CROWN COPYRIGHT: THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES, WO95/3989
New Zealand Nursing Staff arrived at Boulogne, 27. Arranged for 12 to go to their new unit with the Matron, to take over from Miss Bulman the present Matron, and that she and her Staff should remain until they got accustomed to their new surroundings, and in the meantime the remainder of the Staff went to Abbeville to assist the South African Unit, whose Staff had not yet arrived. Arranged for Nursing Staff of Canadian Unit still at Aire to join 10 Stationary Hospital temporarily, until their unit was ready, so that Miss Cooper with her Staff belonging to the Highland Casualty Clearing Station could get settled in their new unit. WO letter arrived with reference to the arrival of Miss Garvin-Wilson and Miss Maxwell, American Red Cross, who were coming to France to inspect French and English Hospitals. Left for Boulogne 11am, arrived 1pm.
Had lunch with Colonel Burtchaell who was anxious that I should accompany the American ladies when they arrived and show them all there was to see. Discussed the question of these small BRC Hospitals. Colonel Burtchaell not considering in any way they are equal to ours; in this I agreed. After lunch to Louvre Hotel where I met the Matron (Miss Price) and the Staff of NZ Stationary Hospital, and made the necessary arrangements. Then went to DDMS office to met Capt. Woolfe, who is anxious his daughter should come out as a VAD. She is only 20 and as she is working in Cambridge near her home, I advised him not to agitate to get her out, even if her age was waived, which I thought unlikely.
On to Etaples, where I was anxious to see how Miss Denne was getting on with her heavy additional duty. Everything was going as well as could be expected with a sudden change of this kind, and the withdrawal of Miss Gordon, the VAD too, who is a trained secretary and understood the whole running of the office. The VAD who has replaced her took Miss Gordon’s holiday only. However I feel sure they will all do their very utmost. The work continues heavy and the heat continues. Got back from Etaples 8pm.
Found the correspondence authorising 5 VAD cooks for Nursing quarters in Nov. last had not been passed to us. Forwarded it to DGMS asking if the cooks could be supplied. Telephone message from Miss Lyde saying that Nurses Brailsford and Cottle, only recently posted to the new Barge 366, were quarrelling with each other, and were unsatisfactory. Arranged to replace them at once and asked for reports on both. Arranged for Miss Lyde, Matron 10 Stationary Hospital to go to Treport to stay at 3 General for a week’s change, she has been looking very seedy and leave is closed still. Claim for Servants’ Allowance again returned for Miss A. B. Smith, she only to draw it since joining at Etaples. WO letter accepting resignations of Miss Walsh and Miss H. Wilson. Miss Drage came to see me in connection with the employment of VAD cooks. Unfortunately I missed her.
Principal Matron Etaples rang up to say Miss Nesbitt YMCA has been admitted to Villa Tino with Cerebro-spinal Meningitis. Special Nurses from the Isolation Section of 24 General Hospital had been provided. WO letter received re the service of Nurses (17) of Chicago Unit being relieved – not to be sanctioned without a report from the Matron-in-Chief BEF recommending each one individually. Correspondence from DDMS Rouen asking that VAD Mrs. Lloyd might withdraw her resignation – forwarded to DGMS. Correspondence (DO) from CO 1 Australian General Hospital re Miss Giles, Staff Nurse, AANS, while on temporary duty at 12 Stationary Hospital being interviewed by Intelligence Officer re her acquaintance with a man name unknown – no suspicion attached to the Nurse. Information – Hospital to be opened at Marseilles for 210 beds to replace Australian Unit. Correspondence re granting Lodging, Fuel and Light Allowance to the Nursing Staff sent back from GHQ, to be passed through IGC.
Left early for the Reserve Army, arriving at Resmenil Farm near Doullens, where 1/2 South Midland Casualty Clearing Station had opened an Infectious Hospital under canvas, and a certain number of huts for self-inflicted wounds. The Surgeon-General had asked me to visit the unit with a view to sending a small Staff there to look after the seriously ill. The position is an excellent one, and the need of nurses was very evident. The CO kindly showed me all his arrangements, where a kitchen and the flooring of Bell Tents and marques had been supplied. I arranged to send a Staff of 3, at any rate to begin with. Went on to Headquarters, where I missed the DMS, but saw a Staff Captain who took down what I had to say.
Then went on to Warloy, where they were again busy changing their personnel. A section of the South Midland Casualty Clearing Station now taking over and the unit will now be more or less permanent. The difficulty now of the Field Ambulance constantly moving and another replacing it has been overcome.
Then to 38 Casualty Clearing Station, Heilly with reference to a telegram which was forwarded to me from London CAMC Headquarters, by Matron-in-Chief of the Canadians, asking that the 2 Sisters who were doing temporary duty at the CCS might be recalled at once, as they were tired out doing stretcher bearers’ work. They had already been recalled, but I learnt from both CO and Sister in Charge, Miss C. V. S. Johnston, that there was no truth in the statement and that they had worked well. I can only conclude that they wanted to, when writing, emphasize the amount of work they had to do. Went on to Headquarters 4th Army and let them know about the matter.
Then to Amiens, to New Zealand Stationary Hospital, to see the new Staff, ascertain something about the work and in what way the unit had changed now that it has become a hospital. Unfortunately did not see the OC. Saw Matron and Miss Bulman, who is remaining till the new Matron gets settled. Went over a house which is going to be taken for the Staff, and when put in repair will be very satisfactory. The Staff only having their breakfast here, the remaining meals being arranged for at the Hospital, where a large marque has been supplied for the Mess. Returned to Abbeville 7.30pm.
Left for Rouen 11am arriving 1.30pm to meet the American Red Cross ladies, Miss Garvin-Wilson and Miss Maxwell. Had lunch at La Poste. Could hear nothing of them from either DDMS or British Consul. Found that they were coming from Paris and that the train arrived 7pm, so in the meantime went to 6 General Hospital to see the A/Principal Matron, where I learnt how admirably everyone had been, and was working under the heavy pressure of work. Went with her to 9 General Hospital, where Miss Wohlmann, Matron QAIMNS is in charge. I am afraid the charge is larger than she can manage, there was a lack of order and management everywhere. Miss Rannie has undertaken to visit frequently and give Miss Wohlmann all the assistance and advice she can, as some of the Staff have become unsettled and are wanting a move. Went to Station 7pm – the Americans had not arrived. After dinner went to office to telephone to Headquarters, in answer to DRLS informing me of the arriving of 22 of the Nursing Staff of the South African unit. Arranged that they should join at once, and that the Matron 2 Stationary Hospital, which is absolutely next, should make all arrangements for the arrival and have dinner ready for them.
Busy all day. Spent the morning at 9 General Hospital going round with OC and Matron. Made various suggestions and hope things may improve. Had lunch with the British Consul and Mrs. Clipperton, who talked a great deal about the many arrangements made by the British Red Cross. Mrs. Clipperton having the management since the beginning of the war, she now busy arranging about a hut which is to be erected in the grounds of the Sick Sisters’ Hospital now opening, to increase the accommodation.
