CROWN COPYRIGHT: THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES, WO95/3988
Left for Aire 8.30am to see DMS 1st Army. Arrived 9.30am. Learnt that more nurses were urgently needed to be ready for next attack which is expected shortly – 3 more nurses needed for 1, 6, 7, 9, 18, 23 and West Riding Casualty Clearing Stations to bring staff up to 10. 6 Field Ambulance was moving and the Nurses would be able to return to their units from where they have been temporarily detached. Went to office at GHQ before returning to Abbeville. Saw Colonel Burtchaell who asked me to send names for Despatches as soon as possible. Arrived at Abbeville 1pm. Colonel Carr (ADMS Etaples) at office with DMS. Said that the question of completing the Harvard Unit Nursing Staff with Canadian Nurses, when 40 left on 4th October – this is the first I had heard on this subject.
Letter from Lady Gifford. Home closed for cleaning from 2.9.15 to 16.9.15. Mrs. Brice Miller’s Home also closed for a week in consequence of Mrs. BM being obliged to go Home – all areas notified.
Letter from Matron-in-Chief. 50 VADs coming Oct. 5th, 50 Nurses Oct. 6th, 50 more to come following week, and 50 VADs to come weekly till establishment is complete. Application from Miss Hadderton to be transferred to Home Establishment in consequence of being unable to live under canvas. Am transferring her to Versailles and Mess in Hotels. Application from Miss Slater QR to be transferred from Marseilles – this was sent direct to this office – returned it to Acting Matron for an explanation. Obtained 18 Nurses from Canadian Hospitals from various areas for temporary employment in our Hospitals to relieve present pressure.
Recommendations for despatches received from Boulogne and Rouen. Particulars and posting of VADs who arrived last Tuesday arrived. Enquiry from Miss Steen re changing staff on Hospital Ships, Asturias and Oxfordshire, but as these ships now belong to the Mediterranean Force and are only lent temporarily, replied that it should not be done. Nineteen Canadian Sisters arrived from England, 10 for Treport, 9 Etaples were met. Miss A. Brown and D. King returned from sick leave in England, posted to 4 General. DGMS rang up for number of trained nurses and VADs at 7 Stationary and 14 General, both Officers’ Hospitals. 7 Stationary 32 trained, 14 General 41 trained, 11 VADs. Forwarded AF W3165* for Sisters Rumble, Deverell, Holmes, O’Dwyer, Gregory, Bridges and Johnston to DGMS for transmission to WO.
* Army Form W3165 – one of the many contracts of service for various grades of staff.
Principal Matron BRCS forwarded note from Miss L. B. Jones who asked for particulars re uniform etc., to be forwarded to her. Wrote saying no information with reference to Miss Jones being accepted to Reserve had not so far been received from WO. Wire sent to WO asking if she had been accepted. Wire received from Principal Matron BRCS saying Miss Jones’ contract terminated – asked for instructions. No reply from Dehorted, so as Matron-in-Chief had said in her last letter all these people were to go Home, replied that she should report to WO. List for Despatches made out – unable to be completed until those from 1st Army arrive.
List of Despatches submitted to DMS for approval. Correspondence re Miss Matthews QAIMNS forwarded to Rouen for official explanation. Miss Claridge transferred to 6 General. Confidential report asked for at end of one month. Confidential report on Mrs. Thompson VAD (Australian) asked for at completion of one month’s service; unfavourable one forwarded from Rouen. Mrs. Furze and Miss Crowdy called and were seen by Miss Barbier. I was at Etaples at the time – they came to make enquiries about VADs. Dehorted wired extension of leave granted to Miss M. C. Taylor in consequence of critical illness of her father. Nominal Roll of Americans who wish to extend their service was forwarded.
Left at 1pm for Etaples arrived 2.30pm. Went to ADMS office, then to American Unit (22 General) where I saw the OC and Matron, with reference to supplying the additional staff which was needed, 36 only remaining. I learnt that Colonel Blenkinsop had been there from the War Office at the beginning of the week with the ADMS to ask them who they would like to have to complete their staff, Canadians or Reserves. They decided upon Canadians as many of the remaining staff were Canadians. This accounted for a wire which was forwarded by DRLS from GHQ this morning, stating that there were no Canadians available to complete American unit, but that 5 QAIMNSR were arriving Oct 6th and which was not understood. The Matron and her remaining Staff are very anxious to remain in their present unit, and the OC Sir A. Perry expressed a wish that they might remain too, with their own American Division. They, the Nursing Staff, have entirely changed their attitude – a few weeks ago they would be only too delighted to go where ever it was most desirable provided they might stay in the country, the Matron even saying she would work in the capacity of a Nurse !! which of course was out of the question. She is a very capable and energetic woman I should say, very keen to do her utmost, but most anxious not to have any VADs, nor do I think it would be advisable that VADs should join these units.
Returned to ADMS and reported matters, then went to 24 General Hospital after seeing what an exceeding nice office the ADMS had arranged for Miss A. B. Smith and her secretary Miss Gordon VAD. Had tea at 24 General and then went to see the Sick Sisters’ ward where quite a number of sick sisters are warded. Everything most comfortable – Miss Teevan QAIMNS i/c. The Matron had provided every possible comfort, pretty counterpanes, screens, curtains, plants, easy chairs, curtains, table appointments, trays, etc. Most of these things were privately purchased from money which had been given for that purpose. Returned arriving 8pm.
