CROWN COPYRIGHT: THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES, WO95/3988
The number of VADs who arrived in June should have read 100 not 50.
Met DMS first thing. Learnt that MOs and Nursing Staff from Chicago are to arrive tomorrow and to take over 23 General Hospital. The present staff with the exception of the acting Matron Miss Bills are to be transferred for duty to 24 General. Before going to Abbeville to make necessary arrangements, went to BRCS where I met Sir A. Lawley and Col. Stewart, and it was definitely decided that the Millers’ Trains 16 and 17 were still have Army Sister in charge until instructions to the contrary were received from the War Office. To Abbeville arrived 1pm. Saw Colonel Barefoot, arranged that MOs were to entertain American doctors at dinner and that we should dine the Nursing Staff – this was decided after much consideration, and I went to Etaples on my way to Boulogne to make the necessary arrangements with ADMS. The MOs are inviting the Americans to Continental Hotel, Le Touquet, and the manager is going to get what he can. Miss Hodgins and Miss Bills are undertaking arrangements in their own Mess, 23 General. All the Matrons of the areas are to be invited, and I am inviting the Matron of Australian Hospital, 2 Indian Nursing Sisters, Miss A. B. Smith, to come out with me after they have been met. Left letters and a note for DMS at Boulogne to tell him of the arrangements. Sent 6 more nurses to Calais and 1 to 24 General. Wrote Miss Cheetham instructing her to ask Miss Gambril to apply officially to be transferred to a Home Station. Received letter from WO sanctioning the appointment of VADs in France by me.
To Australian Hospital. Saw the CO and Acting Matron who accepted invitations to meet the Americans and asked about Miss Reay. Sent address to M-in-C. On return to Hotel found I ought to have seen Miss U. Lane, the candidate for Reserve – interviewed her. Telegraphed Dehorted that she was quite suitable for appointment.
To 8 Stationary Hospital to see about Miss S. Richardson’s leave – applying for more stating that she had only been once on leave since August, instead of which she had been twice – a mistake of Matron. Saw only OC and explained.
Visited 6 Train. Met also Sisters Jolly, Speasley and … just returning from leave. Met the Americans with all the leading people in the area – a long business. No-one but Colonel Harrison in uniform. They were not allowed to land till everyone else had – a most peculiar looking lot – luggage just as peculiar. Were conveyed by charabanc to Etaples, the DMS taking Colonel Harrison in his car. Miss Woodford TFNS went with the Nursing Staff, Miss A. B. Smith and I drove out later – everyone very good tempered but very tired. The arrangements very good, every comfort possible was made for them all for the 1st night, tables decorated with wild flowers, lampshades made of men’s scarlet handkerchiefs and stars stuck on … striped border.
The French Medical Staff are visiting all our Hospitals in France accompanied by the DMS and Colonel Burtchaell, and the DDMS of each area. Miss M. Davis resigning reason not strong enough - returned saying she could be sent to a Home Station if desired. Miss … having Medical Board – reason for resigning – tired out. Hasn’t had leave for 5 years and wanted 6 weeks leave. A Canadian Theatre Sister asked for, for Casualty Clearing Station to replace an unsatisfactory member – arranged. 2 more nurses required for 7 Casualty Clearing Station – this also arranged.
Visited 11 General Hospital – very much improved in every way, but the building is a difficult one and all sanitary arrangements bad. The arrangements for the mortuary up to the present not good – a new one is now built and the Matron is superintending the final arrangements and requirements.
To 13 General. Miss Tunley on leave. Miss G. M. Allen acting. Hospital very empty. Mortuary up to present has been bell tents – a permanent one is now being built. Theatre going well now in spite of Miss Ivin’s departure – the Sister now doing duty found to be equally good. Everyone still talking about the large number of RRCs given, and the Regular Service being awarded such a small proportion. After lunch to the “Newhaven”. The accommodation is small but the charges scattered – have decided to leave 4 on duty for the present, at any rate until various alterations have been made. Then to Etaples and ADMS office. Then to 20 General and 22 General.
Got back to Abbeville late. Found many letters requiring attention and reported. DMS returning tomorrow only for a short time – going on with French Medical Staff. Miss Robson and Miss Bell’s resignation received. Nurse asked for to replace Miss Pierce on 14 Ambulance Train temporarily – arranged.
