CROWN COPYRIGHT: THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES, WO95/3990
APRIL 1918 (Appendix)
MOVEMENTS OF NURSING STAFF IN THE 1ST AND 2ND ARMIES DURING THE LATTER PART OF MARCH AND THE MONTH OF APRIL 1918
MOVEMENTS OF NURSING STAFF IN THE 1ST AND 2ND ARMIES DURING THE LATTER PART OF MARCH AND THE MONTH OF APRIL 1918
No.51 CCS (Sister i/c: Miss R. M. Hook, QAIMNSR)
12-24.3.18: Town shelled – hospital very busy – some wounded civilians admitted.
24.3.18: No.54 CCS closed – all serious patients transferred to No.51, also 4 of the nursing staff. Very busy indeed – extra operating theatre started.
28.3.18: Major-General Thompson, DMS, visited the unit and gave orders for all patients and staff to be evacuated as soon as possible.
29.3.18: Patients evacuated by train and barge during the night – 6 of the staff left for 33 CCS.
30.3.18: Two more Sisters left for 33 CCS.
1-9.4.18: Only Sister i/c and 4 of staff left. Two wards kept open – officers’ ward and acute ward with dying patients who could not be moved. Busy packing ready for retreat.
9.4.18: Hospital shelled at 2 a.m. Staff and remaining patients evacuated by ambulance at 5 a.m. – shells falling thick and fast. Arrived at 33 CCS and went on duty at once – very busy all day.
10.4.18: Staff of 51 CCS ordered to rejoin their unit at Aire. From this time onwards the hospital has been very full. 500 major operations were performed during the next 7 days. There was at first very little equipment. The nursing staff was on duty for a week for an average of 16 hours a day. Between the 9th and 11th they worked nearly all the time under shell fire with very little sleep, and on arrival at their new site had to go on duty, as patients were already in.
No.54 CCS (Sister i/c: Miss B. J. D. Reid, ARRC, QAIMNSR)
16.3.18: Town shelled for the first time. A shell fell a few yards in front of the Sister i/c when she was out shopping, but fortunately only covered her with dust, etc.
17-24.3.18: Frequent shelling – many mustard gas cases admitted.
24.3.18: Unit ordered to close – 3 anaesthetists proceeded to 6 CCS and remainder of staff to 33 CCS at 10 p.m.
24-29.3.18: Busy getting 33 CCS into working order.
30-31.3.18: 54 CCS getting ready to re-open ½ mile away from 33 CCS. All Sisters sleeping at 33 CCS as for the present there was no accommodation at 54.
8.4.18: Gas shell attack on Armentieres – many cases in both units
9.4.18: Miss Hook and 4 of staff arrived from 51 CCS – Merville still being shelled.
10.4.18: 8 surgical teams arrived. St. Venant building being shelled – both 33 and 54 CCS very busy. Both units officially closed at 5.30 p.m. but many casualties still arriving, owing to the roads being shelled and the wounded being picked up by the wayside. Busy all night – receiving, evacuating, operating – shelling continued.
11.4.18: All patients evacuated and all dead buried before finally giving up. Miss Hook and 9 Sisters proceeded to 51 CCS, Miss Reid and 14 to 39 Stationary Hospital.
22-28.4.18: Miss Reid and staff working at 39 Stationary Hospital.
28.4.18: Staff returned to 54 CCS at Aire and the unit re-opened.
No.57 CCS: (Sister i/c: Miss U. Russell Lee, QAIMNSR)
20.3.18: Shelling began – shells passed over the hospital continually for 48 hours. Patients evacuated by train. Staff evacuated by ambulance to new camp under canvas at Aubigny.
21.3.18: Began taking in again – staff working for 16 hours a day. 2 teams arrived to help.
15.4.18: Received orders to move into huts in a Rest Camp. Wards ready and new theatre fixed up in 12 hours. Helpless cases moved in their beds.
16.4.18: Unit again receiving.
No.58 CCS: (Sister i/c: Miss M. G. Edwards, TFNS)
21.3.18: Railway close to CCS bombed. 4 Sisters were returning to their billets when a bomb fell near and killed one and wounded another. One of remaining Sisters stayed on the railway while the other ran for help.
21-28.3.18: Enemy planes bombing each night – compelled to spend the greater part of each night in the dugout, where the wounded Sister was also nursed, until she could be evacuated.
