CROWN COPYRIGHT: THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES, WO95/3989
JULY 1st – 30th 1917From July 1917 the diary grows in length and complexity, and from August 1917 the actual form of the diary changes, with its division into two separate sections each month. In order to keep it in a compact and readable form some entries relating to resignations, transfers and leave have been removed from this time.
Sick Sisters 124
AANS for transport duty: DGMS forwarded copy of letter from HQ, AIF desiring the recall of Sisters A. G. West and A. Bull, AANS from 2 Australian General Hospital for duty on transport to Australia.
Efficiency Stripe: Forwarded to all Bases a supply of certificates for VAD Efficiency Stripe.
Reinforcements: Forwarded to DGMS monthly return of reinforcements and wastage during June. Total wastage – Trained nurses 83, Untrained 56 – Total reinforcements, Trained 130, Untrained 139.
AANS Matrons: Sent request to DGMS asking that Matron A. Kellett, RRC, Matron Mills Walker, RRC and Sister Fleming, ARRC of the AANS, should be sent to France as soon as possible to take over units being nursed by Australian Army Nursing Service.
Bicycles: Received telephone message from Major Buckley, Headquarters, asking if any order had been sent out re nurses and VADs in British units, not being allowed to ride bicycles. Replied that no orders had been issued to that effect, but there were reasons why it was not encouraged.
Sick Sisters 129
Pay of Canadian nurses: Received copy of War Office letter with reference to the pay of Canadian Staff Nurses employed with the QAIMNS who, owing to a misunderstanding, have been paid at the initial rate of a Sister’s pay. It has been decided, in the event of these ladies signing an agreement to serve for duration, that they will not be entitled to the special rate of pay, in addition to £50 per annum, but they will be entitled to such portion of £20 as will, with the pay of £50 per annum, bring their pay to that of a Staff Nurse, QAIMNSR on the same length of service, in receipt of £40 per annum rate of pay. In the cases of those appointed Sisters, they will be entitled to the full £20, provided they sign the necessary agreement.
Staff Nurse M. Lineham: Received copy of War Office letter with enclosure from HQ, AIF, stating that the satisfactory report on Miss Lineham, AANS had been noted. Promotions in the AANS were made in order of seniority as vacancies occurred. Miss Lineham was not yet due.
AANS reinforcements: Received copy of War Office wire stating that 29 members of the AANS were ready to embark. Could we accommodate them? Replied that we could accommodate them but asked if these ladies were for Australian or Imperial units.
Miss Wilton Smith, RRC, QAIMNS arrived from Havre for duty in Abbeville, with Sister Mitchie Thomson, QAIMNSR, who reported at 2 Stationary Hospital for duty.
Visited 2 Stationary Hospital at 9 a.m. with Madame O’Gorman – went round the general ward, the officers’ ward and the theatre.
Surgeon-General Makins called to ask if VAD Howlett might if possible be posted to the operating theatre in the Observation Hut at 26 General Hospital, this lady having had some years theatre experience prior to joining as a VAD member. Arranged with Miss Hartigan, the Matron, for this service.
62 and 63 CCS: DMS, 5th Army, asked for staff of 62 and 63 CCS which were re-opening on the 4th inst. The staff were to detrain at Abeele.
36 and 39 CCS: Received telephone message from DMS 4th Army, who notified that 36 and 39 CCS were moving, and the staff would be sent to the Nurses’ Home, Abbeville, during the move.
Sick Sisters 137
Her Majesty Queen Mary arrived at Calais – to visit 3 Canadian General Hospital in the afternoon.
Miss Thurston, Matron-in-Chief, NZANS arrived to inspect the New Zealand Stationary Hospital at Hazebrouck.
Miss Macdonald, Matron-in-Chief, Canadians, arrived in Boulogne, with Matron Rayside and Lady Perley.
VAD Ambulance Drivers: Received from DGMS copy of letter from DGMS to Commissioner, BRCS, approving the appointment of 3 VAD members to drive 3 Ambulances being sent to Trouville.
