CROWN COPYRIGHT: THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES, WO95/3989
Received: WO letter authorising the appointment of Principal Matrons in 3 areas – Boulogne, Etaples and Rouen to do administrative work, independent of hospitals and to be granted pay and allowances according to rank. The fact was emphasized that they would only draw minimum pay of £175 per annum. WO letter accepting Miss Murdoch’s appointment to Reserve (late member of Chicago Unit). WO letter requesting that Miss J. Cummings, 18 General Hospital, should be added to number of nurses joining “Aquitania”. Forwarded to DGMS correspondence asking for definite ruling with reference to date of termination of contract of VAD members. Forwarded two WO Letters in which instructions are at variance with one another. Resignation forwarded – Miss A. Guest, TFNS, 7 General Hospital, reason – marriage. WO Letter asking if Miss L. E. Snape, 4 General Hospital, wishes to be released to return to civil duties in Leicester. Correspondence forwarded to unit, asking for her decision. Special leave granted to Miss F. Taylor, CAMC. Extension of leave granted to Miss Wright, VAD, 8 General Hospital, in consequence of mother’s serious illness. Miss Hayes, QAIMNSR, applied officially to withdraw her resignation – willing to sign on for another six months – the Society to which she belongs arranging for someone else to take her cases.
The OC, 45 CCS, 4th Army, telephoned to say that the unit was moving forward and he had instructed the nurses to return to Nurses’ Home, Abbeville, until unit was re-established. Interviewed Miss Caulfield with reference to her taking charge of 39 CCS, a unit for infectious cases and self-inflicted wounds, in 4th Army, which I had recently visited and which was not in a very satisfactory condition. Instructed her to let me know as soon as possible what alterations she could make to improve the nursing arrangements of the unit. Saw A/Sister A. R. Newby, QAIMNSR, who has recently been taken off a train in consequence of her intimacy with an orderly. She was transferred to No.2 Stationary Hospital, and as I heard that she had been in the habit of meeting him and walking about the camp with him, I sent for her. She told me that she was going to be married to him and that he had written to her people and they wished to be married at the earliest opportunity. I advised her to apply for a transfer to the Home Establishment. DDMS Boulogne rang up to say that Miss Lewis, AANS, who had obtained permission to be married on 31st and through some failure in the formalities the ceremony had not been able to take place, had been sent home in charge of the Matron. Correspondence on the subject had been forwarded.
After lunch I visited No.2 Stationary Hospital and South African General Hospital. Both units were full of seriously wounded men. In 2 Stationary there were 90 officers. The whole of the staff, both nurses and orderlies, work to the best of their ability, but they are short-handed and in consequence had for some time had very little off-duty time. Several of the officers as well as the men had their relatives with them. Both Matrons spoke in high terms of the nursing staff and said all were doing as much as possible. The work was so heavy that for some weeks now they have only had time to attend to the patients and the general appearance of the wards has had to be neglected. I saw both the CO’s and they expressed themselves entirely satisfied with the nursing arrangements which the respective Matrons had made.
After tea, I went to Treport where I spent the night and was accommodated in No.3 General Hospital. I had dinner in their Mess with the staff – all the arrangements seem to be excellent and the Home Sister appeared to take particular interest in her work. I spent the evening with the nursing staff and after dinner several of them played and sang. All seemed perfectly happy and contented and the VAD’s are quite satisfied to wait, knowing that the question of their Field Allowance is being considered.
At 9 o’clock I went round 16 General Hospital with the SMO, Col. Thurston and the new Matron, Miss Ram, who has recently taken over from Miss Drage. Everything in this unit is as usual in first-rate order. The infectious division which until recently was under canvas, is now hutted, and has every modern improvement. There are sisters in charge of groups of huts as well as a senior sister in charge of the division. In this division there are arrangements for the accommodation of officers, nursing sisters and men. Here, as in all units in France where sick sisters are accommodated, any English lady is admitted when suffering from an infectious disease. Recently there were not only ladies from the YMCA but also VAD motor drivers. The sisters’ quarters here are excellent, run only by VADs with a trained Home Sister in charge. Two French servants paid from Mess funds do the dirty work – one RAMC orderly draws the rations. The remainder of the work is done only by VADs who are appointed in the Home for a certain time. In the kitchen is a qualified VAD cook and an assistant who makes the cakes.
I then visited 7 and 2 Canadian General Hospitals. Both these hospitals appear to be running smoothly and the general appearance and management seem much improved since my last visit. The OC and Matron of 7 General spoke of Nursing Sister Rowe, whose work is not satisfactory, and her behaviour most undisciplined, and they were anxious she should be moved from the unit. I instructed them to put the matter up officially and I undertook to forward the correspondence to the Matron-in-Chief, CAMC, recommending her transfer to the Home Establishment.
Had lunch with Lady Murray at her hospital which has recently been taken over by the Red Cross and is recognised as a section of 16 General Hospital. From the beginning of the war up to the present, she had been nursing French there. Owing to the fact that the French wounded are not now being sent to this area she applied to the Red Cross for permission to open it as an English unit. It consists of an hotel and several huts. She herself is Lady Patroness and she has a Matron and staff of trained nurses and a certain number of VADs, also a resident Medical Officer. She has accommodation for 50 officers – the whole arrangements are very tasteful and there is an air of comfort and good management throughout the place. The position is good, they have nice grounds and several tennis courts. The unit seemed to be running extremely well. At the time of my visit there were 37 officers – some of them very badly wounded.
Before leaving Treport, I inspected 3 General Hospital. The arrangements in the buildings are infinitely better than those in the huts. Although there is a Regular sister in charge of the huts, they do not give one the impression of being well managed and the administration leaves much to be desired. I pointed out several matters that needed alteration and hope that when I visit the unit again, I shall see a marked improvement. The nursing staff are accommodated partly in the top of the hotel and partly in a hut. They have an excellent sitting-room with a very good piano, and their Mess is in the basement of the hotel next to the kitchen, a very good room which possibly was the dining hall of the hotel attendants. It is well ventilated and suited for the purpose.
Returned to Abbeville at 5o’clock. During my absence I found that the IGC had sent a copy of the letter to the Secretary of State recommending that the question of granting allowances to Nursing Sisters might be reconsidered, the allowance consisting of Lodging, Fuel and Light, granted to every member of the Nursing Staff until January 31st, 1916, when it was withdrawn. This matter was strongly recommended and it was suggested that it should be brought to the notice of the Commander-in-Chief as this would carry more weight. 3 Nurses had been sent from the Nurses’ Home to 36 CCS. A letter from ADMS, Havre, to say 3 nurses short on Hospital Ship “Asturias” – 2 sick in England, but the Matron said that for the present she could manage. A telegram had been received from the WO saying that the staff who had already been instructed to hold themselves in readiness for the “Aquitania” should report at the War Office on Sept. 6th. These instructions were telegraphed to the areas where the nurses concerned were serving. WO Letter received accepting Miss Brooks, Miss Brown and Miss Moore’s transfer to the Reserve from the Chicago Unit. This information was forwarded to the ladies concerned, now at Etaples. Received application from Miss A. W. Allis, CHR, 36 CCS, to resign in consequence of her approaching marriage. Correspondence forwarded to DGMS. 14 days’ special leave granted to Miss C. F. Copland, QAIMNSR, 6 General Hospital, – her mother had had a stroke. Letter from Miss Price, Matron of New Zealand unit, asking that I would let her have the remainder of her staff of 7 as soon as I could conveniently do so, as they were very heavy. Replied that as soon as I could obtain some reliefs I would arrange that they should return to Amiens. Letter from Lt. Col. Thompson saying that he had been told to prepare for 1000 cases at short notice. Could I supply him with 4 sisters? Replied that if he rang me up when help was needed I would send them without delay.
Received letter from Matron-in-Chief, War Office, enquiring about Lt. Symons, Middlesex Regiment, asking me to let her know directly he was able to be moved to a Base. Rang up 1 CCS and found that he was progressing satisfactorily but was very ill, serious wound of buttock. The Sister in charge undertook to let me know train and day he was evacuated. Wrote to the Matron-in-Chief, and said I would inform her by telegram directly he arrived at a Base and the hospital he would be in. Letter from Sir Arthur Sloggett enclosing letter from Major Vickars – very anxious that Miss Ross, RRC should come to the country. In this letter he said that he had written to me twice and that I had only put him off. Replied to Sir Arthur Sloggett that I had informed Major Vickars that the only way he could hope to get Nurse Ross to France was by applying to the War Office, that we had no power in the matter of moving people in England over here.
