faces the sea and will be excellent in every way. They will be able to expand under canvas on a vacant space nearby, where several little villas now occupied by Belgians are hoped to be obtained for the Nursing Staff. Nurses had only just arrived – Miss Knapp and Miss Mclean had been there some days – Miss K. Acting Matron. From there went to see where trains will arrive and ship depart, and also saw where the VAD Rest Station will be established on the platform, the Railway Hotel and the Railway officials' offices. The whole front of Hotel is enclosed in glass, forming a wide verandah, her patients will be permitted to be unloaded when delays occur with the ships.
Returned. Arrived at Boulogne 6pm. Called in 7 Stationary to ascertain the reason of the delay in sending nurses. Miss Smith very busy still, so many deaths and so many dreadfully wounded, and all the relations. The Hospital is admirably managed.
Abbeville. Got back by 8.30pm. Found letters and telegrams awaiting me. Trains continue to be going down continuously crowded with wounded. Evacuation seems to be rapid and satisfactory. Extra nurses asked for at Clearing Station and Flotillas – all doing work. Nowhere at present are there enough nurses – all hospitals full and a constant stream of wounded going, whose beds are immediately filled with others.
Busy all day writing. Wrote Matron Rawal Pindi Hospital to explain the reason of delay in departure of nurses. Also to DGMS with reference to increasing Staff of CCS to 7, and having some extra available at Malassises, as these are taken, me to be informed – this arrangement should enable nurses to get to Front with practically no delay. 3 nurses always to be packed to start at ½ hour notice. 57 TFNS arriving today. Arranging for them all to be as close together as possible and be in readiness to go to No.2 General Hospital when ready. The Matron, Miss J. Hills going to 18 General to work with Matron and to be near at hand when her Hospital is getting ready.
Went with Colonel Barefoot to see Princess Christian Train – all very beautiful and very luxurious. The ventilation not too good, and the accommodation not as good as in some other trains. Nursing Staff waiting at Boulogne to join. Telegram from GHQ re Lady Michelham’s Train. Nurses to be specially selected – if not arrived when train is ready, temporary ones are to be supplied.
Letter from Matron-in-Chief TFNS re the Territorial arriving and offering more. Will write M-in-C on the matter. Nurses now joining find the work very heavy – 2 even said they would have to resign from 13 Stationary – never thought it would be so bad. Am arranging to send them when the work is lighter.
Dealt with correspondence. Drafted a letter representing our present needs with regards an increase to our Nursing Staff, and what additional numbers will be needed in the near future. Visited 5 Stationary Hospital, Major Meadows in charge, Miss L. G. Mackay Acting Matron. A well kept charming Hospital, much taste displayed with not large expenditure.
Capt. Kennedy IMS and Miss Bird Q India arrived to announce their engagement, and to ask if Miss B. might remain at her present station, bringing with her letters from the OC Col. Barfield, and Miss Watt. Discussed the matter with DMS who did not advise any change at present.
Busy all day writing letters in answer to those received. The question of meeting nurses needs rearrangement. When large numbers have arrived I have sent Miss Barbier to assist Miss Barwell. With the increased work everywhere, and without a Principal Matron here, it is impossible to manage without a secretary always here. Indeed I foresee that before long extra help will be needed, as even with the continued long hours it is not possible to get ahead of one’s work. VADs proving satisfactory, and in most instances are very good.
Miss Barbier returned. Busy all morning with correspondence. Arranged where Canadians arriving this week (78) should go until their hospital is ready. Miss A. B. Smith rang me up about the heavy work she is having with so many dreadfully wounded officers, and all the relatives over. Drew up particulars of hospital, present staff and what is required, to attach to letter going home.
Nurses telegraphed for, for 10 Stationary – increased staffs at 3 Casualty Clearing Stations at Hazebrouck. Learnt Matron (Anglia Hospital Ship) had measles. Wired War Office should I supply substitute (Matron warded 14 Stationary). Reply yes – sent Miss Batteson late QAIMNS temporarily. Sending Canadians to Versailles and Rouen where help is badly needed. Reply from Matron Rawal Pindi Hospital explaining how there was such a delay in sending her Sisters off. It won’t occur again.
Left for Boulogne via Etaples, where I met Miss J. Hills TFNS, the new Matron of No.20 General. No.18 General is fully established and in good order, and all the arrangements are good, Miss Hodgins the Matron having arranged well, and whole staff seemed well and happy. The marques are well pitched and everything is most comfortable. As the site is a temporary one the marques are not boarded. The operating theatres are excellent, the floors of these being covered with linoleum. The Matron and 25 of 20 General Hospital staff are stationed here till their hospital is ready, to get an insight into Hospital arrangements under canvas.
