CROWN COPYRIGHT: THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES, WO95/3988
Left early. Called at Office, then to DMS 1st Army – found him busy making arrangements for meeting Mr. Asquith. Went on to Lillers, first to 4 Casualty Clearing Station with Miss Masson in charge – they had recently evacuated most of their men – everything in excellent order. Then to Highland Casualty Clearing Station, under canvas, the staff accommodated in billets. It was midday, all were at their dinner, as all but convalescents had been evacuated.
Chocques 1pm. To 1 Casualty Clearing Station, a Chateau in beautiful grounds, where they had expanded under canvas, everything in beautiful order, Col. Symons speaking in the highest terms of the work done by the Staff when they had had as many as 2000 through in 24 hours. Miss C. V. S. Johnstone and Miss M. Smith were there also since their retreat from Bethune where they, with Miss Luard, had been at a Dressing Station, for officers belonging to 4 Field Ambulance. From there to Merville, firstt to 6 CCS which was busy moving to Lillers, the Indians taking their position. Then to 7 CCS where I found Miss M. C. Johnstone with measles and Miss Fisher sick – ordered them both to 14 General and 14 Stationary and wired for Nurses Johnstone and Barclay Smith to come for temporary duty.
Then to 1/2 London Casualty Clearing Station – Miss M. H. Smythe in charge. Found some work done by a Miss Colville not at all satisfactory – will arrange to move her.
On return to DGs office where I was kept some time about WO letter and many other matters.
Distributed badges at the Station. Went with Miss Deacon to try and see the Barges – not successful, none in. Then to 9 Casualty Clearing Station, which is very good in many ways – Miss Pedler very set in her ways and very satisfied. Then to Hazebrouck to South Midland Casualty Clearing Station, 10 CCS and 5 CCS, Miss Macpherson, Miss Roscoe and Miss Knowles respectively in charge – all very good with the exception of the South Midland CCS operating theatre which is going to be altered. 5 CCS is quite excellent and the patients suffering from gas poisoning all in the open, under the trees, with one of the Staff specialling them, on stretchers, on tressles, and a few beds, with sheets, pillowcases and bottles of roses on the lockers which had been carried out. Everything most excellent. One of the aisles of the church had been given for patients, the other for a school and the Nave was reserved for service.
Then to 2, 8 and 3 Casualty Clearing Stations, all most excellent, with many seriously wounded in each and all looking most comfortable and cared for. No.3 is now established in one of the detached blocks in a lunatic asylum, which is situated in most beautiful grounds - their block has been fenced off. The Authorities are kindness itself, supplying them with beautiful cut and pot flowers, and doing the Nursing Staff personal washing free. The inmates of this asylum are women, between 1,000 and 2000, and among other things they have a large laundry, which is run by the poor inmates, many of whom are quite young healthy looking girls.
Returned to GHQ in the evening and reported matters needing alteration to the office. Saw DDG, Col. B. and Sir A. Bowlby. Spoke also about what the Nursing Staff of 16 and 17 Trains should be.
Before I was up, Miss Denton came about her mother who she learnt was dying. Arranged for her to go home at once – sent her with a letter to Col. Burtchaell, who arranged it.
Went round 10 Stationary. Everything in excellent order with exception of the Officers’ ward, which could be improved upon. Saw the Colonel and undertook to get some things myself for them.
To office where I was asked to go to Boulogne to meet Mr. Asquith at 3pm. On my way stopped at Malassises to let them know that all their Red Cross would now be removed as it had become a Military Unit, No.7 General Hospital. Arrived Boulogne, had lunch, waited from 3 to 5pm at 13 General. Mr. Asquith didn’t arrive. Had to get back to Abbeville, so waited no longer. Got back by dinner time – found a large amount of correspondence to be attended to and a certain amount of worry about the Red Cross. Miss Walford had arrived, and had begun work. Many nurses to be moved. Staff had joined the Netheravon. One of the staff along side had been sea-sick before even starting so replaced her.
Wire from Col. Gallie to say the Red Cross had taken the Red Cross nurse off 14 train – 2 on only.