Received WO Letter accepting resignations of Miss E. S. and Miss E. M. Smyth, Mrs. R. Baker, Miss B. Day Lewis and Miss E. Duncan. Received letter from DGMS informing us that he had forwarded the correspondence with reference to the shortage of trained nurses to the DAG, 3rd Echelon, for transmission to the WO. Application to resign Miss Donnelly, Harvard Unit – asking permission to leave before her contract expires. Miss Priestley, QAIMNSR, resignation returned from DGMS asking for reports from other units, also asking if it is recommended that her resignation be accepted. Sent correspondence with reference to Miss Lewis, AANS, to DGMS, asking his approval of action taken in sending her home without reference to GHQ. This was done from Boulogne. Telephone Message from GHQ saying that nurses might be wanted at short notice for 47 CCS and 20 Field Ambulance. Forwarded to Matron-in-Chief, WO, revised nominal rolls of ships calling at French ports. Authority obtained from WO for Carrington to supply badges. Money to be sent direct to Carrington. Sent orders to Nurses’ Home for Misses Taggart, Hadfield and Robson to go by ambulance to 19 CCS. DMS, Reserve Army, telephoned to ask if Miss Whitburn and Miss May of 3 CCS could remain 24 hours longer although their reliefs had arrived. This was sanctioned as they were extremely busy.
Left for Boulogne and arrived at midday. Reported at DDMS office. Told him of the letter which had arrived authorising the appointment of a distinct Principal Matron and asked him to bear in mind when opening his new office that a room should be set apart for her and her secretary.
Visited 7 Stationary Hospital – very full – many of the officers being extremely badly wounded, and many relatives having arrived from England to be near their people. Everything seemed well managed and the officers expressed themselves entirely satisfied. Teas were being given at the time of my visit and all the trays were most daintily served, each having its own teapot and the appointments very pretty.
To 13 General Hospital – this hospital as usual full of a great many seriously wounded but the number of patients not so great, as they had just evacuated and had received instructions to be in readiness for a large number of wounded expected to arrive during the night. Stayed at the Louvre. Miss Hordley, A/Principal Matron and Miss Woodford who deals with all arrivals and departures, had dinner with me. Received telephone Message from DMS, 1st Army, asking me if I would meet him at 11 o’clock at Aire as there were some matters he wished to discuss in connection with the Highland CCS. I undertook to be there. During the night received a letter from DDMS, Boulogne, saying that a telephone message had come from DMS, L of C to the effect that DGMS would be at Headquarters on Monday and was very anxious to see me in connection with Lord Derby and VAD Allowances. The DDMS had informed me that I had an appointment with the 1st Army, and the DMS recommended that I should proceed to Abbeville and after having met the DGMS continue my journey after lunch. These arrangements I made.
Before leaving Boulogne, I went to DDMS Headquarters and rang up DMS, 1st Army – arranged to be with him at HQ as soon after 3 as possible, and that I would telephone to him before leaving Abbeville. Rang up Abbeville and said I was leaving, - should be at the office by noon. Saw Colonel Harry Thomson with his niece Miss Stack, who is still working for the Belgians, and is anxious to remain where she is while they have work for her. Afterwards both she and her sister are anxious to join the Reserve, and I instructed her how she should proceed in this event.
Arrived at Abbeville noon. Met the DGMS and DMS with reference to the allowances for VADs, he having seen Lord Derby the day before at GHQ, who is keenly interested in the subject and recommended that the DGMS, in consultation with the IGC, after having seen me, should put forward a further recommendation. He thought it probable that the question of again granting a Field Allowance would not be considered as the withdrawal of this allowance was an Army Council Order, but he recommended that a certain sum should be suggested which would meet requirements. The decision was to ask for 5/- a day for VADs to cover all present expenses. This seems to me a broad margin and ought to cover all expenses, even in the event of things becoming dearer. After seeing me, he and the DMS went to see the IGC on the subject and the correspondence is being forwarded. Rang up DMS, 1st Army, and asked him whether it would be quite convenient if I waited until Wednesday before meeting him as on arrival I had found a great deal of work of an official nature. This was quite convenient and I agreed to meet him at 10.30 on Wednesday.
On arrival found a letter from Matron-in-Chief, WO, enclosing correspondence in connexion with a VAD who wrote to complain about the heavy expenditure. This correspondence had already been forwarded to me by Sir Arthur Sloggett. Among other items which the VAD referred to was presentations to Matron, Deputy Matron, Wardmaster, etc. In reply to the Matron-in-Chief, I let her know that I had already seen the correspondence, and enclosed a circular which had been sent to all areas. I pointed out that this custom of giving private gifts to members of the nursing staff had been the custom in most military hospitals long before the war. In the Matron-in-Chief’s letter she referred to the question of the many moves occurring with Matrons which she did not think it possible I made. I pointed out that in consequence of the many new units opening, as well as casualties which occurred from resignations, transfers and people sent home sick, it was impossible to avoid a certain number of moves taking place.
WO telegram received asking for number of QAIMNS, QAIMNSR, TFNS and VADs, also nurses from the Dominions now serving in France. Replied giving information required. Correspondence forwarded to DGMS with reference to Miss Lowrie, AANS, whose reports were not satisfactory – attached other correspondence already in the office, and recommended her transfer to Home Establishment. The DGMS, before returning to GHQ, inspected the Nurses’ Home, 5 Stationary, 2 Stationary and the South African General Hospital, and I understand was thoroughly satisfied with all he saw. Sir John Bradford called on his way to Heilly and spoke in very high terms of the work done by the nurses in the Etaples area. DMS, 4th Army, rang up for 2 nurses for 21 CCS urgently needed. Sent two by ambulance. Arranged that Miss Cust, YMCA, and Miss Stubbington, VAD working at the mask factory, should be transferred to 3 General Hospital.
WO Letter received appointing Miss Dey, late Reserve, member of the QAIMNS – posted to 6 General Hospital. Application received from Miss Newby, QAIMNSR, 2 Stationary Hospital, for permission to transfer to Home Establishment. Forwarded. Correspondence received from Etaples in connection with resignation of Miss A.C.F.M. Caldwell – returned to United Kingdom on 4th inst. Received application from Staff Nurse E. Canter, 12 Ambulance Train, for permission to withdraw her resignation. Received correspondence from OC, 22 Ambulance Train – appreciation of work of Miss Taggart, CHR, whilst Sister in Charge of the train. Correspondence received from Etaples with resignation of Staff Nurse Fogarty, QAIMNSR, stating her unwillingness to renew her contract as she was not in a hospital for soldiers, and had had no promise of promotion. She has already been told that she would be moved to another unit in due course and given a chance to show what administrative ability she had. Received telephone Message from Sir Bertrand Dawson asking where I would be tomorrow and how he could get in touch with me. Replied I was going to 1st Army, unless Sir Bertrand wished to see me urgently, when I could change my plans. Received correspondence from Treport with reference to Staff Nurse E. Fraser who had been sick at 3 General with rheumatism, asking that she might in future, when fit, serve in a building. Sent application form for the Reserve to Miss Lena Rogers at Aylesbury. Forwarded her letter to the Matron-in-Chief, War Office, explaining what I had done. Wrote to ADMS, Calais, approving of long service bar for VAD members on completion of 13 months’ service – not for Special Probationers. A/Matron, 2 Stationary Hospital, reported that 4 Reserve nurses had arrived, and that she had instructed the 4 members of the New Zealand Nursing Service who had been temporarily serving in her unit, to rejoin the New Zealand Stationary Hospital. Mrs. Swann, patient at Villa Tino, one of the staff of St. John Ambulance Hospital on seriously ill list.
