CROWN COPYRIGHT: THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES, WO95/3991
RECORD OF WORK DONE AWAY FROM HEADQUARTERS DURING
RECORD OF WORK DONE AWAY FROM HEADQUARTERS DURING
New Office: The question of the office finally settled. Saw the DAQMG and submitted a list of CRE etc. fittings, including telephone installation, which is a Signals service. Went over the house and selected what furniture it would be advisable to keep, the remainder is being stored at the top of the house.
Air Raid: Learnt that 80 bombs had been dropped in the immediate vicinity during the raid of last night, and that considerable damage had been done, although the casualties were remarkably small. Calais and Etaples had also bad nights. At Etaples no hospital was hit, but a bomb was dropped near the Villa Tino.
S/Nurse Rooney QAIMNSR: Saw the Matron of 32 Stationary Hospital with reference to S/Nurse Rooney who has been posted there temporarily.
After lunch called on Lady Dudley, where I met Lady Kimberley and Miss Wodehouse, mother and sister of Hon. Philip Wodehouse*, who a few days before had been walking on the ramparts, slipped over and fractured his spine. He is lying in a serious condition at Lady Hadfield’s hospital. They have recently lost their younger son, so it is particularly sad.
14 Stationary Hospital: To 14 Stationary, where I saw the Home Sister, Miss Tillard VAD and went round the quarters. Everything very satisfactory.
An Air Raid of short duration.
Wrote to Colonel Gallie DDMS L of C.
* The Hon. Philip Wodehouse, Lieutenant, General List (Censor’s Staff) – CWGC entry.
His younger brother was Lt. The Hon. Edward Wodehouse – CWGC entry.
7 Stationary Hospital: Visited 7 Stationary Hospital, Matron Miss Jones, QAIMNS, Assistant Matron Miss Paynter QAIMNS. Miss Watson QAIMNS Ret. who was sent out as an A/Matron and is waiting until there is a Unit available for her. Went round the quarters which are hutted and extremely nice, but the need of the ante-room being enlarged is the one point requiring attention. The kitchen, mess room and ante-room are all in good order and being well kept. A VAD was doing Home Sister’s duties during the absence of the Home Sister and I suggested that she should continue doing these duties and be given a trial as to whether she could manage permanently. I then went round the hospital with the CO and Matron and inspected the German Division, where there were a great many Germans suffering from fractured femurs. Everything gave one the impression of being well managed and the patients well cared for. This unit has improved tremendously since my last visit. The hospital is mainly hutted – the German division being under canvas. The Sisters’ quarters are entirely hutted. There were 3 anaesthetists under instruction, and they were getting plenty of work.
53 General Hospital: OC: Lt. Colonel Callender, TF; Matron: Miss Riddell, TFNS; Assistant Matron: Miss Weir, TFNS; Home Sister: Miss Whitehead, TFNS; Theatre Sister: Miss Wainwright, TFNS, all of whom have excellent reports. Since my last visit the hospital has been practically entirely hutted, and there are many admirable arrangements established in connection with duty rooms, wards, kitchens, etc. all of which are extremely good. At the time of the visit there were a great many patients and a large amount of surgical work was being done. Everything gave one the impression of being well kept, the patients well care for and nursed, and wild flowers were arranged everywhere in a most beautiful manner.
The Sisters’ quarters are hutted, with good bathrooms, mess and ante-room, the latter being large and well arranged. They have 7 batmen and no French servants.