Letter from Matron-in-Chief telling me to accept the Canadian temporarily if I needed them. Already 139 employed. Telegraphed for them to come, 9th and 12th, as more Reserves and VADs were also expected during the week. The difficulty of meeting large numbers of nurses at one time is very great.
Arranged about the meeting and disposal of 25 VADs and 20 TFNS arriving tomorrow – a lull now in the work, everyone arranging for all who can be spared to have extra time off. Miss A. B. Smith going to Lady Gifford’s for a short time – several of floors now being closed for spring cleaning. Learnt that Mrs. Brice-Miller is now ready to receive Sisters. Let DDMS Boulogne and ADMS Etaples know.
Letter from Mrs. Furze re VADs. Telephoned for her to come. She with Miss Crowdy came 3pm, saw DMS and left without … VADs not working in our Hospitals - those who are headed for Rest Station work. Provost - Marshall came about the VADs now in this country, and what arrangements were made with reference to their transit from London here – gave them all particulars. Telegram from Matron-in-Chief TFNS – Miss Kaye’s resignation May 2nd – informed OC Rawal Pindi General Hospital.
20 TFNS and 25 VADs arrived Boulogne. Met by Miss Barwell – accommodated for the night at Boulogne and sent to their units tomorrow. Sent telegrams about moves necessary at various Casualty Clearing Stations. Letter from DGs secretary enclosing a letter from Major Yarde-Buller with reference to the nurses in France, and their leave and offering to collect to enable these girls to get home for periods of well earned rest. Wrote at length to the DG (Sir A. Keogh). Letter from Lady Ponsonby enclosing cheque £8. 10s and 139 Francs for extras for Officers’ wards and asking about Ambulance Trains. Wrote DGMS re Red Cross Nurses at Malassises not needed after Saturday 12th, as Malassises is now 7 General Hospital, a Hospital unit.
Busy all day with correspondence. Wired Dehorted re 4 Red Cross nurses who had applied for the Reserve to know whether they could be employed. Wrote Matron Rawal Pindi General Hospital to ascertain which of her junior Nursing Sisters she can best spared for Lahore General Hospital to assist Miss Knapp, the Matron in Charge there. Arranged for Miss Toller QAIMNS to relieve Miss Fairchild on Red Cross Train. Mrs Warner from Coffee Stall Boulogne admitted 14 Stationary Hospital with Scarlet Fever.
Miss Steen came. Told her I wanted her for 2 General Hospital, Havre, to take over the Assistant Principal Matron’s duties in consequence of Miss Richards absence in England on sick leave – that Miss Minns would take over from her. She very sad at leaving.
Orders sent to:
Miss L. G. Mackay to joining 11 Stationary for duty as Matron
Miss Rentzch to joining 5 Stationary for duty as Matron
Miss Minns to 3 General for duty as Matron
Miss Knowles to 3 Stationary for duty as Matron
Miss Barber to 12 Stationary for duty as Matron
Miss Fox to 14 General for duty as Matron
Miss Clements to 8 General for duty as Matron
Miss Suart to 22 General for duty as Matron
Miss Bills to 23 General for duty as Matron
Miss Dalton to 24 General for duty as Matron temporarily until Miss Richards return
Captain Dill heard of his 2nd brother’s death Sunday – only went up Friday, killed Sunday. Wired to his Sister, Oxfordshire, giving 7 days leave. Went to 5 Stationary Hospital to let the OC know of the coming change.
Wrote M-in-C with reference to the re-engagement of Reserves at the completion of their year’s service. Sent a circular letter to all units with reference to leave since mobilization. Inform all OC of General Hospitals re the employment of VADs in their Hospitals, 3, 11, 13 and 14, Rawal Pindi excepted.
Malassises Hospital now known as 7 General Hospital, to receive British Troops but contain wards still to be set apart for the reception of Belgian men, women and children.
Wired Matrons 11 and 13 General to arrange for 2 of their staff from each Hospital to go to Mrs. Brice-Miller’s new Home of Rest. Received Nominal Roll of Canadian nurses arriving 9th and 12th. Letter from Lady Ponsonby re the Ambulance Trains.