After lunch to 6 General, 1 Stationary Hospital, 10 General Hospital. At the latter I saw Miss James QAIMNS, who has recently lost her father. All very satisfactory. Then to 8 General, where I saw the officers’ accommodation – not very satisfactory, very crowded, and not up to the standards of our other Hospitals. Went to see the Sick Sisters’ Hospital, which should be ready to open in a week. It’s small, and will not compare favourably with our other Sick Sisters’ Hospitals. Still no news of the Americans. Met a very charming American Doctor, Colonel, who was going round the Hospital with the DDMS. He had just come from Paris, but had not met, or heard of, these ladies. Letters by DRLS. Heard of the arrival of 8 more South African Nurses.
To DDMS office, then 3 Stationary Hospital. A new CO and Matron, Miss Mowat. Nothing in as first class order as before, and the expansion under canvas at the other side of the road very poor – a want of order; no sheets, very dusty and extremely dirty.
To 12 General Hospital – all going in the usual satisfactory manner.
To 11 Stationary Hospital. First rate in every respect, and Miss Allen has made her Mess quite beautiful – pretty and tasteful. The whole Staff happy and working well.
1 Australian General Hospital. Not satisfactory in many respects. Saw Nurse Giles who has been recently working temporarily at 12 Stationary Hospital, and who after her departure, an Intelligence Officer called to make certain enquiries about an officer friend of hers. The Intelligence people had also interviewed her since her arrival in Rouen – no blame of any kind or suspicion is attached to her. I found that 3 Red Cross Australian ladies were working in the Home and living in Rouen. They were not shown on their returns, nor had they been authorised, or recognised by the Military Authorities. I pointed out that such irregular proceedings were not permitted, and as already 10 Voluntary Workers asked for had not been sanctioned, these would have to be authorised in a proper manner. Left for Abbeville 2pm, arriving 5pm.
Found during my absence:
That all Australian Nurses on Ambulance Trains had been moved and replaced by Reserves, the Australians filling the vacancies in each instance. Special leave had been granted to 7 Nursing Sisters for 7 different units. That Miss … and Machonochie, late VADs Australian Voluntary Hospital, have been taken on our strength. That a telegram had just arrived saying that the Americans had arrived at Etaples on 6th, today, and that Miss Denne had been asked to entertain them and show them all matters of interest in the area. They stay till tomorrow night and tomorrow Miss Denne has invited all the Matrons to meet them and have lunch. Correspondence arrived recommending extension of hutted accommodation for nurses’ quarters, 1 Australian General Hospital for the winter. Miss E. L. Davis QR and R. Martin VAD resignations accepted. Forwarded to War Office names and addresses of next of kin of Nursing Staff late Australians, not 32 Stationary Hospital.
Sent orders for Miss A. Gray to join for duty at 2 General Hospital from Hospital Ship Asturias. Letter from Miss Richards WO, saying that return of sick to England need not in future be forwarded each month to War Office. Also spoke of the shortage of nurses and that 2 year probationers are being taken by the Army. Sent regulations to South African General Hospital, 26 Train, Barge 366 and New Zealand Stationary Hospital. Staff Nurses Kinnear and Nicholson recommended fortnight’s leave to rest. Sent to Mrs. Brice-Millers’ at Le Treport. Special leave granted to Miss F. A. Robinson, father dangerously ill. Special leave granted to Miss E. Rogers. WO letter authorising the withdrawal of resignation of Miss Mills TFNS. Left 11am for Boulogne to meet American Red Cross ladies, arrived 1.30pm.
Went to BRCS, met them and had lunch with them. Found them most charming and interesting, especially Miss Garvin-Wilson, an Englishwoman, Mrs. Maxwell being Matron of Presbyterian Hospital, New York. They were extremely impressed with the French and Belgian Hospitals in Paris, some being quite excellent, others poor. They were absolutely astonished with the Etaples and Camiers Camps and the state of perfection of the Hospitals and Messes. After lunch I took them to 13 Stationary Hospital where they went over all the departments, the Mess and the Mortuary. The latter impressed them enormously. There was no time to go elsewhere as they were leaving for the afternoon boat, so after trying to find an Ambulance Train without success, I took them to the DDMS office and introduced them to Surgeon-Generals Woodhouse and Sawyer, DMS, L of C, and DDMS Col. Forrest, Sir B. Dawson and Sir E. Worthington, all who happened to be in the office at the time, and later saw them off.
Called at office, then went over 8 Stationary Hospital, where I saw large numbers of seriously wounded Germans nursed by nurses, and several of the convalescent Germans were assisting with our orderlies. The same complaint everywhere – everyone shorthanded. The Mess very much improved, the OC expressing himself satisfied with the Matron Miss Knowles and all her arrangements. She is trying working with a VAD Home Sister, assisted by the Assistant Matron.
Then to Sick Sisters’ Hospital, to see 6 Members of the Staff of 30 General Hospital who had made complaints about the work and management. They all complained of the position of the Hospital, and the heavy sand they had to wade through; no baths; that the atmosphere was not a happy one, but the Mess was excellent. I am going into the matter. I feel the Matron is an exceedingly nice woman with a difficult Staff to handle, and will make some changes.
Had lunch with Sir B. and Lady Dawson, and afterwards went to Etaples to interview the members of the Chicago Unit who are wishing to transfer to the Reserve. Found only 4 really suitable, and they only willing to join if given their passages back to America at the completion of their service. Returned 7pm. Met 11 more S. African Nurses, their uniform charming – tussore, with navy blue cape for Sisters, and cape bound with blue like our Reserves for Staff Nurses – exceedingly smart. Miss Hordley came to dinner. Received DRLS letter from M-in-C re Pay and Allowances.
HM The King arrived at Boulogne on an unofficial visit – very few even knew of his arrival.
Left at 8am for the Front. Arrived at St. Omer, where I went to Mess to see Miss Tunley and the Sisters who had been shelled out of Bethune. They apparently behaved with conspicuous bravery. 204 patients were carried to the cellars. 2 operations were done under the bombardment, which had begun. Shelling continued for 3 hours, shells falling into the town at intervals of 10 minutes. 2 of the Sisters were slightly wounded from broken glass from windows. Most of the Chapel in the courtyard was absolutely destroyed, and many lorries and their drivers blown to atoms. The Surgeon-General said no praise was great enough for anyone of them, that men and women worked alike in a calm manner, and there was no confusion.