Busy all day with correspondence. Letter from Miss Gill Principal Matron TFNS saying she was coming July 14th. Telephoned to 18 and 20 General Hospital for reports on VADs now due.
Was presented to all the French Medical Staff, a Member of Parliament and a Staff Officer on the French General HQ Staff. They were very interested in all our arrangements for evacuations and also for all our Nursing arrangements, and they were also most interested when the DMS told them that I had for my Secretary a member of the Reserve who had 4 brothers and 2 brothers-in-law fighting in the French Army. They went on to Treport and were particularly delighted with 16 General Hospital. The number of nurses in France in Oct. 1914 and May 1915 again asked for by DGMS. These were given excluding the ships and those on sick leave at the present moment.
Letter from Mrs. Furze* re VAD Elwes – answered sent copy of letter to M-in-C, WO. VAD Elwes instructed by wire to return and report at WO. Wrote at length to M-in-C asking if this was the approved procedure. Wire from Dehorted – if extension of leave could be granted to Miss … , Australian Hospital and Miss Peat and Adler, Reserve, to 12th to attend investiture and asking for others who had received RRC who would be in England on that day also – arranged – and sent names Reid, Richards, Elston, Ivin, Barbier.
* Dame Katherine Furse (1875-1952) GBE, RRC, Commandant-in-Chief, Voluntary Aid Detachments, 1914-17. The spelling of her surname is 'Furze' throughout the diary, and has been left as in the original.
VAD Elwes and Pelling’s reports came from 20 General. Sent instructions for return by BRCS. Letter from ABS [Anne Beadsmore Smith] saying 24 General shorthanded, and a nephew of hers dangerously wounded there. Arranged for staff to be increased. Sent correspondence re Miss Elwes to M-in-C and copy to DGMS for information. Wired Miss Gill asking if she could postpone her arrival for a day or two. Letter from 7 General. Mrs Wake VAD wishing to resign – reason urgent family affairs. After lunch to Etaples to ADMS office, where the question of drawing up rules for assistance to all Voluntary Hospitals was discussed, and visited 23 Hospital, Chicago. The Matron out. 24 General to see how Miss Dalton is getting on – she is doing temporary duty until a Matron available. Then to 20 General where I saw the CO and Matron about VADs and instructed Matron to send separate report on each member for transmission to WO.
9pm. Looked at house in Abbeville for Nursing Staff 5 Stationary Hospital with sufficient accommodation for Sisters on trains when garaged here – now that there is a Northern and Southern line it is anticipated that a large number of trains may be staying here constantly for different lengths of time.
Forwarded VAD Lawley, Sloggett and Swan’s agreement form to DGMS. Wired Dehorted 5 VADs 7 General appointed. Replaced Nurses Brodie and Baines/Barnes on Hospital Ship Brighton. Heard from Miss A. B. Smith that G. M. Smith at 5 Casualty Clearing Station was not well – wired for her to come to 14 General Hospital. Arranged for Miss Barwell to join 3 Ambulance Train and for her sister to take holiday duty on the Barges to enable the Sisters to get their leave.
Sir Arthur Lawley came. Very anxious that 16 and 17 Trains should be entirely staffed by Red Cross Nurses – said this could not be done without special permission from WO. Letter from M-in-C re Miss Claridge – not to go on a Ship for duty and Miss McInnes a new Reserve to go under a strict Matron - arrived 6th.
50 Reserves arrived 6th. Telephone message from DGMS asking me to go to GHQ. Going tomorrow. Wrote Lord Knutsford with reference to Lady Helen ... and Miss Patton. Matron asking her to give me all particulars of her Staff – report states they are not all fully trained. Wrote to Miss Suart instructing her to put in at once for Miss … pay and allowances – just transferred from Red Cross.
St. Omer 10.30
Left 8am for GHQ. Saw DG who is better but still in bed. Arranged about instructions being circulated to all Casualty Clearing Stations that no member of the Nursing Staff is to be off duty sick more than 24 hours without being sent to the Base. To 10 Stationary. Officers’ Hospital about to be opened in connection with 10 Stationary Hospital. Miss Deacon in charge.