Boulogne for the afternoon. To DDMS office to find out what had been decided about 14 General Hospital, to learn that Hotel Splendid is now to be set apart entirely for officers – Casino and garage and marques for men. Nothing at all satisfactory on the DGs visit. Then to see Miss Barwell about arrivals expected tomorrow – 25 Canadian. Went home via Le Touquet. Called on Mrs Brice-Miller and saw her Home.
On return to Abbeville found a telegram from Mr. Duveen awaiting me asking when he could see me. Replied I was going to GHQ and would see him there at 11am.
Left Abbeville 8.30am, arrived GHQ 11am. Saw DG who told me of unsatisfactory condition of 14 General. He expected me to meet him there but through some mistake I didn’t receive the message. The OC, Quarter-Master and Matron going to be moved. The Matron I am moving as there have been so many changes of Commanding Officers and thought it would be better to give her a change of work as she had been having a very trying time, and in consequence I sent her to relieve Miss Suart from 8 General who I am wanting to open one of the new hospitals. Saw Mr. Duveen with reference to articles he had been authorised to purchase for 14 General Officers’ Division. Arranged about Red Cross leaving Malassises – now a military unit. Lunched at GHQ afterwards to 10 Stationary to find a new Officers’ Hospital in process of opening in Fever Hospital, which is being cleaned and fumigated for that purpose. A good building with every convenience and will be a very satisfactory unit. Tried to see some of the Ambulance Flotilla – none to be seen. While at GHQ received a message to say that 20 Reserves also were arriving and 25 VADs which had not been expected. Phoned Boulogne to prepare Miss Barwell that accommodation for the night would have to be procured if possible. Arrivals without notice the night before makes arrangements difficult. Heard later that this had been managed and that the VADs were sent by Ambulance direct to Etaples, and a telephone message had been sent to prepare the Matrons of 18 and 20 Generals that they were arriving. Got back 8pm. Drove through St. Pol, one of the French Headquarters – a wonderful sight – everybody most kind and polite and had no difficulty passing the sentries. Sent Miss Fletcher a short report of the Red Cross nurses work at Malassises.
Busy all morning with official work. Left for Boulogne 1pm, arrived 3pm. Straight to Red Cross. Met Mr. Duveen about Officers’ Hospital 14 General. Then to office to report. From there to 14 General, where I went round with Major Johnstone. Matron and OC not there. Left message for her to come to dinner, when I told her of the changes I proposed making. Miss Fletcher and Miss MacCrae from train came.
Received a telephone message saying I was urgently wanted at GHQ in the morning, and what time could I be there – said had an appointment with Sir A. Lawley at 9am – would start away immediately after. Asked by Red Cross how long I thought nurses should be on the train. Said 4 months in most instances was quite long enough. Letter from Miss Reid saying Miss Duncan 9 General was anxious to withdraw her resignation – wrote for her to apply officially. Sent circular letter re extension of service at completion of year’s service to all units. Acting Matron pay arranged for Miss Lyde, and Sisters’ for Miss Jolly.
To Red Cross and saw Sir A. Lawley about 14 General Hospital and the supply of certain things by Red Cross. Undertook to supply a list of articles not on schedule and yet needed for officers. Explained about Red Cross nurses at Malassises.
Arrived GHQ 11.30am. Found I was wanted to select 20 more nurses QAIMNS Territorial and Reserves for RRC. The original not sufficient. This was all that was permitted. The list of names mentioned had also been curtailed, however, as all 3 lists were sent to WO. I hope now all will be included in “Mentions”. Left the list to be typed. Had no nominal roll with me, so unable to check lists to be sure initials were correct. DG not there. Had lunch. Afterwards back to Boulogne, to 13 Stationary; to the office; then to 14 General for lists of articles required. Saw Lady Dudley who wanted me to go and see the Australian Hospital with her at 2pm today. Had to telephone that it was not possible. Miss Barrett came after dinner –told her she would be having the trains shortly and that I would arrange about leave before she joins a new unit. Wrote DMS about what I had done.