Hazebrouck 11am: Went on to DMS 2nd Army who had wired that he wished to see me. On arrival found that there was more trouble at 2 Casualty Clearing Station in consequence of orders that had been put up by the OC without reference to the Nursing Staff, giving very definite instructions with reference to the use of hot water bags, making the officers responsible, and ordering that none were ever to be in use without an order being entered in the Treatment Book. In consequence, the whole Staff, including the Sister in Charge officially asked to be moved. The DMS was anxious to know my opinion with reference to the order, and of the Nursing Staffs’ mutinous behaviour. I pointed out that if the CO found it necessary to put such orders up, either he had a most incompetent Staff, or else he had not been accustomed to work with trained Nurses, and that I did not understand why, before orders of any kind had to be issued affecting the Nursing Staff, that the Sister in Charge had not been consulted. He asked me what I proposed to do, and I suggested going to 2 Casualty Clearing Station, seeing the OC and the Staff, and for the smooth working of the unit, I considered in any case the whole Staff should be moved, the orders removed. After seeing the OC this was arranged. There is no doubt the OC, a very keen officer, has ignored the Sister in Charge entirely, and that in consequence of the unfortunate recent incident, when an officer had received a burn from a hot water bag, he had ignored the Sister in Charge, and made matters very difficult. I arranged to move the present Staff, and am sending an entirely new one with a QAIMNS in charge, and have pointed out that she will be responsible to him for all the Nursing arrangements, and in all matters she will consult him.
Trois Arbres: I then went on to see 2 Australian Casualty Clearing Station – the heat was intense, and the dust great. Unit under canvas, many seriously wounded and gassed. Not properly established – will be excellent. Staff not sufficient, arranged to increase it by 2. Accommodated in Alwyn Huts. Everything very comfortable. Returned to Hazebrouck – let them know at the office what had happened.
Then went on to St. Omer to see another house for the Nursing Staff of 10 Stationary Hospital. After being properly established in the Convent, and after having it thoroughly repaired, the French now want it, and have requested they should turn out at once!!! Had tea and returned to Abbeville 9pm after a very trying day. Had the pleasure of seeing Colonel Guise-Moores for a few minutes at Hazebrouck looking so well – Bruce also is still safe.
Abbeville: Found that 3 more Nurses had been sent sick to 3 General from overwork. That all areas are asking about the FA for VADs. Large numbers will not be able to remain on unless a satisfactory arrangement is made. Special leave 7 days granted Miss Callwick from 44 Casualty Clearing Station, father very ill. Extra leave granted, 7 days to Miss Hayes (Mother’s condition critical).
Wrote at length to Matron-in-Chief in reply to her letter with reference to Field Allowance For VADs, and allowances for Nursing Staff, pointing out the position is critical, and explained that I had not withheld any information, but that these allowances had been withdrawn without any reference whatever to anyone in France who could have explained the situation before any decision had been made. Miss Hall returned from leave – travelled by train from Boulogne. Letter from DGMS, asking about Staff Nurse Gray recently taken off Hospital Ship Asturias, saying that Prince Arthur of Connaught was asking why she had not been made a Sister, and that replied that she was wishing to resign unless she could have 6 months’ leave, but that I was writing to her asking her to reconsider her decision, and pointing out that she could take on for 6 months; that 6 months’ leave could not be granted, but that if she was not well, leave could be granted on medical grounds. Saw Miss Tabor, QAIMNSR before joining her new unit, who told me the difficulties they were working under at 17 CCS, with the Sister in Charge who was difficult to please – will look into the matter. Ordered Staff of 10 to proceed Marseilles for duty at new Stationary Hospital opening there in place of Australian unit moving. Correspondence with reference to Lodging, Fuel and Light Allowance being again granted to members of the Nursing Service returned by IGC – not to be forwarded to WO.
Correspondence with reference to certain members of the Chicago Unit wishing to transfer to the Reserve when the unit closes, sent to DGMS, 4 only being recommended, the remainder not suitable. WO letter with reference to 15 Nurses from Hospital Ship Aquitania being required on 26th at WO for Ship duty forwarded to the units it concerns. Staff Nurses … and Reid retuning from sick leave were posted to units. Staff Nurse H. Wilson’s resignation accepted from August 7th. Permission asked for 6 French Canadian Sisters working in Paris to spend their holiday in Switzerland, forwarded to AQMG. Correspondence re VAD Beatty, not recommended on account of deafness, forwarded to DGMS. Correspondence re VAD Glossop returned – contract to be signed, and she to resign at completion of a 4 months’ duty. Miss Scott TFNS applying for a transfer to Home Establishment in consequence of home ties. Correspondence returned from WO regretting that there is no opportunity of sending Miss Milburn QR on Hospital Ship to Australia, but if she resigns, endeavours will be made to obtain a passage for her. Forwarded to OC Troops, Western Australia. WO letter accepting resignations of E. G. Poole, D. Hubbard, E. F. Chapman, M. Walker, E. A. Williams. Miss Dey QR appointed to QAIMNS, sick in England. Staff asked for, for Sick Sisters’ Hospital Rouen, and supplied.
Learnt that 9 Casualty Clearing Station was closing. Instructed Nursing Staff to join 10 Stationary Hospital in the interval, until it reopened. Instructed Miss Denton to proceed Rouen as Sister in Charge, Sisters’ Hospital, Rouen, when 9 CCS re-opens, Miss Meeker to be in charge. Miss Porter, Sister Australian Casualty Clearing Station had permission to proceed to Le Touquet to see her fiancé who was dangerously wounded. Instructed Miss Denne to look after her, and see that she was put up comfortably. No.1 Stationary Hospital closing – shall be glad of the Staff to help to fill many vacancies. Had a wire from OC 36 Casualty Clearing Station asking me to visit soon, and a telephone message from DMS 4th Army asking me to go and see him as soon as I could. Sent correspondence to OC South African General Hospital with reference to a nurse on their Nominal Roll being noted as a Probationer, and asking if their were any other members of their Staff not fully trained.
The authority for French Canadian Sisters to visit Switzerland not sanctioned by AG. Forwarded correspondence to SMO Canadians. Resignations arrived from 14 General for Mrs. Baker and Miss Robertson, the latter returned to ask if suitable for promotion. Correspondence with connection to next of kin of Australians, now Reserves at 32 Stationary, forwarded. Resignation arrived from Miss Strangman QAIMNSR asking for transfer to Home Establishment, in consequence of private affairs needing attention. Departure report of Miss Clements QR on resignation received, also Miss Dangerfield. Found that 3 Red Cross workers are attached to 1 Australian General Hospital, are never returned in Nominal Rolls, and are not yet recognised as workers in a Military Unit. Application for Miss Mills TFNS asking that her application to transfer to the Home Establishment might be withdrawn, forwarded DGMS. Miss MacMillan came to see me on return from special leave, which was to enable her to visit her mother who was seriously ill. She had a serious operation, and in spite of a Zeppelin raid two days after her operation, when she had to be carried to the cellars she was now progressing favourably. Miss MacMillan is an exceedingly nice capable looking girl, but charming manner. Miss Jolly came to report on her way to Marseilles where she is going as Matron-in-Charge of a new unit. Gave her a letter to the ADMS Marseilles, Colonel Hickson. She is a capable woman, and will I am sure do well there. Miss Lyde and Miss Stronach came from Treport to see me. Everything going well in both their units.