Permit for Miss Thurston: Received copy of memo from DGMS to DMS 2nd Army stating that a permit valid for 3 days from July 3rd had been recommended for Miss Thurston, Matron-in-Chief, NZANS, to visit the New Zealand Stationary Hospital, and asking that every facility for this purpose should be given her.
Bicycles: Received memo from DGMS stating that during a recent tour it had come to his notice that nursing Sisters and VAD members in Military Units were not allowed to ride bicycles, although this rule does not apply to BRCS and Overseas Hospitals, and saying that to make such a distinction is invidious; instructions should be issued that all Sisters and VAD members may ride bicycles if they wish to do so. Replied that no orders have been issued from this office to the effect that members of the Nursing Staff are not permitted to ride bicycles. Bicycling is not encouraged for the following reasons (1) the Active service kit of Trained nurses is not intended for bicycling, (2) the limited accommodation available for storing bicycles, and in the BRCS units the staff is stationary, whereas in British units movement of members is unavoidable, and the addition of a bicycle to kit, when moving, would be a serious difficulty. In accordance with orders, Matrons will be informed that if any Nursing Sisters or VAD members wish to ride a bicycle, they may do so.
Rest Club at St. Omer: DGMS asked that the approval of the GOC, L of C should be obtained for the establishment of a Nurses’ Rest Club at St. Omer.
Miss Wilton Smith, QAIMNS, commenced duty in the Matron-in-Chief’s office.
A staff officer from GHQ brought Sir Arthur Pearson to see the Matron-in-Chief, wishing to congratulate the Army Nursing Service for the good work done in France.
To Boulogne 6 p.m. for the purpose of meeting Her Majesty Queen Mary. Stayed the night with Lady Algernon Gordon Lennox.
Sick Sisters 135
To office of DDMS Boulogne at 9 a.m. Saw Miss Thurston, Matron-in-Chief, NZANS and arranged with Surgeon-General Sawyer that she should visit several Hospitals in Boulogne with Miss Steenson A/Principal Matron, whilst waiting for her permit to proceed to Hazebrouck – owing to an error, her permit had been made for Amiens.
To 83 (Dublin) General Hospital to meet her Majesty Queen Mary at 11 a.m. Her Majesty, who was accompanied by Lady Airlie, visited several wards and also the store of Lady Algernon Gordon Lennox, and the Sisters’ Quarters, and left at 11.45 for 8 Stationary Hospital where 6 wards were visited, all special fracture wards, where Major Sinclair’s splints were in use. Her Majesty then visited No.2 Australian General Hospital, the personnel of which unit were presented. Her Majesty visited one ward in this unit and then proceeded to 14 General Hospital. Here visits were paid to the Officers’ Hospital, to the Casino, and to the Sick Sisters’ Hospital. Luncheon was served for Her Majesty at the Chateau Mauricien, to which I was invited. Her Majesty left the Chateau at 3.30 p.m. and visited 53 General Hospital and saw the Matron and Assistant Matron, and inspected the Sisters’ quarters. They are now able to accommodate 20 of their staff but at present have no patients, but expect to take in, in a week’s time.
Returned to Abbeville 6 p.m.
Visited Miss McCarthy, who is now convalescent, at Sick Sisters’ Annex, 2 Stationary Hospital.
Miss McCarthy’s sick leave: Letter sent from DMS to DGMS asking for approval to send Miss McCarthy home on 3 weeks’ sick leave, on completion of which he considered she would be entirely fit to resume her duties.
S/Nurses Weatherhead & McCarron: Reported to DGMS that S/Nurses Weatherhead and McCarron, AANS proceeded to England on 23rd prior to sailing to Australia. These 2 nurses refused to be inoculated and the matter had been referred to DAG, AIF who directed that they should return to Headquarters, AIF.
Sister R. Pratt: DMS 2nd Army, telephoned that Sister R. Pratt, AANS had been wounded whilst on duty at 1 Australian CCS by a splinter of bomb in the chest. She had been evacuated to 10 Stationary Hospital.
DMS 3rd Army, reported several moves in Casualty Clearing Stations.
Sick Sisters 130
Miss McCarthy’s sick leave: Memo received from DGMS approving 3 weeks’ sick leave being granted to Miss McCarthy any time after July 10th. He did not wish her to go before as Her Majesty would be visiting the Hospital on that date.