25 Canadian and 25 VADs arrived. Went to DDMS office - met Miss Clements. Went to Ordnance about an enormous list of articles which had been ordered for 14 General and not on Schedule. With Col. Forest got requisition which we adjusted and returned to OC 14 General for alteration, and am procuring other articles from Red Cross - authority DG. After lunch Miss Fox arrived with a dog, which I said she would not be able to have at 14 General – she arranged about sending it home.
Visited 8 Stationary – all at church. Everything in beautiful order – might have been ready for an inspection. The Sisters’ Mess also first rate – everything quite beautiful and such lovely flowers everywhere. Then to 11 General to see Matron, who was having a day off, to ask who the lady was who had been on duty for 3 weeks and had only had 6 hrs off duty. Saw Miss Howe – left a message for Miss Lang to let me know – Sister said it was not possible. To 7 Stationary, where all the floors had been spring cleaned, while they had been slack, and everything was looking as nice as possible. Miss Beadsmore Smith and several of the Sisters were spending some days at Hardelot, and 8 others from Boulogne area were at Le Touquet – Mrs. Brice-Miller’s. After lunch went to Hardelot to see Lady Gifford, and found 20 Nursing Sisters staying here. Had tea and got back to Abbeville 8pm.
Visited 14 Ambulance Train in the morning. Left early for GHQ with new chauffeur* to let the DG know what I had done at Boulogne, and to discuss the question of leave. I am sorry that a few grumblers are creating a quite wrong impression in London, of the work and workers out here. I am sure the majority who are magnificent workers would be horrified to know that a small section are questioning times off, leave, at home and here, where the general feeling I know if how much is being done for them (the nurses) and I know how anxious they are to do the very most for the men. Have decided to get authority from IGC to sanction 10 days’ leave home and to send a circular letter to all units, limiting the numbers to 3. Extra work will of course be thrown on the others, if a rush comes when members of the staff are on privilege leave, independent of those on sick leave.
Went on to Avelette a village beyond Hinges, very near the firing line, to see the Ambulance Flotilla. Had lunch there. Found 3 waiting – one loading and the remaining 2 waiting for their turn to load up. The Barges are admirably arranged, and vastly superior to those at Rouen – large airy wards to hold 32 patients, 16 beds on either side, with every possible convenience. 2 Nursing Sisters, 1 MO and men – the number I do not know. A good kitchen, but a proper range. The Sisters like the work immensely, but the waiting is at times long - 1 Barge had been waiting 10 days, so that all were getting weary of the enforced rest. I had lunch with the Sisters. The lunch is arranged in their break, when the patients are on board. Returned 6.30pm to find a Polish Countess waiting to see me – said she had been sent by Major Yarde-Buller – not trained but willing to do anything if only employed in our Hospitals. Can speak many languages. Told her all working in our Hospitals had to be authorised by WO. Not prepossessing, and rather German looking in appearance and speech. Staffs asked for, for 22, 23, 24 General Hospitals and the Northumbria Casualty Clearing Station. 25, 26 and 27 General leaving shortly.
* Private Charles Tilbury, Army Service Corps. In 1919 he was recommended by Miss McCarthy for the Meritorious Service Medal, for 3 years’ faithful service.
Left at 8.30am for Boulogne to meet DMS and Surgeon-General Sawyer at 14 General to go over it and discuss arrangements. Arrived 11am. Spent 2 hours there going very thoroughly into everything. The new OC had not arrived. Mr. Duveen there also to take orders and make measurements. It should be thoroughly comfortable and pretty. The position is magnificent. Had lunch at Regina, the Hotel where 14 Staff live. Everything very good. After wards went to 7 Stationary – saw Miss Smith who had returned from Hardelot. Also Miss Lyde and Miss Holmes who had come from GHQ with a patient and were going to purchase for their Officers’ Hospital.
Le Touquet 4pm
Saw DDMS and then went on to the Duchess of Westminster’s Hospital to see the arrangements which had been made there for partitioning off a large ward with curtains for officers so that when they wished for seclusion it could be obtained by simply drawing the curtains – arrangement very good. 2 sets of curtains were provided so that they could always be absolutely clean.