DGMS wrote with reference to Miss A. Gray, QAIMNS. Her resignation has been accepted and is being withheld until I receive a reply to my letter, asking her to reconsider the matter, and informing her that if a convenience to her, authority is now given for members of the Nursing Staff to take on for 6 months instead of twelve. Special leave granted to Miss Roy QAIMNS and Nurse Hawkins VAD to visit relatives seriously ill. Correspondence forwarded to DGMS with reference to the uniform now worn by Canadian Red Cross, now attached to QAIMNSR, but not wearing the uniform of the Reserve. The next of kin and their addresses of nurses belonging to 32 Stationary Hospital have been forwarded to WO. Resignations received from Etaples from Reserve Nurses Fogarty, not promoted; E. S. Smyth, E. M. Smyth, and E. Duncan, 3 latter needing rest. Former returned, to ascertain if suitable for promotion, the others to ask if they had been told they could take on for 6 months only if they wished. No.1 Stationary Hospital to close immediately for Sisters’ cases – am distributing the Staff.
Special leave granted to Miss Chatfield – mother seriously ill. Miss Denton proceeded Rouen from St. Omer, to take charge of Sick Sisters’ Hospital attached to 8 General Hospital. I wrote DMS 2nd Army and forwarded circular which I am proposing to send to Sisters in Charge of all Casualty Clearing Stations in his areas, with reference to the importance of special care being taken with reference to hot water bags for helpless and unconscious patients, and the care of patients’ backs. Letter from Major Sedgewick, OC 13 Stationary Hospital and the Matron Miss Walker, with reference the larger demands made by Major Valadier for nurses in his ward of 50 beds. These cases are requiring special attention, being injuries of the face and jaw, needing constant care and irrigation, but unlike most consultants, he is not content to leave these arrangements to the Matron and OC, but continues on insisting of more and more help. At the present moment there being 12 on day and 8 on night in this one ward! Miss Macdonald QAIMNSR resignation accepted. Miss E. A. Williams QAIMNSR resignation accepted. Miss E. M. Norrie QAIMNSR resignation accepted.
Left with Miss Lyde for 4th Army arriving Amiens 12 noon. Called at New Zealand Stationary Hospital to find out if all was going well now that they had their Staff and was anything needed. Everything going smoothly. From there to Allonville to 39 Casualty Clearing Station, which I found most unsatisfactory in every way – no order, no method. The unit had only just taken up their position in a new spot, and the Sister in Charge is anxious to do what she can, so I have decided to leave her for another fortnight, to give her a chance to improve matters before making a change. Had lunch at Headquarters, where the DMS was anxious to see me with reference to 36 Casualty Clearing Station, where things were not going as smoothly as they should, and where he was anxious I should go to look into matters. I told him about the unsatisfactory condition of 39 Casualty Clearing Station, and he agreed, and would go into the matter too.
At Heilly, 36 CCS I saw the OC first, who said things were not going quite smoothly, and he felt that a certain set of the Staff were not too loyal to the Sister in Charge Miss Vernon-Harcourt, the Staff here being 19. Later I saw her and found that six rather common young women, though quite capable, were resenting any interference from her, and certainly were behaving in an undisciplined manner. The work had been extremely heavy, and there was no doubt too, everyone was extremely tired. I therefore decided to make some very necessary changes of which the OC entirely approved.
After tea we went on to Gezaincourt to 29 CCS where I saw the OC and Sister in Charge Miss Rice, and where I learnt 49 CCS which was attached had moved, and 11 CCS from the Citadelle had replaced it. The same arrangements were holding good, and Miss Rice was Sister in Charge of 29 and 11 CCS, and the Chateau for sick officers. This arrangement is acting admirably, as Miss Rice is now able to move the Staff at her disposal to where they are most needed at the moment, and as the work constantly fluctuates in all units, she is able to manage well.
Miss Lyde spent the night there, while I went on to the Citadelle, 35 CCS, where I spent the night with Miss Toller and her Staff in this wonderful old fort, their quarters being perched on the top of a huge high arch on top of a large rock, all most historic and grand. This unit has improved enormously since my last visit, Miss Toller managing most excellently. The DMS Reserve Army rang me up to see if I could meet him at 10am tomorrow – said yes. The DMS rang up for Staff for a new Casualty Clearing Station and wanted to know when I could see him – arranged 17th instant at 10am.
Left early. Went to Headquarters, saw DMS, General Nicol, who had wanted to take me to see a new Casualty Clearing Station, but just before my arrival the Army Commander had made a special engagement with him for 11am. So I went on instead with Miss Lyde to see OC of 1/2 South Midland CCS, who is now ready for the Staff. The camp was very much improved, and everything is in readiness for the Staff. From there went to Lucheux to see the officers’ section of 39 CCS with Miss Barwell in charge. Another beautiful, historic building, an old, old Chateau, perfectly charming, grounds delightful, old church and cloisters in the grounds – charming in every respect. Mainly for officers sick and overtired, needing a certain amount of treatment and rest – 30 can be accommodated. This is a somewhat difficult unit from my point of view, as it is miles away from the CCS of which it is a section, and though there is not a great deal to do, it is important to have suitable and capable people. The Chateau belongs to the Duchesse D’Uzes, who has her apartments in the Chateau, which are quite apart. When she is in residence she likes to visit the officers, and shews them many kindnesses.
We had lunch and then on to 39 Casualty Clearing Station to see the OC, and ask him to formulate certain rules which are necessary for the well running of the Officers’ Hospital, and which had been overlooked so far. This settled, I went on to HQ 3rd Army, and told him what I had done. He told me that the King’s visit had been a most successful one. He also told me that the Chateau where he stayed was a little way out of St. Pol, and this visit was intended to be kept such a secret that no-one hardly liked to mention his name of the few who were permitted to know of his arrival among themselves, yet the day HM actually arrived in the area, the town crier rang his Bell and informed the town folk of the fact!!! Arrived at St. Omer 7pm, found nurses from 33 CCS and 9 CCS still waiting for orders, all well and fit. A large number of letters arrived for me by DRLS, among them a welcome one from the M-in-C War Office saying 20 Nurses would be arriving 20th instant.
Left early for 1st Army. I went to HQ, saw General Pike. Learnt that 5 of the Nurses from Bethune were to get the Military Medal, and that the GOC was going to present the ribbon to them. Went with him to Lillers to West Riding CCS looking perfectly beautiful. The gardens quite lovely and the tents, huts and patients in them delightfully comfortable, and all doing well. A gorgeous day, and everyone looking happier than I have seen them for a long time. Arranged to replace the Sister in Charge Miss Todd by Miss Cooke, sending Miss Todd to one of the CCSs on the Somme, to relieve Miss Gedye, who is very tired. Saw Madame Flambon née Miss Maxwell-Moffat, QAIMNSR, very prosperous looking and happy. A very nice home, and very pleased because she was going to have HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught, his Secretary and Surgeon-General Pike billeted with them. They were both very welcoming and invited me to stay with them at any time I could.