Sister R. Pratt: Notification received by wire from 10 Stationary Hospital that Sister R. Pratt, AANS who had been wounded in the chest, was progressing, but her condition was still serious. Wired this information to the War Office.
VAD Active Service Outfit: Letter sent to Mr. Knapp re VAD Active Service Outfit Allowance of £8. 5. 0., for those members who joined in 1915 and early 1916 and who had not received it, asking if this could not now be claimed.
Reinforcements: 29 Staff Nurses, AANS, arrived for duty in British units.
Visited the Nurses’ Club at 4 p.m. and saw Mrs. Saunders and Mrs. Cliff, the 2 VADs who manage the Club. There are altogether 200 members and Mrs. Saunders reported that the club was well attended and apparently much appreciated.
36 &39 CCS The Sisters from 36 and 39 CCS arrived at the Nurses’ Home, Abbeville, pending the re-establishment of these units.
Sick Sisters 126
To Etaples at 8.30 a.m. to attend Her Majesty Queen Mary on her visits to the Hospitals in the area. Her Majesty inspected the Ambulance Convoy and the drivers at 10.30 a.m. and then visited the Liverpool Merchants’ Hospital where the staff were presented and several wards visited. The next visit paid was to St. John Ambulance Brigade Hospital, where Her Majesty spent one hour in the wards and lunched, luncheon being served in the Sisters’ sitting-room, to which I was invited. After luncheon, presentations of the Specialists were made to Her Majesty and at 2.30 p.m. she proceeded to Princess Victoria’s Rest Club at Etaples and from thence to Camiers to inspect the Princess Victoria Rest Club there, and Lady Algernon Gordon Lennox being present at both. I expressed to her Majesty, on behalf of all nurses and VAD members their extreme gratitude to Princess Victoria for her kind thought in instituting these clubs which have proved a great boon to the nurses. Her Majesty next visited 22 General Hospital, the Harvard Unit, which has been in Camiers since 1915. The staff, including Mrs. Hagar, the Matron, were presented to Her Majesty, also the 2 Matrons of the American units which have recently arrived – Miss Urch and Miss Hall. 2 wards were visited in this hospital, Her Majesty leaving the camp at 3.30 p.m. The nurses were all lined up down the road to cheer her as she went. After Her Majesty had left, I visited the new Observation Hut at 26 General Hospital and informed Miss Hartigan she would be handing over the duties of A/Principal Matron to Miss Stronach, A/Matron, QAIMNS, at an early date. Miss Stronach is replacing Miss Denne in the area. Saw Lady Bradford*, who is still writing letters for patients in 24 and 26 General Hospitals, which duties she has been performing since October, 1914.
Returned to Abbeville 8 p.m.
* Lady Mary Bradford (née Roberts) wife of Sir John Rose Bradford, Consulting Physician to the BEF. Mary Bradford went to France in October 1914, at around the same time as her husband. She worked for the following five years as a letter-writer to the troops, most of that time spent at Nos. 24 and 26 General Hospitals, Etaples. She wrote a book about her experiences 'A Letter Writer in France', published in 1920.
Miss Morgan, VAD: Received copy of War Office letter re Miss Morgan, VAD who had asked for 7 days’ special leave in order to be married. The letter stated that the question of VAD members being retained in the service after marriage without resigning was under consideration.
Mediterranean L of C: Letter received from Miss Richards at the War Office stating that the nursing staff of Mediterranean Rest Hospitals belonged to the BEF. All questions should be addressed through the CO to the ADMS, Colonel Statham, who will refer to the Matron-in-Chief, BEF on nursing matters.
Sick Sisters 126
Miss Lang, A/Matron, QAIMNS 47 General Hospital, called at the office to report on her way to England on 14 days’ leave.
Mrs. Furse, Commandant-in-Chief, Women’s VAD and Miss Crowdy, Principal Commandant in France, called at 3.30 p.m. and discussed the question of General Service members in Military units, and also the Efficiency Stripe.