Found many letters to be answered. A nice letter from Miss Gill Edinburgh Infirmary, giving particulars of the 6 nurses who are coming on the 6th. Many deaths at 2 Stationary Hospital; very short handed – 8 Canadians procured for temporary employment – not very satisfactory. Will replace them with Reserves when they arrive. All critically ill and badly wounded men, many I am afraid there is no chance for. Am assisting in getting the Mortuary in order.
Several bombs dropped 10am. No serious damage done, no lives lost. 2 German aeroplanes quite low down fired at by our aircraft guns, but without being able to hit them though in many instances. The shells were so close that one fell – they must have been hit. Colonel Stewart BRCS came about 11 Train, with reference to Miss Toller QAIMNS, who he reported that Captain Walker the OC of the Train did not find entirely satisfactory. Have undertaken to see him. Mrs. Wheatley, 21 Ambulance Train came. A good deal of friction is existing between her and her OC, Major Smithson. This I am going to see into – the OC wishing her to be moved. Saw Colonel Kirkpatrick on his way to the front. Letter from Colonel Forest, Boulogne, and Miss Reid Rouen, saying everyone is hard pressed, and that nurses are urgently needed. Have written saying that help would soon be coming but that what I had would have to be distributed as all areas were in the same plight. Heard from Miss Hodgins and Miss Osborne. They are to have 10 days leave before sailing for Egypt – one required for Cairo, one for Lemnos.
Miss Morty late BRCS instructed to join 7 General Hospital for duty. Miss Wheatley called to see me – things are still at sixes and sevens on her train. She doesn’t appear to understand where her duties begin and end. Went to the Station and saw the OC who I gather is more than difficult. Col. Stewart BRC called about No.11 Ambulance Train, and the Sister in Charge. Arranged that I would see the OC of the train at the earliest opportunity, but that told him that I had not heard that any difficulty existed. Forwarded particulars of the VADs who arrived 28.9.15 to Command Paymaster. Wire from Medsercan recalling Canadians temporarily employed at our Hospitals at Havre and Rouen since May, 33 in number, and 15 others from Canadian units, for duty at the Dardanelles in 4 Canadian Hospital. Badge money returned from WO for last 2 lists, as no more can be made at the price 2/-. Wrote asking that they may be supplied at the higher rate – 3/9 – which all would be willing to give.
Went to Railway Station and saw the completed arrangements for feeding and dressing the wounded arriving in improvised trains – 4 VAD and 4 Reserves to be employed in the rushes, 2 of each class = 4 on day and night duty. The arrangements are very satisfactory. The most seriously wounded are taken off the Ambulance Train here and admitted 2 Stationary Hospital here. Accommodation is now being provided for officers also. Wire received giving names of VADs crossing 5.10.15 (51)
Wire received giving names of Reserve Sisters and Staff Nurses crossing 6.10.15 (58). Received copy of WO letter, accepting Miss Kinghorn’s resignation saying no gratuity entitled to, from M-in-C TFNS. Also a letter saying that members of TFNS are not permitted to transfer to Regular Service in time of war, re Miss Ruck’s application. Copy of wire from WO from DGMS, asking why Miss Bridges was permitted to go Home – contract not expired till 29.10.15. Miss Bridges ordered to return, and correspondence sent to DDMS Boulogne to find out how the mistake had occurred. Letter from Miss Cheetham saying Miss Haggerson’s contract terminates 7.10.15. Resignation has never reached this office – DDMS Rouen notified.
Wrote to M-in-C War Office informing her that 33 Canadian and 40 Americans had been recalled, as well as 15 Canadians working in their own Hospitals. I also wrote about Mrs. Wake VAD who had resigned before the completion of her contract, and now wants to re-engage. Sent Mrs. Furze letter on the subject with my letter, asking M-in-C’s views on the subject. Trained nurses temporarily employed at Rest Station have returned to 2 Stationary, when required again, the same four are to join and to work with VADs who are responsible for the feeding.
Recommendation for Despatches sent to IGC and GHQ by DMS with officers’ and men. Circular letter re employment of female servants and their insurance sent to DMS 1, 2, and 3rd Army. Application from Miss Horsley QAIMNSR for change of duty and asking for train duty. Recommended by Miss Watt QAMNSI, but as Miss Horsley is reported not to be able to manage a ward, being neither strong or young enough, I hardly feel she would be suited for train duty. Letter from M-in-C TFNS saying that Miss Baker cannot exchange but should resign giving her reasons. Instructions sent to Staff Nurse Haggerson to resubmit her application to resign. She is to proceed to England at expiration of her contract and report to WO.
Left for Boulogne 11.30am arrived 1.30pm. After lunch went to 7 Stationary Hospital where I saw the Adjutant General, who is now able to drive daily and who spoke in the highest terms of his care and attention before and since his operation.
Miss Mark went with me to 14 General, which was now much lighter. The work had been extremely heavy and there had been many deaths. The Matron took me to see the Mortuary which had been recently completed. It was quite beautiful – so quiet and peaceful looking, a little triptic altar, flowers, candles, a cross with an ivory figure, windows done with ecclesiastic paper to look like stained glass, green mats and a picture of Walt’s “Happy Warrior” looking down on the poor remains. I felt if some of the loved ones could have only seen it might have helped a little.
