CROWN COPYRIGHT: THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES, WO95/3989
Intensely busy all day office, not left at all in consequence of constant demands by telephone for help everywhere. In every branch, people were released for their meals. 11 Australians temporarily employed 12 Stationary Hospital, 3rd Army had hurriedly to be sent to Rouen, in consequence of pressure of work. 6 nurses sent to 6 Stationary Hospital, 3rd Army, by Ambulance. 12 nurses obtained from Treport for 6 more Barges hurriedly commissioned and starting tonight on the Somme for Corbie. Sent 3 nurses by Ambulance to Authie, 4th Army, to assist present Staff of 4. These nurses I got from 2 Stationary Hospital here. And wired to Boulogne, Calais and St. Omer to send 6 suitable nurses for the front from each Base to Nurses’ Home to be waiting. Telephoned message to say 25 VADs had arrived, and also that Miss Fraser CHR and VAD Dalrymple had both arrived from sick leave – sent at once to 2 Stationary Hospital. Telephone message from Miss Rannie at Rouen, asking for more help – unable to carry out – said sending VADs, but had no more trained, did not expect any either, but would do what I could. DGMS rang up to know the name of the Sister at 37 Casualty Clearing Station – Miss Howe QAIMNS who is doing excellent work, 3rd Army.
Saw Miss Hanhart, Sister CHR who has been doing duty on a Barge and got into some trouble with reference to a pair of forceps which were missing, and who a MO reported she had taken. There is no doubt she was not supported by the MO. I saw the MO later and the matter is now settled. The Barges are perhaps our most difficult units. The whole of the personnel is constantly changing, the Medical Officers are temporarily employed, and in many instances do not give the nurses the support they require. Major Knapp wrote strongly about the withdrawal of the Field Allowance from the VADs, and said also Miss Rannie, the Principal Matron, Rouen area had been, and pointed out that the VADs are not as well off here as in England. She having only just arrived in France is in a position to compare matters on both sides of the water. Authority granted for servants’ allowance at £20 per annum to the Matron-in-Chief and the Principal Matron. Forwarded correspondence to Etaples. Regulations forwarded to Australian Voluntary Hospital from this office and contract forms to be signed. DDMS went to Canadian N. Home at Treport for Dominion Day and on to Rouen to inspect. Correspondence forwarded re Mrs. Hagar’s appoint[ment] to Harvard Unit to replace Miss Parsons. Arranged for her to spend 14 days at an English Military Unit, 18 General Hospital first, and then 10 days with the present Matron before she leaves. The British-French advance 7.30am this morning. 26 nurses sent to the front, extra. 8 VADs who arrived to Havre from Boulogne. 17 VADs who arrived to Rouen from Boulogne to fill vacancies.
Rang up 4th Army. Found all was going well. No further help required for the present, 10am. Later nurses wanted for a CCS and a Field Ambulance hurriedly opening at Hesdin – 10 ordered and arrived 2 hours after telephone message was received. In times like these the assistance given by all Matrons is remarkable, but Miss Lyde’s willingness and powers of management stand out far above all others. 2 Stationary Hospital here needed more help. Patients streaming in by Barge, train and convoy, the latter walking cases to be dressed, fed and sent on at once. Nurses obtained from Etaples, Dieppe, Calais for emergency work. DGMS rang up for more nurses for 35 CCS in Citadelle – 7 sent, also to say that the Specialists in Boulogne at 13 Stationary were complaining that their nurses were being taken away. I rang up OC on the subject, and wrote fully to DG on the subject, to explain that all Sisters in Charge of wards were being left for the present, but that all must spare their capable workers temporarily at such a time. No.1 Stationary Hospital which was under orders to become a non-Sisters’ unit is to remain as it is until the present crisis is over. 33 nurses sent to 4th Army in addition to those already there, during the day, distributed where needed most, between 14 Casualty Clearing Stations and 2 Field Ambulances.
Still demands for nurses. The present Staffs, MOs, nurses and men have been working day and night, and unable entirely to cope with the work. MOs and men also have been sent up. 7 sent by Ambulance to 29 Casualty Clearing Station, 8am. 4 sent by Ambulance to South Midland CCS. Telegraphed for more nurses from Calais and Treport to proceed here for … . As well obtained 6 Canadian nurses from Treport to help cope with the work at 2 Stationary. 3rd Army rang up to ask if VADs might be sent to 41 CCS and 6 Stationary – said it was not permissible – only trained nurses can ever go to the front.
Boulogne telephoned for help at Convalescent Depot for dressing short cases. Said nurses should be sent from Canadian General Hospital. She arranged this and back by ambulance, in the mornings from 8 to 1pm.
DG telephoned to say 50 more nurses were required at the front. Ordered 20 from Canadian Hospitals in various areas, 2 to ten Casualty Clearing Stations. Ordered 11 more Reserves from Boulogne and 5 from Calais to proceed here to await instructions, and decided to leave for Front in the morning to ascertain where further help was needed, before sending more, as I feel at anytime further help may be required at any other part of the Front, and one must husband one’s resources, since the chance of getting more nurses from Home seems very poor. Miss Killingbeck’s resignation forwarded. Distributed VADs discs to all areas. 2/1 Midland CCS and 49 CCS left for 4th Army. 33 nurses drawn from Bases today for Front areas.
Left at 7am for the Front. Visited:
41, 35 and 11 Casualty Clearing Stations at Doullens, still very busy and overworked. Arranged to send more help. Then to South Midland FA, all serious abdominal cases. Found a French lady occupying part of the Chateau and 2 daughters assisting. Saw OC and said it was not to continue, that I would send further help if necessary.
Puchevillers: On to 3 and 44 Casualty Clearing Station. Here the work had been, and was, prodigious. Nurses up, also MOs and these up day and night. Work had been remarkable by all. Two Royal Scots officers were cutting dressings at one of the Casualty Clearing Stations. Nurses were arriving who had been instructed to join the day before. Met the DG and DMS 4th Army there. Had lunch with Sisters. There was a continuous stream of wounded arriving and being evacuated by Ambulance and Train, many seriously wounded Germans among them.
Warloy: On to 92 FA. Crowded also. Nurses doing splendidly, but needing more help – nothing but abdominals.
Heilly: On to 36 and 38 Casualty Clearing Stations, in same condition, crowded with wounded. Unable to clear as quickly as the patients arrived. I passed a train, a long one of German prisoners, and on the ground outside one of the marques, 300 German wounded were waiting on stretchers to be evacuated.
Querrieu: On to Headquarters, where everyone was pleased with the news of the excellent work which has been done by all ranks in Medical Units, and that the GOC had sent a most flattering message to all.
Corbie: Then to Corbie, to 21 CCS and 5 CCS, both very busy. More help expected to arrive. Miss Beamish, Sister i/c 21 CCS had a bad finger, nail had been removed, however she said it was quite alright, and the MO was satisfied it was also.
Vequemont: Missed our way going to Vecquemont, and as it was getting late, after 7pm, and I felt I had done enough, we returned via Amiens, arriving 8pm. Most of the day there were heavy thunderstorms and torrents of rain.
Got back to find letters from all Bases saying how shorthanded they were and how they had been working day and night. Letter from Miss Roe QAIMNS, to say Miss Fraser CHR a Staff Nurse on her train, was getting herself talked about with one of the MOs, a married man.