Mediterranean L of C: Received letter from Sister in charge, No.1 Rest Camp, Mediterranean L of C. Informed her that all official matters must be put up through the CO and ADMS, Colonel Statham. The Sister in charge, Miss Munro, reported that all was working well at the Rest Station. Several patients had been admitted – there was accommodation for 50 patients.
Received letter from Matron Miss Dowse at No.4 Rest Camp, Taranto, reporting progress of the hospital, which will have 200 beds. Tents were being put up and equipment was arriving. 6 patients at present in hospital – only light cases. Permanent buildings were being erected. The heat is very great and all have commenced to take daily doses of quinine. The Sisters are accommodated in tents; at present only four, to include the Matron, have been sent – more will be sent when accommodation is available. She also asks that Sister E. M. Smith, CHR who speaks Italian fluently and is on the staff of 39 Stationary Hospital, might be detailed for duty in Taranto. This application will be considered.
QAIMNS Promotions: A list of 85 promotions from rank of Staff Nurse to that of Sister of members of the QAIMNS appears in the London Gazette, dated 6.7.17.
NZANS reinforcements: 1 Sister and 6 Staff Nurses, NZANS, arrived as reinforcements for the New Zealand Stationary Hospital at Hazebrouck.
11 CCS: News received that 11 CCS had been bombed – the nursing staff with Miss Gibb, Sister in charge, had been brought down to 10 Stationary Hospital.
58 General Hospital: 20 VAD members returned to 58 General Hospital from units to which they had been temporarily posted – this gives 58 General Hospital its complete staff.
2 CCS: Received letter from Miss Macpherson, Sister in charge, 2 CCS saying that several bombs had been dropped and a number of civilian wounded brought into hospital, also 3 officers, not seriously wounded. She mentioned the King’s visit to Bailleul and said everything had gone off successfully.
Sick Sisters 123
Visited the Sick Sisters’ Annex, 2 Stationary Hospital, with Surgeon-General Woodhouse, to arrange for the reception of Her Majesty on the occasion of her visit, then to the South African Hospital to arrange the grouping of nurses and the wards which Her Majesty would visit.
Miss I. M. Johnson, QAIMNS called on her way to join 38 Ambulance Train to which she has been posted temporarily as Sister in charge, owing to the Australian nurses having taken over the unit to which she had been posted as Matron (38 Stationary Hospital).
Retired QAIMNS: Received copy of War Office letter stating that retired members of the QAIMNS are eligible for the extra £20 under the new agreement, provided they are not in receipt of retired pay, that they are enrolled in the QAIMNS Reserve, and that they sign the necessary agreement.
Hut at St. Roch: Sent reply to DGMS in answer to offer of Commissioner, BRCS, to erect a hut at St. Roch, saying Sisters are now able to make the connection without undue wait, and we should therefore not be justified in accepting the kind offer of erecting a hut for these ladies to wait in. Heretofore there has been a wait of 6 hours before a connection could be got to Rouen.
59 General Hospital informed this office that accommodation was now ready for the nursing staff – informed DGMS by wire, and asked that the entire staff might be sent out and notification of embarkation might be wired direct to this office.
Sick Sisters 124
Advanced Op. Centre: DMS 5th Army asked that the nursing staff for an Advanced Operating Centre should be sent up forthwith, to be attached to 4 CCS at Dozinghem.
Miss McCarthy, RRC: Medical Board held on Miss McCarthy, Matron-in-Chief, at the Sick Sisters’ Annex, 2 Stationary Hospital. The Board recommended she should be granted 3 weeks’ sick leave. Proceedings forwarded to Base Commandant.
38 Stationary Hospital: Notified DGMS that 38 Stationary Hospital was now ready to receive its nursing staff and orders were being issued accordingly. This unit will be staffed entirely by members of the AANS.
Reinforcements: Received copy of War Office letter re 29 Staff Nurses, AANS embarking on July 5th for duty in Imperial units.
Trained Nurses’ Annuity Fund: Extract from Dr. Ogier Ward’s letter of thanks and receipt for £150 circulated to all units.