On my way to Boulogne visited the new camp at Dannes Camiers where No.20 is busy getting ready. Saw the new marquees which are excellent, also the Durban marques too which look to me very fine. Arrived Boulogne 3pm, reported at DDMS office then went to 7 Stationary to find the Hospital full of seriously wounded and dying officers. Lord Wendover* had just died. Lord and Lady Lincolnshire had been with him to the end – another only son. Sent some flowers – he is to be taken home tomorrow.
Then to 14 General to see what arrangements were being made for the accommodation of 50 officers. Saw Colonel … – am to go round tomorrow. Miss Byers had had her little operation – the specimen was sent home for examination – not considered serious. After dinner visited 5, 7 and 12 Ambulance Trains, all with the same tale of constant journeys up to front bringing heavily loaded trains of wounded, mostly seriously, to base. Received telephone message from HQ asking me to call them up – a matter of urgency.
* Albert Edward Samuel Wynn-Carrington, Lieutenant, Royal Horse Guards
Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry
To DDMS office. Waiting 1 ½ hours to get on to Headquarters. Message from GHQ with reference to the staff of new trains. Then with DDMS to 1 Canadian Stationary Hospital and from there to 8 Stationary both under canvas side by side – quite remarkable the different methods of working these units – one orderly, smart, detail excellent; the other happy-go-lucky, and an absence of order. The Matron Canadians a nice pleasant woman, the Officer in Charge wanting in manners. Then to 14 General. Went round with the OC to inspect part now being converted into officers accommodation, and Sick Sisters’ block, being papered and painted. Scullery and bath accommodation being arranged for. After saw the accommodation for officers suffering from measles (40) in the garage belonging to the Casino. Marques had been pitched and the huts erected in the compound, and everything most comfortable. A piano and gramophone had been provided in the house for the sick officers.
After lunch visited 14 Stationary Hospital and arranged about the increase of staff – saw many new improvements. Then with OC to the Auxiliary Hospital, at some distance under canvas where Miss McCreery is Matron in Charge. This is developing into a very good unit. Staff under canvas at some little distance from the camp. Tennis courts for 14 General and 14 Stationary for the staffs only quite close.
20 Canadians have arrived each day this week for temporary employment in our hospitals as well as 35 waiting with the Commanding Officer of his unit, the new General not wishing them to have temporary employment. Received a telephone message at midnight saying the Brice-Millers had arrived – were at the Hotel Ile de France – replied I would call in the morning.
Went to Red Cross about the trains, then to 7 Stationary about the many orders for nurses arriving, and met Miss Clements with reference to her new equipment for her new wards. After lunch to 11 General Hospital which I went round – it is certainly better, but leaves much to be desired. The building is a most unsatisfactory one for a Hospital but the staff gives one the impression that anything will do, and they don’t like being criticised. I am making some changes which will I think improve matters. Then to Red Cross to meet Sir A. Sloggett with reference to the new trains, and the special staff which has been selected by Lady Michelham for her train, on which she is going to travel. Met Sir Bertrand Dawson who is extremely interested in the work done in our Hospitals. Went round the remainder of 14 General Hospital, pointed out various things which needs improvement. Visited Mrs. Brice-Miller. All the party including chauffeur and car had arrived. After some difficulty arranged about their ‘Laissez passes.’ Colonel MacMunn was sending for their heavy luggage and had taken rooms for them at Hotel des Anglaises until they could get into ‘Petit Chateau.’ They hope to be ready to receive Sisters by the beginning of the week.
20 TFNS arrived. Letter from Miss Paterson asking permission to resign in consequence of her sister’s serious illness and needing nursing – sent on to DGMS. Letter from Miss Becher re Red Cross serving here applying to her with reference to increased pay for which they are entitled, also sending a letter from a VAD to Mrs. Furze asking for Camp Kit. The first 30 joining were not supplied. This has caused a great deal of inconvenience – those who have arrived since have been supplied.
Before leaving Boulogne visited Red Cross re Red Cross recently taken on to the Reserve. To 7 Stationary to arrange about nurses of Reserve. Then to 13 General which I went round – very crowded, very serious cases, and I saw 12 trial cases of wounds treated with new paste and 12 which had not been - owing to the light nature of the wounds they could not, I understand, be considered test cases, but all 24 were going home.