Gezaincourt - While in 4th Army today, also visited 29 Casualty Clearing Station, where apparently the largest number of wounded passed through. This Staff has to 27 to be able in any way to cope with the work. Attached to this huge Camp is an enormous Chateau for officers able to accommodate 150.
Found on return 15 nurses were waiting at Nurses’ Home, and sent off at once 4th Army, 2 to Station to do dressings during the night, 2 improvised trains expected, and 1 to join No.9 Train where they were short of a nurse. Letter from all areas. Miss B. Smith said how exceptionally short of nurses the Chicago Unit was. Mrs. … resignation forwarded to GHQ. Sister Harper 41 CCS transferred sick to Base. Relief sent at once from 10 Stationary Hospital.
Miss Jacob off duty with sore face. The Sister in Charge 2nd Canadian CCS sent 65 Francs which she had obtained from sale of Alexandra Roses on 21 June at the Front. Letter from Sir B. Dawson re Nurse Edmund’s transferred Home, query tubercle from here – not considered such at Home. Sent copy of letter to the Matron-in-Chief, War Office. Heard unofficially 150 more VADs coming, no more trained so far. Rang up DG, GHQ. He advised me to write D.O. to Matron-in-Chief, saying that more trained are needed. VADs are arriving quite out of proportion to our trained, now that so many trained are required at the front. Wrote Sisters in Charge, South Midland CCS, and 92 FA, saying the nuns must be thanked for their kind offers of help, but they must not be permitted to nurse the patients. To OC of S. Midland FA, to say that Madame and her daughters must not be permitted to nurse wounded, and that the Staff has been increased, and if still not sufficient, more help will be supplied. Wrote Matron-in-Chief Canadians, re the trouble at 4 Stationary Canadian, at St. Cloud, which so far is not yet settled. Wrote to all areas and all Sisters in Charge in 4th Army, thanking them for all their excellent work and the Bases for their valuable and willing assistance. Busy all day with correspondence. Sent forward the correspondence re Chicago Unit, asking if certain members are permitted to serve on after the unit ceased to exist – now are they to be recognised. 25 VADs arrived and sent to Havre and Rouen. Wrote to the Matron-in-Chief with reference to the recent heavy work and necessity for more help. Matron 30 General Hospital asking for 4 more Nurses – supplied. Letter from Mrs. Furze saying she would see what she could do in sending VAD cooks out to us with VADs. Sent correspondence on to GHQ to ascertain how the remainder of the Chicago Unit would be recognised if they were permitted to remain on. Wrote to Miss Bulman and Miss White, saying it was not desirable for the nuns to assist in CCS, though they could cut dressings etc., but on no account were their feelings to be hurt. Wrote OC South Midland FA, saying that now that his Staff was increased, would he please let Madame and her daughters understand that it will not be necessary for them to take part in nursing these serious cases, which need entirely trained attention. Letter from Matron 8 Stationary re Miss Riddell’s incapabilities as Sister. Miss Beadsmore-Smith rang up to ask if she might come to Abbeville tomorrow to see her niece, whose brother had been killed. Made necessary arrangements, and let the Matron and her niece, Miss Neville know that she was coming.
Went to Treport and Rouen. Miss A. B. Smith to see her niece. Suggested if it would be a help to them, that I would arrange for her niece to be moved to the Etaples area, they both preferred not, as she, Miss Neville, is so happy at 2 Stationary Hospital. Four more Consultants arrived, Sir B. Moynihan, Mr. Openshaw, Mr. Thomas, Mr. [SWAIN]– sent to different areas. Received 65 Francs from Sisters 2 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station for Alexandra Roses, they having thought they were sent to be sold – sending money to fund. Agreement forms received from members of Australian Voluntary Hospital wishing to transfer on Reserve and considered suitable in every respect. Letter from Miss Stronach saying that the Canadian Matrons at Treport are anxious to see me. Miss Crowdy asking whether the VADs who sustained losses at the 14th Stationary fire, will receive compensation – sent correspondence on to ascertain how the matter now stood. Fleet of Ambulances with VAD drivers arrived for Treport. Arranged for Miss Hyndman, CHR, 10 Stationary, to go to 14 General Hospital to visit her brother who was dangerously wounded. 7 nurses arrived for 7 Canadian Stationary Hospital. Letter from Matron in Chief’s Secretary saying 50 nurses coming next week.
Left for Boulogne after lunch. To 13 Stationary Hospital where I saw the new CO and the Matron with reference to the recent trouble as certain Specialists complaining to the DG that their nurses were taken and in consequence the orders had to be cancelled. Said the Matron must so arrange by putting capable Special Probationers in these wards to work under the Sister in Charge, so that the working of the Hospital goes smoothly and everyone must help in this matter, for the most capable and most suitable must go to the Front in times like these. Saw Lady Algernon Gordon-Lennox, who was busy in her Red Cross Stores, and she told me there had never been such a rush since those October days in 1914 – as many as three men had been in the beds in 24 hours. To DDMS office. Saw DDMS, talked about what arrangements could best be made to meet present needs and the difficulty to get more nurses from Home. 13 General and 14 Stationary Hospitals in the same plight, Staffs working day and night – not sufficient help. Met Miss Barbier and Miss Martin returning from leave, and drove them home arriving 8pm. To office after dinner, where I found a large amount of correspondence awaiting me.
Nurses required for 28 Ambulance Train. Ordered them from Calais, instructed them to report 13 General and do temporary duty until train was actually starting. This was the only arrangement it was possible for me to make to meet the urgent demands made for more help at this Hospital. Miss Jacob still off duty with her face. 16 General Hospital asked officially for more help in the way of Mess servants to release Batmen. Said to supply VADs and to carry on with French daily servants already employed and paid from Mess funds. Letter from Base Commandant asking the Misses Hammersley VADs, when they arrived might be posted to 14 General. Replied would bear them in mind – if no vacancies at 14 General, will if possible post them to Boulogne. Rang up Miss Crowdy to ascertain if she could supply me with a VAD cook for Villa Tino, as they were in difficulties. Very kindly arranging for me to have Miss Glossop, who I have been trying to get for months, having applied officially for her through WO.
Rang up to ascertain if I might wire WO for more nurses – Yes – to Matron-in-Chief sent wire “Nurses urgently needed, when and how many can you send, work excessive”. Signed it myself. Receiving lists printed from Lady Lawley (which I am circulating) for Queen Mary’s Needlework Guild. Sent circulars to areas instructing DDMS that 4 nurses can be employed from certain Hospitals to attend at Convalescent Camps if necessary from 8am to 1pm. Received news Captain Barefoot wounded – Major Worthington went in DMS car to Field Ambulance and brought him and the Adjutant back – taken to 2 Stationary Hospital. Went to 2 Stationary after dinner. Saw the Matron to make arrangements. Found the Hospital full. To in any way cope with the work, the nurses come back after dinner till 10 and 11pm, and the night people are doing the same in the mornings. This can’t go on for ever.