Informed DGMS of the departure of the nurses for duty on HS Aquitania. Correspondence received authorising Miss D. Foster, Harvard Unit, to proceed to Paris on the 18th to take up a new post at the American Ambulance. Correspondence received in connection with proper supply of hot water for bath at the Nurses’ Home, Abbeville, this being an urgent necessity in consequence of the number of nurses who are constantly passing through on their way to Clearing Stations, and also Sisters off Ambulance Trains and Barges who avail themselves of the opportunity of getting a bath at the Home. Application to resign – Miss Coward, QAIMNSR – forwarded from Hospital Ship “Newhaven” – reason – her approaching marriage. Correspondence forwarded to the Matron-in-Chief, AANS, from Sister Rutledge, 2 Australian General, who was anxious to transfer to Home Establishment. Pointed out to the Matron-in-Chief that all these applications should be forwarded officially through official channels, also asked her to kindly notify, in future, any approaching arrivals, also any moves she wished made through the War Office to be transmitted here. Received correspondence from the OC, 1 Australian CCS, pointing out that the relations between the Sister in Charge and her staff were not very satisfactory and asking that I would visit the unit and investigate matters. Application from the DMS, 2nd Army, that the staff of 2 Australian CCS should be reduced to seven and suggesting that Miss Carpenter should be the one to rejoin her unit at the base.
Left for 1st Army to see DMS – Surgeon-General Pike, who was anxious to see me on various matters. Whilst there met General Hakin, the Army Commander, who spoke in the very highest terms of the work done by the nursing services at the front, and who had last week presented the Military Medal ribbon to 5 Sisters from 33 CCS who had been recommended for this distinction for their bravery. He had given great pleasure to all Clearing Stations in the Army by inviting the OC and 2 nurses from each Clearing Station to tea, and to see the presentation, and had had a band and given everyone a very pleasant time.
At the DMS’ desire, I visited the two Clearing Stations at Merville and later, one at Aire. At 7 CCS at Merville I found the conditions of things not very satisfactory. Miss Bannister, the new Sister in Charge, had found it difficult to work with the OC, who was unwilling to recognise her as Sister in Charge and who complained that she was wanting in tact and that it was quite out of her department to have anything to do with the management of the orderlies, or their training. The orderlies were in the habit of going on and off duty when they wished, of smoking and whistling in the wards, and the patients who were able were encouraged to do as much work as possible whilst the orderlies took things quietly. I saw the OC and pointed out that Miss Bannister was a very good manager and capable woman, and had managed with great success at a large Clearing Station, and that unless she had control of the orderlies working in the wards, it was impossible to hope for satisfactory results. He signified his intention of altering the methods and placing the nursing orderlies under the control of the Sister in Charge. Miss Bannister will do all in her power to endeavour to make things work satisfactorily and smoothly. This is a Territorial Unit and there have always been difficulties more or less, in connection with the OC and Nursing Staff and orderlies, owing to the fact that the OC has never been willing to give the nursing staff their proper position.
I then went to 1/2 London CCS, which is also a Territorial Unit, but as usual, everything was working most smoothly and satisfactorily, the patients – both men and officers – being thoroughly well looked after, and the OC expressing his entire satisfaction.
Then I went to Aire – the Highland CCS which has much improved since my last visit, the Sister in Charge having worked many improvements both in the wards and in the Sisters’ quarters. Two of the nurses there are not suitable for Clearing Station work and I arranged to replace them.
Returned to St. Omer – went to 10 Stationary Hospital, where everything was in first-rate order. Since my last visit a large recreation room and church hut had been erected in the grounds, and had been opened by the Bishop last week. This recreation hut is for the patients and personnel of the unit and is much appreciated; they have plenty of games and magazines. Stayed the night at the Sisters’ quarters. Telephoned to Abbeville to say I was not returning and was going to 2nd Army in the morning – my correspondence to be kept.
Left early for SMO, St. Omer, at 4 Stationary Hospital, where I discussed with him the question of winter accommodation for the nursing staff of 7 General Hospital – 24 only being accommodated in the building. Owing to the great difficulty of getting wood, it is not considered advisable to put up more huts than are absolutely necessary. The SMO agreed that EP tents with boarded floors and stoves would be most comfortable and would be suitable for the night duty staff.
From there I went to DMS, 2nd Army, Hazebrouck, where I told him of the trouble I heard existed at 1 Australian Casualty Clearing Station. He had had no official intimation but he desired me to visit the CCS and on my return, to inform him of what action I had taken. He also said that there would be two more Clearing Stations wanting a staff shortly. At the same time he said that as things were at the moment, I could with advantage take one nurse from each Clearing Station, reducing their numbers to six.
Visited the Australian Casualty Clearing Station – saw OC first, who said that the Sister in Charge is a most capable woman but he considered she was somewhat wanting in tact. At the same time, he considered that the remainder of the staff had been selected with little judgement and he felt they were simply sent there from the Base because they were not very desirable members. I had lunch with the Sisters and afterwards spoke to the Sister in Charge who told me of her difficulties. She struck me as a very capable woman with a very difficult, unsuitable staff to deal with. Most of them look too old for their work. The sister who had applied for a transfer because she could not get on with the Sister in Charge was an uneducated woman and seemed undisciplined and certainly not suited for work at the front. I said that when I received her application, I would recommend that she might be transferred to the Home Establishment.
Returned by Hazebrouck – saw the DMS and told him that the correspondence in connection with the trouble was being forwarded by the OC. I then went to 7 General Hospital where I saw the OC and Matron with reference to extra accommodation for the nursing staff. They both agreed that EP tents would be entirely satisfactory. To the Nurses’ Home where I met the DMS, 1st Army and arranged with him that the nurses now waiting at the Home belonging to 33 CCS should be sent to fill various places in the Army where vacancies had recently occurred.
Had tea and went to Boulogne as I had received a telephone Message from Sir Bertrand Dawson asking me to see him when next I came to Boulogne. On arrival went to his house, and found that he had had various letters in connection with the payment of VAD’s and, before replying, was anxious to hear exactly how matters stood and what allowances they now drew and what had been withdrawn. Stayed the night in Boulogne.
Reported at the DDMS office. Saw Miss Hordley who told me that all hospitals were very short-handed.
Left for HQ, arriving before lunch. During my absence, correspondence had been received from Miss Cuthbertson, QAIMNSR, 30 General, who wished to resign in consequence of her approaching marriage and asked that she might leave by September 14th. Application received from VAD Mrs. Nichol asking that her resignation might be accepted from September 28th. Telephone message from OC, 35 CCS, saying that 2 nurses who had been temporarily employed at his unit were returning to the Nurses’ Home. Mrs. Swann’s condition still serious. Correspondence forwarded to DGMS – application for Miss Snape, QAIMNSR, for permission to resign to take up civil post. Telephone message from DMS, 4th Army, saying that the nurses from 34 CCS were being sent to the Nurses’ Home, Abbeville, as the CCS was moving forward. Telegram received from Dehorted granting permission to Miss Donnelly, Harvard Unit, to terminate her engagement. Application from OC, 7 Canadian General, asking for the transfer of Miss Bertha Rowe to some other unit as her behaviour had never been satisfactory. WO letter accepting Miss Gregory for QAIMNS Reserve – now doing duty in French hospital. Interviewed Sisters Harwin, Manning, Austin and Davis – all in charge of Ambulance Trains, in connexion with their work and recreation.
Sent Command Paymaster list of nurses transferred to England during the week. Application forwarded to DGMS from Miss F. Trootier, CAMC, applying for 2 months’ leave to go to Canada. This was approved. Recommendation for promotion to the rank of Sister of Miss Luke, TFNS, forwarded to DGMS for transmission to the Matron-in-Chief, TFNS – also that of Miss E. D. Smaill. WO Letter accepting Miss M. E. Elliott for Reserve on expiration of contract with BRCS at Rouen. Forwarded correspondence to Rouen asking date of expiration of contract and ordering her to join. WO Letter notifying that Miss Dey and Miss E. Scott were returning from sick leave. WO letter – Miss F. Bishop’s engagement terminated from 3rd inst., she having been sent home sick in February. Correspondence received notifying that five qualified VAD cooks were arriving on 14th instant, to release 5 men. Received Army Council Instruction re VAD uniform allowance – to be paid £2 half-yearly, instead of £1 quarterly. Received from Etaples names of 14 nurses belonging to Harvard Unit proceeding to England on termination of contract.