Portuguese General Hospital: Visited the hospital and went round the Sisters’ quarters with the Matron, Miss Harvey, TFNS. She is experiencing a certain amount of difficulties with regard to the domestic staff. She has 4 Portuguese orderlies who are very satisfactory but who are unable to cook. She has also had 2 French servants accommodated in the quarters but who have not remained, as no doubt they were too young and undisciplined. At the time of my visit the Home Sister was in Boulogne trying to get an elderly and suitable woman as cook, as it was not possible to obtain one among the Portuguese personnel. The quarters looked very well managed, beautifully decorated and quite clean. As there was no cook available, one of the staff, a Territorial nurse, was helping in the kitchen. The Portuguese people are very kind and arrange for the nurses to have an ambulance into Boulogne 3 times a week to enable them to do their shopping. At the time of the visit there were 1500 patients in hospital, of whom only 27 were seriously ill. The number of nurses on duty was 40. Miss Harvey said that on the whole the nurses were quite satisfied. All of them grumbled a little but she felt that they thoroughly appreciated the many advantages which they enjoyed at this unit. The Headquarters’ staff, General Carr and his officers, are most kind and interested, and the General visits them on Sunday afternoons and whenever they have any entertainments or concerts to which they might be invited, they are never forgotten.
Matron-in-Chief, CEF: I met Miss Macdonald, Matron-in-Chief, CEF, with Miss Ridley, Principal Matron, CAMC, on her arrival – she has come over to spend 14 days visiting her units in France. As there was no car available, arranged for her and Miss Ridley to travel by train to Paris where she is going to stay for a day or so and where a car will be following her.
12 Stationary Hospital: Left by car for the 1st Army, where I first visited 12 Stationary Hospital. OC – Lt. Colonel Crombie; Matron – Miss Kaberry, RRC, QAIMNS (during Miss Drage’s leave). I saw the OC and Captain Irwin with reference to the Matron, Miss Drage, now on leave, who they both considered was not suitable for the position which she held, owing to her unfortunate manner and, at times, her very tactless behaviour. They both admitted she was a clever nurse and an able manager but in consequence of those two failings, neither the medical nor the nursing staff were happy, nor did the work go as smoothly as it would otherwise. I pointed out that she would be returning from leave and that if that was their opinion, the only thing to do was for the CO to report the matter officially on her return after he had informed her what he was intending to do. Had lunch at the quarters, where I saw Miss Kaberry, who is taking Miss Drage’s leave, and she informed me that everything is working smoothly for the time being.
7 and 33 CCS: I then visited Nos.7 and 33 CCS both established side by side at Ligny-St-Flochel. These two units are under canvas and splendidly laid out and equipped. They are available for both officers and men, and every possible convenience has been obtained, one unit trying with the other to excel. Both the nursing staffs are well accommodated and they are most comfortable in every respect.
57 CCS: From there I went to Aubigny where I went round 57 CCS. This unit is now entirely hutted, both for patients and nursing staff, and is also in first-rate condition. Everywhere the patients are well cared for and comfortable in the extreme.
42 CCS: As I was going away I called at 42 CCS where I saw the Sister in charge but time did not permit of my doing anything more than asking if all was going well and the staff fit. Apparently some of them had had slight attacks of influenza which the Sister in charge had been dealing with herself and I emphasised the fact that always everyone who was seedy should be admitted to the Sick Sisters’ Hospital.
The new office: Went to Boulogne to the DDMS office where I saw the DAQMG, the DDMS and the A/Principal Matron all in connection with the new office. This matter is at last to be satisfactorily settled, and the workmen are in the house making the necessary alterations. I then went on to the house in the old town where I saw the landlady. She has undertaken to have the half of the house which is now empty ready by the 15th and the remainder of the house can be fully furnished and ready to be taken over by the 1st August.
2 Australian General Hospital: I then went to 2 Australian General Hospital where I saw Miss Gray, the Matron, with reference to some trouble she has had with one of her staff whom she had already written about. I saw both the Matron and the CO and learnt that this was a question of insubordination of one of the Head Sisters, who had refused on return from leave to take on the duty which the Matron had instructed her to do and had behaved in a most undisciplined and rude manner both to the Matron and the CO. I arranged that the matter should be reported without delay officially asking that she should be transferred home with instructions to report to the Matron-in-Chief, AIF and I undertook to write and tell Miss Conyers of the incident.
Headquarters: To the 4th Army where I had lunch with General O’Keeffe and ascertained that everything was going smoothly and satisfactorily in his Army. He is not at all anxious to have an A/Principal Matron and finds everything goes quite smoothly and satisfactorily under the present arrangement and feels that it cannot be improved upon.