25 VADs arrived. Arranged for 13 to go to Boulogne area, 12 to Etaples areas. Arrived very late, had to go to Hotel, as in consequence of difficulty getting men to deal with the luggage, they could [not] join units till tomorrow. Reply from Matron-in-Chief. 17 Nurses arriving 10th, 34 on 15th. If possible will hasten latter. Better than nothing, but in this great rush and urgent calls from everywhere, seems merely a drop in the ocean. Forwarded VAD Spearing’s article on “Experience of a VAD” to DGMS. Received correspondence re resignation of Miss Hutchinson, CHR, willing to sign on for 6 months if able to have a month’s leave now. Returned asking if a fortnight would meet the case. Several Matrons asking if VADs whose contracts have expired might remain for the present. Asked DDMS who said no. Nurse … resignation forwarded, unable to extend for six months. Correspondence from Nurses’ Home re insufficient supply of coal authorized, forwarded to DDS to ask for assistance. Miss Smartt resignation returned, willing to sign on for 6 months. Correspondence from Rouen re extra accommodation for Nursing Staff 3 Stationary unpracticable – to pitch marques in consequence of site. SMO Dieppe rang up for a nurse, in consequence of a Matron having sprained her ankle. Sent Nurse Kelsey, lent for temporary duty here. Principal Matron Rouen rang up for help for 1 Stationary Hospital, who are unable to carry on. Sent 4 nurses from Havre. Miss Jacob’s face better.
To meet urgent needs:
6 nurses from 10 Stationary to Australian Voluntary Hospital. 3 nurses from CCS in 1st Army to 13 General. 1 nurse from 4 General to 5 Stationary Hospital. Colonel Fawcus, 4th Army rang up for more help: 2 nurses from South Midland to 36 CCS. 1 nurse from Abbeville to 38 CCS. 3 nurses from Abbeville to South Midland CCS. Another CCS opening at Heilly requiring nurses shortly. South Midland CCS moving to Vequemont, New Zealand Stationary Hospital to Amiens. Official letter from Matron 14 General Hospital asking for more help. Replied regretted unable to supply. When new reinforcements arrived all units would receive attention and further help supplied where most needed. Miss Hordley rang up for a nurse for Jan Breydel. Said she was unable to spare one, that she was unable to carry on with what she had. Arranged for her to apply to 7 Stationary for help and report name.
Matron-in-Chief of Australians arrived with letter of introduction from Matron-in-Chief War Office. So far no official notification has been received. She seems a very nice woman. Miss Woodford fortunately met her at quay, when meeting VADs last night, got her a room at the Louvre. Miss Hordley saw her in the morning, took her round 13 General. She went to No.2 Australian General and came on here midday. Miss Hordley letting me know when she was arriving, Miss Barbier met her. She came to the office, where she was most pleasant, and seems most capable. She is most willing that the Australians should just be sent where they are most required, and in consequence I am arranging to send some at once for temporary duty at 23 General, the Chicago Unit, who are much below the proper strength. It is not desirable I consider to send VADs to this unit, in consequence of their undisciplined ways*, though asked by Principal Matron of the area to do so. I do not consider that it would be a wise procedure, and which these girls’ parents might take exception to. DG came on his way to Treport. Seen by Col. Gallie, though in the office, unfortunately was not told of his arrival until he left, which was disappointing as there were many points I was asked to consult him about.
* This refers to the staff of the Chicago Unit being ‘undisciplined’, not the VADs
Miss Conyers, Matron-in-Chief, Australians, left by car for Rouen. This was arranged through the courtesy of Col. Dodson, as my car is out of repair. I gave her a letter of introduction to the DDMS Rouen, as the official notification of her arrival had not yet arrived, and telephoned to Miss Rannie, the Principal Matron, to let her know she was going to No.1 Australian General Hospital for a few days, asking her if time would permit during the present heavy work to shew her some of our Hospitals. She is also going to see her Paymaster about the Australian Allowances while working in our Hospitals. She pointed out that in Egypt everyone got 3/- a day Colonial Allowance, in addition to their Field Allowance, and that this was very much missed over here. I said that I had done what I could in this matter, in view of the increased expenses on all sides, but without success, and that officers drew allowances of their class to which we belonged, but which we were not allowed to draw, and that the decision was given in England, so that nothing more can be done here, I understand. Asked her whether I might increase the Staff of the Chicago Unit with some of her people temporarily. She had no objection so that this I did at once, thus releasing the Harvard 10, which were badly needed in their own unit.
The Australian Voluntary Hospital is in the same plight. We have not yet heard whether the Staff has been taken on the Reserve. This Staff I have now increased to 42, from Australian Army Nurses. New Zealand Stationary Hospital opening at Amiens – no Nursing Staff. Wired GHQ for Staff and rang up as well and explained that there was a large number of New Zealand Nurses I knew at London, so they are wiring WO on the subject. Received official correspondence re Chicago Unit, now only 17 want to remain at completion of contract in August. Miss Patton the Matron and 4 others wishing to return. Out of the 17, 10 are British and 7 Americans. Sent a letter to all Barges, arranging that a Sister should go in the ambulance with any patient they are particularly anxious about, to the Hospital, and give all particulars to the Sister. Correspondence returned from DG re increase of Staff for Corn and Baltic Exchange. Considering the increase abnormal, correspondingly recommending 4 more nurses instead of 6 for the present at any rate. Staff asked for, for Highland Casualty Clearing Station. 17 Trained Nurses arrived – 10 to Etaples area, 4 Boulogne, 3 Treport. Wrote Matron-in-Chief thanking her for nurses, and saying work continuing excessive.
4 more Nurses wanted for 36 Casualty Clearing Station. Miss Dangerfield’s CHR resignation forwarded – returned to ascertain if she could extend for 6 months. A somewhat rude reply saying she didn’t intend to extend at all. Miss Robertson resignation 6 CCS forwarded on account of private affairs. Received wire, 33 nor 34 nurses arriving today. 14 to the Front to fill vacancies, 3 to Treport, 7 St. Omer, 5 Calais, 4 Etaples. Ordered 10 Harvard Nurses to rejoin Unit. DMS 4th Army wiring for 4 more nurses urgently required 36 CCS. Wrote DG re VAD Gore, who wishes to transfer to Home Establishment, in reply to a letter from Colonel Gore. Wrote to him, found transferred to Home Establishment, that she didn’t wish to renew, and that her contract expired 8th instant. She, poor thing, has lost two brothers killed, and her fiancé in the Sea Battle of Jutland. Letter from Miss Blakeley. The Canadian Nurses temporarily employed recalled to their unit, so Havre is now short.