2 Australian CCS: Orders sent for Sister L. Stobo, AANS 3 Australian General Hospital, to proceed to 2 Australian CCS to take over the duties of Sister in charge from Sister E. S. Davidson, ARRC who had been appointed Matron of 38 Stationary Hospital.
Sick Sisters 121
Her Majesty Queen Mary, accompanied by the Prince of Wales, inspected 2 Stationary Hospital Annex (Sick Sisters’ Unit), in the morning; saw Miss McCarthy, Matron-in-Chief, and all the sick Sisters. She then proceeded to the South African General Hospital and inspected several wards, leaving at 12.15 to meet His Majesty King George and the President of the French Republic at the Officers’ Club, Abbeville, for lunch.
22 General Hospital: Received copy of War Office letter stating that 7 VAD members were en route for 22 General Hospital from America, arriving about the 12th or 13th July in England. Mrs. Hagar, Matron of 22 General Hospital, should proceed to England to conduct these ladies to France.
Reinforcements: Received copy of War Office letter with enclosure giving the number of reinforcements sent to France during the month of June, 1917 – total 294 reinforcements and 17 returned from sick leave.
Portuguese CCS: Received correspondence from DGMS enclosing letter from Chef de Sante, Portuguese Expeditionary Force, asking that 12 British Sisters might be detailed for duty in his CCS opening at Merville. DMS 1st Army approved of the proposal provided interpreters were provided. DGMS asked for the remarks of the Matron-in-Chief, and the reply was that Sisters could be supplied but could find no-one who spoke Spanish or Portuguese. The service was not recommended by the DMS, L of C.
Miss Stronach, RRC A/Matron, QAIMNS, proceeded to 24 General Hospital, Etaples, from 3 General Hospital, Treport, to take up the duties of Matron of the unit and of A/Principal Matron of the Etaples area.
Left for Rouen at 3 p.m. in order to meet Her Majesty Queen Mary on her visit to the hospitals in Rouen on the following day.
Sick Sisters 120
AANS Units: Forwarded memo to DGMS asking if the same procedure could be adopted with reference to the Sisters’ messes being taken over by Australian nurses at 25 General Hospital and 5 Stationary Hospital as that adopted in the case of American units, namely, that the private mess property be valued by a Board and offered to the staff taking over, at the valuation of the Board.
57 General Hospital: Applied through DGMS to the War Office for the VAD members belonging to the staff of 57 General Hospital, as that unit was now ready to take in the entire nursing staff on the 16th instant.
At 9 a.m. visited the DDMS office, Rouen, and obtained orders re Queen Mary’s visits in Rouen. Called for the A/Principal Matron of Rouen at 5 General Hospital and proceeded to No.1 Australian General Hospital to arrange the reception of Her Majesty and the grouping of the nursing staff. Her Majesty arrived at 11 a.m., and the A/Principal Matron and officers and Matron of No.1 Australian General Hospital were presented. Several wards were visited and an inspection made of the Sisters’ quarters, Her Majesty leaving about 11.30 a.m. to visit a French Hospital.
Visited 6 General Hospital and went round with the Matron, Miss Lyde, who had just returned from leave. Met Miss Fletcher, Principal Matron, BRCS, and Miss Wilson, the A/Principal Matron of Rouen, at lunch.
At 2.30 p.m. visited Princess Victoria’s Rest Club for Nurses which is very largely patronised by the nurses and VADs in the area.
Then to No.2 British Red Cross Society Hospital to meet Her Majesty who was having tea at this hospital and was inspecting at 4 p.m. Her Majesty remained one hour in the hospital, tea being served in the Sister’ Mess. After tea, Her Majesty paid a visit to all the wards on the ground floor and the first floor of the building, and expressed herself delighted with the hospital. Her Majesty was accompanied by the Prince of Wales. Met Lady Northcliffe in Rouen, who told me she was in France enquiring into the conditions of the VAD Convoy Drivers.
Left the Nurses’ Hostel, 2, Rue Bouquet, Rouen, where I had stayed the night, for Abbeville at 6 p.m. The Nurses’ Hostel was full at the time of my visit, nurses from two trains being accommodated there whilst their trains were in garage for repairs.