On to Bethune with the General, where I saw the damage that had been done. The whole of the East end of the Church had been destroyed, and over 2000 window panes broken in the schools where the CCS is established. Seven of the Nursing Staff had returned, it being considered safe. They are accommodated in a solid stone building with a large cellar. All repairs had been completed, and the rooms had been repainted. When I looked at this enormous building with the narrow winding stairs, it seemed remarkable how the patients had been carried to the cellars.
The General left me at Bethune to meet some Irish surgeons who had come to see how things were managed at the Front, and I went on to Chocques to 1 Casualty Clearing Station, where I had lunch and where I found them exceedingly busy in consequence of having to take the wounded usually taken to Bethune. After lunch I went to GHQ arriving at 3.30pm, where I hoped to catch the DG. Unfortunately I missed him as he was at Etaples, so after chatting to Colonel Barrow, I came on to Abbeville arriving 5pm, and finding that during my absence that:
Miss E. Ward RRC had called to see me about some trouble on her Barge. That 5 Stationary Dieppe had asked for more help in consequence of 2 more blocks being opened. That Miss Massie QAIMNS had called on her way to catch her train. She, I had put on a train as she has not been satisfactory as an Assistant Matron. That Miss Welch QR had been moved from her Barge, query paratyphoid, and sent to 3 General Hospital. That Miss Nesbit, a YMCA lady had died at Villa Tino from Cerebro-spinal Fever. Her people were with her. She had specials day and night. She was buried in the English Cemetery. Letter from Matron-in-Chief asking for particulars of the recent shelling at Bethune, when the Staff had to leave. Had already written yesterday, but wrote again expressing my regret at overlooking this matter, in consequence of the amount of work to get through daily. Then extremely annoyed that this was forgotten, more especially as 5 have been reported wounded among the casualties. The casualties being only very slight, cut on hands from falling window panes.
Letter from Miss Becher saying that the Matron of the St. George, Miss Fyfe, had been reported by Surgeon-General Donovan, DDMS Embarkation, for talking about the MO and his capabilities in not a complimentary fashion – said she had referred him to me. She naturally was very annoyed; suggested that I should instruct Miss Rannie to visit the Ships as she could manage these matters well. I wrote at once to say that the matter would be attended to, and that Miss Rannie always inspected both Ships and Trains in the Rouen area as well as the Hospitals. I accordingly rang up Miss Rannie, and instructed her to be on the lookout for the St. George, and as well appointed a relief to be in readiness to relieve Miss Fyfe. Leave asked for and granted as a special case for Miss Evans, 32 Stationary Hospital. Leave for 3 weeks for Canadian sister McDermott to go to Canadian Rest Home at Margate.
Correspondence from Etaples re coming changes at 23 General Hospital (the Chicago Unit) and the need of a Staff by 25th. Special leave granted Miss Cockshott, sister dangerously ill. Special regulations regarding the care of seriously ill, unconscious and paralysed patients, where hot water bags are needed, in consequence of several burns having occurred recently. Correspondence re Miss Oddie VAD saying she had worked in the Military Section of the Royal Free under a Territorial Matron before coming to France, and had been paid by WO. Correspondence, 3 Canadian Sisters from Treport transferred for duty to Boulogne. Lady Murray called with reference to her VADs with whom she was having some difficulty. She has just opened her Hospital for Officers at Treport, which is an annex to 16 General. I said that I had already asked the senior Matron at Treport, Miss Stronach, to call upon her and give her all the assistance she can, and have promised at the very first opportunity to go to Treport and see her Hospital. DMS Reserve Army asked for Staff for 49 Casualty Clearing Station to join Thursday – issued orders. Selected Sister Bayley TFNS as Sister in Charge – her reports are excellent – and she has already done duty at a CCS under Miss Todd TFNS.
Miss Cardwell TFNS from 36 Casualty Clearing Station came to see me with reference to her move, there having been some trouble there and many of the Staff had been most disloyal to Miss Vernon-Harcourt the Sister in Charge, she among the number. She is returning to her own unit, 30 General Hospital. A capable woman I should say, but not a too pleasant one to work with I fancy. WO letter informing me that 6 Sisters and 5 Nurses QAIMNSR were arriving on 19th inst. WO letter informing us that Staff Nurse K. Brothwell not fit for further service with the BEF. DMS 1st Army rang up to say the Sisters from 33 CCS who had been given the Military Medal were going to be decorated by the GOC of the Army on Sunday 29th, the ribbon being presented.
Made various changes at the Casualty Clearing Stations where the nurses had done heavy work, changing them with nurses in quieter areas. The OC South African General Hospital called with reference to the need of more nurses, he finding his Staff of 41 not adequate. Asked him to report the matter officially, so that more nurses now in England might be forwarded. Returned Nurse … resignation asking her to state the nature of the private affairs which necessitated her asking for her resignation. Resignations Nurses Hale QAIMNS and Dunk CHR – marriage in both instances. Mrs. Baker CHR obtained permission to go to Reserve Army, wanting to visit her husband who was dangerously wounded. Madame O’Gorman called. She is still nursing French civilians who are wounded, and doing excellent work in a Barge near St. Omer. I have promised to go and see her. Spent the main part of the day drawing up a return for the IGC, showing number of trained nurses now in the country and those required to meet the needs for expansion A., pointing out that are needs for the Front as well as all units opening everywhere in France. The Nursing Staff have to be drawn from the units now serving here, as there is no reserve of nurses in the country, and no nurse personnel are sent with new units arriving. Called on the Honourable Mrs. Egerton-Warburton, Lord Newton’s daughter, who is working at a French Canteen.
DMS 4th Army rang up about the moves which were being made. Said OC 21 CCS very annoyed. Rang him up and explained the situation. Resignation forwarded from Staff Nurse James CHR, reason marriage. Recommendation for promotion for Miss Fogarty returned to Etaples – not enough experience yet to recommend her being promoted to acting rank. WO letter informing us Staff Nurse Dey been accepted for QAIMNS and asking for a report on her suitability at the completion of 3 months’ service – still sick in England. 2 extra nurses asked for for Highland CCS. Miss Lowe QAIMNS, Matron St. Denis, ordered to report at Liverpool for duty on Warilda – Hospital Ship. Orders complied with and vacancy on St. Denis filled at once. Misses Edgar and Wadley came to see me, one with reference to work on the train, in which she appears to be very satisfactory, the other, Nurse Wadley re recent unsatisfactory work at 36 Casualty Clearing Station, where she admitted she had not been as helpful as she might, to Miss Vernon-Harcourt.