1-8.4.18: Steadily busy.
9.4.18: Extremely busy – 6 teams and 5 extra staff arrived. Many operations.
12.4.18: Unit ordered to close down – staff (numbering 20) proceeded to 10 Stationary Hospital.
No.42 CCS: (Sister i/c: Miss E. Sloan, ARRC, TFNS)
18.3.18: 3 large bombs dropped just outside the hospital – damage done to dispensary stock, but no-one was injured.
24.3.18: 4 of the staff from 30 CCS arrived, this unit having closed. This unit has not had to move, but has had a great deal of extra work during this period owing to other CCS being temporarily out of action.
No.23 CCS: (Sister i/c: Miss M. Alexander, CHR)
30.3.18: Started receiving wounded – up to now this unit had been partly used as a Divisional Rest Station.
9.4.18: 3 Sisters arrived from 7 General Hospital – total nursing staff 8. Very busy – receiving and evacuating continuously for next 48 hours. Two Sisters who arrived from the Base during the afternoon went into the theatre immediately and carried on between them until reinforcements arrived.
10.4.18: 2 surgical teams and 9 other Sisters arrived. Still very busy.
12.4.18: 5 surgical teams arrived, giving sufficient staff. 4 teams on duty in theatre by day and 4 by night. Since that date, teams coming and going – hospital busy. Total nursing staff now 19. The largest number of operations in one day was 98.
No.1 CCS: (Sister i/c: Miss C. M. Williams, QAIMNS)
1-21.3.18: Busy in CCS – many French civilian patients, as there was no French doctor in the area, also civilian wounded from Bethune, wounded by shells. Strict orders nursing staff not to go into Bethune and to carry gas masks when outside the camp. Bombing at night in the neighbourhood.
21-27.3.18: Chocques shelled – many casualties admitted. Several French women and children slept in the chateau cellar.
27-31.3.18: Continuous noise of shells – very busy.
31.3.18: Heavy shelling. The inhabitants left the village and went to the hills round – the patients could not sleep at night with the noise, nor could anyone else.
6-7.4.18: Very busy with gassed patients – chiefly mustard gas. All were evacuated quickly, the personnel staying up night after night stretcher-bearing after a heavy day.
8-9.4.18: Wounded coming in continually day and night, in motor ambulances, horse ambulances, private cars, etc. often picked up on the way. French carts also coming in with French civilians telling pitiful tales of homes destroyed and mothers, fathers, sons and daughters killed. Late in afternoon, orders came to cease taking in and to evacuate. Dressings done and hot drinks given before the patients were sent away. That night the nursing staff received orders to pack bags ready to leave quickly.
10.4.18: 3 surgical teams proceeded to 58 CCS. All patients (except 5 dying) were evacuated by car and train between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. – machine guns could now be heard quite distinctly. Patients still coming in – dressed and sent on. At 11 p.m. orders given for Sisters and remaining patients to be evacuated and in ½ hour all was ready. The nursing staff saw the patients safely away and then proceeded, 4 to 23 CCS and 4 to 18 CCS.
11.4.18: Worked at 18 CCS till 5 o’clock when orders came to evacuate as Lillers was being shelled.
12.4.18: Left at 2 a.m. for Pernes (4 Canadian CCS) – very busy, but away from the noise.
No.6 CCS (Sister i/c: Miss J. Fyfe, QAIMNSR)
This unit was never shelled or bombed though enemy aircraft passed overhead.
12.4.18: Orders received for all tents to be struck ready to move to new site. Work carried on in huts evacuated by 1 Canadian CCS.
17.4.18: Nursing Staff left for 10 Stationary Hospital, pending establishment of new unit.
No.4 Canadian CCS (Sister i/c: Miss I. H. Johnson, CAMC)
17.3.18: Staff of 10 joined from 10 Stationary Hospital – unit prepared to receive patients.
25.3.18: Received orders to move to Canadian Corps School, Pernes. Bombs dropped in neighbourhood during the night.
27.3.18: Proceeded to new site – Nissen huts on grounds for personnel – unit partly hutted, partly under canvas.
10.4.18: Took in patients during the night.