Sick Sisters 123
Reinforcements: Forwarded to DGMS list of reinforcements of nurses who arrived in France during the month of June – 295 in all, also those who returned from sick leave – total 20.
Marriage of VAD members: Copy of War Office letter received with regard to permission for VAD members to be retained in the service after marriage, requesting that it should be made clear to all members that permission must be obtained for their retention in the service before this step was taken.
Efficiency Stripe: Memo received from DGMS saying that the certificate for VAD Efficiency Stripe should be issued locally, not referred to the War Office.
Miss Thurston, Matron-in-Chief, NZANS: Forwarded to DGMS departure report of Miss Thurston, Matron-in-Chief, NZANS who left for England on July 10th.
The Duchess of Sutherland called to report the number of cases in her unit and the increase of beds by 50.
Convalescent Home, Hardelot: Notification received from Lady Gifford that the Convalescent Home at Hardelot would re-open on the 14th. It has been closed for a fortnight on account of a case of cerebro-spinal meningitis.
Sick Sisters 125
Military Medal: Recommendation received from DMS 2nd Army, for the award of the Military Medal to Sisters C. Spence, L. Bowles and L. M. Gilbert, QAIMNSR who were working in 11 CCS when the hospital was heavily bombed – 9 bombs being dropped on this unit in the early morning.
“Throughout, these Sisters continued their duties amongst the patients helping to calm them and attending to those wounded in the bombardment. They showed the most remarkable coolness and devotion to duty, and gave a splendid example under very trying circumstances.”
59 General Hospital: The nursing staff of 59 General Hospital arrived in Boulogne and were accommodated at the Louvre Hotel for the night.
Left Abbeville at 8 a.m. and arrived at Hazebrouck at 11 a.m. Saw the DMS, 2nd Army, who told me that the Casualty Clearing Stations at Bailleul were being moved on account of the enemy shelling the town. The three units were all packing up.
Called at the New Zealand Stationary Hospital and saw the Matron, Miss Price, and the CO. Both expressed themselves pleased with the building, and found the Sisters’ quarters much more comfortable than they were at Amiens. The hospital was full at the time of the visit.
Called at 15 CCS – Sister in charge, Miss Robb, CHR Had lunch in the Sisters’ mess. The unit is working smoothly and the Sisters are comfortably housed.
Called at 2 CCS at Bailleul, and 1 Australian CCS and at 53 CCS – all three of these units were packing up and were leaving for St. Omer that evening. At 1 Australian CCS (Sister in charge – Miss Tait) a bomb had been dropped about a fortnight ago in the grounds and had injured the Night Sister, Miss Pratt, AANS – penetrating wound of chest. This Sister is progressing favourably and is at present at 10 Stationary Hospital.
Proceeded to Wattau, Headquarters, 5th Army, arriving at 5 p.m. Made an appointment to see Surgeon-General Skinner in the morning at 10.30. Then on to Mendinghem to 12 CCS – saw the Sister in charge and the CO. The number of patients in hospital was 120 at the time of the visit, including 10 officers. There were 19 Sisters on duty. The Sisters’ quarters are very comfortable. Decided to make a change in the Sister in charge of this unit, as they are likely to be very busy and the present Sister in charge has been up 8 months.
Visited 64 CCS and saw Sister Williams, QAIMNS, Sister in charge, and the CO. It is an excellent camp – large wards and 2 theatres. The quarters for the nursing staff are very comfortable. The hospital was not busy at the time of the visit. There are only 9 Sisters in this unit at present.
To 46 CCS – saw the Sister in charge, Miss Duncan, and the CO. The hospital was taking in about 300 bad gas cases – eyes badly affected. The wards and quarters were in excellent order and things appeared to be working very smoothly. Stayed the night at 12 CCS – guns very noisy all night.
Sick Sisters 121
Their Majesties the King and Queen, and the Prince of Wales, visited 35 General Hospital before embarking for England.
Miss McCarthy, Matron-in-Chief, proceeded to England on 3 weeks’ sick leave, proceeding from Calais with their Majesties. Boat left 5 p.m. and arrived London 8.30.