14 days leave granted to Miss Deeks, 106th Field Ambulance. WO Letter received notifying arrival of 9 Australian Sisters on September 8th. WO Letter received accepting Mrs. Baker’s resignation from October 8th, in consequence of her husband’s severe illness. WO Letter accepting resignation of Miss Crockett, VAD, forwarded to Boulogne, also that of Miss A. M. James, QAIMNSR, 10 Stationary Hospital. Received communication from Miss Crowdy, Principal Commandant, informing me that Miss Cay and Miss Maconochie, two VAD members recently taken on from Australian Voluntary Hospital, had not yet received their uniform and were wearing mufti in Boulogne. Forwarded correspondence to A/Principal Matron at Boulogne asking her to look into the matter. Also forwarded correspondence from Miss Covell, VAD, complaining of her treatment at 13 Stationary Hospital, saying that she had not been permitted to send in her resignation. Asked the A/Principal Matron to investigate the matter, and report. OC, 36 CCS, telephoned for another nurse, as the staff getting very tired and they found that 19 nurses were not enough.
Sister McMillan and Robert, CAMC, granted 14 days’ leave to proceed to Canadian Rest Home, at Margate.
WO Letter received notifying the arrival from sick leave of Sister Bunton, QAIMNSR. WO Letter received notifying that 15 CAMC sisters were embarking on the 2nd for France for duty. Special leave granted to Miss Thomson, QAIMNSR, and Miss Thorne, TFNS in consequence of showing signs of over-fatigue. Asked DDMS, Boulogne, to forward report on Miss Fogarty, 13 Stationary, after 2 months’ probation of suitability to promotion to rank of Sister. Forwarded to DGMS correspondence from Miss Lowrie, AANS, to Miss Finlay, Matron of 1 Australian General, making serious accusations against the Matron and Officer in charge of the division. Asked that the correspondence might be forwarded to the Matron-in-Chief, AANS. Forwarded to DGMS application for transfer to England from 1 Australian General Hospital for private affairs – Miss L. A. Burke, AANS. Saw Miss M. E. Stewart and Miss Watkins, QAIMNS, Sisters in charge of Clearing Stations, waiting to rejoin their units which are moving forward. Received an application from Miss A. Harrison, TFNS, A/Matron of Hospital Ship “Brighton” asking for transfer to Hospital Ship in Mediterranean, stating as reason that she was a good sailor and enjoyed the work. The reason for this application was that she had just been ordered to join 32 Stationary Hospital and was being replaced by Miss R. Reid. Miss A. E. Truslove, QAIMNSR, given 3 weeks’ sick leave by Medical Board from 1 General Hospital. DMS, 4th Army, telephoned to say that 20 nurses would be required on 13th, and 20 on 14th for the front. Telephoned to the DMS, 1st Army, to ask if one nurse could be spared from each unit in the area. In consequence of the work in that area, four only could be spared. Correspondence from 2nd Army saying that Miss Jolliffe, 2 Australian CCS, now on leave, had forwarded resignation – was not returning in consequence of her marriage. Telephoned to OC, 36 CCS, saying another sister would be joining at once. On her arrival, Miss Barnard should proceed to Rouen. Supplementary list of names for RRC submitted to DGMS, this request having been made through the military secretary at the request of His Majesty the King, who had personally interested himself in the matter and had found that since mobilisation only 94 decorations had been awarded to members of the Nursing Service in France.
Official correspondence from DDMS, Boulogne – Major Valadier now satisfied with the number of nursing staff provided for his wards and considered them quite efficient. Forwarded to DGMS departure report of Miss Strangman, ANSR, transferred to Home Establishment. Special leave of 7 days granted to Miss Custance, 14 General Hospital, on account of father’s serious illness. Also 14 days to Miss Drake and 7 days to Miss Allsopp, VAD. WO Letter terminating engagement of Miss Pearce and Miss Ramsay, VAD. WO Letter re resignation of Miss Birkett Clark, CAMC. Accepted for transport duty to Canada. Application forwarded to DGMS for permission to transfer to England of Miss Lofthouse, TFNS, in consequence of private affairs. ADMS, Havre, asking for permission to exchange nurse on “Panama” suffering from sickness with a nurse from the Isolation Hospital. Interviewed Miss Hoare, Miss McMillan and Miss Johnson, all Sisters in charge of Ambulance Trains. Telephoned to DGMS to ask if he could see me. As he was passing through Abbeville this evening he arranged to come to the office at 6.30. In this way I was saved a journey. Concert being given in one of the huts for nursing staff and personnel of the hospitals, got up by certain officers. OCs of hospitals arranging to have staff conveyed in ambulances.
Telegram from Troopers*, informing us that Field Allowance is now payable to VADs and Special Probationers, and authorising issue of it from date of cessation. Telegraphed immediately to all areas where VADs are working asking that the information might be conveyed without delay to all concerned. Correspondence from DDMS, Rouen, asking for authority to employ another maid for Sick Sisters’ Hospital – no batmen being employed. Replied that another maid could not be authorised but a woman could be employed instead, and another VAD could be supplied to assist with the household arrangements. SMO Treport, informed us that Miss Rowe, 7 Canadian General, had been transferred to 3 Canadian Stationary. This order had been given in consequence of an unfavourable report, station that Miss Rowe was causing constant friction in the Unit. Sent orders for 5 VAD cooks – 3 to Etaples and 2 to Rouen. Official correspondence forwarded asking to be informed how many men could be released. Sent circular to all areas asking for names of VADs recommended for Long Service Bar after 13 months’ service. In consequence of the demand for nurses, both in the 4th and Reserve Armies as well as the Bases, communicated with the DMS, 1st and 2nd Armies and arranged to take one nurse from each Unit to help elsewhere as long as the work continued excessive. Urgent appeals from Boulogne and 44 CCS for extra help. Received official information that 9 Australian nurses had arrived at Boulogne – 3 for 2 Australian General and 6 for 1 Australian General. Those for 2 AGH had already joined their unit. Instructed the 6 for No.1 AGH to proceed to Abbeville for duty at the 1st South African General Hospital. Miss Cuthbertson, TFNS, 30 General Hospital, granted 14 days’ leave in order to be married, and I learnt during the day that she had arranged to be married at Boulogne and proceed at once to England. Lady Murray, Lady Patroness of the Officers’ Hospital attached to 16 General, called to discuss various matters with reference to the management of the hospital, and how she was to put in for certain supplies. Interviewed Miss Nye, QAIMNS, on her way from a CCS to 23 General Hospital, where she was proceeding as Assistant Matron under Miss Drage, QAIMNS Pointed out what she would be required to do in her new position.
* A telegraphic address used by the War Office
Official correspondence from Miss Botting, TFNS, anxious to transfer to England to be near her relatives who were getting on in age. Resignation of Miss Ivin, TFNS, forwarded – reason – marriage. Forwarded correspondence to DDMS, Rouen, with reference to winter accommodation for Sisters at 12 General Hospital. Suggested that EP tents or a large hospital marquee heated by stoves would be suitable for night duty, instead of huts, and would save the extra expense. Instructed 4 Australian Sisters from 2 AGH to proceed to Abbeville for duty, and 3 others to 13 General and 3 to 13 Stationary, in consequence of pressure of work and shortage of nurses. Forwarded to DAG proceedings of Medical Board granting Miss Truelove 3 weeks’ sick leave. WO letter received accepting the resignation of Mrs. Nichol, VAD, 14 General Hospital. Sent regulations to Sisters in charge, 2/2 London, South Midland, 34 and 35 Casualty Clearing Stations. WO letter transferring Miss Carr-Harris from 1 Canadian General Hospital, to 2 Canadian CCS, in relief of Miss Strathy, who was sick. Telephone Message from Sister-in-charge, 5 CCS, saying Miss Ward dangerously ill with dysentery – to be sent to Base by ambulance train as soon as safe. Sent relief. Interviewed Miss Timpson who was about to join an Ambulance Train, and explained her responsibilities to her. Also saw Miss McLaren, QAIMNSR, with reference to certain irregularities which had occurred whilst she was serving at 4 General Hospital. Moved her to 2 Stationary Hospital. Miss O’Dwyer, AANS, came to office – she and the other sisters were all rather distressed at not knowing when they were to join their own unit. Explained that later on when their services would no longer be required, they would rejoin their unit. Saw Miss Smyth, Sister-in-charge, Nurses’ Home with reference to meeting and seeing off all nurses who arrived here for duty at the front. Explained that I wanted the same arrangements here as at Boulogne, where Miss Woodford meets all arrivals and departures.