Then to 14 Stationary Hospital where I saw Miss Steenson the Matron about the mistake in sending Miss Bridges Home a month too soon. The WO letter in the rush of things had been misread and at the time Miss Bridges was loath to go. They are very short of nurses, but I told her she was having both VADs and trained nurses this week. Then to Rawal Pindi Hospital to see the Matron about her VADs. On to DDMS office, then to see the Nurses who had arrived and then to Meerut Stationary Hospital about one of the Indian Nursing Sisters stationed there, Miss French, of whom Colonel Wall the OC spoke in the highest terms. Returned to Abbeville arriving 8.30pm.
Miss Baker’s resignation forwarded. Letter sent to M-in-C TFNS asking if Miss White TFNS who had been sent to report … , was wishing to withdraw her resignation and had already applied officially for permission to do so. Wire sent to WO informing them Miss Haggerson was reporting today on expiration of contract. Also wire sent to enquire whether Miss E. K. Newton and Miss Oxley BRCS are appointed to the Reserve – reply, Miss Newton to be employed, not Miss Oxley at present. WO letter 9 Nurses/1098/72 re increase of charge pay for units over 600 beds received. Telephoned to Miss Reid re arrival of VADs and trained nurses today and tomorrow. As they are hard pressed and all their beds full, this news most welcome. Received copy of Miss Haggerson’s resignation which was not forwarded officially and purported to have been sent from Dieppe July 13, 1915, she being now at Rouen.
Wrote to M-in-C Canadian Contingent saying I was sorry to lose Canadian Nurses temporarily employed at Rouen and Havre, and saying she would be glad if I would make use of those permanently who I had been obliged to order to various units for temporary duty in the recent rush. Wrote to Miss Steen and Miss Reid for Canadian reports on those nurses recently recalled from units in their areas. Heard that a house had been taken for the Nursing Staff at the Auxiliary Isolation Hospital. Wrote to Miss Mark to go and inspect and forward particulars.
Left for the 3rd Army 11am, arrived 12.30. Saw Colonel Fell, DMS out. Went on to Corbie and inspected 5, 21 and 28 Casualty Clearing Stations. All very good, No.5 being quite excellent. Many patients in each, excellent reports from all MOs on the excellence of the Staff. Many seriously wounded and some badly burnt in the recent attack with liquid gas alight. From there to 10 Casualty Clearing Station at Amiens, in the original No.7 General buildings and with the equipment. The Hospital and patients excellent. The arrangements for the Messing of the Nursing Staff very poor – room dirty, uncomfortable, ill cared for table, an air as if anything would do, so long as no expense was incurred. Spoke to the Matron who will alter things now that I had spoken. There appeared to be some difficulty with her Staff, some of whose uniform was not too tidy. All other Messes were first rate, comfortable, clean and natty – much thought had been expended to make surroundings as nice as possible under the circumstances. In all instances the Staff mess together, apart from the Medical Staff, even if they have to be billetted in different houses, they have a combined Mess and each Clearing Station has authority to employ one female servant. Returned 8.30pm.
Busy all day with correspondence. Sent application form for the Reserve to Mrs. S. Fletcher, née Phelps, trained at the LH [London Hospital] to Alexandria, Egypt. Wrote to Lady Pilkington telling her that her friend if fully trained should apply at once to the WO. Letter from Miss Fletcher, re E. K. Newton – letter forwarded to WO with copy of WO wire, giving authority to employ her.
Miss Swift called with Miss Fletcher on her way to Rouen. Miss Nichols CHR, the LH, called about her resignation at completion of year’s contract in consequence of her approaching marriage to someone to whom she was engaged before mobilization. Went with sister to the Cemetery – well kept, but crowded now, the graves, even in this little place. Making several changes of Sisters in Charge of Clearing Stations, who have been at the Front for some months, and also in some of the Trains for the same reason. Went with Colonel Burtchaell giving him particulars as to how 2 friends of his should apply for appointment as VAD members over here. Miss Corney CHR returned from leave Oct. 2 and has again gone today on leave in consequence of sister’s dangerous illness.
Letter from Capt. Hawkins re his daughter and adopted daughter, coming out as VADs. Referred to Mrs. Furze. Letter from Col. Burtchaell asking for further names for despatches from 18 and 28 Casualty Clearing Stations, who did excellent work in the recent rush. Letter from DGMS asking to arrange for Miss Pirie a daughter of Major General Pirie being employed out here as a VAD. Correspondence attached, excellent reports, referred to Mrs. Furze. Request from Mrs. Marshall VAD to be permitted to return on account … .
... Wire from GHQ. 50 VADs arriving 12th, 20 trained nurses 13th.
Left for Boulogne via Etaples after lunch, arrived Etaples 4pm. Saw ADMS and Acting Principal Matron. Learnt that it had been approved that No.2 Canadian Stationary Hospital should occupy 2 Stationary Hospital buildings now vacant since 2 Stationary moved to HQ, GHQ, IGC. Arranged with APM to send VADs to 18, 20, 25 and 25 General Hospitals tomorrow and as many trained nurses as I could spare. Went on to Boulogne arriving 8pm. After dinner Miss Keene from Princess Christian train came to see me. Every thing going smoothly; when the train is garaged for repairs, arranged for the Staff to do temporary duty at 13 Stationary in the meantime.