Miss Hordley, QAIMNS: Received copy of War Office letter stating that Miss Hordley, RRC Matron, QAIMNS should be struck off the strength of the BEF on transfer to Home Establishment.
59 General Hospital: The nursing staff of 59 General Hospital proceeded to their unit at St. Omer, arriving at 8 p.m.
American reinforcements: Received telegram from Troopers stating that 54 American nurses had arrived as reinforcements – 5 for 1 General, 18 for 9 General, 15 for 11 General, 5 for 12 General, 5 for 16 General and 6 for 18 General Hospital. Asked how soon they might proceed to join their units. We replied that they should come immediately.
Left 12 CCS at 8.30 a.m. for Bandaghem – visited 63 CCS – Sister in charge Miss Bulman, TFNS. The arrangements are not completed and the hospitals taking only local sick chiefly – 120 and 6 officers in at time of visit. Then to 62 CCS which adjoins 63 CCS – Sister Teevan, QAIMNS in charge. The hospital is also not quite complete – still some marquees to pitch. All Casualty Clearing Stations in the 5th Army recently erected are on one plan – a broad path down the centre, and administrative offices at entrance to the camp – then the receiving rooms, dressing tents, resuscitation wards, theatre, ordinary wards and at the far end of the camp, minor casualties and walking cases – the mess and Sisters’ quarters to the left, and the Medical Officers’ quarters to the right. It is a most excellent plan, making it very easy on arrival at a CCS to at once know where to go.
To Headquarters at Wattau at 10.30 to see Surgeon-General Skinner, who told me of the requirements of all Casualty Clearing Stations during the next 2 or 3 weeks. With the exception of 62 and 63, the nursing staff of the remaining Casualty Clearing Stations is to be made up to 25 in each. This matter being confidential, the staffs are to be gradually made up and not large numbers at once.
To Dozinghem – visited 61 CCS – Sister Baird, QAIMNSR in charge. The hospital was busy at the time – 400 cases having been admitted during the night – all bad gas cases, ten of which were officers. This unit takes infectious cases, of which there were 70 at the time of the visit.
To 4 CCS – Miss Greaves, A/Matron, QAIMNSR in charge. The hospitals was very busy – only 7 nursing staff, so arranged to send 8 more. Lunched in the Sisters’ mess – the arrangements for the comfort of the Sisters are quite adequate.
To 47 CCS – Miss Roy, QAIMNS in charge. At the time of the visit there were 1,220 cases in, 950 of which were bad gas cases – all eyes affected and some chests. The patients’ suffering were being at once relieved by a 2-hourly treatment of adrenalin, eucaine and castor oil. The staff was exceptionally busy and I promised additional help at once (6 Sisters were brought up).
To Remy Siding to 10 CCS, arriving at 3.30 p.m. Went round the hospital with the CO and Matron – Miss Woodhouse, QAIMNS. The hospital was fairly busy but as they have a nursing staff of 20, not too pressed – 3 Sisters on leave. All was in good order – the Officers’ wards most comfortable – quite comfortable. Had tea in the Sisters’ mess.
To 17 CCS which adjoins it, - Sister M. S. Williams, QAIMNS in charge. Went round the hospital with her and the CO. The wards for officers have recently been equipped and were occupied – quite comfortable. This unit also has a staff of 23 so they have plenty to cope with the work. At the time of the visit, there were 250 cases [This entry overtyped; it could be 250, 350 or 850 – I think 250 most likely] of which 50 were gas cases.
Visited 2 and 3 Canadian CCS, and on to St. Omer, arriving at 10 Stationary at 8 p.m. to stay the night. The nursing staff of 5 CCS were waiting at 10 Stationary Hospital pending the re-establishment of their unit – arranged for 16 of these nurses to proceed to the Sisters’ Convalescent Home at Hardelot for a rest and change.
Sick Sisters 123
Colonel Statham, ADMS Mediterranean L of C, called.
Mediterranean L of C: Received memo from DGMS stating that the ADMS Mediterranean L of C would furnish a weekly roll of nursing Sisters serving under his command.