Application from DDMS Rouen, asking that charwomen might be employed at the Sisters’ Quarters, 8 General Hospital, as this would release certain men. Replied that they should be engaged and paid from Mess funds as was done in all other units. WO telegram asking if leave might be granted to Miss Pugh, 39 CCS – mother’s health affected by son’s death. Telephoned to 4th Army where Miss Pugh was, asking DMS to arrange for 7 days’ special leave. Granted. Special leave granted to Miss Clarke, TFNS, in consequence of serious illness of father. Received correspondence re Miss Covell, VAD, 13 Stationary Hospital, with statement attached from Miss Walker, A/Matron. From attached correspondence, it would seem that Miss Covell had not been treated with great tact, although there is no doubt she is rather a difficult and undisciplined young person. Wrote to Miss Walker and pointed out that in difficulties of this kind which might occur, the matter should be reported officially, and when anyone wishes to write to me, I am only too pleased to receive their letters through their Matron. Application for transfer to New Zealand from Miss Blackie, 1 New Zealand Stationary Hospital. Application for transfer to England from Miss Macpherson, AANS, 1 Australian General Hospital. Resignation of Miss Wright, VAD, forwarded. Received prospectus of Queen Mary’s Hostel for Nurses in England. Wrote for particulars with reference to nurses in France before approaching the WO on the subject. Received information from OC, 5 CCS, Miss Ward better and being evacuated to Base by Ambulance Train. Received letter from Matron, 1 New Zealand Stationary Hospital, asking me to go and see her to settle some difficulty which seemed to be in existence amongst the Nursing staff. Telephoned to Principal Matron, Boulogne, instructing her to arrange for 4 Special Probationers arriving from England to proceed to 2 Stationary Hospital Abbeville for duty. Miss G. W. Smith, A/Matron, 1 General Hospital, removed from sick list. Instructions received from DGMS that all arrivals and departures for Harvard Unit must be submitted in letter form for transmission to WO. OC, 45 CCS, telephoned for 2 more sisters. Telephoned to DMS to find out if the matter was urgent.
Left for Rouen, 11am, arrived in time for lunch. Had lunch at Headquarters with the DDMS who afterwards went with me to 8 General Hospital, where we inspected the Hospital, the quarters and the new Sick Sisters’ Hospital. A great many improvements have been made in the hospital since the arrival of the new OC. In spite of heavy work in this large unit, Miss Roscoe appears to grasp the seriousness of the situation and is managing well. The hospital was crowded with patients, the accommodation for sick officers being 100 and at the time of my visit, there were 250. Miss Denton, Sister-in-charge, Sick Sisters’ Hospital is busy getting the place into order, which is rather difficult as there are so many sick. At the time of my visit, there were 16 sick, out of whom 3 were seriously ill. There is accommodation for 28 – with a staff of 1 A/Matron, 2 Trained nurses, 1 VAD and 1 VAD cook, with 2 servants. When this unit is completed, it should be as satisfactory and as nice as the Sick Sisters’ Hospitals at Etaples and Boulogne. At present, the staff is not sufficient, but it will be increased. Saw Miss Fyffe, QAIMNSR, late A/Matron of “St. George”. She is now in charge of an Officers’ Division, and is proving a very satisfactory worker. There is no doubt she had many difficulties whilst Matron of the “St. George” and recently had not been supported by the Officer i/c, who apparently has not had much to do with trained nurses.
Went to 6 General Hospital where I met the A/Principal Matron and spent the night. All units are now busily evacuating and preparing for large numbers of casualties expected in the near future. Miss Rannie spoke of heavy continuous work in all units in Rouen, and, like the DDMS, emphasized the fact that more trained help was urgently required, and in consequence of over-work many nurses were knocking up. I pointed out the difficulties with which we were faced and said that as more nurses arrived from England, they were distributed to the best advantage. Rang up DMS, L of C, to let him know where I was staying.
Left early and went to the DDMS office, where I rang up Abbeville and learnt that more help was needed at the Front, and gave instructions where they were to be drawn from.
Visited 3 Stationary Hospital – very much improved since my last visit in all respects. They now have 2 operating theatres instead of one. Except for those too ill to be moved, they were busily evacuating and making preparations for patients expected at midnight on a train carrying 1000 patients. The Sisters’ quarters here not so good as in other units. The Mess is small and combined sitting and Mess-room. All the rooms are small and have to be shared with the exception of the Matron and the Home-Sister. A VAD cook was expected and the Matron was making arrangements to employ a French servant to release another batman, and the management of the Mess to be carried on by a Home Sister and a VAD. I interviewed Miss Thomas, TFNS, who complained that she had not been promoted. Her reports are not good and she does not give one the impression of being capable of doing more that Staff Nurse’s duties.
Visited No.2 BRCS. This unit also very full and many officers too badly wounded to be moved. Miss Carr, A/Matron during Mrs. de Winton’s absence, has proved most satisfactory in every respect. The OC spoke most highly of all her arrangements. The wards are all well managed and the patients everywhere looked extremely well nursed and comfortable. Without exception all spoke of the care and attention they received. Went to 10 General Hospital and had lunch. Saw Miss Perkins, the new Matron, who had taken over after 1 Stationary Hospital closed. The OC expressed himself satisfied with the arrangements and said everything was going smoothly. Here the patients had begun to arrive but up to the time I left, none of the wounds were of a very serious nature and all were in very good spirits at events at the Front.
I then went to No.1 Australian General Hospital, where I first saw the OC, and spoke to him about the nursing staff in general and the unsuitable people selected by the Matron to send to the Clearing Stations. Said that I proposed seeing the Matron on the subject before writing to the Matron-in-Chief, AIF. I spoke to the Matron and made arrangements with her to replace all unsuitable nurses, she giving me the names of capable people to replace them. I pointed out to her that if any members of her staff were not suitable for duty in France, the matter must be reported officially and requested that they might be transferred to England. The Matron-in-Chief had informed me that she would send Sisters to replace them who had arrived recently from Australia and whom she knew to be capable in every way. Inspected the wards, the operating theatre, and the Mess – all in satisfactory condition. The patients looked comfortable and well cared for and without doubt were being thoroughly well nursed. The Australian Sister Lowrie, whose correspondence had been officially forwarded, was still waiting for news and had been taken off duty, awaiting the decision of the War Office as to her transfer.
I next went round 5 General Hospital with Miss Rannie and the Matron, - everything most satisfactory. The Matron complained of want of help and both nurses and orderlies looked extremely tired. The operating theatre had been going incessantly day and night for 36 hours with only short intervals for meals. The Officer in charge of the large ophthalmic department came to see me with a view to getting a suitable sister well up in modern methods of ophthalmic nursing. I undertook on my return to deal with the matter.
Went round 25 Stationary Hospital with the OC and Matron. The hospital was very full of all sorts of infectious diseases, and the work heavy and continuous. Here there have been very great improvements in accommodation for sick sisters which, up till recently, was insufficient and poor. The present OC is interesting himself very much in all arrangements for every class of patient, and small huts have just been completed, each to hold 2 patients, in a compound apart for this hospital, set apart entirely for sick nursing staff suffering from infectious diseases. At the time of my visit there were only 3 patients – 1 with measles and 2 paratyphoid. Saw the Matron of 11 Stationary Hospital with reference to Miss Weatherstone who had recently been transferred from the front. Said I should be requiring a report on her work and general behaviour in 6 weeks’ time.
At 6 General Hospital, Miss Harvey, QAIMNSR, to see me with reference to getting a transfer to Home Establishment. She is dreading a winter in France under active service conditions, and there is no doubt, is hoping that she may go to the East. I advised her to apply officially and the matter would be forwarded and recommended. This sister’s work has never been very satisfactory since she came to France. Saw Miss Eardley, QAIMNS, and told her that I was thinking of sending her to Cap Martin as one of the staff of the Convalescent Hospital for Officers. Pointed out what would be required of her and that I should expect her to support and help the Matron, Miss Lyde, in every way.
Left at 8am for Havre. Arrived at Headquarters at 10am. Rang up HQ, IGC and learnt that many nurses were being asked for, for the front – told the DDMS that instead of staying at Havre for the night I would return to HQ as soon as possible. Unfortunately missed the ADMS at Havre as he was extremely busy and had hoped to see me in the evening.