Left early. Went to DDMS office first, to arrange about taking the Marine Hotel and putting in a Home Sister to manage with 2 VADs. The present batmen still to be employed – authority to be obtained for employment of servants, and the present manageress and her family to move out, which would give us several more rooms. Then to 14 Stationary to see OC and Matron about their staff and to arrange for the Matron to be admitted to 14 General while her eye is being done. Miss Congleton who is arriving to be Assistant Matron and to carry on during Miss Steenson’s absence. Then to see the house that has been taken for the accommodation of the Auxiliary Hospital staff – very nice, being comfortable, clean and nicely furnished.
To 14 General. Saw the Sick Sisters and went round the Hospital, and recent addition of a pall and prie-dieu in the Mortuary.
After lunch to Dannes Camiers to see 18 General and 20 General Hospitals. 18 General is again absolutely in order and ready to take patients – everything looking first rate. Operating theatres large enough for 4 operating theatres, all separated from one another with white washing curtains which can be drawn or not as required.
Then to 20 General, the Territorial Nursing Staff Unit, 1040 beds, 100 beds for officers in Durbar Tents. The arrangements might be better than they are I think, and I suggested certain alterations which I think should improve matters. There is a great lack of cupboard accommodation in this unit, even for medicines and poisons. This want is going to be arranged. The officers look well cared for, and spoke highly of their care and attention. Miss Mann, CHR resignation accepted. The question of Miss … appointment settled. At the beginning of the campaign she was rejected, and afterwards her application was reconsidered and she was accepted by the Nursing Board for service on the Reserve. Miss Kinghorn TFNS resignation accepted.
Confidential report by Miss Walker Acting Matron 13 Stationary received on Miss Baines, QAIMNSR, work not good, resents any supervision or interference. Not capable, have moved nurse to 18 General to give her another trial.
To DDMS office. No message from HQ. To 13 General to see Miss Tunley about going to Cimiez as Matron of Convalescent Home. Also saw OC who was very sad at losing her – said she was quite excellent. Then to 7 Stationary to see Miss Mark about newcomers and the possibility of the Marine Hotel being converted into a Nurses’ Home. Saw the Mortuary which is now quite finished, and very nice and quiet.
Then to 8 Stationary where Miss Jacob has just replaced Miss Stronach - everything going smoothly. The huts for the Nursing Staff will soon be ready for occupation. The Staff should be well established in them before the winter.
Then to 13 Stationary Hospital. The Hospital getting on and ready for patients, though the workmen are still in some of the huts.
Then to Rawal Pindi to let the Matron know about one of her Nurses who have recently gone to a Casualty Clearing Station and has become engaged to one of the Assistant Surgeons, with, the nurse said, her father’s entire consent. It was decided to write and explain to her father the social status of the man, and the different conditions under which his daughter would have to live, should she still consent to the marriage. From there to lunch, then to see the 20 Nurses who were arriving, then to Mrs. Robertson Eustace to pick up some parcels for the front sent by Mrs. Oxley. Returned to Abbeville 8pm.
Miss Peers permission to withdraw her resignation not yet received. She wrote asking for permission to have 10 days leave to be married, as her fiancé had been ordered to the front. This was granted and I wrote to Miss Sydney Browne Matron in Chief TFNS to inform her. Letter from Miss Steen. Mrs. Thompson VAD lately moved from 6 General Hospital wishes to resign – wishes might do first aid work at the front. WO letter re Mrs. Meynell resigning was forwarded to ADMS Havre.
Circular sent to all units re method of showing annual rates of pay for Acting ranks on pay sheets, sent out. Agreement forms for members of VAD detachments wishing to extend their services sent out. Saw the DG, DMS and Major Worthington with reference to the appointment of Matron QAIMNS and Red Cross Nurses for Convalescent Home Cimiez for officers, also the new nurses for 14 (The Michelham) Train, who I am to select. Wrote to Lady Michelham on the subject. Told Miss Tunley that I was very sorry to lose her in the offices, indeed I do not know how I am going to get on without her, but owing to so many of the Matrons being withdrawn and now Miss Tunley being required for Cimiez I wanted her to take over 13 General Hospital.
Resignation received from Miss Black, QAIMNS, returned for her reason, under confidential cover if she wished and pointed out that members of the Regular Service except under exceptional circumstances are not permitted to resign during times of war. Staff required for 29 Casualty Clearing Station, 3 sent, 4 weekly till Station is established. 4 Nurses asked for, for 4 Ambulance Flotilla. Miss Greenwood VAD arrived from England for duty – no official orders received from WO about her. Confidential reports on Miss Beedie forwarded to WO
Left early for Boulogne. Went to Red Cross about Nurses for Cimiez Officers’ Convalescent Home. 3 to be selected for me to see – I said it was essential they should be gentlewomen.
Then to 7 Stationary to tell A/Principal Matron of the changes. To lunch. After lunch to see Miss Tunley, then to DDMS office, where I met Major Worthington, and where we discussed many matters in connection with the rules which must be drawn up in connection with the officers, as well as the Nursing Staff to enable things to work smoothly and satisfactorily and in a different matter to when seen by the BRC last year.