12, 53 and 55 CCS: After lunch I went to Longpre where I visited Nos.12, 53 and 55 CCS, all under canvas and all working smoothly and satisfactorily, taking in at present mainly sick. The sisters are under canvas also in bell tents which have been deeply dug and sandbagged and are thoroughly comfortable and safe, unless they are unfortunate enough to meet with a direct hit. All the nursing staff are in possession of tin hats. Both COs and sisters in charge reported that their staffs were satisfactory and everything was going smoothly and well. The number of sick amongst the nursing staffs was small and any whom it was considered necessary to transfer to the Annexe were transferred without delay and on arrival a substitute was sent back in the same car to fill the vacancy made by the sick member.
Left at 5 o’clock for GHQ with the Matron-in-Chief, Canadians – Miss Macdonald, RRC, and Miss Ridley, Principal Matron, who had just arrived from 12 days’ journey to the south, in the Nancy and Jura regions, where they had inspected all the Canadian units. We arrived at GHQ about 6 o’clock and saw the DGMS, General Burtchaell, and the DDG, General Thompson. After an interview the Canadians left for Boulogne and I saw the DGMS in connection with the nursing of patients in Canadian units, and the need of having three staffs of nurses waiting in readiness to proceed to the south when the German offensive began. The DGMS emphasised the fact that as soon as it began, he was anxious that I should go and see what was going on and, as well, call at the American Headquarters, and become acquainted with the Chief Surgeon and the Chief Nurse. He was anxious also that I should call at the Duchess of Westminster’s Hospital which is about to close and see the Matron with reference to arranging for all nurses of that unit who are anxious to transfer to the Reserve having every opportunity of doing so under the most favourable conditions.
Left for Etaples, arriving in time for lunch. Had lunch at the Villa Tino with Miss Stronach, A/Principal Matron, and Miss Hopton, A/Matron of the Villa Tino. Visited the patients and saw Miss Freshfield, VAD who has been so seriously wounded and who is much improved and is to be evacuated in the course of a day or so. Miss Hopton expressed a wish to be given a change of work. I pointed out that it was a pity she was restless as she was eminently suited for the post she now held and at the present time I had no charge duty available to offer her.
After lunch went with the A/Principal Matron to the Duchess of Westminster’s Hospital where I saw the Matron, Miss Giles, and told her exactly what the conditions for appointment to the Reserve were, and what would be expected of any candidate admitted to the Service, and advised her to have the applications of those wishing to serve filled in without delay and forwarded separately, each one being recommended according to their qualifications and capabilities, and I will forward them to the Matron-in-Chief, War Office, with as little delay as possible.
I then left for Boulogne where I reported to the DDMS office. Afterwards I went to the Hotel du Nord expecting to meet the Canadian Matron-in-Chief, and spent the night there. Later in the evening I learnt that Miss Macdonald would not be returning yet and also learnt that she was anxious that her permit should be extended from the 17th to the 20th. This was being arranged at Headquarters.
Visited the new office which is not yet completed. The men were busy putting in the bells. A telephone switch-board has not been obtained yet. A fatigue party was busy cleaning it out from garret to basement. I then went to see the house which has now finally been taken. Half will be able to be occupied any time if desired, and the whole will be ready on the 1st August.
After lunch went to GHQ where I saw the DGMS, the DDG, and the DMS of the 2nd Army. I learnt that the German offensive had begun, that the news was very good, and that Colonel Pollock had been sent down south as DMS, GHQ South, also that 37 and 50 CCS would shortly be requiring staffs and that 63 and 15 CCS had been instructed to pack up and proceed to a destination at present unknown. The DGMS was anxious that I should be in readiness to visit this part of France directly the staffs for these CCSs were needed and that on my way I should call at the American Headquarters to meet the Chief Surgeon and Miss Bessie Bell, Chief Nurse. I spoke to him about the difficulty Mrs. Robertson Eustace had had in getting a permit for her sister-in-law, for 2 months only, and this he undertook to arrange and asked me to let Mrs. Robertson Eustace know that the matter was being dealt with.