Went to 2 General Hospital at the Gare Maritime. Two hospital Ships – the “Maheno”, New Zealand Hospital Ship, and the “Asturias”, were in. Went on board the “Maheno” and saw the Matron, Miss Bignall, who showed me over the ship. Was unable to see the OC who was lying down as the whole staff had been up all night loading up. The day was beautifully fine and all the decks were crowded with patients on stretchers – the more seriously wounded only being in the cabins. They had still 300 cots empty and were waiting for another ambulance train before sailing. This ship is well equipped and first-rate in every way – the sisters are well accommodated, and the wards airy, a large operating theatre and sterilising room. This ship is the gift of the New Zealand Government. They are commissioned for 8 months and return to New Zealand with invalids at the expiration of that time, when they are re-commissioned and a completely new staff appointed, the present staff being left in New Zealand.
Went on board the “Asturias” which was waiting and not loading until the “Maheno” had sailed. Saw the OC, Capt. Gibbs, who said that the nursing arrangements were satisfactory, but that the Matron, Miss Keene, was not so clever a manager as the former Matron, Miss Gibb. He did not express any disappointment at the thought of her being moved at the end of 6 months’ service.
To 2 General Hospital where I saw the OC and the A/Principal Matron, Miss Blakeley, and where I had lunch. The Quai D’Escale, as well as all other sections of this hospital are running smoothly and have evacuated and are in readiness for any number of patients who may need to be accommodated. Had lunch at the quarters – most excellent cooking by VADs and VADs waiting. The nursing staff here are thoroughly well looked after. All looked very well and extremely happy.
Went with the A/Principal Matron to 7 Canadian Stationary Hospital, now established in the building recently occupied by 6 Stationary (this hospital now being at the front). Here also all patients who could be, had been evacuated. The German ward had a good many patients, mainly local sick drawn from prisoners working at the docks and on the roads. Unfortunately missed the OC, but went to the quarters where I saw the Matron and some of the staff. The Matron gave me the names of 8 excellent sisters whom she could spare for duty at the front if required.
We then went on to Etretat to No.1 General Hospital. The OC was on leave. I saw Miss G. M. Smith who had just returned to duty, but who looked extremely seedy. I saw the MO who had been looking after her and arranged with him for her to be sent to the Villa Tino for a fortnight’s rest, as she was most anxious not to return to England. Asked that she might travel by Ambulance Train if possible and that a VAD should accompany her as it might not be possible for her to travel further than Rouen by Ambulance Train and she did not look well enough to travel alone. Found everything going smoothly and satisfactorily. Saw the house which is about to be taken over as a Sick Sisters’ Hospital for Havre area. The need for suitable accommodation here is very much felt in consequence of the large number of nurses in this area and the Lady Drivers from the Ambulance Convoy.
After having tea, left for IGC, where I arrived at 8o’clock. During my absence, I found that special leave had been granted to Miss Thomas, TFNS. WO letter accepting the withdrawal of Miss Gray’s resignation had been forwarded to her, so that she might send her renewal of contract. Letter from the OC, “Brighton” received, recommending that Mrs. Moffatt and Miss Spence should be taken off the ship as they were bad sailors. This was dealt with and 2 nurses from 35 General ordered to join, and these ladies to replace them. The Matron, 12 Stationary, telephoned for extra help as they were waiting to take in 1000 cases from the 4th Army. Telephoned to Miss Smyth to meet Special Probationers arriving from Boulogne for duty at 2 Stationary Hospital – one, Mrs. Bamford, being a personal friend of Queen Alexandra. She brought me a letter from the Queen. Telephone message asking for extension of leave for Miss Patrickson who was on sick leave in England. Granted. Miss Shipp and Miss Wilson arrived at Boulogne and orders were sent for them to join certain units. Telephone message from Rouen asking about Miss Bryant, who was needed on “St. George” which had arrived. DMS, 4th Army, telephoned for 24 more nurses. These were drawn from Treport. Supplied only 16 – 8 Reserves and 8 Canadians. WO Letter received with orders for Miss Fitzgibbon, TFNS, to return to England and report to Matron-in-Chief, TFNS. WO Letter received approving transfer of Miss Newby to Home station. WO Letter received requesting Miss Donovan and Miss Birkett Clark to return to England on resignation from service. WO Letter accepting resignation of Miss E. Duncan, 24 General. WO Letter, stating not necessary for Miss Hyde, AANS, to be sent to England, if she submits her reasons for wishing to transfer, her case will be dealt with by the Matron-in-Chief. Correspondence from Command Paymaster re Field Allowance for VADs – to be shown from 1st June to 31st September – care should be taken to show all periods of leave during this period. Telegram sent to 4th Army informing them that 4 Sisters had been sent to join each of the 4 Clearing Stations recently opened at Drovetown* and Edgehill, the staff now being 14 in each. Informed DGMS of the arrival of 9 Australian Sisters on the 12th inst. Sent telegram to Matron-in-Chief, WO, stating total number of nurses of all ranks in France on July 1st – was forwarded to WO on September 5th. This was sent in consequence of a letter in which she stated that no reply to this request had yet been received.
* This location is usually known as 'Grovetown' but 'Drovetown' is used throughout this month, and elsewhere in the diary
Telephoned to DMS, 1st Army, saying I understood that the work was excessively light in his area and would it be possible for him to release still more nurses. In consequence, was able to obtain 3 more, which made 12 in all drawn from this area. The DMS, 2nd Army, also agreed at my request that all units should be reduced to 5, and, in case of stress of work, he would communicate with me at once and I would replace them immediately. Of the 12 barges running on the La Bassée Canal, in consequence of heavy work and shortage of officers, Nursing Sisters and men, 7 were to be put out of commission temporarily and the staff made use of. Application received for 2 nurses from 2 AGH for 14 days’ leave at the Convalescent Home. WO Letter received accepting the resignation of Miss Allis, 35 CCS – reason – marriage. Asked SMO, Abbeville, for particulars of Australian nurses recently arrived at 1 South African General. Telephoned to Principal Matron, Rouen, to instruct Miss Gascoigne, about to be discharged from Sick Sisters’ hospital, to report at 13 General on her return to duty. Miss Walford’s resignation forwarded – reason – marriage.
Received letter from Matron-in-Chief, WO expressing her surprise at demand for so many nurses and saying that I had never given her the scale on which the proportion of nurses required were calculated. Sent telegram that it was calculated on pro rata scale as laid down. Also let GHQ know about the telegram with reference to the number of nurses in the country on July 1st, which had been asked for officially by the WO, on Sept. 4th, and which had been transmitted to GHQ at once. Could they telegraph it when it had been sent forward as Matron-in-Chief informed me that they had not yet received the information. GHQ gave me date, also DG’s number, and I at once replied by telegram to the War Office on the subject.
Correspondence with reference to increase of staff at Duchess of Westminster’s hospital – a Sister for the Massage and electrical department recommended. Resignation of Miss Crockett, VAD, accepted. 14 days’ special leave granted to Miss Lyde, QAIMNS. Renewal of contract for forwarded to Rouen for signature by Miss Collins, CHR. Requested A/Principal Matron, Rouen, to ask that the A/Matron, Sick Sisters’ Hospital, should forward the daily list of sick sisters direct to this office to save delay. 14 days’ special leave granted to 4 Canadian Sisters and 2 Australian Sisters to visit their respective Convalescent Homes, in England. WO letter accepting resignation of Miss Spooner, VAD. WO Letter informing us of return of Miss Peterkin and Miss T. S. Jones from sick leave. DDMS, Etaples, asked for authority for Miss Kaberry, QAIMNS, to draw Assistant Matron’s pay at 26 General Hospital. Application for special leave for Miss Congrave, VAD – fiancé seriously ill. Also for miss Brewster, VAD – parent seriously ill. Sisters from 7 Barges on La Bassée Canal reported for duty at 10 Stationary Hospital and have since been distributed to various units where their services were required. 14 days’ Special leave granted to Miss Carthew, in consequence of being run down. Miss Branson, 21 CCS, evacuated to base suffering from Enteritis – vacancy filled. Telephone Message from Etaples – all hospitals very busy and in need of more staff. Telephoned to DMS, 1st Army, to see what nurses could still be spared from his area in consequence of continual demand. Interviewed Miss Whittall, QAIMNS, before she left for charge duty at 9 CCS, Contay, with her staff of 7. Gave her Rules and Regulations and impressed various points upon her, which would need special attention – the disciplinary side of the question, the care of the seriously wounded and importance of communicating with relatives – need of specially good sisters in operating theatre, special care of the dead, etc.