Then to 7 Stationary to see the Adjutant General now quite convalescent and looking very much better. He discussed the Hospitals and nursing arrangements, and the question of the employment of women for other branches of Hospital duties than Nursing, e.g. cooks, clerks, dispensers, should it become necessary to make use of them to any extent over here. Returned to Abbeville 8.30pm. Very thick fog made driving difficult.
Particulars received re VADs who arrived 12.10.15. Letter from OC 14 Stationary re the Sister in Charge, Reserve Nurse Huston. Irregular proceeding which happened when she was on night duty. Report also received from Acting Principal Matron. Replied asking OC to report the matter officially so that Nurse could be sent home as not suited for service in France. Letter from Sir Arthur Lawley re Misses Tingey and Finlayson, VAD members coming out on the 19th, asking that they might be stationed together.
Sent all instructions to J. … , G. K. Johnston, Bordeaux, newly appointed Nurses on the Reserve. Forwarded official letter informing N. Bonnallo she is not permitted to resign during war-time. Agreement form of Nurses Freeman, Valentine, Higgins, transferred from Red Cross to WO. Proceedings on Miss Hocking, VAD Medical Board forwarded. Letter from Lady Michelham re appointment of 2 Nurses on her train. Replied, asking her for particulars, and that it would be easy to appoint 2 suitable ones from the Reserve to replace those leaving Nov. 1st. Letter from DGMS about Convalescent Home for Officers at Cimiez, and also the Convalescent Home for Sisters in S. of France, lent by the Hon. Mrs. W. Cooper. Last year lent to the BRCS for officers and not made proper use of. The report of enquiry of poisoning case at Allied Force Hospital arrived, causing much annoyance here as the DMS had not been informed before the official particulars were sent through IGC.
Left early with Miss Hordley for Boulogne via Etaples. Before going stopped at 5 Stationary Hospital to tell the OC of Miss Rentzsch’s departure as Assistant Matron 1 General Hospital and Miss Mackay’s QAIMNS arrival as Matron. Went into the Nurses’ Home to see Miss Mackay who had just arrived, to find the Sister in Charge of 21 Train and 1 of the Nurses sitting there. They had missed their train since Thursday, owing to it starting from Sotteville, while they were shopping in Rouen. They appeared very upset, but they nor anyone else had taken any steps to let me know, and the train was then up at the front with only 1 Nurse on board! Returned to the office – found that the train was on its way to Boulogne, so ordered 2 Nurses to join the train from there on its arrival.
Then left for Etaples. To ADMS office. Saw Col. Carr and Miss Smith. Told them I had come to visit Allied Forces’ Hospital and see Matron and OC about the recent distressing case. The Colonel said he had already investigated the whole affair, however I said I had been instructed by DMS to go.
Before lunch went to the Baltic Exchange Hospital now established in the Liverpool Merchants’ old Hospital at Paris Plage. Not properly established, but will be quite good. The kitchen is at the top of the building and run by a VAD cook with batmen to do the cleaning. After lunch saw Miss Knowles about her recent behaviour while at 3 Stationary Hospital, and her ridiculous and non uniform hat.
Then with Miss Smith to Allied Forces’ Hospital, under canvas, much of it very nice indeed. 100 beds for officers and 100 for men, well equipped. Spoke to the Matron and OC, asked about the recent tragedy – was surprised to find that the Nurse was still on duty. Saw her. Advised she should be sent Home, partly for her own sake to get away from her present surroundings. She naturally was very upset, and mainly for no-one could have any confidence in her. Had tea and went on to Boulogne with Miss Hordley. Left her luggage at the Christol, where I saw Miss Fletcher and told her that 2 of the BRC Nurses of the 3 for Cimiez must talk French so that they would be able to manage the French maidservants. Arranged to interview them when they were available. Miss Hordley and I then to DDMS office where DDMS (General Sawyer) spoke to me about Nurse Huston and I told him that I had already written to Col. Evans asking him to report the matter officially as the DMS agreed that she was not suited for service in France.
Then to 7 Stationary saw Miss Mark about VADs arriving tomorrow and rang up Captain … , to find out whether he could possible find out anything about Major Rowley and Capt. Egerton, both reported wounded and missing, but of whom I could get no tidings for the anxious relatives – wounded Oct 1. This he has undertaken to do for me. Returned 9pm.
Miss Wilson arrived from Paris to be seen as to her suitability for service on the Reserve – was accommodated at Nurses’ Home. Nurses arriving from sick leave – posted to Station. Miss Greenwood VAD in relief of Mrs. Anderson sent to 4 General to replace her. Wrote Lady Michelham with reference to the new staff for her train. Mrs. Marshall’s resignation accepted.
50 VADs arrived Boulogne. The difficulty of meeting these large numbers with their luggage, and the arrival the next day of 50 Trained Nurses before the VADs even have been got away by train has been enormous, and the Hotel accommodation alone has been difficult. Miss Wilson, Nurse, interviewed – quite suitable – wired Dehorted. Is available at any time. Gave her a movement order to enable her to return to Paris. Miss Black’s resignation returned to state her reason, under confidential cover if preferred, and pointing out that members of the Regular Service are not permitted to resign on active service except under very exceptional circumstances. Mrs. Kundhardt QAMNSI returned resignation – forwarded – in consequence of her husband being seriously wounded – neck and jaw. Learnt Capt. Egerton been admitted Calais – wired mother. Official letter from GHQ informing Lines of Communications that all moves of Nursing Staff recalled to England must be made through DG and must also have the approval of the AG.