Learnt that Miss Williams relieved Miss Lowe QAIMNS on Hospital Ship St. Denis. Miss Lowe left for Liverpool to join Warilda. Miss Brazzil QR arrived from sick leave, ordered to Abbeville. Telephoned to SMO Treport, to say that Miss Drage would have to hand over to Miss Barton temporarily, she being needed for 23 General Hospital, where the Chicago people are now leaving. The need of suitable people for these large units for Matrons, becomes increasingly more difficult daily. Miss Ram has been instructed to join 16 General as Acting Matron – it remains to be proved how she gets on with the huge hospital and huge Staff. 35 Casualty Clearing Station reported Sister Eyton sent to the base sick, her vacancy needs filling at once. Replaced by Miss Calvert TFNS.
Chicago people still continue to telephone and write with reference to those applying for the Reserve. Those needing permits to Nice, no information yet received. Been telegraphing and telephoning constantly since applications were sent in – no decision received so far. Application from DDMS Boulogne – more nurses wanted for Major Valadier’s jaw ward – ½ hourly treatments ordered for all. There is no limit to the needs of this department. Sent a circular to all units with reference all lady members of the BRCS and motor drivers who are admitted sick to our Hospitals, informing all concerned that when discharged sick to England, this office should be notified in order that necessary arrangements can be made, as they are not admitted to Sick Sisters’ Hospitals belonging to the Military. Circular forwarded re VAD members eligible for the long service bar after 13 months service if recommended by their Matrons. All recommendations should be forwarded to this office. Forwarded Miss Fitzgibbons TFNS resignation with correspondence attached. Wrote Matron-in-Chief Canadians re Canadian Sisters from 2 Canadian Stationary who worked at 36 Casualty Clearing Station.
DMS Reserve Army asked for Nurses for 2/1 South Midland CCS – sent 3 to begin with, Miss Baird QAIMNSR in charge. Arrangements made for Staff Nurse Baker to go home with her husband Captain Baker who is seriously wounded. She has been given special leave pending her resignation being accepted. Miss Worthington QAIMNS from sick leave to 3 General. I wrote to her and explained that she would only be doing Sister’s duties, as she is not capable of more. Miss Grey Special Probationer from sick leave to 25 General Hospital. Special leave granted Nurses Lord, … , Tevlin and VAD Wright. Miss Parson CHR resignation accepted. DDMS Rouen apply for 5 charwomen to release 5 men at Sisters’ quarters, 8 General Hospital, withheld for consideration. All units engaged French women by the day when suitable and pay out of Mess funds. Forwarded through DDMS Rouen particulars in connection with a Convalescent Home which has been opened for Australian Nurses at St. Albans, where Matron-in-Chief wishes all Nurses to be sent when needing rest, and that no other leave should be granted. Matron 5 Stationary Hospital asking for more help. Her little Hospital crowded with people of a serious nature. Sent 2 Nurses available who are waiting to join their train.
Left at 11am for GHQ arriving 12.30. Saw DG in connection with the lodging, fuel and light allowance, which will not be forwarded by IGC. He is going to take this matter up as an urgent one – our Staff are getting over tired, the expenses are increasing daily, their allowances not covering them, and in consequence they are resigning to obtain better paid civil posts. Spoke about the arrangements for the Front, and the need for not leaving any nurses too long at Casualty Clearing Stations; that I always got in touch with DMSs and OCs. We discussed the urgent need of more trained nurses, and that nowhere I considered there was sufficient trained help. DMS Reserve Army, Surgeon-General Macpherson with rest of the Staff at lunch.
After lunch I went to 20 Field Ambulance to see a Staff Nurse Weatherstone who had sent in her resignation, in consequence have been on too intimate terms with the Sergeant-Major, who she did not know was a married man. He had been moved. The DG wished me to go into the matter. Found her to be a respectable woman of the servant class. Trained at Edinburgh, where she had been on the Staff for 4 years. Very upset about the whole thing. Recommended her to write explaining the matter, and asking if her case might have favourable consideration and her resignation to be withdrawn. She implored me to give her another chance, which I should never regret. Left under the understanding she would write and the matter should be considered. Returned to GHQ, saw General Macpherson, and said I would send the correspondence on when it arrived with my remarks.
On to Etaples, arriving 3.30pm. Saw DDMS and A/Principal Matron with reference to Chicago unit. Learnt they were all very upset at not learning even now what was going to happen to them. Arranged to have lunch with them on 25th, the day before they left. Arranged also that the new Staff, as many as I could get together should join on 26th, the remainder joining as soon after as I could gather a Staff together. Got back 8.30pm.
Mrs. Creagh, Matron South African Hospital called. Seemed a very nice capable woman. Does not find her Staff sufficient – said to put the matter up officially. Miss Drage came on her way to her new unit at Etaples. Told her of the difficulties with which she would be faced. Wired 7 General Hospital to ascertain why Nurses Pouet and Doyle who had stayed out until after midnight had not yet arrived – said to arrange for their departure at once. DMS Reserve Army wired for Staff for 49 Casualty Clearing Station. Sent 5 forthwith and arranged for 3 to follow 28th. Received a letter from Matron-in-Chief War Office asking me to turn my attention to the promotion of Staff Nurses to acting rank, saying that many excellent nurses who had been in the country for 2 years were resigning in consequence of not being promoted, not the lack of allowances as I represented. Said she was appointing excellent nurses as Sisters, who has resigned as Staff Nurses. Replied, attaching the circulars which have been sent from tome to time from this office, asking for names of Reserve or TFNS eligible for promotion. Pointed out (which of course she knew) that many nurses never would be capable of doing Sister’s duties, no matter what length of service, and asked her to let me know the names of those passed over. No reports as to their work while in France were asked for from this office. Attached correspondence re Nurse Weatherstone and asked that she might be given another chance, since Nurse’s previous reports had been excellent, and she was so upset about the whole matter. Sent all to DGMS, GHQ.
Nurse Fitzgerald 44 CCS sent down sick, relief sent. DDMS Rouen wrote re Mrs. de Winton’s departure on sick leave and the arrival of Miss Carr to take her holiday. Asked if I could ascertain whether it was to be a permanency. Wrote Miss Fletcher Principal Matron on the subject. Official report arrived from DMS Reserve Army reporting the irregular behaviour of Sisters off trains being entertained at an Officers’ Mess in Puchevillers till all hours, which was causing the Nursing Staff to be unfavourably commented on by the residents. Have been instructed to go into the matter. DGMS sent copy of correspondence from Sir A. Keogh re VADs Allowances, extracts of a letter attached from VAD and Sir A. Sloggett. Sent in confidential cover by DGMS, a correspondence from Military Secretary, saying the King considers the nurses in France have not been given as many honours as they are deserving of, in comparison to those in England. DG wrote asking what were my views. Replied that all the Nurses in France would indeed feel proud that HM had personally interested himself on their behalf, and that I could, if he wish, send a supplementary list from names already forwarded, but not submitted as our instructions were to keep the numbers down.