The DMS 2nd Army is all in readiness for an attack which is expected to start tonight. I learnt that Major General Gerrard had been appointed DMS of the 5th Army and that the units in that Army would be – No.39 Stationary Hospital, Nos.8, 32, 51 and 54 Casualty Clearing Stations.
Left for Boulogne, arriving about 7 o’clock. Called on Mrs. Robertson Eustace and delivered the DGMSs message to her, for which she was most grateful. Went to the Hotel du Nord, hoping to meet the Canadians and again learnt that they were not arriving until the next day.
Left early for Abbeville, arriving at Headquarters at 12.30. On arrival was shocked to learn of the sudden death through a fall of Staff Sergeant Godfrey, RAMC*. Since the beginning of the war, this NCO has done valuable work in the DMS office, where he has acted as head clerk of the personnel department, and his loss will be felt in all departments. Saw the DDMS, Colonel Gallie, and told him that in spite of the arrangements which he had hoped had been made satisfactorily, the staff of the Liverpool Merchants’ Unit were expected to arrive today and tomorrow and would be proceeding to Trouville. He said he considered it advisable that I should go to Trouville tomorrow and go into the question of their accommodation, their work, and how many nurses they would be relieving. I let him know what arrangements had been made about the new office and the move, and he told me that at last it was definitely settled that the DMS, L of C should remain in their present building and that for the present it was considered advisable that my branch of the office should proceed to Boulogne. He said he would leave my part of this office intact so that I should always have some place where I could transact any necessary work.
* Sergeant F. Godfrey CWGC entry
Left early for Trouville via Rouen where I stayed for an early lunch at the Nurses’ Hostel. On arrival, found that the DDMS, Rouen, Colonel Meeke, and the OC 12 General Hospital, wished to see me on a matter in connection with a complaint which Major Veeder had received from an Intelligence Officer belonging to the American Army and a prominent member of the American Red Cross with reference to two of the American nurses who had recently arrived in Havre for duty with one of our units. These girls had complained that they were treated with scant courtesy on arrival by the Matron who informed them that they should have brought camp kit with them like the British sisters, and that, in consequence, she did not know how they were to be accommodated. She had also forbidden them to speak to any of the American officers, and in consequence they had both appealed to some friend they had met in the town, who had informed these two prominent Americans, and they had been all over Havre trying to buy two beds and, being unable to do so, they had reported the matter to Major Veeder, who is the responsible officer for the payment of all the Americans working with our Reserve. He was extremely nice about the matter, and said that as the Americans had received such courtesy from the British at all times, before making the matter an official one, he was anxious to see me to find out what our methods were and whether I knew anything about it. Being totally ignorant of the whole affair, it was decided that the best thing was for me to drive Major Veeder to Havre and find out the exact situation of the case. Accordingly they telephoned to the DDMS Havre, letting him know that we were coming and we drove down.
On arrival, the DDMS met us. He was totally ignorant of any of these happenings and asked me to go to the Emigrants Hotel Section, where Miss Wellman, a Matron belonging to our Regular Service, is in charge. Went over the quarters, which are in a very good solid building. Saw Miss Wellman, who said they had tried to get a bed for the Americans and had gone to the American Consul. She did not appear to think there was anything very serious in lying on the floor, which she said she had done herself. The Americans had been given two cots, as she called them. We went up to the room – a good airy room on the top floor, where the Americans were still lying on 2 blankets. She did not appear to think anything of it, and said she could have got beds from the hospital We then saw the sisters. They said they had now got used to their surroundings, that they very likely complained more than they would have done, but that they were lonely and did not understand how it was that nothing could be done and that they were not allowed to speak to the American officers. I was anxious to let these officers see what arrangements we made in our units for passers-by, and how upset we were at this unfortunate occurrence, and I took them to the Casino, where there is every comfort arranged for the passer-by, and where beds are all made up ready for them and every convenience. We had tea there and then went round the quarters to see the accommodation the nurses have there. I also rang up the A/Principal Matron, who later met us and said she had definitely told Miss Wellman to draw 2 beds for these girls but as she was a Matron, it had not occurred to her to go and see that they were perfectly comfortable and happy. Major Veeder than left to go and see the American authorities to let them know exactly the facts of the case, and I undertook to move the nurses to another unit. I saw the OC of the hospital and reported the matter to him also. Stayed the night at the Officers’ Hospital.