Abbeville 8pm. A quantity of correspondence awaiting me to deal with.
Orders to Mrs. Hoskins, Miss Bremner, Dickie, … , - transfer from Red Cross to Reserve. Sent orders to Miss Macey and Thomson at Malassises. Sent circular re leave, 10 days sanctioned to all areas. Still letters from M-in-C about the question of 7 Sisters being reduced to Staff Nurses at Casualty Clearing Stations and not reinstated when returning to the base – also about complaints from people writing to WO about leave etc.
Arranged a Territorial Staff for Northumbria Casualty Clearing Station. Nurses urgently wanted for 23 and 24 Hospital – am arranging for 24 to join each to begin. After lunch to Treport and Dieppe – arrived Le Treport 3pm. To 3 General – saw OC and Miss Minns, went over nurses accommodation and officers’. The arrangements for officers not as good as it might be I consider. Have discussed this matter with OC and Miss Minns. Then to 16 General – Miss Minns drove with me to Dieppe where I went over Section B of 5 Stationary, under canvas, very good. Miss Devenish-Meares in charge and 4 others. On my returning found DDMS had phoned about Miss Ivin who 13 General was wanting to part with for a Casualty Clearing Station. A wire also came, but the order was complied with. Miss Ivin had been at 13 General since the beginning and her services in the operating theatre had been excellent. 10 days leave granted Nurses Barrett, Tait, Hutton, White QI and Anderson, Australian Hospital. Letter from OC Australian Hospital asking me to let him know when I was next in Boulogne as he wanted to consult me about his Nursing Staffs’ uniform. Replied I would.
Have discovered the nurses who had been Acting Sisters before going to Casualty Clearing Station were Guy’s, 3. They had never said on arrival at Base that they had been anything else, and had not intended to say anything until sending in their resignations at the completion of their year, when the matter was going to be reported. Have written and informed the Matron-in-Chief. Am annoyed at the incident, Guy’s has helped so splendidly, and Miss Houghton so kind, however, the matter has been put right. People continue apparently to write to the War Office complaining of various grievances in connection with the Nursing Staff, as the complaints arrive I am dealing with them – so far none when investigated are of a very serious nature.
Left early for Etaples with new chauffeur. To ADMS office. Had lunch.
Visited 20, 22, 23, 24 General Hospitals. 20 fully established and full of patients. Both patients and staff under canvas. Col. Guise-Moores in charge, Miss Hills TFNS Matron, an entire staff of 49 TFNS and 37 VADs. The Matron finds such a large number of VADs a very serious responsibility and difficulty to deal with. Many not as suitable as those she had in England, some with no knowledge at all and lacking in discipline – some gone into the village smoking!! She will report most carefully at the end of the month. She feels that if VADs are posted in small numbers and gradually increased, it would make things much easier and there would be a better chance of the scheme proving successful – this was my original intention – I will do so in future.
Then to 22 General where Staff was just arriving, Miss Suart in charge. Propose making this a Guy’s unit, with VADs – this under canvas also. 22 nurses ordered only so far. Then to 23 and 24 General – these are hutted – have ordered 24 nurses for each. Miss Bills i/c 23 General Hospital, 24 General Hospital, Miss Dalton to be temporarily in charge until Miss Richards return from sick leave. The question of suitable Matrons for new units is now becoming a serious consideration.
Sent form of application to Lt. Col. Emerson for Mrs. Emerson for the Reserve. Letter from Lt. Col. Emerson saying Miss Worthington not suitable for the post. Wrote asking him to report officially. An official letter from Miss Bonnallo re appointment in Indian Service sent on to War Office. Letter from Miss Becher asking for some further report if possible on miss C. Passmore’s work at Calais before appointing on Reserve. Not known by Red Cross - sent on to OC of Hospital at Calais. VAD agreement forms signed arriving.