25 VADs arrived. Posted 13 Boulogne, 3 Rouen, 2 Etaples, 7 Rouen. Sent resignation of Mrs. Sargent née Wakeford to DG for transmission to Australian Nursing Services. Forwarded resignation of CAMC Francis Frew, reason urgent family affairs – not strong. Sent reports and signed agreement forms, VADs who arrived in France 3.6.16. Sent a large number of signed renewal contract forms of Reserves who joined for Army Service August and September 1914 and 1915. Received correspondence re Staff Nurse … CHR, medical certificate attached. Sent to DG recommending Medical Board in England. Correspondence re VAD Glossop to DG for approval of appointment. Received wire, nurses for Highland CCS not to proceed on 14th, suitable accommodation not yet available. Correspondence arrived from WO, 23 members of Australian Voluntary Hospital now 32 Stationary, accepted for the Reserve if recommended by Matron and the Matron-in-Chief., BEF. Received WO letter notifying arrival of VADs 5th and 8th instant, already arrived. Orders for Miss Chisholm, CAMC, 3 Canadian General to proceed Ontario Military Hospital, Orpington, Kent, and C. Burt to be sent to replace her. Applications from 14 General and 14 Stationary Hospitals officially for their Staff of nurses to be increased – gathered 1 here and there from various units to meet their needs. Application from Havre for help as all Canadian Nurses temporarily employed in 1 and 2 General Hospitals required in their own units. Telephoned to DMS 4th Army re work in his area. Said I would go tomorrow to discuss redistribution of Staff, in consequence of more units opening, and the need of more assistance. Two nurses wanted tomorrow for another Barge ready for work. Telephoned to 10 Stationary Hospital to supply suitable people and to let me know the names. DG came on his way from Havre and Rouen, hadn’t an opportunity of seeing him. Letter from Nurse I.C. Smith asking to be moved from Hospital Ship Abderdonian. Letter from Miss Walton, ARRC, late Anglia, saying she is feeling the strain of the work.
Received telephone message from M-in-C Australians, that she would be returning from Rouen tomorrow to Boulogne via Abbeville. She would like to see me – said very much regretted I should not be here. Misses V. Davey and E. Norries, CHR resignation accepted – correspondence forwarded. Miss Carruthers resignation forwarded – needs a long rest before taking up children’s work. Official correspondence asking for 20 more nurses at 30 General. Sent 13 VADs. Mrs. Welch QAIMNSR applying for exchange to Home Service – forwarded and recommended. This Nurse has been a most troublesome member ever since she came out, restless and discontented, though a good worker, but with too many private interests at Home to make her work in any way successful over here.
Was invited by Mayor of Hazebrouck to a ceremony at the Hospice on 14th, when some presentations were going to be made to some Medical Officers and Nurses who had done some good work with the French wounded and also civil population – unfortunately was unable to accept the invitation. Matron of 4 Stationary Canadian Hospital now 8 General Hospital has been instructed to proceed to London. Sent correspondence to OC of unit. This is the lady who had been suspended from duty by her OC. Application for 2 more nurses at 37 Casualty Clearing Station, to take over a Chateau at some distance from the unit, for the purpose of looking after overflow of officers from the Casualty Clearing Station, and whose condition is not of such a serious condition, but who require care, attention and quiet. Sent Miss Barwell and Sargent, who should do well. This Chateau at Lucheux is beautiful and particularly interesting because of its age, its position and its beautiful grounds, and which is lent by the Duchesse D’Uzes. Correspondence re Nurse Hutchinson who is willing to extend for 6 months instead of a year. The Hon. Mrs. Coke called about a patient wounded and supposed to be at Rouen, one of Lord Leicester’s (her father-in-law’s) tenants. Rang up, got all information and let Mrs. C. know, who is running a YMCA hut at St. Valery-sur-Somme.
Went to Boulogne, to Australian Voluntary Hospital, now 32 Stationary, to let them know that the Staff of 23, whose names had been submitted to the War Office had been accepted for the Reserve, according to the rank in which they are now serving, and told them I was sending them an Army Matron, to instruct them in military ways and increasing their Staff by the addition of VADs now arriving. Then to the DDMS office, and later to 13 General to arrange about Miss Congleton joining at once, and that she was being replaced by the Assistant Matron from the Australian unit. Abbeville 9pm.
Sent Nominal Roll officially to DDMS Boulogne of Australian Voluntary Nurses taken on to Reserve. Informed the OC that it was impossible to antedate their appointment of Reserve to day of mobilization, in recognition of their Service. Their services were now being recognised fully by being taken on to the Reserve, according to the rank they now hold, and have held. Miss Congleton ordered to unit to instruct Staff in military matters. Increase of Staff for Corn and Baltic sanctioned, 4 Nurses and 2 VADs, in consequence of this unit now admitting officers. Miss Jacob back on duty.
Sent officially to War Office from IGC, the appeal for VADs to be granted a continuation of their Field Allowance to which under the new contract they are not entitled. Transfer to Home Establishment accepted for Nurses Sheard and Wiseman TFNS. Resignations accepted Miss Hobbs, Mrs. Owen and Miss Jacob CHR. Special leave granted VAD Meade – reason, fiancé dangerously ill. WO letter appointed 14 TFNS to permanent rank of Sister. 25 VADs arriving.
Left for GHQ arrived 1pm. Saw DG about work in the Armies, and the necessity of the going to units as often as it is possible to judge where more help is needed. He quite approved, and expressed a wish I should go as often as possible and keep him informed of [my] movements.
After lunch went to DMS 3rd Army. Saw DMS, discussed the question of help at short notice in his areas. Arranged that when a unit closes, the Staff should join 12 Stationary Hospital until they are again required.
Drove with Major Tyndale to 12 Stationary Hospital. This is now thoroughly established and everything working smoothly and well. In addition to the usual work, a large Isolation Division has been opened, necessitating a part of the Staff being allotted for that work. I went round the wards with the OC and Matron, and everything looked in excellent order.
From here I went to Frevent, to the unit which has now been transferred from a CCS to a Stationary Hospital (No.6), a large hutted unit, with an Officers' Hospital as an annex in a school, at some distance away. The Staff are now accommodated under canvas in a charming orchard; before the winter sets in they will be hutted. The arrangements here for the reception of the wounded is excellent, the operating theatres and dressing huts being exceedingly good.
Got back to Abbeville 9pm and found much correspondence awaiting me, among them a letter from Matron-in-Chief saying she would shortly require Miss A. B. Smith and Miss Clements for Malta, and saying that if I was wanting a Matron I could have Miss Hordley. I wrote suggesting either Miss Fox or Miss Lang instead of Miss Clements, as I know Miss A. B. Smith does not like her, and also thanking her, but saying I would try and manage without Miss Hordley. She has always caused trouble wherever she has been, and Malta, which she has just left is quite in chaos, so I hardly feel she would be a help, Miss A. B. Smith being sent to put things right. There are now only 3 Matrons, Miss Rannie, a senior who has only recently come to the country, Miss Blakeley, the one remaining one who came out, and Miss Wohlmann, who has only recently been promoted, and was sent to Malta and for some reason recalled after a short time, and sent here instead. Everyone is working magnificently, but it is a little difficult having all the senior ones who know the work taken away, and who has given such able assistance to all young Matrons opening these huge Hospitals.
Left early for 4th Army. To Headquarters first, where I saw DDMS Col. Fawcus, and from there Heilly, to 36 and 38 Casualty Clearing Stations, where I spent a long time. These units were extremely heavy, crowded with most dreadfully wounded men, many many who can never leave. The operating theatres with 4 tables in each are going day and night, and the work of everyone is continuous, heavy and sad. Everyone doing splendid work. Finding in both these stations that the Nursing Staff is not sufficient. I arranged to increase both Staff by 2, giving them each 14. Here an extra CCS for walking cases has been established, not requiring Sisters.
From there to Vecquemont, 34 and 35 Casualty Clearing Stations. These like the 2 previous are under canvas, and near the railway line. Both these units had just evacuated and everything was satisfactory. An extra CCS for walking cases here also.