Another Canadian Nursing Sister arrived at office to make a special request without the knowledge of her Matron or OC.
Mentions returned to GHQ registered. Staff ordered for 4 Ambulance Flotilla. Wrote Matron Lahore British General re increase of staff – sent 3 Staff Nurses.. Canadian Sister Lightbound’s resignation forward to GHQ (mother’s sudden death). Wrote to APM Rouen, and PM, BRC re accommodation of Nurses of 11 Red + train while garaged at Sotteville for repairs – to be accommodated 6 General Hospital. Wired Matron 10 Stationary Hospital as to the condition of Staff Sergeant Butler and giving her his mother’s address. Informed M-in-C War office of condition.
Visited Red Cross Hospital and 5 Stationary. Saw Major J. Becher, Sherwood Foresters, wound of thigh – serious but doing well – distant relative of M-in-C’s WO. Saw new Matron 5 Stationary, a nice woman, Miss Mackay, recently arrived from England, who has been a Matron for some years in S. Africa. Miss Rentzsch gone as Assistant Matron 1 General Hospital. Arranged for Nurses who missed their train to join 13 Stationary Hospital and Miss Hayes QAMNSI returned to be i/c Officers’ Hospital, Havre.
Letter re VAD lady cooks arrived from WO asking the number required and whether women batmen were proposed to replace the men. Said 5 required for 5 nursing quarters as a trial – they can be accommodated in the Mess. Women batmen have not yet been considered, nor is there any accommodation for them at present. Medsercan wired about Miss Lightbound’s return – referred matter GHQ.
Went to Le Treport after lunch, arrived 2.30pm. Saw OC 16 General Col. Thurston, and Matron Miss Drage about Miss Black’s resignation. Was glad to learn that the matter had been settled and that she had apologised. Though she had been insubordinate, there was I think much to be said in her favour as the matter had been lacking in tact and consideration. Wire for help from 13 Stationary. Message that a member of Chicago unit had cerebro-spinal meningitis. Before leaving Treport I visited Canadian Hospital and saw the Matron and explained to her she must let her staff thoroughly understand that all requests must be made through her and her OC to this office, and that no Nursing Sisters were permitted to come here. Then to 3 General where I saw the OC and Matron. More huts are being built which will improve the accommodation both of sick officers and Sisters in the building. The new hut for Nursing Staff not yet begun. Their accommodation , the Sisters, is very bad, no ante room and their Mess underground.
N. Huston transfer to England not approved by DG, to be transferred to another Hospital under observation. Miss D. Sloggett and Miss E. Swain wishing to be appointed Military Probationers, have written for particulars to forward to WO. Particulars received from WO as to the decisions and whereabouts of nurses who have gone Home sick since the beginning of the year, which is the greatest assistance in completing the records of those already gone. Phoned as to condition of Chicago Nurse – no better. Relatives in America have been informed. 2 large boxes of things for officers for 2 Stationary Hospital arrived from Queen Mary’s Needlework Guild. Letter from Miss Mowat, 33 Casualty Clearing Station. A large amount of work. Bethune had been shelled several times, but all was now quiet again. None of the buildings used as Casualty Clearing Stations or Field Ambulances had not been touched.
Visited 2 Stationary Hospital which is getting into order, and will eventually be very nice. Numbers of seriously wounded, no slight cases – all doing their utmost. Telephone message from GHQ requesting numbers of Nursing Staff in France to be forwarded under their different headings. Complied with and sent by DRLS. Abbeville bombed. 8 casualties, all admitted to 2 Stationary Hospital, all badly and seriously wounded, one man in Hospital who was critically ill died of fright. Priority wire from Havre asking that VAD Mrs. Thompson to proceed on leave at once – this sanctioned. This lady wishes to resign before her time has expired as she is not satisfied with the nature of her work and wants only first aid work at the Front.
Left 10am for Boulogne. Went to BRC to appoint there nurses for Cimiez. Saw Miss Freshfield, Miss Griffiths and Miss Moss, all fully trained and ladies, and who should I think prove satisfactory. Arranged that they were to hold themselves in readiness to start at short notice. Then to DDMS office to inform him of DGMS decision re Miss Huston, who everyone else considers should have been sent Home. Then to Dannes Camiers to 18 General Hospital where I found Matron Miss Minns in bed with a throat – had a temperature – had not been seen. Instructed Assistant Matron Miss Dalton to have her seen, and sent to one of the Sick Sister’s Hospitals. Saw Miss … VAD in whom General de Gex is interested, a nice ladylike girl. On to 24 General to meet Assistant Principal Matron Miss A. B. Smith and go to the funeral* with her. All hospitals were represented by the Officers, Nursing Staff and men from every unit. Very large and impressive ceremony in the cemetery which has only so recently been opened and which is now more than ½ full with graves – an appalling sight. The graves are all well cared for and alike – all have a cross of grass on each and a cross wooden at the head on which the name and particulars are inscribed. This is done everywhere in France where our men lay buried.