To Etaples again. To Liverpool Merchants’ Hospital, now established in Hotel at Le Touquet, shortly to move with their huts at Etaples. Here the Nursing Staff do everything as in a Civil Hospital – orderlies only employed to carry. Had lunch with the Matron Miss Whiston and Col. Nathan Raw – both very charming and extremely clever I should say. After went to Canadian Stationary Hospital which is much [improved] since my last visit. Then to 1 Canadian General Hospital at Etaples, under canvas. Seems to be well managed, but in many ways these Hospitals are entirely different to ours, for instance there are no tables in the wards (tents) and in the acute division where the men are up and walking about in these divisions they cannot go to the dining tent, but sit on the edge of the bed and eat their meal as best they can, either on the locker or the bed. The marques are lashed together so as to accommodate as many as 40 beds, and in the centre a part is set apart and screened off for the Sister, where all appliances and everything to do with the management of the ward is dealt with, and meals served and distributed. The patients everywhere looked well nursed and cared for, and everyone I spoke to said how glad they were to be where they were, and the beds are well made, but there was a want of order. The Hospital was very full and in both operation theatres 2 operations were going on at the time of my visit. Went to 23 General where Miss Bills had just arrived ready for her new work, but very sad at leaving 3 Stationary Hospital. This is being taken over by Miss Knowles – Miss Tosh QR having replaced her at 5 Casualty Clearing Station.
Returned Abbeville – found many letters awaiting me. Arranged about changing 7 nurses on Ambulance Trains which have been on for some months, and also for them to have leave before going to their new units.
Wire from Miss Hartigan 7 General, saying Miss Macey and Thornton’s orders had arrived but that they had gone home with the other BRCS. Unable to understand how this occurred as I wired immediately I learnt they were accepted for the Reserve. Wrote to Miss Fletcher for their English address to forward fresh orders.
To Etaples with Lady Ponsonby to see 22 General Hospital where some difficulty existed with reference to equipment etc., Lady Ponsonby coming to see the Huts and House which have been taken as Clubs for Princess Victoria’s Clubs. Saw the OC 23 General and explained – imagine he has not had much to do with nurses in the past. The matter I think is now quite settled. Wrote Miss Osborne re VADs, pointing out that discretion must be displayed in the selection of VADs if the scheme was to prove a success and that depended upon the Matron’s selection. Pointed out that I was most anxious to be able to report at the end of the Campaign how enormously the VADs had assisted our trained nurses, and how entirely satisfactory they had all proved themselves to be. Wired for Roses for all the Nurses for Alexandra Day – hope they will arrive in good time.
Letters from Matron-in-chief. Still complaints about leave, times off etc. of Nurses in France, written by interested people to WO. Have asked that all letters of complaint might be sent on to be investigated and dealt with. Busy all day with correspondence. Wrote both to DDMS Boulogne, Col. Luther 13 General and Miss Tunley re Miss Ivin, and said that if the Sister who has replaced Miss Ivin in theatre is not entirely satisfactory, I will make other arrangements, and if need be Miss Ivin should return. Applications for leave arriving from all areas.
Busy with letters and correspondence. DMS returned from Dieppe – had been on Hospital Ship Dieppe. Miss Milner complained that I had never been on board. Wrote her saying that at anytime if she was in doubt, or wanting advice not to hesitate to write, and that I hoped to catch the Dieppe the next time I was at one of the sea bases. DMS hurriedly sent for to GHQ. Miss Drage came about leave, and who should act in her absence – her Qs both Staff Nurses, one 6 yrs and other 2 yrs service. She wanted to appoint Miss Luard, who is entirely capable, but the Qs objected. She also wanted to know if the Staffs could have picnics which I said could not be – the Canadian Nursing Staff and their MOs apparently are very free and easy, and she thinks are a very bad example to our people. Letter sent by DGMS, forwarded from WO, re times off of nurses at 1 General Hospital. Rang up Miss Hodgins, who said ½ days had never been arranged but whole days off and leave were constantly given when they could be spared. Have asked her to write me on the subject. Sent on Miss McCreery’s Medical Board to WO confidentially.
Found the new chauffeur had gone off with the car! Apparently has been absent since Saturday!