Then to Amiens to New Zealand Stationary Hospital, now established in building recently occupied by Casualty Clearing Station, and previously before the retreat by 7 General Hospital. The Staff (Nursing/of the CCS) with Miss Bulman Retired, is still [in] their unit until the New Zealand Staff arrive. This is badly wanted, as numbers of trained nurses is not in any way adequate, and in consequence of the seriousness of the cases at the Bases, it places increased responsibility on the Matrons and trained Staff, in consequence of VADs being compelled to do work which they are not really capable of doing. However, everyone is working willingly and wonderfully, and the VADs are quite splendid. Saw the OC who is busy getting things in order, and spoke highly of the valuable assistance given by Miss Bulman and her Staff.
On return at 8pm found Miss Bond A/Matron of Jan Breydel had been giving some trouble, and the OC had been to DDMS Boulogne on the subject. Arranged for her to be relieved by Miss Buyers QAIMNS, and asked for a confidential report on Miss Bond QAIMNSR work and behaviour. Correspondence received with reference a Court of Enquiry held at 2 Casualty Clearing Station on burns sustained by Lieut. Iser on his buttocks from a hot water bottle, and which the OC blamed the Nursing Staff. These were forwarded by DMS of 2nd Army, asking me to go and see him before visiting 2 Casualty Clearing Station. Replied I would be there as soon as possible. Nurse Hussey arriving from sick leave at Boulogne was ordered to join Nurses’ Home Abbeville.
Sent help to 36, 34, 38 and 45 Casualty Clearing Stations. Visited 2 Stationary Hospital, with reference to accommodation for the Nursing Staff of S. African Unit, now opening next to 2 Stationary Hospital under canvas on vacant piece of ground. No space for Nursing Staff, so arranged that a house near should be inspected with a view to accommodating the Staff there. Had lunch at 2 Stationary, where they are continuing to be extremely busy, and where many deaths are occurring daily. It is here where all the seriously wounded men are taken both from Barges and Trains. Left for Reserve Army, arriving at Headquarters at 3pm.
Reserve Army: Where I saw the DMS, Surgeon-General Nichols, and who will communicate with me direct always in connection with anything to do with the Nursing Staff, and I arranged to keep him informed of all matters needing his attention when visiting the CCSs in his areas.
To Puchevillers to see 3 and 44 Casualty Clearing Stations, now much quieter, and where I found I was now able to take 2 nurses from each to Warloy, where the Field Ambulances were just changing. The Hospital crowded with serious abdominal cases, a Staff of 8 not sufficient. Arranged to send another Sister at once, experienced in operating theatre work.
(Welsh FA) To Authie to Field Ambulance also just arriving, the predecessor just transferred to Warloy. Here the work had diminished considerably, and I found I was able to move 4 Nurses.
To Doullens to Citadelle, 11 and 35 Casualty Clearing Station. This place in the short time has become a most magnificent unit, more like a General Hospital than a Casualty Clearing Station in every respect. Miss Toller who is in charge of both units is managing most excellently. In all instances I saw the OCs who expressed entire satisfaction with the Nursing arrangements in all units. Unable to get accommodation in any Hotel, so went to 19 Casualty Clearing Station where I had dinner and where they found me a billet where I was more than comfortable in a charming room, and a nice old French lady, the owner, was most kind and welcoming.
After breakfast left early for Beauval, 4 Casualty Clearing Station. Since my last visit this has increased enormously in size, another building having been taken on, the gardens in the factory round the marques being quite beautiful. The OC Major R … has only recently taken over, and the Sister-in-Charge also is new, Miss Bulman TFNS. Everything seemed satisfactory.
19 CCS quite excellent in every way. Officers’ Hospital in Chateau, men’s department in schools. 3 operating theatres, each with 2 tables, fine dressing rooms, everything up to the mark.
Lucheux: To the Chateau to see what arrangements had been made for the accommodation of officers. Found that many things had already been provided by Red Cross. Everything going well, Sisters established and comfortably accommodated. 10 officers in, none very bad, but all worn out and nervy.
To Warlencourt Halte 20 CCS, and Solnerneau 43 CCS, just on either side of a road, with a railway siding absolutely alongside of 20 CCS. This an excellent unit, and going well. 43 CCS the position not so good, partly in a dilapidated old Chateau and partly under canvas. There is much still to be done to make this a useful unit. Found that the stress of work is now not so great, and that 6 nurses could be released, 3 from each unit.
To Avesnes 37 CCS, which was certainly extremely busy. I saw the OC with reference to putting the Officers’ Hospital at Lucheux in telephonic communication with his office, it being a section of it, and supply an ambulance for their convenience, as they are some 8 miles away. This he said he would endeavour to do, and which he asked me to mention to the DMS which I did.
I went to HQs and told the DMS of where I had been, and then went on to St. Omer, to 10 Stationary Hospital, where I found a telephone message awaiting me, saying that a WO wire had come, ordering Miss A. B. Smith and Miss Clements to proceed as soon as possible to War Office for duty in Malta, and asking me to return to Headquarters as soon as possible. So I had to write to DMS 2nd Army, explaining that still some days must elapse before I would be able to visit him. Spent the night at 10 Stationary Hospital new quarters, the deserted Convent, a fine building, and a vast improvement to the 3 houses which they had had for months, and which had caused much extra work and personnel. When the Matron has her telephone it will be quite good, the only drawback being that it is a 10 minutes walk from quarters to Hospital.
Before leaving rang up 2nd Army and GHQ where I went on my way to Abbeville. Saw DG; told him what was taking place and pointed out the necessity of having Principal Matrons in Rouen, Etaples and Boulogne, who should be appointed to manage the Nursing arrangements in these large areas independent of their Hospitals. He approved and asked me to put up the question officially. Went on to Abbeville arriving 11.30am.
Sent wires to Miss A. B. Smith and Miss Clements, and put substitutes temporarily in their places for them to hand over. Rang up Miss Smith and she told me that Miss Becher had already written to her some weeks before, informing her of the approaching move. This she had not told me, as she thought I already knew more than she did!!! and was waiting for me to tell her. During my absence I found a great deal had taken place of an official nature.
Surgeon-General Sawyer DDMS Boulogne had rung up to say he wanted to see me as soon on a confidential matter in connection with the Australian Vol. Hospital. The house had been looked at and approved for South African Nursing Staff – large grounds where tents can be pitched for increase of Staff. Wired for Staff to come as soon as possible. Was informed that VAD Ramsay was on the seriously ill list at Treport. Miss Tod QAIMNSR resignation, as she required 1 month’s rest. Returned, asking whether 14 days leave or rest at Convalescent Home would meet the case. Received full particulars from Australian Paymaster, with reference to payment if Sisters working in our units, and how claims should be made out. Miss Fletcher, RRC, Principal Matron BRCS, came to see me on her way to Rouen – nothing of importance happened. 25 VADs arrived, were sent to various areas. Wrote to Australian Matrons Gould and Finlay for particulars of their Staff. 14 days’ special leave granted Misses Tod, Sloggett and Meade. Telegram from VAD McCarthy returning Saturday. Busy for the remainder of day dealing with correspondence.