AANS in British units: Received copy of letter from Administrative Headquarters, AIF stating that there would be surplus of 36 nurses of the AANS lent to British units, after the staffs of 38 and 5 Stationary and 25 General Hospitals had been completed. 6 of these ladies were to be sent to 2 Australian General Hospital and 3 to 1 Australian General Hospital and the remaining 27 to be exchanged with nurses from 1 and 2 Australian General who had spent last winter in France and were showing signs of stress and strain. Replied, asking if possible that these 27 might remain in British units.
Sister F. E. Williams, AANS: Received copy of letter from Administrative Headquarters, AIF saying approval had been given for Staff Nurse F. E. Williams, AANS to proceed to France and to be posted to 25 Stationary Hospital for laboratory work, with rank of Sister whilst so employed.
Salonika Sisters: Forwarded to DGMS report as to the Sisters transferred to Salonika by the Transylvania and how they were provided as to rations on their various journeys.
Sisters for Malta: Reported to DGMS that Matron Acton and Sisters Coole and Carruthers had proceeded to Malta on the 10th instant by the “Glengorm Castle”.
QAIMNS Retired: Sent circular to all areas with reference to members of the QAIMNS Retired – saying they were authorised to draw the extra £20 per annum if they signed the necessary agreement to serve for the present emergency.
Officers’ section, 10 Stationary Hospital: Complaints received from Officers’ Hospital, 10 Stationary Hospital, - messing and service not satisfactory. Was informed of this by DGMS through the telephone.
Interviewed all the Sisters in charge of the five Casualty Clearing Stations waiting at 10 Stationary Hospital. Asked if any were nervous or feeling the strain and would like to be changed. All said no.
To 59 General Hospital – saw Miss Whiffin, the Matron and the nursing staff who had arrived the night before. Went over the hospital with the Matron and the CO. The hospital is a large building to accommodate 1,000 patients, recently used as a hospital by the French. There are beds for 40 officers in the building and there is also an Officers’ Hospital about 4 miles out, with 100 beds. The Sisters are all temporarily accommodated in a large school intended later to be used as part of the hospital, for minor cases.
Visited the sick Sisters at 10 Stationary Hospital – saw Miss Pratt, AANS who was wounded by a bomb at 1 Australian CCS and who is progressing favourably – the fragment of shell is not removed.
To 58 General Hospital – went over the Officers’ wards with the Matron. There were 36 officers in the hospital at the time of the visit – no additional equipment from the BRCS had been applied for and the only crockery available was enamel. Explained to Miss Humphries, the Matron, how meals were served in Officers’ wards in the BEF and how to obtain things from the BRCS, also saw the CO and told him what things could be applied for. A wooden hut had been erected for the Matron’s office since my last visit.
Left St. Omer 3 p.m. for Lillers arriving 4 p.m. at Headquarters, DMS First Army. Saw Colonel Davidson, DDMS who gave me a list of the CCS and said they would not require additional staff, but if likely to be called upon to assist in the northern CCS, they would not be able to give any more leave.
To Bethune to 33 CCS – Sister Foley, QAIMNS in charge. There are only 5 Sisters in this station, which only takes serious cases, - the staff was reduced since the recent shelling of the town. At the time of the visit there were 12 patients only, including 2 officers badly injured by bombs from an aeroplane. The Sisters are accommodated in the hospital itself where cellars are accessible in cases of need, the billet in which they previously lived not being considered safe.
To Estaires, the Advanced Operating Centre, part of 54 CCS – 20 patients in at the time of the visit, including 1 officer – all bad abdominal cases. Sister C. V. E. Thompson, QAIMNS is in charge. The Sisters are comfortably accommodated and the wards in good order.
To Aire to spend the night at 39 Stationary Hospital – arrived 9 p.m. Was accommodated on one of the small Nissen huts just erected for the nursing staff. Each hut is divided into 4 partitions and most comfortable. This hospital has been tremendously improved since the arrival of 39 Stationary. The wards are chiefly in an old fort – Fort du Gasson, and have all been painted and 10 large Nissen huts have been erected for patients. The grounds have been laid out neatly and the Sisters’ quarters greatly improved. A large number of Portuguese were in hospital at the time of the visit.
NEXT - JULY 16th – 31st 1917
TOP of PAGE