Answered a letter to Mrs. Cole re clothing, which she said was missing from Miss Cole’s boxes – these had been carefully listed and sent to her sister Mrs Haigh. Wrote M-in-C re VADs Malassises and my need for more nurses when she can manage it. This leave home in addition to the members on sick leave is going to make it somewhat difficult to meet urgent demands. Chauffeur arrived back with a carious statement. Roses arrived for Alexandra Day, brought over by King’s Messenger.
Sent Roses to all areas – had none for trains or barges. Mrs. Birkbeck came – running a coffee kitchen given by the people of Sheffield, which is going to work at the station with the VADs. Busy with correspondence. Letter from Miss Hodgins, recently Matron 1 General Hospital with reference to the arrangement of work and times off for the Nursing Staff of No.1 General while working there. The writer complained that the Staff were overworked, had no proper times off duty, not even half days and the leave was refused. No statements correct. The letter was sent on to the DGMS.
Learnt that a society of ladies headed by Georgina Lady Dudley was anxious to come to France to look after our dead. That I pointed out to the DMS was the Nursing Staff’s privilege, that nowhere was this duty neglected – that everywhere a Mortuary was set apart, and everything was decent and proper. All had a crucifix or cross, flowers, candles when obtainable, and Union Jack. Many had shrouds specially sent out.
Mentions in Despatches came out. No officer in this office mentioned – quite remarkable. Why, in view of the enormous work which is done by everyone. Arranged about the posting of 14 Reserves arriving Saturday. Wrote to the recent Matrons of new areas to arrange about getting all which is needed for the Mortuaries – these are now being built on a much larger scale to serve for more than 1 Hospital. Answered many letters.
After dealing with letters left for Le Treport. Went to 16 General Hospital. Arranged the question of Miss Drage’s leave. Miss Black QAIMNS dealing with the sick – Miss Luard doing the administrative post, the Home Sister managing the Home, Miss Black being responsible, and when in doubt, or wanting any assistance, she is to refer to Miss Minns, Matron of 3 General Hospital, which is next and quite close. The Hospital at present unusually light. Went over the Hospital – all at present under canvas but by the winter it will be hutted. Everything in excellent order. The Mess first rate. Col. Thurston delighted with everything. From there to 2 Canadian General. Met Canadian DG who asked about the French Canadians – said they had been trained by religious Sisterhoods. Told him of these at 4 General Hospital – one wanted to wash a patient without undressing him!!!
From there to 3 General Hospital. Many very seriously wounded patients. They had just lost 2 officers. Had tea in the mess – very badly ventilated – this was being attended to, the Engineers there at the time. Gas also was being laid into the operating theatres. Miss Snape and Miss Bowles now quite satisfied. Found that many of the Reserves’ pay had not been adjusted properly. Got back 8.30. Found DMS had learnt that 5 fully equipped American Hospitals were arriving!! Royal Red Cross among Honour List – a good deal of surprise at the numbers. For my part, I am most disappointed that many more names were not published in the Mention list from the large number submitted, especially among the Regulars, who have had the responsibility of practically all the units, both large and small.
Busy all day with correspondence. Made lists of those recommended for Despatches, and those mentioned.
Supplied staff for another Barge – Miss Snape and Miss Heffernan. Arranged for Miss Barwell junior to take holiday on Barges, so that Staff can go home one at a time. The Director General came to see DMS. Leave still coming in. Application from Miss G. Botterill for Reserve from Red Cross. Has already applied. Wrote M-in-C to ascertain if accepted. Also letter from Miss E. Thomspon Red Cross, candidate who was accepted and then withdrew. Now wants to join – very changeable. Told her to apply officially asking that her request might be favourably considered, and that it would be sent on to the WO. Miss C. Elston’s extension of leave on medical grounds sanctioned by WO, sent on to 7 General Hospital.
Busy with correspondence. Returned letter from India Office with Miss Bonallo’s QAIMNS resignation to Matron 3 General i/c of officer commanding saying I had ascertained that the age limit for admission to Indian Service is 32 nor 30; that it rested with her to decide whether she still wished her resignation to be forwarded, but that I though she ought not.