Early in the morning, let the DDMS know what had happened. I told him that I proposed to report the matter officially to him so that he could put his remarks as to the Matron’s action in this case.
I then left with Miss Rannie, A/Principal Matron for Etretat, where I went to see Miss Anna Maxwell, a prominent woman in the American nursing world who is over in France paying a visit. Had lunch with her and Mrs. Christie and other American ladies, and promised that if it were possible I would arrange for her to have a permit to come and see our British units and from there to get over to London where she was anxious to see some of the reconstruction work which is being done in England for the benefit of our patients. Drove Miss Rannie back to Havre and then went on to Trouville, arriving in time for dinner. Stayed at the General’s house.
Next morning left early for the hospitals.
No.74 General Hospital: OC Colonel Riach, A/Matron and A/Principal Matron of the area – Miss L. E. Mackay, RRC, QAIMNS; Assistant Matron – Miss Corbishley, RRC, QAIMNS; Night Sister Miss Ball, CHR; Home Sister – Miss J. J. A. Paul, QAIMNSR; Theatre Sister – Miss Waugh, TFNS.
This hospital is now in good working order and everything seemed in first-rate condition. There are beautiful gardens, both for flowers and vegetables, all round the buildings. The buildings themselves have been well arranged and the patients looked well and comfortably accommodated. The Sisters’ quarters are extremely comfortable and the ante-room and mess-room very pretty, and all the table appointments showed great taste and thought in their selection. Part of the staff is composed of 4 Americans, 19 Australians and 11 of the nurses from the Liverpool Merchants’ Unit who are working there until their hospital is ready to receive them. There is an enormous dining hall where 700 patients can be fed at a time and where Miss Brizell, the dietician, presides. At the time of the visit the hospital was very full but only a few were serious cases. They have accommodation for 100 officers, which is very good indeed. This hospital can only accommodate 125 nursing staff and they are asking for 3 masseuses as well. I pointed out to the OC that until accommodation is provided it will not be possible to provide more than one as a staff of 125 nurses is little enough for a hospital of that size.
No.73 General Hospital: I then went to No.73 General Hospital which is a unit of the same kind. OC Lt. Colonel Simpson; Matron – Miss K. Smith, TFNS; Assistant Matron – Miss Harrison, TFNS; Home Sister – Miss Bell, TFNS; Theatre sister – Miss Sloan, TFNS. This hospital is run by Territorials but they have in addition 4 Americans and 11 members of the Liverpool Merchants’ staff. This unit is also run on the same lines as No.74 and is equally good.
No.72 General Hospital: OC – Lt. Colonel Evans; A/Matron – Miss E. S. Fox, RRC, QAIMNS; Assistant Matron – Miss Gibbs; Theatre Sister – Miss Hart, QAIMNSR; Night sister – Miss Thomson, QAIMNSR; Home Sister – Miss Hilling, QAIMNSR. This unit, like the other two, is a first-rate hospital, admirably managed and extremely pretty. In addition to a large vegetable and flower garden, they have a large number of rabbit hutches and beehives.
Sick Sisters’ Annexe: I then went to the Sick Sisters’ Annexe which is at a distance. Sister in charge – Miss Devenish Meares, QAIMNSR. They have accommodation for 40 sick sisters and they are going to take some sisters for a rest. It is a nice big building, not prettily furnished, but quite suitable. The rooms are big and airy and look out on to the sea front. They have everything that is required and the table appointments are good but it is not in any way as pretty as our other Sick Sisters’ Hospitals, and they tell me they have difficulty in getting things from the Red Cross. I said I would see what I could do about the matter. All these units have a large number of General Service VAD members replacing men, but none are up to strength. They say on the whole their work is excellent but that the administration of this organisation is not good. Casualties are not replaced at once and numbers are not kept up to strength which makes it more than difficult.