Then to Calais to look at a house for nurses from Trains and Rest Station. Went with ADMS, not very successful – taken 6 rooms in a house, the landlady to look after and cook for them. Authority to be received from Commandant before ordering nurses to join.
Abbeville 8pm. Heaps of letters. Sent orders for de Montmorency and Petty, both VADs from 20 General to return to England. Dehorted wired for Nurse I. Jordan’s whereabouts – replied 14 Stationary Wimereux. Mrs. Symonds’ (St. Thomas’) resignation arrived – she refused to give her reason.
Miss Barbier went on leave till 16th. Letter from Boulogne – outbreak of enteric 11 General – 7 cases among orderlies in 4 weeks. Instructions from M-in-C that all reports on VADs are required and must all be sent through official channels – not done before – didn’t think it was expected, and will take much time. Made various necessary changes at Casualty Stations and Hospitals. 13 Stationary Hospital has learnt they have to turn out of the sugar sheds which are now required by the French for stores. Great grief – they are most excellent for a hospital and much money has been spent. Letter from Matron-in-Chief saying how excellently Miss Oram is managing under great difficulties. It is splendid, there must indeed be difficulties there. Miss Daish, Manchester Royal Infirmary asking to be transferred in consequence of family affairs. Miss Edwards’ resignation – wanted for her post at Westminster.
Busy all day. Went to look at another house – not large enough. Drew up a form (VADs) to be filled up by Matrons, which may be a saving for everyone, and a circular of definite instructions as to procedure which I sent a copy to M-in-C, WO. Confidential Report asked for on S/N Bonallo – she wanting to transfer to the Indian Nursing Service – a vacancy now. Staff asked for, for 26 General. To increase 24 General, 22 General – not now an English unit – to be American, and 22 General to transfer their Nursing Staff, eventually, sending Miss G. M. Allen and 11 nurses to 25 General to begin getting in order – when Miss Suart is free she will take charge. Had to fill vacancies at 3, 5, 10 and 12 Casualty Clearing Stations, owing to casualties caused by illness.
Letter from Miss Steen, 2 General, re a letter from Lord Knutsford enclosing a newspaper cutting – an appeal from someone for comforts such as tea and coffee etc. for the Nursing Sisters of that Hospital, evidently a similar advertisement to one Miss Richards dealt with some months ago. Colonel Babington is replying – no-one has any idea how such an advertisement was ever inserted. Miss Toller came about the Red Cross Train (No.11). She is managing well under various difficulties, but she says her nursing staff are good and satisfactory in every way.
More nurses wanted at 5 Stationary Section B here. Telephoned for 2 from 16 General to come at once. Many applications for badges arriving. Miss C. Dale, C. P. M. Todd, A. S. Milne to be taken on the Reserve from Red Cross and Australian Hospital – sent orders for them to join 2 General Havre. Have taken Miss Worthington off St. David – replaced by E. Lyle. Miss Worthington to go to 13 General. Other nurses who have been on since the beginning I have replaced also. Instructed Post Office to send all letters for nurses in France and whose addresses are unknown to this office, not to England.
Official acceptance of Miss Martin’s and Miss Crewe’s resignations, the withdrawal of Miss Duncan’s approved – forwarded to area. Forwarded Miss Worthington’s confidential report to WO through DGMS. Official notification of Miss Gill’s arrival – to stay about a fortnight, have arranged about room. Sent forms of application for Reserve to 7 nurses working now at the Glamorgan and Monmouth Hospital, Berck. Wired 20 General for reports of VADs. Agreement forms arrived, without reports. Also 16 General for the whole thing – nothing arrived yet.
Staff asked for, for 25 General Hospital and another Clearing Station. Sent J. B. Smith with 7 others to 25 General to begin getting things in order. Nurse Raitt QAMNSI to be Matron when she can be released. Wrote the Matron-in-Chief re VADs. Busy with their reports. Letter from Miss Wheatley to A. B. Smith which she sent on to me, expressing her dissatisfaction at not doing charge duty. She has already been instructed to join for duty 3 General Hospital from the Clearing Station where she has been for some months. Find the nurses when sick at Clearing Stations are not always sent at once to the Base. Sent a circular letter to all stations drawing their attention to previous instructions, also sent instructions that all members of the Nursing Services proceeding on leave are to travel by the packet and return by the morning boat, and not travel by either the midnight boat or train, by which officers and men travel by when going on leave.