Application to resign – Miss Geeves, Miss Barklie and Miss Elsdon, QAIMNSR – reason in case – marriage. 14 days’ special leave granted to 4 Australian Sisters to proceed to Convalescent Home, St. Albans. Telephoned to GHQ to ascertain whether the affair of Miss Lowrie, 1 AGH, should be hastened, as she was suspended from duty when the previous correspondence was forwarded. Said that she must wait – a reply would be given in due course. Telegraphic message from DDMS Rouen, that Miss Walsh, 1 AGH, under orders to join 1 Australian CCS, was sick in quarters, suggesting that Miss Murray should go instead. This was arranged. DMS, 2nd Army, telephoned with reference to 10 CCS saying that they were very busy taking in dysentery cases – officers – as well as other work, and they could ill spare 5th nurse under orders to go elsewhere. Arranged for her vacancy to be filled by another sister from a CCS where they could spare one. OC, 44 CCS, telephoned that Miss Byrne, QAIMNSR, was not suitable for duty in a CCS – work very heavy and not quick enough or dependable. Sent orders for her to return to the unit she had just left, and replaced her.
Left for 4th Army at 11a.m. Arrived at Headquarters in time for lunch. After lunch, in heavy rain, visited two new CCS – 34 and 2/2 London, just opened at Drovetown, close to Albert. Found them in great state of discomfort, busy getting things in order, ready for heavy work expected in 24 hours; lot of mud; equipment and supplies just arriving. These two stations are close to the railway siding so that the question of evacuation will not be difficult, provided ambulance trains are not delayed by transport.
From there to Edgehill to see 45 CCS and 1/1 South Midland CCS. These two stations also busy getting ready. They are also along the railway siding and were a little more advanced than those at Drovetown as they had arrived sooner. All medical officers expressed themselves satisfied with arrangements which had been made as regards nursing, and one and all were paying special attention to the sisters’ accommodation, so that they should be as comfortable as the situation permits. Impressed upon all staffs the necessity of having suitable clothing and foot-gear. In all these stations, a certain amount of badly wounded had arrived, and the advance was expected in 24 hours. During the whole of the day a heavy bombardment had been going on, and the French were attacking.
From there to Heilly, where I stayed at 36 CCS. Had dinner, and after dinner, went round the camp. The arrangements here are first-rate, and they have ample accommodation in the operating theatres and in the huge dressing marquees for dressing large numbers of walking cases quite easily. Improvised cupboards and shelves and dressing table placed in position, all in readiness for dressing large numbers of wounded at any moment. A certain number of seriously wounded Germans in marquees set apart for them, looked after by orderlies, the night sister visiting. The Officers’ accommodation here is very good indeed, and also the marquees which are specially set apart for abdominal and gas cases. The Sisters’ Mess is well arranged and most comfortable and the whole staff seemed very well and not at all tired at the moment.
Went round 38 CCS which is just next to 36. Everything going smoothly, - rain still descending. In the operating theatre were some men about to be operated on who had been out for 4 days, and their condition was wonderful; they were most uncomplaining. The nursing arrangements here were giving entire satisfaction, both to the OC and the surgeons, and the accommodation for the nursing staff is very good:- Alwyn huts with a large marquee for the Mess.
I then went to 39 CCS at Allonville – new OC and Sister in charge since my last visit. Still large number of infectious cases and self-inflicted wounds – the infectious diseases being mainly dysentery and paratyphoid. The camp is improved enormously and there is every prospect of its soon being in excellent order. Several officers very seriously ill – one member of the RAMC seriously ill with paratyphoid.
From there I went to 1 New Zealand Stationary Hospital where I had lunch with the nursing staff. They are very happily settled and very pleased with the building and all the arrangements made for them and the very excellent work they were having. Saw the OC who said that everything was going satisfactorily. Went over their home – a house taken for them before their arrival, not far from their work, and which they like very much. They Mess in a room in the hospital set apart for them.
Got back at 4pm. During my absence found that Miss Tinckler had returned from leave and had been ordered to the Nurses’ Home. DMS, Reserve Army, telephoned to ask for 2 nurses for Resmenil Farm, Isolation Hospital for the district – 2 of the barge sisters being ordered to join. Correspondence from DDMS, Etaples, asking what conditions there were as regards the granting of gratuity to members of the Chicago Unit, and also for the copy of contract. He was informed that there was no arrangement whatever as regards granting of gratuity to these ladies.
Application from Miss Fox, QAIMNSR, for transfer to QAIMNS received. Received departure report of Miss Newby, CHR, transfer to Home Establishment. Asked ADMS, Calais, for confidential report on Miss Kicke from Matron, 30 General Hospital. Special leave granted to Miss Chapman, 6 Stationary Hospital. Referred to DGMS correspondence with reference to arrival of sisters for 6 Canadian General. As the unit is not yet established, suggested that I might be permitted to distribute these ladies to various hospitals to learn their administration, and that I should make use of the supernumeraries in our hospitals. Telephoned to DMS, 3rd Army, to send 2 nurses from 6 Stationary Hospital to 6 CCS. 14 days’ special leave granted to Miss Cooper, Miss Fraser and Miss Wright: refused to Miss Macgregor who had been on leave recently. OC, 44 CCS, telephoned to say Miss Damon had developed pleurisy – to be sent down to Base. Sent nurse from Nurses’ Home in relief. Forwarded application from Miss Rogers, 6 General Hospital to transfer to east in consequence of suffering from cold in winter. Departure report of Miss Donovan, 7 Canadian Stationary, to England – forwarded. Telephoned to 3 Canadian CCS to ask the Sister i/c to send 2 nurses to help at 10 CCS as the theatre sister had been taken away and they were busy. Forwarded correspondence to Miss E. B. Hill, 13 General, showing rate of pay to which she was entitled. (late member of ANSR) Sent rules and regulations to Miss Reid, QAIMNSR, Sister i/c, 41 CCS.
Telephone message from DMS, 2nd Army, notifying that Miss Carr-Harris, CAMC, sent to 10 Stationary Hospital for duty until 2 Canadian CCS ready. Application for 14 days’ special leave Miss Jolley, A/Matron, Marseilles Stationary Hospital, to proceed to Liverpool to address a meeting of the War Service Bureau. Approved. Sent orders for Miss Flower, 10 Stationary Hospital, to go to Marseilles for temporary duty in Miss Jolley’s absence. Correspondence asking for reply with reference to memorandum asking for servants’ allowance at 13 Stationary Hospital. Replied that the A/Matron had been communicated with and said that these expenses should be met out of Mess funds as was done in other units. Forwarded correspondence to DDMS, Boulogne, regretting that Princess Louise Convalescent Home, Hardelot, could not be considered part of 25 General Hospital, but that the matter of passes for the British Red Cross personnel is being considered, and it is hoped that greater facilities will be given in the near future. Wrote to Miss Crowdy, Principal Commandant of VADs, saying should be most pleased to have Miss Cholmeley and Miss Stuckey as VAD cooks, if she would give all particulars so that I might apply officially for permission to take them on. Correspondence forwarded to DGMS with reference to statement made by Miss Bayliffe and Miss Dowthwaite with regard to travelling claims from Sheffield to London, and asking that a further investigation might be made and the Matron of Wharncliffe Hospital, Sheffield, should be consulted. To DGMS, correspondence with reference to appointment of Principal Matron for Boulogne, Rouen and Etaples to be relieved from their duties as Matrons and to do administrative work only. Suggested Miss Rannie, Miss Hordley and Miss Denne as most suitable but that the two latter appointments should not in any way affect the future of those who might be senior to them. WO Letter in reply to demand for 400 more nurses, stating that every effort would be made to supply the demand but nurses are scarce and needs of other fronts have to be considered.