Left for Etaples 10am, arrived noon. Went to DDMS office, said no particulars had arrived for Chicago, that we had wired again. Discussed the question of the new Matron, Miss Drage. Said I would give him an entirely new Staff. Expressed himself very pleased that the Chicago people were going home. Had lunch at 24 General with all the Matrons in the Etaples area, including Miss Patton the Chicago Matron. A very nice lunch served in the ante-room. I discussed the question with the Matrons of Allowances, the reduction of the Field Allowance for VADs and the importance of recommending officially all Staff Nurses who were shewing special aptitude for Sisters’ duties, or post of greater responsibility. This they all appeared to thoroughly understand, and have always realized. They all said that there had been a good deal of discontent caused by many new arrivals coming out as Sisters, and this blocking promotion for those out here, and the Matrons commented on very sadly the difficulty of managing their heavy charges with Sisters not up to the work.
After lunch saw OC (Colonel Harrison), 23 General, and said good-bye to the Staff. Everything was arranged for their comfort – they leave by Ambulance for Boulogne 8am tomorrow morning and will be met by Miss Woodford and the Sergeant who deals with the luggage, and will be seen off by Miss Hordley, A/Principal Matron. Had tea at 26 General Hospital with Miss Hartigan and arranged to go round her Hospital in the morning.
Returned to DDMs office. Wired about permits for nurses Chicago, nurses going to Nice, also those already applying for Reserve arranged for them to remain with 23 General Hospital as guests in the Mess till definite answers were received. Everything in perfect order. 27 nurses in Hospital, one very seriously ill with Rheumatic Fever, others minor things, all comfortable and well cared for. The VADs all doing excellent work, including cooking and housework. Everything pretty, dainty and charming.
Left Villa Tino 9am. Went to office – still no news with reference to permits for Chicago people to go to Nice, or whether nurses accepted for Reserve. Later heard that the permits for 4 nurses from Chicago Unit for Nice had arrived. Then went to 24 General Hospital. Taken over the Hospital by Miss Denne, Matron of Hospital and A/Principal Matron, as well as the Assistant Miss Gardner. Everything in first class order; very full; everyone overworked. The arrangements in the Nursing quarters good, comfortable, pretty and clean, the kitchen being run by a P.B. Man, a quite good cook. From there to 26 General Hospital, where Miss Hartigan is in charge with Miss Kaberry as Assistant. Very full, very shorthanded, quarters comfortable. From there to Nurses’ Club, one of HRH Princess Victoria’s, managed by 2 VADs and very excellently done. Very pretty, very restful, well patronized, and everyone liking it very much. Miss Denne accompanied me.
We then drove to Camiers, where I had lunch at 11 General Hospital and where Miss Lang the Matron had invited all the Matrons to meet me. A very nice lunch and 2 VADs waited most splendidly – everything quite charming. After lunch I discussed the question of allowances and promotion as I had done with the Etaples people yesterday, all expressing much the same opinions. Went over Hospital and quarters. The arrangements good, patients looking well cared for. The Nursing arrangements good, and the Hospitals not so full as Etaples. Each Hospital seems to have their own tennis courts for the Staff, which they all appreciate.
Then to 4 General, Miss Steenson in charge, Miss C. Williams Assistant Matron. Not up to the same standard as the others, Miss Steenson apparently not such a good manager. Both Miss C. Williams at 4 General and Miss M. Davis at 18 General both wished to see me, they not being satisfied and anxious they should have more responsible posts – charges in fact. I pointed out they had much to learn and that they could hardly complain of want of responsibility in a post such as they had. Sister Mabel Davis behaved in a singularly silly manner, and in the end became reasonable.
20 General Hospital with Miss Hills in charge TFNS is now running well in every department, with their new CO Major Shea who has improved things tremendously. The Hospital was very full, with as well 200 officers, all under canvas. All Hospitals in this huge area is expanded to crisis expansion, at Etaples they are mainly hutted, while at Camiers it is mostly under canvas. There was no time for more, as I was obliged to get back to Abbeville tonight, so the remaining 6 Hospitals will have to wait, as well as the Camiers Club until next week.
Got back to Abbeville 8pm and found that during my absence:
That Miss Hopton CHR, 17 Casualty Clearing Station had wired permission to get leave in consequence of her brother’s serious illness. Miss Lewis AANS had applied officially to be married at Le Touquet and remain in the country – forwarded to APM, IGC, for favour of his remarks. Miss Baker had been granted special leave to travel with her husband Home, both by train and ship. WO correspondence accepting Miss Caldwell and Miss Galton’s resignations. Statement received from Captain Brough, saying Miss Mark’s condition was contracted and due to Military Service – hard work and prolonged hours on duty.
Colonel Slack OC South African MO came about an increase to his Staff. Asked him to put the matter up officially, and pointed out that we were below our strength everywhere, and everyone was overworked. Miss Jones and Miss B….. returned from sick leave, Miss B…. without any voice – not fit for duty. Sent to Sick Sisters’ Hospital. Miss Jones to 23 General. Arranged for change of Staff on Hospital Ship Brighton – Staff to join the next time the Ship comes to this side. Learnt Bethune again being shelled. Rang up DMS 1st Army, learnt nurses sleeping in the cellar. Said felt they should return, that it was not wise to run any unnecessary risks, and that their presence must increase the anxieties of everyone connected with the CCS. DMS agreed – Bethune quiet today – who arranged about their returning.
Sent Miss Jacob to 2 Stationary to find out about one of the nurses recently on the train, walking about with an orderly. Found she was engaged to him. Have arranged to see her. Nurse E. Priestley’s resignation arrived – reason not promoted, and had also been asked to help in tent in the recent rush run by a VAD while her tent was closed temporarily. She has already gone Home sick, so that I was unable to see her, but she is the nurse who is quite incapable and has given endless trouble since her arrival in France. Surgeon-General Macpherson called about the need of more nurses. Went into the question thoroughly of nurses at the Front. Explained the situation that where less than 7 could manage, the Staff was decreased, and where the work was heavy I always endeavoured to send as much help as I was able. Constantly at the Front the nurses in these heavy times had been on duty 16 hours or more. This also has been done at the Bases in consequence of not being sufficient help. The work now in France is equally heavy at every Base, so it is not possible to move the nurses about as one was able a year ago. Added to this, everyone is getting very tired.
Saw Nurses Doyle and Powell (Australian QR) the nurses who were out from 6pm to after midnight. They declare they really lost their way alone. I have given them a warning, and sent them to the Base. DMS 1st Army rang up to say nurses have left Bethune. Asked that Miss Tunley might remain as Senior of the Army to superintend all CCS in his area. Said I would consult the question with DGMS.