Letter from M-in-C Canadians – Staff of 4 Canadian Stationary temporarily employed by us to hold themselves in readiness to start at short notice for Shorncliffe. Issued instructions, mentioning all members by name.
Applications for nurses for another Clearing Station, the second this week. Reliefs sent to 3 Stations to meet casualties. 2 nurses from Newhaven had to be replaced as they also were bad sailors, this being the second relief sent.
Wire from Dehorted to capable Sisters QAIMNS wanted for Egypt. Those who had already been to Egypt and considered medically fit were required. Selected Sisters Medforth and German and wired them to be in readiness to start at short notice as soon as sanction was obtained from DG.
Miss Minns came about her Staff. Everything going excellently at 3 General. She looking very well. Went to look at a house for Sisters which was not nearly big enough, and not suitable in any way. Colonel and Mrs. Lister came, the latter having received special permission to travel in France with Col. L.
Learnt that Sister Hyndman while bathing had been nearly drowned and was saved by Miss Jenkins a strong swimmer who brought her in, in an unconscious state. They had been staying with Lady Gifford and were bathing at Hardelot. The OC of Hardelot shewing them great kindness.
Miss Barbier returned from leave. Busy all day with correspondence, VAD orders and agreement forms. Telegram from DG Canadian Contingent for nurses at 3 Canadian General. Vacancies from other Canadian units to be filled by Canadians remaining in our units temporarily employed. Orders Nurses to proceed. These moves are making great gaps in our Hospitals, where they have filled the places of our trained nurses which have not yet been able to be supplied per WO, in consequence of increasing demands for nurses at Dardanelles. Have written for more help, and have said that until the present VADs have settled down, we cannot take any more.
Wired Dehorted – Miss Medforth and German leaving and to report instructions at WO. They very pleased to be going back to Egypt. Staff asked for Isolation Hospital Etaples and 1 new train.
Left for Boulogne arrived 5pm. Met Miss Gill, Principal Matron TFNS, who had come over to see our nursing arrangements. Saw Miss Stronach and Miss Stewart-Richardson. Miss A. B. Smith came to dinner with Miss Gill and self. In the middle of dinner we were told that the Harvard American Unit, officers and nurses had arrived on St. Patrick, the first intimation anyone had of their arrival. Dinner was arranged for them at the Louvre – they slept on St. Patrick. Saw Col. Forest after dinner, arranged to leave 7am and go to Etaples to make arrangements, as No.22 General which they are to take is now fully staffed with officers, nursing sisters and men, and are full of patients. Was introduced to Sir A. Perry and the Matron – everyone was in uniform. Wrote by DRLS to Abbeville to let them know what had happened and what arrangements had been made.
Had breakfast 6.30am and left with Miss Gill at 7am for Etaples. Arrived 8.30. Saw OC and Matron of 22 General – arranged for the reception of Unit who would arrive in time for tea. Arranged for Miss Suart and part of her Staff to remain for a few days until the Americans are settled, and the remainder of the Staff to go to 26 General Hospital, where Miss G. M. Allen was already beginning to get things in order. Next to ADMS Etaples and let him know what arrangements had been made and let the Matron of 18 General, the senior Matron know also. Returned in time for lunch and reported to DDMS what arrangements had been made. Visited 14 Train, saw Miss MacCrae from 17 Train. Met Colonel Henderson who is on his way to New Zealand to assist in forming a New Zealand Medical Unit. Letter from WO informing me that Miss Richards and 5 other QAIMNS have been transferred sick to Home Establishment.
To DDMS office, where I waited to hear from Abbeville. Then with Miss Gill to 13 Stationary, where everyone is more or less upset at having to move out, the sheds being required for stores by the French. Then to 7 Stationary, very empty at present, only 25 officers. Saw some wonderful apparatus used by Major Sinclair for irrigating the gas gangrene wounds – so many cases with no dressing – mere constant irrigation, over which are cradles placed, covered with thin gauze to protect wound from flies and dust.
After lunch to Nurses’ Rest Club run by Mrs. Robertson Eustace, which continues to be much appreciated, is pretty and restful. Mrs. R. E. insists upon it being absolutely free – baths can be had – a room also where tired nurses can put on a dressing gown and lie down – teas – all the illustrated papers and a French lady who assists and how holds classes for nurses to learn French.