Liverpool Merchants’ unit: Whilst at Trouville I saw Miss Whitson, RRC, Matron, and Colonel Ram, OC of the Liverpool Merchants’ unit, who wished to come to tell me that they were entirely satisfied with the arrangements made for their nurses and how pleased they were to be working in British units for a time.
HRH Princess Victoria’s Club for Nurses: Before leaving Trouville I went to inspect HRH Princess Victoria’s Club – which is very nicely situated in grounds – a good big house, with a very nice sitting-room, ante-room, tea room, two silence rooms and three very nice bed rooms for visitors where sisters from Rouen are going to have the privilege and opportunity of staying.
I then left for Rouen where I had lunch at 8 General Hospital and where I met Colonel Sir George Beatson and Colonel Wallace, who wanted to see me with reference to the discharge of the nurses from No.11 Stationary Hospital, Scottish Section. They wished to see me personally on the subject, as some of the relatives and ladies of the Committee were raising the question to whether these girls had been unfairly treated. From what I could gather the brother-in-law of Miss Hilda Smith, who recently wrote to me on the subject, is contemplating taking legal action, and as these two gentlemen are members of the Committee, they were anxious to have the opportunity of discussing the question first-hand with me. They asked me many questions and appeared to be quite satisfied, and when going away thanked me for the valuable assistance I had given them, and promised to let me know how the matter is finally settled.
Returned to Abbeville.
Went to GHQ. The DGMS was away inspecting in the South but the DDG, General Thomson, was at the office. I showed him the circular which the DMS, L of C had approved, to be sent out with reference to the move of the office, giving instructions that all matters in connection with the nursing arrangements should be sent to the new office. This entirely approved of. The question of the methods by which nurses for front areas had always been supplied to the DMSs was discussed and he entirely approved of the existing arrangements which he was anxious to continue. With reference to GHQ South, the new area, he wishes the DDMS always to apply direct to the Matron-in-Chief’s office in connection with anything he wanted with reference to the nursing services.
The last month of the second course of training in anaesthetics is to begin at Casualty Clearing Stations this week and he entirely approves of those now working in the Armies being distributed where their services are most required and their vacancies being filled by the 55 who are now beginning their last course.
Had lunch, and after lunch went to the Headquarters of the 3rd Army now stationed at Hesdin and which next week is moving to a small village not far from Wavrans. I told the DMS about the approaching move of the office, and he will continue to make his requests direct to the office as he had done when we were at Headquarters, L of C. He was anxious for me to visit No.38 CCS where things have not been going very smoothly in consequence of some of the members of the nursing staff being undisciplined, and also to No.34 CCS at the same place where last week one or two bombs were dropped. There was no serious loss of life, and a night sister belonging to the Australian Nursing Service displayed great courage and has been recommended for the Military Medal.
No.38 CCS: OC Lt. Colonel Lowe, Sister i/c Miss Fyfe, QAIMNSR. This unit is under canvas in a field away from everything. It is well laid out and the accommodation for the nursing staff is in bell tents – dug in and protected by sand-bags. The OC said that the Sister in charge was very capable but that she had had a very difficult time with many undisciplined people and, in consequence, he felt it would be good if she had a change of station, as her leave was now due. I saw the Sister in charge in her quarters which are extremely nice, and very comfortable in every respect. The trouble had been caused by 4 sisters belonging to the AANS who were undisciplined in every respect and had caused a bad influence throughout the whole unit, and in consequence of the work being very uneven with intervals where there was little or nothing to do, the position had been more than difficult. Her present staff was 8 including herself and an anaesthetist and a team sister.