10-30.4.18: Receiving and evacuating constantly. Surgical teams arriving, also British Sisters from other CCS. Unit very busy indeed – YMCA hut erected in the grounds for walking cases. During this time there were 3948 admissions, 931 operations and 135 deaths.
No.10 CCS (Sister i/c: Miss M. G. Foley, MM, RRC, QAIMNS)
18.3.18: Hostile aircraft over railway siding – not much damage done.
19.3.18: At 10 p.m. several large shells passed over our heads.
20.3.18: Shelling again at 9 a.m. At 9 p.m. loud report – large shell came over and dropped into small canal connecting the hospital and Sisters’ mess – two others followed. All the Sisters went over and stayed the night in the hospital for safety. Hospital full of helpless patients.
21.3.18: Shelling ceased 1 a.m. but started again 8 a.m. in the direction of the Sisters’ mess. DMS and staff visited the hospital and looked at the shell holes. At midday orders given to evacuate the hospital – nursing staff to go to 10 Stationary Hospital. Very busy in wards and theatre. All patients away by 2 p.m. Sisters were given 15 minutes to collect their hand baggage – this being done under shell fire. At 2.30 p.m. the Sisters left by motor ambulance for 10 Stationary Hospital.
28.3.18: Staff returned to 10 CCS.
29.3.18: Unit again receiving.
7.4.18: Very busy – casualties pouring in all night from big battle.
13.4.18: Hostile planes over at 10 p.m. – dropped bombs in the vicinity.
14.4.18: Received orders at 10 a.m. to close down the hospital Patients evacuated by AT. 2 teams left for 64 CCS – remainder of nursing staff to 13 CCS.
19.4.18: Received orders to start and equip wards at 10 CCS in its new site at Arneke.
20.4.18: 4 of the nursing staff joined 10 CCS.
24-30.4.18: Again receiving and evacuating in large numbers – both French and British.
No.17 CCS (Sister i/c: Miss E. Dodd, TFNS)
17.3.18: A few shells dropped during the night just over the hospital
18.3.18: Shells near Sisters’ quarters – 2 dropped between the hospital and quarters. Many of Sisters’ huts riddled and canvas torn right off the top – mess crockery broken. Sisters spent the night in their dugout.
19.3.18: Shelling all day – 800 patients in hospital. At 1 p.m. received orders to evacuate nursing staff to 10 Stationary Hospital. Arrived 6 p.m.
4.4.18: Unit moved to Ana Jana – staff rejoined.
9.4.18: Patients arriving – very busy.
10.4.18: Heavily shelled all night.
11.4.18: Still very busy – bombs dropped round the camp – no casualties in the camp, but many in the village.
12.4.18: Orders to evacuate the hospital quickly. Patients evacuated by motor ambulance and AT. All dressings done and hot drinks given before the Sisters left. Enemy thought to be near.
12-20.4.18: Staff working at 10 Stationary Hospital.
20.4.18: Staff rejoined unit at Arques.
20-30.4.18: Very quiet – no wounded – only local sick.
No.2 Canadian CCS (Sister i/c: Miss M. H. Forbes, CAMC)
18.3.18: Heavy shelling in neighbourhood.
19.3.18: Patients all evacuated on account of shelling in vicinity – nursing staff sent to No.10 Stationary Hospital.
28.3.18: Sisters returned to the unit.
10.4.18: Extremely busy – large numbers of wounded arriving.
14.4.18: Shells bursting in vicinity – orders received for hospital to move immediately. Patients evacuated and nursing staff proceeded to 13 CCS (Arneke).
18.4.18: Nursing staff rejoined unit on new site at Esquelbecq.
26.4.18: Started admitting patients again – very busy.
No.44 CCS (Sister i/c: Miss M. Potts, QAIMNSR)
25.3.18 – 10.4.18: Intermittent shelling – much more severe in latter part of time.
30.3.18: Decided to move the hospital – advanced party left to put up marquees on new sites at Arneke.
7.4.18: 6 Sisters left for Arneke to get wards ready.
10.4.18: Remainder of staff left for Arneke, shelling being so severe that it was impossible to use the main road, but all arrived safely.
13.4.18: Unit again taking in – both French, British and civilians.
No.11 CCS (Sister i/c: Miss Lyle, ARRC, TFNS)
12.3.18: Unit transformed from Corps Rest Station to CCS and commenced taking in wounded.