In the evening Miss Gill and I dined with the Assistant Principal Matron, Miss A. B. Smith, her staff, the staff of 11 General also who live in the same Hotel, and the Matrons from the other Hospitals in Boulogne. Miss Gill had the opportunity of seeing many of her Edinburgh trained nurses.
Went with Surgeon-General Sawyer to see the DG. Then with Miss Gill to see the Infectious Camp, auxiliary to 14 Stationary. There Miss A. B. Nunn is doing temporary duty until Miss G. M. Allen’s return from leave when she is going to do acting Matron’s duties. Lt.Col. Evans met us and took us round, as at 14 Stationary every detail in connection with nursing of infectious nursing [sic] has received attention. All under canvas – each disease has a separate section of its own, separated by wire fences, communicating with little green gates. Notices are to be seen in prominent positions in each section. The Nursing Staff are accommodated under canvas, their Mess quite excellent – floors stained and polished, and with the assistance of an orderly who is carpenter by trade, useful furniture has been made from packing cases and stained. A couch made in this fashion also, and covered with cretonne. The camp is lighted by electricity, a Mortuary in a bell tent, and chapel in a marque also.
Then to 8 Stationary, which has just moved to a new position, partly huts, partly Durbar Tents. Miss Stronach acting Matron, everything in excellent order, the Sisters’ Mess first rate.
After lunch to Hardelot to see Lady Gifford’s Home with Matron Gill and to thank Lady Gifford for all her kindness to Miss Hyndman – Miss Jenkins the rescuer still there – Miss Hyndman going to 14 General tomorrow, leave to be arranged from there. Miss Jenkins to be recommended for the Albert Medal. Instructions issued that all Nursing Sisters returning to the front should travel by the 4.27 pm train and not the midnight one.
Arranged for Miss Hyndman at 14 General. Then to 13 General to see Sister Worthington in connection with her report, since a further report is required arranged for her to be transferred to 6 General, as Miss Tunley, acting Matron, is her junior. To 7 Stationary about moves, and to arrange for Miss G. M. Smith on return from leave doing Matron’s duties at Isolation, since Miss McCreery is not returning. To Red Cross to see Commissioner about the Trains and the VADs. Have been informed now definite that 16 and 17 are definite Red Cross trains and to be staffed entirely with Red Cross Nurses.
To Etaples with Miss Gill. To ADMS office, then to 18 General, to ask Matron to assist the new Matron of the Isolation Hospital. Miss Devenish-Meares is getting into her Hospital – found she had already accommodated her and her 6 nurses in her Mess until theirs was ready, and that she was busy helping with various administrative points of which she wanted some advice. To 24 General to see Miss Bills the Matron who was having some difficulty with her Staff. Then on to Abbeville arriving 5pm – got a billet for Miss Gill.
Letter from Matron 11 General Hospital Miss Lang to ask for leave for Mrs Kushardt, late QAMNSI for 7 days, as her husband Captain K. was just out of the trenches and has been granted leave also, and she, Mrs. K., said the War Office had said this could be arranged. She has been out 1 month! This was granted.
1 QAIMNS and 25 VADs arrived Boulogne – telegram only arriving this morning informing us. Wrote to the Matron in Chief with reference to Miss Worthington, who I had already had told her had been reported unfavourably upon, Miss Hyndman, the VADs, promotion and RRCs. Letter from Miss Rentzsch about Miss Twitchin, who I arranged to move to 14 Stationary Hospital. Received official intimation that Miss Richards, Miss Pedler, Miss McCreery, Levay, Bird, Schafer and B. E. Smith were not returning – a loss of 9 QAIMNS this month. The Red Cross Hospital at Abbeville being handed over to the Friends who have been working at Dunkirk, where they have been shelled out. Busy with official correspondence. Went to look for another house for the nurses here – not suitable.
Letter from 18 General asking if a nurse could have 5 days leave to England to marry a Corporal of another unit. Referred matter to M-in-C, WO.