No.34 CCS is absolutely next door – Sister i/c Miss I. Craig, CHR; OC Lt. Colonel Simpson, who was away on leave. I saw the Acting OC, Major Morrison, and also the Sister in charge. This unit seemed to be very well managed and going in a most satisfactory manner. The staff of 9 including an anaesthetist, had proved themselves very capable and well disciplined and the impression I came away with was that the unit was excellent in every respect. The Sisters’ quarters are particularly good. The OC has had the bell tents dug down to a great depth and provided bedsteads, and every bell tent has a little porch and a stairway down into the tent so that they are more than usually well protected. There were no complaints of any kind, no one to be moved and no one who wished for an interview.
Left early for Headquarters, 1st Army, where I saw the DMS, General H. Thompson, and where I discussed the question of the move of the office and he, like the DMS of the 3rd Army, has no wish that there should be alterations of any kind in the present arrangements. He spoke about the valuable help the sisters were giving at Schools of Instruction when open, by their lectures to both officers and men on various nursing duties with which it is important that everyone should be acquainted.
No.1 CCS: After lunch, I went with the DMS to No.1 CCS which is now one of the Schools of Instruction, and where the nursing staff has been reduced to a minimum of 5, as only NYDN cases are being admitted while the instruction is going. Should heavy work begin, the unit is ready at any minute to take in large numbers of patients and the nursing staff can be increased in less than an hour from nurses waiting at No.12 Stationary Hospital. The unit is under canvas and well arranged but I did not see it under the best circumstances in consequence of heavy torrents of rain, and as it has only recently been opened, the pathways are now yet completed. Here the nursing staff are in Nissen huts which are well protected. We just arrived at the time when a lecture was going to be given by Miss White, the Sister in charge, on the necessity of paying great attention to the cleanliness of the mouth, especially in cases of injury to the mouth and jaw, the feeding of helpless patients, the making of beds and the importance of knowing how to lift a helpless patient in his bed. The lecture was first-rate – Miss White had a bed on the platform and demonstrated everything, having a man in the bed and getting members out of the class to come and assist. The marquee was quite full of officers, NCOs and men, all of whom were keenly interested and most were taking notes. Miss White is a quiet and nervous looking woman, who spoke slowly and distinctly and one could see it was not the first time she had held classes of this kind.
This School of Instruction was keenly interesting from every point of view. One marquee was full of stretchers on tressles with various splints on each where demonstrations were given by officers appointed for this work and instruction in the application of all kinds of splints, and beside each stretcher were all the appliances which would be required. In another large hut were all the various contrivances sent from the various Sanitary Sections of appliances necessary to guard against the spread of disease, the filtering of water, the method of obtaining water from a great depth, all sorts of methods for the disposal of refuse of every kind, and out in the open were various sorts of incinerators, stoves, and a trench with modern methods of sanitation, showing the various latrines which are now supplied in the trenches. From all the Sanitary Sections in the Army workers are asked to supply their own methods and from those sent to the School, the best are selected and over the specimen is placed the name of the inventor and the Section from which the specimen has been obtained.
No.22 CCS: I then went with the DMS to No.22 CCS, OC – Lt. Colonel Goodwin, Sister in charge – Miss Wyllie, QAIMNSR Australia, with a staff of 17 including 3 teams and 2 anaesthetists. This camp is one of a group of 4 situated in a field on an incline, and behind it, each on a line with their unit, have been placed an enormous Red Cross which it is impossible for anyone to miss even at the greatest height, as it is placed right in the middle of beautiful green fields. This camp is wonderfully arranged and situated. The Operating Theatre has been made by a series of marquees which have been beautifully lashed together, and are absolutely rain-proof. 8 tables are able to be working with the greatest ease, and, in addition, there is a part set apart for anaesthetising, another for sterilising and another for dressings. In order to give light, the whole length of the marquee has had small windows inserted and top lights have been done in the same way. It is lighted with electricity and has every modern convenience in it. The sisters’ quarters are first rate, with a big marquee for mess and ante-room. The sisters are accommodated in huts with a big dug-out at the base of the hill.