Forwarded the first instalment of VAD agreement forms with particulars attached, not completed in consequence of delays. The forms to complete to follow to DGMS for transmission to WO. Asked for a ruling with reference to para.8 of VAD Regulations.
Letter from Matron 12 General Hospital. Miss Latham VAD sent to 8 General Hospital – very nervy. Letter from Miss A. B. Smith, saying 14 General is becoming beautiful. Letter from DGMS forwarding a letter from Col. Stewart, BRCS, with reference to 16 and 17 Trains. Now it is decided that they are Red Cross. Suggesting that the Sisters in charge should be replaced by Red Cross. The DGMS replied – he left the matter to be settled by Col. S. and myself. Replied that the present arrangement was working well – viz. – I Army in charge and 2 Red Cross, but that I would see Colonel Stewart as he wished and should let him know the decision later. 14 Reserve Nurses arrived and were met by Miss Woodford TFNS, she having now taken over Miss Barwell’s duties.
Staff of 7 asked for 12 Casualty Clearing Station. Miss Woodhouse CHR resignation received. Left early for Etaples – visited 18 General Hospital, 24 General Hospital, where I saw the arrangements which had been made for the accommodation of 100 officers until No.20 was ready to receive them. Then to Dannes Camiers to No.20 General Hospital. Saw OC and Miss Hills the Matron, who are rather worried about some of the VADs who are not proving satisfactory. Instructed the Matron to report officially at once. Went on to Boulogne where I arrived 7pm. Went to office and 7 Stationary. After dinner went over 3 and 7 Ambulance Trains. Everything quite satisfactory. Arranged about leave.
Visited 9, 14, 16 and 17 Trains. Everything satisfactory – all beautifully clean. Medical officers entirely satisfied, and everything was evidently working smoothly. Went to the BRC Headquarter re Nursing Staff on 16 and 17 train, re the question of the Sister in Charge being Red Cross Nurse also. Arranged that the present arrangement should continue until I received War Office instructions to the contrary – at present the Staff on both being 1 Army Sister, 2 Red Cross nurses on each. After lunch visited St. Patrick and Brighton. On both the MOs are of opinion that they could not manage with less than a staff of 4. Am arranging to replace the nurses on the St. Patrick by others, they having been on board since August. An unfavourable report arrived from Colonel Emerson, officer in charge of Hospital Ship St. David, re Miss Worthington.
In the morning, with General Sawyer, to 14 General Hospital which is entirely transformed since Col. Goodwin has taken over. Miss Fox is now Matron. Everything is getting into splendid order and the Hotel Splendid which is now to be entirely for officers is looking most luxurious, the Red Cross having supplied many luxuries which could not be obtained from the Ordnance. Then to 8 Stationary to see the new Durbar tents. After lunch to Calais, to Lahore General Hospital, in Casino, and under canvas. Everything in good working order, and most satisfactory. Miss Knapp, QAMNS India managing well. Have been asked for a Staff for Isolation Hospital to be opened in a school until the Isolation Hospital is ready. Numbers asked for from London of Nursing Staff in October 1914 and May – forwarded.
Miss M. Davis, 9 Ambulance Train reported on her way for 10 days leave home. Miss E. … QAIMNSR joins to fill this vacancy.
Visited Rawal Pindi British Hospital, in 3 buildings. The arrangements in all are excellent. Miss Watt in charge. Miss Raitt in charge of Officers’ Hospital – a most capable woman is willing to take charge of one of General Hospitals shortly opening. Visited 2 Stationary Hospital very much improved in every way. Visited Hospital Ship Brighton – 4 Staff. I don not think that they could manage with less. Arranging transfers on St. Patrick and Anglia.
Arrivals during the month – 120 Trained Nurses – 50 VADs
Resignations forwarded to General Headquarters – 15
Granted Leave – 115
British Red Cross Nurses transferred to Reserve – 9
3 General Hospitals – Nos. 22, 23 and 24
2 Casualty Clearing Stations – No.12 and the Northumbrian
1 Hospital Ship – Newhaven
No.2 Ambulance Flotilla – 4 Barges