12.4.18: Orders received to evacuate unit – patients evacuated and staff left at 7 p.m. for 10 Stationary Hospital.
No.2 CCS (Sister i/c: Miss A. W. Teevan, ARRC, QAIMNS)
9.4.18: Bad day of shelling in neighbourhood. Orders received from OC to evacuate in an hour’s time. Patients evacuated. Half nursing staff sent to 15 CCS and half to 10 Stationary Hospital. Most of the Sisters’ belongings were saved but no mess property. The unit itself was not shelled.
No.1 Australian CCS (Sister i/c: Miss E. G. Fleming, AANS)
18.3.18 – 28.3.18: Heavy shelling near – unit not hit and shelling did not interfere with work.
28.3.18: Removal of unit started, owing to expected enemy attack. Everything carried out in an orderly manner. Huts and tents were taken down, transferred to new locality and erected as they arrived.
31.3.18: Remainder of patients evacuated to other CCS.
2.4.18: Nursing staff proceeded in ambulances to new site – accommodated in bell tents – no great difficulties apart from mud and rain.
9-12.3.18: Work very heavy – continual convoys of severely wounded men.
12.4.18: Orders received to evacuate as enemy attack expected. Nursing staff proceeded to 10 Stationary Hospital by London motor-bus. Air-raid over St. Omer that night, lasting 2 hours.
17.4.18: Nursing staff rejoined unit at Blendeques, proceeding by motor ambulance. Most of the equipment was saved in the hasty move from Hondeghem but many comforts belonging to the Sisters’ mess were unavoidably left behind.
26.4.18: Patients again received – not exceptionally busy.
No.15 CCS (Sister i/c: Miss C. Robb, ARRC, CHR)
9.4.18: Took in convoy of 500 wounded. Unit had previously been used as Medical School of 4th Army.
9-30.4.18: Various refugee Sisters came and went – average nursing staff 32. Work exceptionally heavy. The majority of men were severely wounded – there were 10 deaths amongst officers and 201 amongst men during this time. The difficulties were many as the unit was not equipped for surgical work nor were the orderlies accustomed to this type of work.
No.63 CCS (Sister i/c: Miss M. Jennings, M.M., ARRC, TFNS)
24.3.18: Received orders to change to a CCS, the unit having previously been a Corps Rest Station.
26.3 18: All patients evacuated and preparations made to take in wounded.
28.3.18: Received orders to move to Arneke. Packing began.
7.4.18: Moved to Arneke and opened up on following day, chiefly for shell shock patients.
29.4.18: Received orders to proceed to 10 Stationary Hospital, as the French were taking over the hospital Evacuated patients and packed up mess property, before leaving.
No.64 CCS (Sister i/c: Miss M. G. Keen, TFNS)
15-28.3.18: Heavy shelling of area – no shells actually in camp – nearest 30 yards away, perforating the marquees. No casualties.
28.3.18 to 9.4.18: Many alterations in positions of surrounding CCS. No.64 one of 3 remaining in Front area.
9-26.4.18: Heavy period of battle work. No more shelling but much bombing of neighbourhood.
24.4.18: A heavy bomb fell within 20 yards of the Sisters’ quarters.
26.4.18: Orders to close on account of military situation. Sisters sent in cars to 13 CCS, arriving 12 midnight. Next day the shelling with high explosive near 64 CCS commenced before the evacuation was complete, one patient being killed and several wounded.
No.2 Australian CCS (Sister i/c: Miss C. Keys, AANS)
10.3.18: Shelling closer than usual. Orders received at 11 p.m. to pack up preparatory to a move.
11.3.18: All patients evacuated – nursing staff left by ambulance for 10 Stationary Hospital.
5.4.18: Returned to unit on new site, near Hazebrouck.
9 to 12.4.18: Very heavy convoys.
12.4.18: Orders came to pack up again immediately to be ready to move off by nightfall. Patients quickly evacuated. Sisters left for 10 Stationary on top of an old London bus – journey anything but pleasant – roads extremely bad and crowded with refugees.
17.4.18: Nursing staff returned to unit, this time a few miles out of St. Omer.
26.4.18: Work commenced again – not such heavy cases as at Ana Jana.