Left with Miss Gill for Rouen arriving 1pm. Had lunch 8 General Hospital at their Mess, with Miss Clements who had recently joined from 14 General. Mess very good. After lunch went round Hospital with the OC Col. Lawson. Many improvements noticeable, Miss Gill very impressed with what she saw. From there to 3 Stationary where Miss Knowles has recently taken over from Miss Bills. Hospital very light, everything excellent. Many improvements in the Mess – all staff looking very well. Miss Reid, Assistant Principal Matron and OC 8 General accompanied us. Then to DDMS office, and then on to Race Course, arriving 7pm. I staying at 12 Stationary to see how Miss Barber was getting on and managing, she having taken over from Miss Fox, and Miss Gill to stay with Miss Reid at 6 General, a hutted hospital. Went round 12 Stationary – everything going smoothly and well. The OC quite satisfied. Round the marquees saw beds of flowering plants growing in profusion, both orderlies and patients taking the keenest interest in them. Some fearfully wounded and seriously ill patients but the Hospital not full by any means. The Mortuary, a marque, in beautiful order, small alter, cross, vases flowers, pall, Union Jack, reverent and beautiful.
Miss Gill met me 9.30 – to 12 General. Went round. This Hospital has improved in every respect, including the Mess. The Nursing Staff will soon be entirely accommodated in huts. The Mess Room large, airy and pretty, little expense and much improvised furniture. The Mortuary here also simple and beautiful.
Then to 11 Stationary, and the Scotch Red Cross which is attached. Miss L. G. Mackay on leave, Miss K. Stewart acting. Everything going smoothly, Bell tents for Nursing Staff have been replaced by Alwyn Huts. Miss Gill seeing all the Scotch nurses and many Medical Officers, Edinburgh.
Had lunch at 6 General Hospital. Saw the Hospital, and at 3pm to Nurses’ Rest Club, where I had invited all Nursing Staff to tea to meet Miss Gill and myself. A great many came in spite of the rain. Gave me an opportunity of seeing many, and has I hope made the Club popular.
Miss Porter’s QAIMNSR resignation arrived – have written to her as the reason she has given is ill-health, and as she is still on duty on a barge I think it will be well to find out why she is on duty, and if there is any other reason. Letters by DRLS from HQ letting me know what leave there has been, and what applications there have been for nurses and how they have been dealt with. Letters from Miss Suart and Miss G. M. Allen of a troublesome nature which I have replied to at once. Also from Miss Oakey and Miss Watt – all dealt with and I hope there will be no further trouble.
Left for Havre 8am immediately after breakfast with Miss Gill, arrived 11am. Reported ADMS after putting up at Hotel, and then on to 2 General Hospital. To Gare first, where I met Col. Douglas, Major Clark and Miss A. A. Wilson. Unfortunately no ship in and none expected until Tuesday. This most troublesome, as I am anxious to make some moves and am unable to do so now that Miss Richards has gone, without seeing the OC and the Matron as to who I move first. From Gare to Casino where Lt.Col. Babington was waiting, then to Officers’ Hospital where we had lunch, then to Palais de Regatta – all sections of No.2 General all very good, but not so spick and span as under Miss Richards’ regime – Miss Steen on leave – Miss A. A. Wilson from 1 General doing her duty during her absence, as there was no-one who could I think be asked to have such a responsibility among the Staff in addition to their individual charges. Then to 6 Stationary Hospital where all the local sick are nursed, Miss C. Mackay in charge – everything in order. Nurses accommodated in a nice house, quite close, which I saw for the first time. Saw Mrs. Johnstone QAIMNSR from South Africa, whose husband is at the front, and who the Matron-in-Chief asked me to see – the reports are good, and she struck me as being very capable.
Before leaving saw Miss Claridge, re going to Egypt, a troublesome woman who I told that she had already been officially informed that she could not go on a ship, and that she should apply for Home Service. Miss Bulkley came, sister of late Captain Bulkley, re appointment to VAD Detachment. She has already been seen by Miss Crowdy* – very nice capable woman I should say.
Miss Gill, Miss A. A. Wilson, Col. Douglas and I left at 10am for Isolation Hospital, a little way out. Miss Perkins i/c, under canvas – everything in excellent order. Miss Perkins looking better than I have ever seen her, and everything most satisfactory – everyone talking of her capable management and devotion to the patients.