After had tea at Chicago Medical Mess, where the Senior Physician, a very interesting man, spoke of how all of them were astonished at the work and organisation of our Medical Services. Then to 26 General Hospital, went round with Miss Suart the Matron. Everything in excellent order – poison and medicine cupboards made out of Red Cross boxes, the padlocks yet to come. To ADMS office, where the question of proper accommodation for Sick Sisters in this area was considered. – a well furnished house at Le Touquet is under consideration. The Nurse is still on duty at the Allied Forces Hospital. Arrived at Abbeville 8pm.
The particulars of poisoning cases forwarded by DMS to DGMS, saying that we both considered her services should be dispensed with. South Midland CCS telephoned that a nurse had just arrived from Etaples for duty – sick! Is being sent down by Ambulance Train. Another nurse sent to replace her. Have written about this – this is the second nurse this week who has been sent to the Front not fit for duty.
* The funeral of Margaret Hamilton, Chicago Unit, who died of cerebro-spinal meningitis at Sick Sisters’ Hospital, Etaples on 22nd October 1915
Visited Nurses’ Home and 5 Stationary Hospital – all satisfactory. Miss Black QAIMNS withdrawal of resignation asked for, arrived and sanctioned. Wrote to her privately. Wrote Miss Watt QAMNSI for seniority list, and wrote about the question of Matron’s pay and charge pay for her service. Application forms for Reserve sent to a Miss Henry and a Miss Johnston through Principal Matron BRCS. Wrote Ambulance Flotilla for names of officers brought down. Sent rules of trains to Miss Roe, 21 Ambulance Train.
Telephone message from GHQ giving notice of arrival of 50 VADs tomorrow. Sent postings to Acting Principal Matron Miss Mark. Hope there will be no mistakes this time. Letter from DGMS re distribution of Nurses at Casualty Clearing Stations. Wrote on the subject, showing how the returns have been incorrectly forwarded from Casualty Clearing Stations.
50 VADs arrived, posted to Rouen and Etaples. Miss Wickham TFNS from sick leave to 14 Stationary. 6 Canadian Nurses ordered 1 Stationary, 6 to 12 Stationary, 4 to 3 Stationary, all at Rouen. Miss Latham VAD arrived from sick leave – an unsatisfactory woman – sent to Rawal Pindi Hospital. Miss Wilkin posted 13 General as Assistant Matron. Miss Caulfield posted 11 General as Assistant Matron. Through an error the original order was reversed, and in this way Miss Wilkin was working under her junior Miss Lang. This had been reported to Miss Mark, Assistant Principal Matron, who did not like to let me know. Fortunately the matter was brought to my notice and the mistake rectified. Informed that Miss Ross TFNS who had had leave to be married and should have arrived 23rd not yet arrived. Wired DGMS asking whether we should report matter WO.
Miss Wainwright’s resignation accepted. Sent Rules and Regulations to Miss Roscoe QAIMNS who has just taken over Matron’s duties 3 Stationary Hospital.
The King’s visit is giving general satisfaction, and he appears to be pleased with the Hospitals. He passed through Abbeville on his way to the Front on Saturday shortly after the bombing – the machine was not brought down. Busy with correspondence all day. The question of the Marine Hotel being taken over by the Government for the Nurses of 11 and 13 General and 7 Stationary is still hanging fire, the papers have come back again. Have now recommended that if no satisfactory arrangement can be arrived at, the Nurses should be accommodated in other Hostels, each Matron making her own arrangements. Nursing Sister from 3 Train waiting at Nurses’ Home Abbeville while train is garaged at Paris for repairs. Wrote Sir E. Worthington re Nurses for Cimiez.
To Capt. Kingscote in reply to a request that some of the Nurses in Rouen might assist in some “Follie Entertainment” which he is getting up for the benefit of men in Hospitals, and then in Camp. Said it would not be possible to arrange this, but I knew the Staffs from every hospital would assist in every way to have everything in readiness at each Hospital and would look forward to entertaining them all in their Mess when the show was over. Suggested that some of the many ladies not engaged in nursing duties in Rouen might be able to assist. Wrote Lady Michelham re Train Sisters, which have been appointed, and had a letter from her since her return from London. Wrote Miss Patton Matron Chicago Unit a letter of sympathy at the loss of their Nursing Sister on behalf of the Nursing Staff in France. Letter from Matron-in-Chief re the adoption of a grey cape by the Special Probationers – quite their own idea, without the approval or permission of the WO. Forwarded letter to Assistant Principal Matron to deal with and return. This I was entirely ignorant of. Found some of the VADs with Army Caps on at Etaples, and was informed they were permitted to wear them. Instructed them to wear Sister Dora cap until I gave them other instructions and wrote to the Matron-in-Chief on the subject on 23rd inst. Miss Taunton QAIMNS married to Captain Rankin Oct. 5th. Was informed of Miss M. T. Casswell QAIMNS engagement to Captain Denis RAMC today – met while working at a Casualty Clearing Station. She now is working at a Base Hospital.
Received letter from M-in-C WO re transfer of certain QAIMNS from Home Service here to be replaced by those who have been here since mobilization; those of equal value to be sent in return. Wrote at length giving points needing consideration and reiterated, which I have done many times before, that I will assist all I can. Asked her to apply officially for what she needed. Staff Nurse Twose (Guy’s Hospital) sent in her resignation, reason, long rest needed – forwarded.