SUMMARY FOR APRIL 1918
8 Ambulance Barges, on 15.4.18: Staff supplied – 16
Portuguese General Hospital, on 19.4.18: Staff supplied – 16
No.42 Stationary Hospital, on 16.4.18: Staff supplied – 18 Trained, 18 VADs
No.3 Casualty Clearing Station, on 5.4.18: Staff supplied – 7
No.5 Casualty Clearing Station, on 5.4.18: Staff supplied – 8
No.7 Casualty Clearing Station, on 5.4.18: Staff supplied 15
No.12 Casualty Clearing Station, on 12.4.18: Staff supplied – 9
No.17 Casualty Clearing Station, on 5.4.18: Staff supplied – 18
No.19 Casualty Clearing Station, on 10.4.18: Staff supplied – 9
No.20 Casualty Clearing Station, on 5.4.18: Staff supplied – 16
No.21 Casualty Clearing Station, on 5.4.18: Staff supplied – 7
No.29 Casualty Clearing Station, on 5.4.18: Staff supplied – 9
No.43 Casualty Clearing Station, on 4.4.18: Staff supplied – 7
No.46 Casualty Clearing Station, on 4.4.18: Staff supplied – 13
No.45 Casualty Clearing Station, on 5.4.18: Staff supplied – 7
No.55 Casualty Clearing Station, on 10.4.18: Staff supplied – 14
No.56 Casualty Clearing Station, on 3.4.18: Staff supplied – 6
Total – 195 Trained, 18 VADs
No.6 Casualty Clearing Station, on 17.4.18: Staff released – 10
Overseas units opened
No.2 Australian Casualty Clearing Station, on 5.4.18: Staff supplied – 15
No.8 Canadian Stationary Hospital, on 15.4.18: Staff supplied – 29
Total – 44
Units temporarily closed owing to the military situation
No.58 General Hospital, on 16.4.18
No.59 General Hospital, on 16.4.18
No.7 General Hospital (1 Section only), on 17.4.18
No.7 Canadian Stationary Hospital, on 14.4.18
No.9 Canadian Stationary Hospital, on 14.4.18
Trained – 32*
VADs – 56
*exclusive of 20 AANS who arrived for duty in British units on 4.4.18
Sent home sick
Trained – 26
VADs – 9
Returned from sick leave
Trained – 9
VADs – 10
Total at present sick in England
Trained – 97
VADs – 53
Resignations sent forward
Trained – 9 (3 for marriage)
Transfers to Home Establishment
Trained – 9
Approximate No. of leaves granted
To United Kingdom – 18
To South of France – 19
Convalescent Homes closed
Villa Roquebrune, Mentone, on 21.4.18
Hotel d’Esterel, Cannes, on 14.4.18
Miss F. M. Beardsmore, QAIMNSR – Mrs. Smith
VADs returned to England
Resigned – 4 (3 for marriage)
Termination of contract – 11
Transferred to Home Establishment – 1
Total – 16
Miss E. F. Barker, VAD on 3.4.18 from cerebro-spinal meningitis.
Nursing Sister Mrs. E. Whiteley, CAMC on 21.4.18 from abdominal tumour.
Units bombed or shelled
Nearly all forward units in the 1st and 2nd Armies were shelled during the month (see preceding summary of events in those Armies). No casualties to nursing staff.
No.12 Stationary Hospital was bombed frequently during the month.
St. Omer was bombed by enemy aircraft on several occasions, particularly severely on the night of 12.4.18, when there were many civilian casualties, but none amongst nursing staff.
Total No. of CAMC
Transferred to England – 22
Arrived in France – 10
Total now in country – 800
Total No. of AANS
Transferred to England – 0
Arrived in France – 23 (including 20 for British units).
Now in country – 465
Total requirements of Nurses in the BEF according to War Establishments on L of C, including Stationary Hospitals in the Front area:
Trained nurses – 2311
VADs etc. – 1703
Total requirements in Front area (i.e. CCS, Field Amb., Trains, Barges, etc.)
Trained nurses – 572
Total requirements in BEF
Trained nurses – 2883
VADs etc. – 1703
Total British nursing staff now in BEF
Trained nurses – 2416
VADs etc. – 1764
Trained nurses – 349
Grand total in BEF (including Overseas and Americans)
Trained nurses – 4837
VADs etc. – 3229*
*includes 565 General Service VADs working in Military Units.