Wire DG informing the date on which Miss Smith and Clements are leaving the country. Rang up Col. Clements to let him know his sister was going. Telegram from Dehorted re Miss Chisholm’s departure passed through GHQ – this had already been forwarded. 3 Casualty Clearing Stations in 1st Army and 1 CCS in 2nd Army asking for help. Also New Zealand Stationary Hospital. Arranged by taking separate ones nurses [sic] from several units. Letter from Matron Mrs. Harvey, 30 General Hospital with reference to Miss Fitzgibbon whose work was not satisfactory, and who wrote her a letter asking that I might be asked to move her. Sent the correspondence to the OC to look into the question. Asked for confidential reports on Miss A. B. Smith and Miss Clements, also on Miss Harvey QAIMNS who I was obliged to move in consequence of unsatisfactory reports which have been constant of late, and much friction. Agreement forms forwarded of VADs. Matron 2 Stationary Hospital rang up for extra help. 700 patients admitted, very many bad cases. Sent 2 nurses who had just arrived at Nurses’ Home, and wire for 4 more from 7 General Hospital, St. Omer.
Left after lunch for Etaples where I wanted to see Miss A. B. Smith before her departure – she very upset at going. Major Tait took us both to see the Lewis Gun, a most wonderful gun. An officer took infinite trouble in showing and explaining everything. Invented by an American 8 years ago, and refused by the Government until beginning of this war. After saying goodbye, and saying if possible I would come again tomorrow, I went on to Hardelot, and staged at Lady Gifford’s Convalescent Home for Nurses, and where I had the honour of again meeting Her Majesty Amelie, Queen of Portugal, always charming, was even more so. She was as well intensely interesting. Has been over here for 6 weeks paying a visit to her mother, who lives near Paris, and she had been taken by some of the French officials in High Places to “Rheims.” A great many formalities had to be gone through, but she went all over the town, and was taken over what remains of the Cathedral and the small Palace where the Kings slept before their Coronation by the Archbishop who has lived there ever since the Bombardment, though he was absent at the actual bombardment in Rome, selecting the new Pope, but on his return he took up his position there and has remained there ever since. She was able to see the German trenches and the place is still shelled every evening. At the time of her visit all was quiet. She brought back many interesting souvenirs with her.
Left early for 25 General Hospital, where I was taken round by OC Lt. Col. Copeland and Miss C. Mackay, A/Matron. 1250 patients at time of visit, accommodated in Hotel, 2 Villas and under canvas. Work heavy, but many walking cases. The arrangements for their Messing most excellent, in marques and managed by 3 VADs and a Corporal – able to sit 250 at a sitting, tablecloths, flowers, bread cut, everything first rate. Staff accommodated in 4 Villas, managed by a Home Sister and 4 VADs, 2 French Servants who come by the day and paid from Mess funds. On to Boulogne, arriving 1pm.
Had lunch at DDMS office. Heard that the arrangements at 32 Stationary Hospital needed looking into. Went out there immediately after lunch. Saw OC Colonel Eames, Miss Congleton QAIMNS A/Matron and Miss Greaves Australian Matron, just taken on to the Reserve, who asked to be sent to a Military Unit to learn our methods and to get away from the unit where much friction had existed for some time, in consequence of Lady Dudley’s position not being a satisfactory one. Went into the matter very thoroughly with Miss Congleton and the OC, who now thoroughly understands that she is a lady visitor and to be recognised in the same way, and treated exactly similar to Lady Algernon Gordon-Lennox. Then went round the Hospital. Saw what arrangements were being made. Went on to DDMS, told him what had occurred, and said that as soon as Miss Greaves had her Reserve uniform, I proposed moving her to another military unit, to which he entirely agreed. Went to Boat, met my sister, a VAD, and she came with me to HQ where she spent the night, going on to 3 General in the morning – no connection tonight.
During my absence:
25 VADs arrived and were posted. Staff sent to Highland Casualty Clearing Station. 2 nurses moved from 47 CCS and 39 CCS to New Zealand Stationary Hospital, where they were urgently needed. I find great difficulty in changing the Staff of Ships owing to not knowing what port they are going to, and the moves being so sudden, that it is often difficult to make the move before the Ship moves again. This has just occurred with reference to Miss I. C. Smith who is on the Jan Breydel, and has been unfavourably reported on and a request from OC that she might be moved from the Ship. Reported to DGMS the non arrival of VADs Dowse and … , attached WO letter of 5th and 21st June announcing their arrivals. Letter from DGMS re Lady Ducie coming out with a detachment of 20 Nurses under the BRCS to work in France. Wrote the DG and sent letter for his approval to be sent on to Lady Ducie saying that if taken on by BRCS it was improbable they would all be able to work together, unless there was a unit requiring a Staff, and that to work in Military Units they would have to be recognised by, and sent out under the WO, whether trained or untrained. Wire from 1st Army for Theatre Sister, 1 Casualty Clearing Station – supplied. Correspondence – Nurse E. Bailey’s resignation accepted. WO letter returned re resignation of 2 Miss Jolins, Brown, Williams, Hubbard, Walker, Chapman, Poole, asking to reconsider matter and if willing could sign on for 6 months. Mrs. Sykes arrived from sick leave, sent to Nurses’ Home, Abbeville. Miss Keene, Matron 2 Stationary Hospital – 2 more of her Staff gone sick with septic fingers. Miss Hill VAD, sore throat, sent to Nurses’ Home to be nursed. Miss Dangerfield’s resignation accepted. Sent circular letter to all areas, pointing out the importance of giving whole Christian names when filling in returns of members of the Staff on the sick list.
Busy all day with correspondence. Miss McDowell and Miss C. P. Todd’s resignation – 6 weeks’ leave needed which could not be granted. Suggested Medical Board in each case. Rules and Regulations sent to 32 Stationary Hospital and Highland Casualty Clearing Station. Miss Swift, St. John’s Red Cross Society and Miss Fletcher, Principal Matron BRCS, called on their way to Paris. Discussed the urgent need of more trained nurses, and the removal of Field Allowance for VADs. Also discussed the question of allowances to the trained, and the effect the removal of Lodging, Fuel and Light Allowance has had on everyone. Three nurses ordered to proceed from 1 Stationary Hospital Rouen. Orders were cancelled at first without my knowledge. Rang up and also wrote to DDMS Rouen, explaining the situation. They proceeded the next day to 2 Stationary Hospital, which is filled with most seriously wounded officers and men, and where the death toll since July 1st has been enormous, as many as 40 deaths in one day. 3 nurses went sick from 2 Stationary Hospital, transferred to 3 General Hospital, result of heavy work. 3 Casualty Clearing Station transferred to Allonville, near Amiens, for infectious work only. Telephoned to OC, NZ Stationary Hospital instructing that the Sisters from 29 Ambulance Train were to join for duty while the train was garaged at Amiens, as they extremely busy he was more than grateful for the temporary help.