The new huts are very comfortable and in good order and infinitely more suitable I think for the accommodation of the wounded than those huge rooms on ground floors of Hotels and Casinos, where large numbers can be congregated, and which are difficult to ventilate, this being very noticeable now the weather is getting warmer. After lunch to Le Treport where Mrs Brice-Miller is still in difficulties about her Home. The furnished house has only now 1 bed!! In every respect beautifully furnished, beds had been removed for nursing the French wounded – large double French beds! Arrived Abbeville 7pm to find a pile of correspondence and many conundrums to unravel.
Abbeville – Whit Sunday
Reserve Badges arrived. Telephone message recommending Miss Richards for some leave – sanctioned. Spent a long time doing nominal rolls on nurses. Since the beginning of this month, 70 TFNS arrived, 28 Reserves, 48 VADs, 26 Red Cross taken on the Reserve and 80 Canadians have been employed temporarily. This great increase has been an infinite help – it is hard to realize how we should have carried on without it.
Especially appointed nurses for No.14 (Lady Michelham’s) train have arrived. Miss McEwan specially appointed for Princess Christian Train suffering from rheumatism unable to join. Miss Bruce, 5 Casualty Clearing Station – measles moved to 14 Stationary. Miss Bond QAIMNS Rouen – measles – at Meerut Isolation Hospital Miss McCrae CHR 2 Casualty Clearing Station – boils to 14 General Hospital.
The Water Flotilla at the front have worked most satisfactorily and has increased the work at 10 Stationary Hospital GHQ enormously. Letter from Matron 7 Stationary – 5 more officers had died yesterday. More not likely to recover. Captain Grenfell*, Lord Desborough’s son, a second operation – a head case – much worse. His parents with him. Letter from Mrs. Furze saying Miss U. Lawley can be employed as VAD. Letter from General Bray about Miss Cliffe – has been accepted by St. John’s Ambulance.
*Julian Henry Francis Grenfell - Wikipedia entry
Much correspondence. Col. Stewart Red Cross came about staffs for Rest Stations and Red Cross Trains. Had been to the Red Cross Hospital here – very satisfied with everything. Dieppe asking for more nurses. Col. Thurston came – says Miss Drage is managing splendidly. Busy with the distribution of Badges for the Reserve which have arrived. DMS to Boulogne to consultants meeting.
A telegram from 3 General to say Miss Attenborough a VAD had scarlet fever and that a contact was being isolated. Arranged for them to be transferred to the infectious lines 16 General Hospital. Request from Matron 3 General for Miss Davey to remain till her relief arrived, and from 7 Stationary for Miss Hale to remain till Captain Grenfell was better, because she was his special and was proving so valuable - ! having asked that she might be moved because she was useless. A curious letter was sent to me from 12 General which had got into wrong hands. Unable to find the owner. Wrote to Mrs. Brice-Miller with reference to the house and her chauffeur, IGC having given instructions to the Commandant to put all things in order for her. Been consulted about new hats for Hatter Hospitals.
Left for Rouen, arrived 4pm met by Miss Reid. Went round 8 General – everything in excellent order, Sick Sisters’ Hospital especially good – as comfortable as Millbank. Gave the Reserves their badges. From there to 3 Stationary Hospital. Miss Bills has Hospital in excellent order, evidence everywhere of good work done by all the staff – everything beautifully clean – numbers of seriously wounded men. Nurses’ quarters not quite so satisfactory. Great care and thought had been expended on the Mortuary. Reported at DDMS office. Stayed the night at 6 General Hospital. Went round the wards after dinner. Hospital very full – many seriously wounded. The operations daily have been very great. Telephone message to say Sir A. and Lady Lawley had been to Abbeville to see me. Lady L. returning to London on Monday, wishes to see me before she leaves. Heat very great. Hospital very good, Mess most comfortable. Miss Reid very fit and most energetic – her staff appear very happy and looked well though tired.
Roasting day. Visited 5 General, Miss Hordley Matron. Not very satisfactory – only recently moved in. Mess needs improvements. Sheets on every available table and cupboard which I ordered to be removed. Then 9 General – on the whole very good. All Hospitals very full and many hopeless cases I am afraid. Miss Osborne Matron. Then Meerut Infectious Hospital under canvas, appears to be going to be very good. Staff under canvas in an apple orchard – beautiful position. Then to 11 Stationary where we had lunch. Miss Reid accompanied me. 11 Stationary well managed in every way – mostly under canvas, which is expanding daily. Great time and thought expended on detail with excellent result. Miss Minns a most capable Matron. Mess good but tents bell [sic] in a very warm position – a plot of ground surrounded with a wall where the bell tents are pitched. This is under consideration and Alwyn Huts are going to be erected on a raised piece of ground. A Miss Nightingale TFNS wishes to exchange to be near her people – instructed her to apply officially. Then to 11 Stationary Hospital which Miss Fox is managing well, everything going smoothly and well, and whole trances of colour to relieve the monotony, just in the right place – woodwork spotless, flowers beautiful. Many many very very bad.