No.12 Stationary Hospital: I then went to No.12 Stationary Hospital to see the sisters who had just returned from No.57 CCS which was badly bombed last night and where one sister had been wounded. The A/Matron of No.12 Stationary, Miss Drage, said they had all arrived in good condition and were at the present moment at one of the men’s concerts so that I only saw the Sister in charge, Miss Rowe, QAIMNS, and the wounded sister, Mrs. Watkins, QAIMNSR. Miss Rowe explained that they had had a heavy bombardment; it happened in the night, and the sisters who were not on duty were ordered to go into a field. Those on night duty, she said, displayed the greatest courage. The hospital was practically wrecked – it was a hutted camp and most of the huts were perforated with holes and they suffered more from machine guns than anything else. Fortunately only one man was killed, and the sister who was hit was off duty. The patients were moved to No.33 CCS, the nearest unit, and the staff, as soon as they had packed up their things in as much order as possible, have all been sent to No.12 Stationary Hospital where they are remaining until the unit, which is moving back two or three kilometres, is established again. Those due for leave are being sent on leave and the remainder are resting.
SUMMARY FOR JULY, 1918
Abancourt Stationary Hospital, on 1.7.18: Staff supplied – 10
62 Casualty Clearing Station, on 19.7.18: Staff supplied – 14
8 Casualty Clearing Station, on 24.7.18: Staff supplied – 8
63 Casualty Clearing Station, on 24.7.18: Staff supplied – 8
50 Casualty Clearing Station, on 25.7.18: Staff supplied – 11
48 Casualty Clearing Station, on 28.7.18: Staff supplied – 6
Total – 57
1 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station, on 30.7.18: Staff released – 17
4 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station, on 30.7.18: Staff released – 23
Total – 40
Trained – 13
VADs – 3
Sent Home Sick
Trained – 28
VADs – 15
Returned from sick leave
Trained – 17
VADs – 6
Total at present sick in England
Trained – 138
VADs – 78
Resignations sent forward
Trained – 8 (3 for marriage)
Transfers to Home Establishment
Trained – 16
Approximate No. of leaves granted
To United Kingdom – 649
To Etretat – 3
To Trouville – 3
Total – 655
VADs returned to England
Resigned – 11
Termination of contract – 30
Transferred to Home Establishment – 3
Total – 44
Died – Miss M. C. Young, VAD (Cerebro-Spinal Meningitis) on 30.7.18.
Units bombed or shelled
Frequent air raids have occurred in all the Front areas and on the Lines of Communication: in some cases considerable damage has been done, but only two casualties have occurred among members of the Nursing Staff – A/Sister E. F. Watkins, QAIMNSR, 57 Casualty Clearing Station, being slightly wounded in the leg, and Miss L. M. Dunn, VAD, 35 General Hospital sustaining a slight injury to the head from falling timber.
Etaples has again suffered from enemy raids and much damage has been done to the station and to the town.
Calais, Abbeville, St. Omer have also experienced frequent bombing attacks, and at Calais on the night of the 22nd a great deal of damage was done to the wards of 35 General Hospital.
Boulogne There have been frequent warnings during the month, but no serious raids.
Military Medals awarded
S/Nurse P. Corkhill, AANS: 38 Casualty Clearing Station.
Total No. of CAMC
Transferred to England – 31
Arrived in France – 30
Now in France – 754
Total No. of AANS
Transferred to England – 12
Arrived in France – 7
Now in France – 460
Total requirements of nurses in the BEF according to War Establishment on the Lines of Communication, including Stationary Hospitals in the Front Area:
Trained Nurses – 2252
VADs and Special Probationers – 1659
Total requirements in Front Area (CCS, Trains, Barges)
Trained Nurses – 711
Total requirements in BEF
Trained nurses – 2963
VADs and Special Probationers – 1659
Total British Staff now in BEF
Trained Nurses – 2424
Americans attached to British Units nursed by British Personnel – 182
AANS attached to British Units nursed by British Personnel – 19
Total – 2625
VADs and Special Probationers – 1709
Trained Nurses – 433
Grand Total in BEF (Including Overseas and Americans)
Trained Nurses – 4825
VADs and Special Probationers – 3373*
*Includes 918 General Service VADs working in British Units