3 more nurses off duty with septic hands from 2 Stationary Hospital, transferred to Treport. Vacancies filled by 2 from Treport and 5 Australian Nursing Sisters who had taken from the 13th instant to proceed from Marseilles, and in spite of receiving definite instructions to join at Abbeville, joined their unit, 2 Australian General Hospital at Boulogne, and their arrival was not even notified. Rules and regulations sent to Barge 367, the new one. Messrs. Shoolbred asked for address for Miss McCreery QAIMNS. Referred them to the WO. Resignation received Miss I. F. Allen TFNS, returned DMS 1st Army informing him that the TFNS is enrolled for duration of war – resignations only accepted under very exceptional circumstances. 2 Sisters wanted for Barge 368 – supplied. Staff Nurse Mahoney, proceed United Kingdom at termination of her contract. Miss Ford and White Canadian Army Medical Service both sick to Boulogne. Miss Hill VAD in this office who has had tonsillitis, went on 14 days’ leave.
Telephoned to Lady Gifford, asking that VAD Neville might return to 2 Stationary Hospital. She had been spending 2 days with her aunt, Miss A. B. Smith before her departure to take up fresh duties in Malta, and in consequence having just received the news that her favourite brother had been killed, I arranged for her to have one or two days rest at Hardelot before returning to work. Special leave granted to Staff Nurse Evans 3 Stationary Hospital to see her brother “tetanus.” Application forwarded to DG for previous service of Miss Ritchie-Thomson QAIMNSR. Sent circulars re nurses and VAD uniforms to all areas. Command Paymaster telephoned re uniform allowance for 23 Members at 32 Stationary, recently belonging to Australian Voluntary Hospital, now taken on to the Reserve. Left for Boulogne 11am, arrived 1pm.
Had lunch at DDMS office, then to Louvre to meet 2 Members of TFNS and 6 Special Probationers, who the Matron-in-Chief had written about. All went to Rouen, and I arranged that the great friends did not join the same unit but as Miss Becher had recommended. They all seemed very keen, capable girls. Found that the Lyttleton’s were great friends of the Heaton-Ellis’!
To 13 General Hospital, still very busy. Then on to office and 13 Stationary Hospital, where I found the work still excessive, and Lady Algernon was going round the wards giving cigarettes and sweets to those who might have them. Everyone is working hard and all were looking very tired.
Went to Mrs. Robertson Eustace, where I stayed the night. Mrs. R. E. had got at the Nurses’ Club some music for the nurses. She invited 3 from all the units, as her room would not hold more. The music was excellent, Kinsley Romford singing. It is to be repeated again tomorrow afternoon for the benefit of the nurses who may be able to get away, even for a short time. Saw Lady Dudley, loud in Miss Congleton’s praises.
Miss MacDonald, Matron-in-Chief Canadians, came to see me at 9am on her way to Paris, she having arrived the night before. A great deal of trouble still exists at No.8 General Canadian Hospital (late 4 Stationary), where the recent trouble has been investigated. I have arranged to meet her on her return and go round the Canadian Hospitals with her. Went to DDMS office. Rang up Abbeville – nothing of importance to tell me. Asked them to send all official matters needing attention to St. Omer, where I am going tonight. Then went to the Sick Sisters’ Hospital, where I saw them all, including Miss Walton and Miss Harris, now both better, but suffering from their recent heavy work, and who are being sent Home for 3 weeks’ sick leave. Everything in excellent order, Miss Esden managing excellently.
Then to the Auxiliary Section of 14 General Hospital, where I have not been for some time, and where all the infectious cases, officers, nurses and men are now nursed, with the exception of Enterics, which are still nursed in the General Section in the Camp. Miss Jordan is in charge of this division. There were 230 patients, and everything was being done most excellently. I was very much impressed with all the arrangements for the meals. I went at about dinner time, and the trays for the officers and nurses were temptingly laid, and the meals nicely served. After lunch I left for Calais around 3pm.
Went 1st to 35 General Hospital, which at the moment was exceedingly light, as they had evacuated and 2 Ships were waiting for more:
The Brighton and the Newhaven, both of which I visited.
The Newhaven with Miss Badger as Acting Matron running smoothly. Everyone seemed exceedingly happy and everything in excellent order.
The Brighton Everything going smoothly, but the Ship didn’t look in such first rate order. Miss Harrison the A/Matron had been on the Ship 7 months, and on the Asturias before it, and I feel when I can, I will make a change there. I saw the OC who he expressed himself satisfied, and said that his Staff were all excellent sailors!
Then to 30 General Hospital, which is still only in the making, under canvas on a sand dune. Miss Harvey TFNS Matron, and she seeming to have many difficulties in managing her Staff and orderlies and does not appear to be getting on too well with her MOs. Very anxious and keen, but does not seem to be working with people. I may be mistaken, but we shall see later.
Then to the Duchess of Sutherland’s – she away. Taken round by the Matron. The work of the Hospital was going on. It was nearly 6pm and the Hospital is full of very heavy cases, both officers and men, and one went away with the impression that the men were being well cared for but there was a lack of order and neatness so evident in all Military Units. The Staff are working well, and the VADs doing useful work, both in the Hospital and the Mess. Two VAD cooks (ladies) are most satisfactory, and with the assistance of French women who come by the day, manage everything. Miss Mackay QAIMNS, Matron 35 General, accompanied me. She told me she had been having some difficulty with some of the VADs on questions of discipline, but she, I was glad to find, had dealt with each instance firmly but kindly, and so far there had been no further difficulty. After calling on ADMS went into St. Omer, where I staged at the 10 Stationary Mess which is now entirely settled in their new quarters, the Convent, and are exceedingly comfortable.
Left early for 2nd Army. Saw DMS who told me of 4 more CCS opening shortly which will be requiring Staffs. He spoke about the incident at 2 Casualty Clearing Station, where an officer had been burnt with a hot water bottle, and I undertook to go into the matter. Saw Col. H. Rigby, looking much better. Said the work had been excessive in the recent attack in the 2nd Army near Armentieres and that the Australians had been very badly wounded and gassed. Saw Colonel Galloway and Col. Leishmann.
2 Casualty Clearing Station, where I saw both the OC and Matron with reference to the question of how the hot water bottles are managed, and whether the orderlies are all instructed on the importance of great care being displayed on all these points. Everyone was extremely upset, and special local instructions had been issued since the lamentable occurrence, with which everyone was exceedingly upset. This unit is quite excellent in every way and it is evident it is well managed. Had lunch at Mess – most comfortable.
8 Casualty Clearing Station, practically no work, and preparations were being made for a Concert.
3 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station first rate in everything. Established in a wing of the Asylum recently occupied by 3 Casualty Clearing Station, now at Puchevillers.
3pm, to 10 Casualty Clearing Station. Everything satisfactory, work exceedingly heavy and continuous.
17 Casualty Clearing Station the same – these units are situated on either side of the railway siding, which is exceedingly convenient.
1 Canadian CCS the same, all hutted, with a few additional marques for expanding. All hutted accommodation for the Nursing Staffs, everything first rate, huts, operating theatre, with nice marques as Chapels and Mortuaries.
15 Casualty Clearing Station and 12 Casualty Clearing Station. Both as satisfactory as usual. Staff working well, all in good health. Went in to see DMS 2nd Army – all out.
St. Omer. Arrived 10 Stationary 8pm. Letters by DRLS, nothing of vital importance, which could not wait until my return.
St. Omer to 1st Army, Aire. Left early. To DMS 1st Army to ascertain where I might remove Nurses with safety if needed. Surgeon General Pike always most helpful in every way.