Italy declared war on Germany
Applications coming in from all Bases re VADs Field Allowance to ascertain whether the matter is likely to be settled favourably. The large majority only signing their Contracts on condition this allowance is again granted. Forwarded to DGMS in continuation of telegram sent yesterday, the number of units both at the Base and Front which had had to be staffed from existing nurses in France since 1.7.16. 1 General, 2 Stationary Hospitals, 4 CCSs, 8 Barges, 1 Ship. Miss A. B. Smith servant allowance granted from date of promotion. Learnt from DGMS that Nurses Murdock, Moore, and Brooks, Chicago, accepted for Reserve – reported DDMS Etaples.
Roumania declared war on Austria
Special leave granted to Miss G. M. Gordon, 14 days, also to Miss Patrickson, father and mother. Miss Lewis AANS , permission to marry provided she leave the war zone immediately afterwards if her husband is serving with the BEF. Agreement forms sent to Nurses Murdock, Brown, Moore and Brooks for Reserve, late Chicago unit. All British born and trained. Miss Smythe from sick leave returned to Nurses’ Home. Miss Anscombe to 32 Stationary Hospital. Left for Reserve Army 10am.
To Puchevillers first to enquire into the irregular behaviour of the Nursing Sisters on trains whilst waiting there. Found the matter was even worse than at first thought, and that the matter had again been reported through another channel. Told Col. Huddleston that his report is being sent to DG for transmission to L of C when the matter would be seriously dealt with. Saw Miss Plaskitt, Sister in Charge, who had recently taken charge. Unable to visit 3 CCS though next door, in consequence of having an engagement with DMS Reserve Army at 1pm. Had lunch at their Mess in a beautiful Chateau and met many old friends, among them Colonel Hamilton, AOD, who as a Captain I had nursed in Pretoria in 1900.
After lunch with DMS to Contay, to see 49 Casualty Clearing Station, only established a week. In splendid order, the Sisters working well and all seem a most capable lot of people. A most splendid unit in a lovely situation with a stream of pure water running nearby, water supply conveyed to camp. All under canvas, many seriously wounded. The day the Sisters arrived they were on duty continuously for 36 hours. The OC spoke in the highest terms of their pluck and management.
The heat intense – on to Warloy. The Field Ambulance still overflowing with men in extremis, many undoubtedly could never leave. In a tremendous thunderstorm drove to Headquarters 4th Army. All along passed troops going forward and others returning for a rest.
DMS 4th Army discussed the need of more help in approaching attack. Explained the reason of recent moves, which had been criticized, the matter now on a proper footing and DMS quite approving of my arrangements.
On to Corbie to 21 Casualty Clearing Station, where I saw OC Col. Clements and new Sister in Charge Miss Todd. Everything first rate as usual. Not very full – saw 32 patients waiting to be put on their Barge, all looking so comfortable and well cared for. The OC showed me the wonderful wireless installation, whereby X-Rays can be taken of organs of patients in Hospital who are at a great distance from the operator – not even in the same building. The discoverer, a Sergeant, had been to the WO and shown his discovery, and he was then busy putting up the whole apparatus in a building in the grounds.
From there to 5 Casualty Clearing Station where I stayed the night and was very comfortably established in the Sisters’ Mess in a nice little house quite close to the unit. The OC came after dinner, very satisfied with everything, except that one of the Sisters, Sister Scholes, was not strong enough for the work and I arranged to move her.
5 Casualty Clearing Station. Went round at 9am, everything in first rate order, Miss Teevan QAIMNS displaying great administrative powers and with tact displaying also judgement in disciplinary matters.
Rain heavy, on to 34 and 45 Casualty Clearing Stations at Vecquemont, both near railway siding, both only fairly busy and both about to move forward. Arranged that the Nursing Staff should join Nurses’ Home Abbeville while the move was taking place. Visited 29 Ambulance Train, then at siding waiting. Ascertained that Miss Grandjean, the Sister in Charge had visited Mess at Puchevillers when they were there – only there once – arranging to take her off – spoke very seriously on the matter.
Allonville: To 39 Casualty Clearing Station, an isolation unit, and self inflicted wounds. This unit has never been satisfactory, but the condition of affairs in the Isolation Camp at the time of my visit was past description. I saw the OC Lt. Col. Taylor, RAMC, and pointed out what was needed. The camp crowded with patients, no conveniences whatever and the rain which was coming down in sheets was pouring everywhere – no drains, no comforts. The Camp established for some weeks. Had lunch at Sisters’ Mess. After, saw OC, explained how impossible everything seemed, and that help was needed everywhere. Returned to DMS 4th Army, explained the situation, he undertaking to go at once and look into the matter.
Abbeville: Returned 5pm. Found DGMS here, just returned from inspecting at Havre and Rouen. Explained the situation with reference to trains at Puchevillers and said the matter was being reported to him officially. Miss … QR resignation accepted. Correspondence returned with reference to need of more Nursing Staff, saying in future as new units opened to put in for the Staff required officially. Miss Cole granted 14 days’ special leave, sister’s illness being the case.
Busy all day. Saw Sisters Lonsdale, Rogers, Jenkins and C… , all Sisters in Charge of Ambulance Trains, all capable and well mannered people, none having been on the Puchevillers route. Miss Johns’ (2) resignations accepted. Sent orders for various nurses to join Nurses’ Home Abbeville to await orders for emergency calls. Staff changed on Hospital Ship Brighton – been on 12 months. Special leave granted to various Canadian Sisters. DMS 4th Army rang up to say that I had not exaggerated matters in the very least, that no blame was attached to the Nursing Staff, and he was reporting the matter to DGMS, and requesting that another OC should be supplied.
Visited 5 Stationary Hospital. DMS L of C went to Etaples to inspect. Learnt that Miss Barton QAIMNS needed dental treatment. Asked if the matter was an urgent one, as 16 General Hospital had just lost its Matron. A new one had only taken over for 3 days and it would not be possible for me to send extra help. Said it was arranged for her to join 13 General, so that she could work there while attending the dentist. VAD Cliffe transferred to 3 General Hospital with impetigo. DGMS rang up about the Nurses’ Allowances, the matter is now being forwarded, and strongly recommended to the War Office.
South African General Hospital – Nursing Staff of 40 trained, 1 untrained supplied.
2/1 South Midland Casualty Clearing Station
49 Casualty Clearing Station
23 General Hospital
Marseilles Stationary Hospital
Staffs supplied from existing units in France
1 Stationary Hospital - Staff distributed to assist in filling vacancies.
Arrived in France
QAIMNSR - 11
Taken on in France, 4 from Chicago Unit for service in QAIMNSR
Transfers to Home Establishment - 2
Sent Home Sick in August
Trained - 35
Untrained – 18 includes 6 AANS
Total Sick in England
Trained - 92
Untrained – 32, includes 13 AANS
Returned in August
Trained - 14
Untrained - 3
Resignations sent forward - 11
Leaves granted (Special) - 45
VADs returned to England
Termination of Contract - 7
Invalided - 1
Unsuitable - 1
Miss Nesbitt YMCA Cerebro-Spinal Meningitis