Then to 12 General, position very good, very good pattern of mosquito net invented by Sister Toller. Some of … very indifferent in the way of order while others were very good. The Nursing Quarters most comfortable. Then to 10 General. Miss Mark took me round her tents. Some very good. She is having some trouble with discontent among the QAIMNSR, who she does not consider capable of doing Sisters’ duties – has received various anonymous letters purporting to be coming from them, which no-one has sent!! Asked Miss Mark to let the Staff know I would be pleased to see anyone who wished to see me on any matter, and that I would see them tomorrow between 9 and 10am. Got back 6.30pm to find all the Matrons had been invited to tea. Telegram from DG to meet him tomorrow.
Large convoys arriving all day. Distributed badges. Visited 1 Stationary Hospital, Miss M. Smith in charge under canvas. Hospital looked in good order, Mess comfortable. Then to Red Cross Officers’ Hospital, which under the charge of MO and Matron is an absolutely different place – well ordered, clean, well managed, and appeared thoroughly satisfactory in every way. Had lunch with Col. Kirkpatrick. Saw the DG. Then to Nurses’ Club which is not being patronised as it should. Then to … by despatch. On to 8 General Hospital where I had tea and where I arranged for Sisters Pearce and Jones both of whom were looking very tired should go to Versailles for 7 days leave.
Left for Abbeville – heat intense, arrived 8pm. Found a large amount of work awaiting me. Many complaints about Shoolbreds – uniforms ordered and paid for – orders not executed – often money not acknowledged.
Busy with correspondence all day. Captain Grenfell* dead – the Desboroughs in great trouble. Heard Miss Gascoigne had been transferred sick from Casualty Clearing Station to 14 General. Replaced her. Miss Luard 5 days sick leave in consequence of her father’s illness – was to go on Princess Christian’s train – has been replaced by Miss Church ANSR. Wire from London to supply Nursing Staff 4 for new ship “Netheravon” – arranged it. Miss Hills and staff needed for 20 General. Wire for 6 more nurses for 3 new barges., 10 more nurses for Calais urgent. Wrote to Miss Becher re Nursing Staff and VADs.
* Julian Henry Francis Grenfell, Captain, 1st (Royal) Dragoons
Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry
Busy with correspondence. Telegram from DMS Canadians whether we employ 50 more Canadian nurses temporarily. Already employing 124, all anxious to get to their units. Wrote to Miss Becher before replying. A wire from Dehorted enquiring after Miss Attenborough VAD with scarlet fever. Wired condition satisfactory. Also one to know when I could receive 100 VADs – replied “at once” in groups of 25 every third day. Sent orders to Miss Sloggett and Miss Swan to join 14 General. Ordered Reserves arriving tomorrow to 13 General and 18 General. Miss M. Wright Reserve from Red Cross proceeded to Malassises from England. Wrote Col. Stewart and DG re Red Cross Trains.
Busy answering correspondence. Telegraphed for Miss Walford VAD* to come here from 12 General.
*The first VAD to be used as clerical support in the Matron-in-Chief's office - by the Armistice, her staff had increased to 20
Left early for Etaples with badges. Saw Matron 18 General who told me Miss Hills Matron TFNS and 26 staff left yesterday for 20 General, Col. Guise-Moores in charge. Went on to Boulogne. Called on Lady Lawley – told her now acceptable badges and clothing will be especially at Clearing Stations, and Hospitals near the Front. Went to 14 General and Stationary Hospitals – distributed the badges. Went over 14 General. Saw new arrangements for Officers’ Hospital. Then to 13 Stationary – Miss Smith, Lang, Tunley and Walker to dinner. Everywhere much quieter.
Left early for Calais after seeing Lt. Gallie about the trains and Sir Arthur Lawley with reference to the Millers’ Trains and the Nursing Staff for them. Then to Calais where I had lunch. Went over the Hospital, which is getting on well and then the 2 houses where the Nursing Staff are to live in. Then to GHQ to the office where I saw DG and Col. Burtchaell, who discussed the question of the staff for the ambulance trains and the Red Cross. Then to 10 Stationary where I stayed the night. 2 nurses waiting for the third Ambulance Flotilla. A great deal of work at 10 Stationary – needing their Staff being increased. The chapel a large one has now been converted into a beautiful ward. A second house here has been taken for the Nursing Staff which has now been increased.