Then to Highland Casualty Clearing Station just taking up its new position where the Canadians were leaving. Saw Sister Cooper (late Military Families) who was busy getting things in order. Very capable, and all will go well I feel sure. At present only a Staff of 4 – more to be sent when needed.
Then to see 3 Barges which had just come up from St. Omer, all Staff were on board, and they were all most satisfactory. Every convenience in the way of Nursing arrangements, 32 Beds, electric light, every possible necessity. The one with Sisters Henry and Harcourt on was particularly good, as they had 2 sets of pretty counterpanes which had been given by friends, and everything was particularly dainty and nice, even with flowers. As I had not been expected, it was all very gratifying. The whole Staff all seemed so delighted I had been able to catch them at last.
Bruay 1pm, 22 Casualty Clearing Station. This has wonderfully improved and is now thoroughly established and is more like a Stationary Hospital. The OC expressed himself entirely satisfied with Miss Plimsaul’s QAIMNS management, and the arrangements both for officers and men is excellent. Had lunch in the Mess, quite suitable and comfortable.
6 Casualty Clearing Station, Barlin. Another large unit, heavy work, all in French huts, all working well and doing fine work with Miss Luard in charge. Many of the beds had been lifted into the open and improvised shelters made to protect the men from the sun. All quite wonderful.
Bethune 5pm, 33 Casualty Clearing Station. Everyone busy cleaning empty wards as they had just evacuated and there seemed every prospect that there would be sufficient will to get some useful cleaning done, which was badly needed. I then went and saw the house which has now been taken for the Nursing Staff and will be a vast improvement on the previous arrangements of billets, which has existed here since the Sisters have been at 33 Casualty Clearing Station, Bethune. Now they have a comfortably furnished house with accommodation for the Barge Sisters when they are delayed for any length of time at Bethune, waiting for suitable patients to be evacuated. Returned by Merville, hoping to catch 2 more Barges, but was not successful. Arrived St. Omer 8pm. Found DRLS correspondence awaiting me. Rang up Abbeville, told them I was returning tomorrow, travelling via GHQ and St. Pol.
Left for GHQ, going first to see a new Barge which had just loaded up with patients going to Calais, Captain Jacob SMO took me over. It was the 1st journey. Everything was in order and all the patients, 32, completely settled in their beds.
Then to 10 Stationary Hospital where I saw the OC Colonel Burke, to ascertain whether he considered it advisable for Miss Lyde the Matron to fit in a few days change at Treport. To this he entirely approved, and said that in case of any sudden rush of work, she could be telegraphed for to return at short notice. To GHQ, arriving at noon. DG away at Paris at opening of Michelham Hospital. Saw Surgeon-General Macpherson with reference to the appointment of a Principal Matron at Etaples, Boulogne, and Rouen to act independent of units, and also the question of Lodging, Fuel and Light Allowance being again issued to the Nursing Services, both of which he approved, and said he felt sure the DG would recommend strongly. Advised me to send them to him through the DMS, L of C. Discussed the question of A/Matrons in charge of Casualty Clearing Stations – did not think it advisable; didn’t until I pointed out the necessity, I think, that at a CCS there should be a Sister in Charge, however he afterwards realized the importance of having head no matter how small the unit.
Remained to lunch. Met Lord Northcliffe who was most interesting. He has come out to see and report on the work done in France, which he feels England should know the extent of which he says people over there have very little conception. He has been, and is visiting all areas and Fronts. After lunch left for St. Pol where I saw the DMS with reference to a letter written to the Matron of 12 Stationary Hospital from the Matron of 1 General (Australian) Hospital, with reference to a Sister who had been doing temporary duty at 12 Stationary, and who an Intelligence Officer had been making enquiries with reference to a man with whom she had become acquainted. The DMS knew nothing about it. Went on to 12 Stationary Hospital. Saw Matron and OC who said they knew nothing whatsoever about it, except that after this Sister had rejoined her unit an Intelligence Officer has been to make enquiries. They, both the OC and Matron, said that she had been on night duty, but that as far as they knew her behaviour had been exemplary, and her work good. Returned to Abbeville 7pm.
During my absence found that everything had been going on satisfactorily. No.2 Australian CCS had opened in Second Army, 7 Sisters already warned, proceeded. Circular letter to areas affected notifying the promotion of 22 TFNS to the rank of Sister. Mrs. Welch QAIMNSR application for transfer to Home Establishment approved. Letter from M-in-C War Office re Pay and Allowances of VADs, the necessity of replacing Trained Home Sisters by VADs, the question of Messing expenses, comparing those out here with Home conditions, and doubting whether sufficient economy and management was exercised. Wrote in reply at length, pointing out the difference of conditions out here, and many difficulties existing with reference to local conditions in various areas, and the variety of accommodations which have to be coped with and managed accordingly, asking also how VADs are employed. Telegram from Dehorted ordering VAD Gordon, Miss A. B. Smith’s secretary at Etaples to proceed forthwith for duty in Malta too, leaving 31st. Rather hard on that huge area, Etaples, taking the Principal Matron and the VAD who knows all the official work at the same time, Miss Denne now having to do the dual work of Matron of 24 General Hospital and Acting Principal Matron of the area, however I am sure she will do her very utmost, and will I know get every assistance from the Matrons and the DDMS.
Busy with correspondence all day, answering letters and making moves which were needed. Agreement forms for 23 Australians from Voluntary Hospital for the Reserve forwarded to GHQ.
Mrs. Hagar, new Matron for Harvard Unit arriving 3rd August. Correspondence arrived with reference to a member of the Harvard Unit, Mrs. Alexander, a Staff Nurse, being found in an intoxicated condition away from her unit. The Matron reported the whole matter officially, and the correspondence has been sent on to the War Office. In the meantime the Nurse has been suspended, until the decision of the War Office has been received, the Matron having recommended that she, the Nurse, should be sent back to America.
Establishments opened and number of staff
No.32 Stationary Hospital - 23
4 Barges in 3rd Ambulance Flotilla - 8
No.47 CCS - 5
No.20 Field Ambulance - 4
No.28 Ambulance Train - 3
3 Barges in 5 Ambulance Flotilla - 6
Highland Casualty Clearing Station - 4
New Zealand Stationary Hospital - 27
Officers’ Section 37 CCS - 2
2 Australian CCS - 7
3 Canadian CCS - 7
Total - 96
Trained - 79
Belonging to New Zealand Stationary Hospital - 27
Untrained - 166 VADs and 3 from France
Special Probationers - 14
Transfers to QAIMNSR
From Australian Voluntary Hospital - 23
Transfers to Home Establishment
Trained - 4
Miss A. B. Smith, Miss Clements QAIMNS for Malta
Mrs. Welch QAIMNSR
Miss Sheard TFNS
Untrained – 1 – Miss K. Gordon VAD for Malta
Sent Home Sick
Trained - 18
Untrained - 4
Returned from Sick Leave
Trained - 9
Untrained – 3
Total Sick in UK
Trained - 71
Untrained - 15
Resignations forwarded - 24 (1 withdrawn)
No. of leaves granted - 14
VADs returning to England
On termination of contract - 12
Resigned - 3
Sent Home unsuitable - 2