On to 1 General at Etretat, Miss M. E. Wilkin acting in Miss A. A. Wilson’s absence. Things not going as well as under Miss Hodgins, and the Hospital very full. These big Hospitals split up in various buildings need much managing.
After lunch went on to Rouen with Miss Gill, hoping to meet a Hospital Ship so that Miss Gill could return by it. Arrived 4pm, no ship expected. Spent the night at 6 General. Visited 9 General, Meerut Isolation Hospital and 1 Stationary. Miss Hordley and Miss Blakeley on leave, Miss Blakeley’s Hospital, the Meerut, being particularly excellent in every way. DDMS telephoned to tell me to say that accommodation was being made at 8 General for 100 officers. This will mean increased staff required. Made enquiries about another VAD with a view to taking her into the office, as there is far more work than we can possibly tackle – a quiet, nice, capable girl.
* Dame Rachel Crowdy (1884-1964) DBE, RRC, Principal Commandant, Voluntary Aid Detachments in France and Flanders, 1914-19.
Left 7am for HQ so that Miss Gill can cross by afternoon boat – arrived 11am. The General away. Colonel Barefoot saw Miss Gill who expressed herself very pleased with all she had seen. After lunch sent Miss Gill by car.
To Abbeville. Found endless correspondence, and learnt that Mrs. Duncan from 1 Casualty Clearing Station had Septicaemia. Telephoned to Boulogne to learn condition – learnt her husband had been to see her and that she was better.
25 VADs, 1 QAIMNS arrived and were met at Boulogne. Met by Miss Woodford – accommodated the night in Boulogne, before going on to their various units. Endless correspondence to be dealt with. Staffs required for new units – no nurses available – short everywhere. Endless work with the transfer of Canadians to Home, and replacing vacancies made in Canadian units by filling them with temporarily employed Canadians in our units.
Letter from M-in-C asking about Miss Worthington – had already written, also reply about nurse who wanted 5 days leave to marry a Corporal whom she was engaged to before coming out. Approved by Matron-in-Chief, if not working in the same unit – 5 days leave sanctioned by DDMS.
Wrote Matron-in-Chief about Mrs Johnstone and Misses Claridge and Bulkley, and the need of more help. Neglected to mention the gaps in our Hospitals made by the departure of the Canadians, No.1 Canadian Stationary from Wimereux left for the Dardanelles. Inspected Hospital recently taken over by the Friends from Red Cross here. Getting in order – only in occupation a week, recently been working at Dunkirk. Then to look at a house for the nurses here – a very beautiful one with excellent accommodation, including both lavatory and gas – nice garden – well furnished and immediately opposite 5 Stationary. Table linen, glass and silver.
Nurses asked for at 7, 13 and 14 Stationary. Unable to supply them. Extra nurse asked for 10 CCS and 12 CCS – supplied. Left midday for GHQ – staged at 7 General, Malassises by the way. Everything in order, not very full. The Isolation Section excellent. They had had an exciting morning watching our airmen chase a German. Then on to GHQ. Saw Col. Burtchaell – arranged to visit Clearing Stations tomorrow. Went to 10 Stationary Hospital, was put up at the Mess.
Miss Skinner the new VAD arrived. Letter from Miss Barker, informing me of Miss Quinton's engagement, which came as a surprise to everyone.
Arrivals during the month
49 trained nurses: 50 VADs: QAIMNS 2
British Red Cross Nurses transferred to Reserve: 8
QAIMNS transferred to Mediterranean Force: 2
QAIMNS transferred to Home Service after sick leave: 7
VADs transferred to England as not suitable: 10
Nursing Staff including VADs transferred on sick leave to England : 17
Granted leave in England: 437
Resignations forwarded, 7 making a total of 29 at completion of agreement
Resignations accepted : 11
2 General Hospitals, 25 and 26
2 Isolation Hospitals
3 Casualty Clearing Stations
2 Barges, 3 Ambulance Flotilla
Nursing Staff of Chicago and Harvard Units (America) established in 22 and 23 General Hospitals.
I Canadian Stationary Hospital left for Dardanelles.
Staff of 3, 4 and 5 Canadian Stationary Hospitals transferred to England, leaving only 57 temporarily employed Canadian Nurses in our Hospitals out of a total originally of 167.