Telephone message from Boulogne informing me a nurse from Guildford Castle on way to Dardnelles missed her steamer. Was accommodated at Mess – arrangements being made for her to catch it at Marseilles and will be accommodated at Military Hospital at Marseilles till boat arrives. VAD Miss Rennison sent in resignation at completion of 1 month’s service. Miss Conway CHR sent Home on leave – tuberculous growth on neck, anxious to be seen by her own Doctor.
Col. Birrell rang up from GHQ for names of 2 best nurses in 1st Army and a masseuse for HM The King who had met with an accident and been thrown from his horse. Nothing serious it was hoped – gave names – went to Mess to inform DMS, L of C who did not know anything about it, who also informed IGC. Arranged to leave early tomorrow for GHQ.
Left 9, arrived 11am St. Omer. Went to office. Saw DG who was on his way to Boulogne to make arrangements about Hospital Ship to convey HM. Home Everyone anxious that he should be moved with as little delay as possible as soon as the move could be done with safety – a certain amount of anxiety existed in consequence of the fear of the Chateau being bombed, as soon as the Germans learnt what had happened.
DG instructed me to go to Chateau and see Sir Bertrand Dawson. Reported first to DMS 1st Army, where I was informed by Surgeon General Macpherson that the accident occurred at 11am, and that Miss E. Ward QAIMNSR who has previously nursed the King and who was fortunately on a Barge nearby was got at once. And the Canadian Sister in Charge of the Canadian Casualty Clearing Station be selected for night duty – thought it would be a good political move, and that she had been on duty and that the king liked her. He asked me if I agreed, that if everything was entirely satisfactory was the main thing, but that I knew our people would be disappointed that such an honour had not been permitted them. Went and saw Sir B. Dawson and various others. Sir B. Dawson drove back with me – had lunch at Mess, then went to station to make arrangements about 14 Ambulance Train, which was to be got ready. Arrangements and necessary arrangements were left to me.
The treatment room was converted into a ward. Carpeted, a dado of Cretonne covering head [of] bed, flowers etc., procured. Orders given that he was leaving 11am tomorrow, only certain coaches for suite, servants and personal attendants on the King were to be used, the remainder of train left behind. Pouring wet day – got back late. After dinner learnt removal postponed till Monday. News from HQ, IGC. Some of the marques belonging to the Sisters of 21 Casualty Clearing Station burnt. No-one hurt. Properly destroyed – cause of fire unknown.
Pelting day. Went again to Chateau. Saw Miss E. Ward the Nurse. Everything going on satisfactorily, the King having a great deal of pain, suffering from severe bruising, fortunate no internal injuries and no bones broken. Hospital Ship Anglia to take H.M. over – patients will be on board also. Telephoned DMS, L of C and wrote saying I was unable to leave. Saw the 2 Nurses Miss Pierce and Miss Kavanagh, who have just left 14 Train (Lady Michelham’s) and who are going Home Nov. 1st. They are being replaced by Reserves, Miss Wakelin still remaining on train. Lunched with DG, Surgeon General Macpherson, there on his way Home – been recalled for Servia. Very sad at leaving his Army. Dined at Mess, learnt again that H.M’s departure was again postponed until Monday, the King unwilling to go. Shawls, jacket required. With difficulty got shawls which I took, but which were not suitable.
Still pouring with rain. Left with Miss Lyde for Bethune after going to Chateau to enquire. Went over 33 CCS and 6 Field Ambulance, both in the same building. The arrangements good. Miss Mowat managing well. The building had been shelled a few days before and all had left for 24 hours, then returned, all had been safe since. Sand bags are in evidence everywhere, but no real damage had been done. It was thought the big gun must have been on an Ambulance Train. Got back late, went to office and then to 10 Stationary Hospital Mess where I am staying. Went to bed early with a bad cold. After Dinner Miss Barbier rang up to say a Nurse Robinson (Guy’s Hospital) had been suspended from duty at Marseilles, and that a relief was required, also that 10 Special Probationers were arriving Monday. Instructed her what was to be done with them, and ordered Nurse from Marseilles to come to Nurses’ Home, Abbeville. Miss France TFNS, marriage reported, now Mrs. Clarkson. Letter from M-in-C WO about Edith Cavell Memorial and sending letters to be sent to all Reserve Londoners* re the subscription for Nurses Home LH.
The King to leave 10.30am tomorrow. Message from DG to the effect I was to meet him at Aire Station 9.45am.
* Nurses trained at The London Hospital, Whitechapel
Establishments opened during the month
No.4 Ambulance Flotilla – 2 Barges
1 Casualty Clearing Station – staff increased to 10 at 6 Casualty Clearing Stations, 1st Army
New Members of Nursing Staff joined
From England - 100 trained, 203 VADs
From France - 8 trained
Members withdrawn from British Military Hospitals
40 Americans - at completion of contract
33 Canadians - temporarily employed since May
Sent Home Sick
At present sick in England since April
Returned from Sick Leave
Resignations sent forward
Leave granted during the month
Returned to England unsuitable for foreign service
1 American Sister Chicago Unit
2 in October
4 since mobilization
(and still serving)
2 QAIMNS: 1 CHR: 1 American
since August 1914