Left at 11a.m. – went to 2 Stationary Hospital where I saw the Matron with reference to the work and responsibilities which were allotted to the VADs. Learnt that she had been in the habit of having hypodermics left in the wards ready for VADs to give. Pointed out that this could not be done. Emphasized the fact of the importance of the staff being well fed and, in times of great pressure, when unable to be regular at meals, the Home Sister should be responsible for having hot meals ready at any time and something specially nice. Went round hospital – not as heavy as usual as they had just evacuated. Many improvements. Still many patients – officers and men – dangerously ill, and many relatives to see them. The YMCA hostel for convenience of relatives just recently opened is much appreciated by poorer relatives. Saw Mrs. Bamford, Queen Alexandra’s protégée. Seemed an exceedingly nice young woman, very keen and delighted to be in France; transferred from Military Hospital in Colchester where she told me the staff was very large and the work not excessive. Had lunch at the Mess – well cooked and well served.
After lunch, left for the Reserve Army. To Puchevillers, where I visited 3 and 44 CCS. Neither very busy. Every possible patient had been evacuated for the heavy work expected in a few hours. Both OCs expressed their entire satisfaction with the Sisters in charge and staff. 2 sisters had recently been obliged to be sent down on account of ill health. These have been replaced.
No.19 Train was waiting in the siding. Went and saw the Sisters and the OC, and spoke to him about the recent unfortunate behaviour of some of the staff of trains, which had been reported officially, and emphasized the fact that he was not to fail to let me know when any sort of irregularity was occurring. Met Surgeon-General Bowlby, who spoke of the excellent work which is being done in all CCS and the need daily of the nursing staff being increased the most enormous numbers of casualties which are now arriving from recent attacks. I pointed out to him the shortage of nurses and how the matter had been represented officially, and expressed the hope that in the future our numbers might be increased. The difficulty of supplying all needs was very great at the War Office, which had to supply nurses to every front as well as the Home Service.
I then went to Contay. 49 CCS is in good working order – a certain number of very seriously wounded. They also had evacuated as many as possible to make room for the wounded expected. Here the railway runs up beside the camp which helps matters. The camp is well supplied with water, which is laid on, and lighted by electric light. 9 CCS was being opened up immediately next, but up to the present had received no patients. The staff of 7 had already arrived. The nursing staff of both these units are very comfortably accommodated.
On to Warloy – to 1/2 South Midland Field Ambulance. This unit, as usual, was simply crowded with dying men – all badly wounded and many not likely to live. Every care and attention was being given them and the building a nice solid French Hospital with many conveniences. The deaths daily average about 11, and the accommodation is for 50.
I then went to Gezaincourt, arriving at 8.30, and was put up at the Officers’ Hospital, being part of 11 CCS, but situated at some distance from the camp. It is an enormous Chateau, situated in beautiful grounds, able to accommodate 200 officers if need be. Besides the building there is a beautiful chapel, which the owner had allowed them to use as a mortuary. This was beautifully arranged with three sets of trestles, purple palls, Union Jacks and prie-dieus. Had dinner in the Officers’ sitting-room with the Sister-in-charge of 11 and 29 CCS and the Sister-in-charge of the Officers’ Hospital, Miss Rice, the Sister in charge being responsible for the management of the nursing arrangements for all three units.
2 Zeppelins brought down in England. Went round the Chateau – everything comfortable – not many officers. Inspected the Hospice where 14 of the staff are most comfortably accommodated, the Sisters being very kind to them and supplying them with quantities of hot water and conveniences for baths. From there went to the camp, to 11 CCS, where I saw the OC who expressed himself surprised at my arrival – said he had not been informed officially. Explained to him that the DMS of the Army had telephoned himself, stating that I was arriving in the evening and was going to inspect his camps. Went round the unit, which is beautifully arranged with every possible convenience, the whole arrangements being under canvas. From there to 29 CCS, which is situated immediately next, and which is in the same excellent condition as it always is, no matter how full. This unit is nearly all hutted with first-rate operating theatre, anaesthetising room and X-Ray plant.
From there to Beauval to 5 CCS Everything satisfactory and very quiet. The gardens round the marques are still one mass of flowering shrubs.
Doullens: Then to the Citadel to 34 CCS – everything satisfactory – about 400 patients, many seriously wounded, and a certain number of gassed cases being well nursed and well looked after. This unit is more like a General Hospital than a CCS. Then to Resmenil Farm Isolation camp. This has vastly improved since my last visit, the new OC having worked wonders and the Sister in charge being a good worker. As well as infectious cases, there were a certain number of self-inflicted wounds. Very good operating theatre. One of the members of the staff who was an excellent cook was making all sorts of dainties for the infectious cases who were on light diet.
On to Authie to the Field Ambulance. Everything first-rate and many improvements since my last visit. Not very many wounded here, all who could having been evacuated, but this, like Warloy, is always full of most critical cases.
Then to Sautie to 20 CCS under canvas beside the railway line with a wonderful shed capable of accommodating any number of slightly wounded for dressing. Next to it had been erected an enormous marquee where, after being dressed, the patients are fed before getting into the train. The whole arrangements are under canvas and most excellent. The staff are well accommodated in Alwyn huts and the OC expressed himself thoroughly satisfied.
Then to 43 CCS on the other side of the road in a chateau. The improvements here are remarkable. It is now a well-managed, workable unit, the nursing staff being accommodated on the top floor of the chateau, and in the grounds are many huts and marquees for the patients. On the top floor of the chateau is a large airy theatre, sterilising room and electric plant. The OC here is also entirely satisfied with the nursing arrangements.
On to Harbarcq to 106th Field Ambulance – everything most satisfactory and great improvements. To Headquarters, 3rd Army, where I saw the DMS, who told me that 41 CCS which I also visited today is shortly closing down whilst moving forward, and he proposed sending the Nursing staff to the Nurses’ Home, Abbeville, until the unit was ready. In this way the staff are able to get a little rest and do what shopping they require before opening up in a new area. All these units recently visited are in readiness for the attack which is expected at any moment, and I told the DMS that nurses would be available at short notice if required.
Returned to Abbeville, where I arrived at 9pm. During my absence found that Miss Dalton, QAIMNSR 38 CCS, had sent in application to resign: reason – marriage. Special leave granted to Miss Weir, QAIMNSR, 8 Stationary Hospital for 14 days to settle civil post. Application to resign forwarded from Miss Attenborough, VAD Application from Rouen for copy of authority of appointment of Miss Dey, QAIMNS to rank of A/Sister. Correspondence received from St. Omer with reference to winter accommodation for Sisters at 7 General Hospital. Suggested that surplus sisters should be accommodated at the convent, but this was tried some months before and was not satisfactory, so the provision of large marquees with stoves was advised. DDMS, Boulogne, telephoned to say Miss Patrickson, QAIMNSR, returned from sick leave; instructed her to return to her old unit at 20 General Hospital. Matron, 16 General Hospital telephoned to ask if Miss Robinson, VAD, whose mother was sick at 3 General Hospital and whose contract has expired, could stay on, on account of her mother’s health. Replied that she could renew her contract for another 6 months or else she would be obliged to leave.
OC, 29 CCS rang up to say that Miss Rice, who I had only seen on Sunday, was sick and her condition was serious owing to inflammation in her thumb having spread, and she would have to go to the Base, so a Sister in charge was needed. Sent for Miss Foley, QAIMNS, 3 General Hospital, interviewed her and told her of the important and difficult charge she was taking, and arranged for her to be sent up by ambulance. Rang up the DMS of the Army and the OC, and told them what I had arranged, also gave Miss Foley a letter for both of them. Sent a notice to all areas, that VADs on termination of contract, were to report their arrival in writing to the Commandant in Chief, Devonshire House, as well as to the War Office. Application to resign received from Miss MacRae, QAIMNS and Miss Clayton, QAIMNSR reason – marriage. Also from Miss Gifford, VAD. WO letter approving appointment of 29 VADs received and sent to areas concerned. 7 days’ special leave granted to Miss Ruscoe, Miss Jacob and Miss Little, all VADs. Asked the DGMS for information under what conditions Special Probationers were entitled to wear the Long Service Bar, as 3 Special Probationers had arrived from England wearing a white bar, and we had not received any instructions on the subject. Asked the Matrons in charge of all hospital ships to forward me a list of all officers carried each voyage. DMS, Reserve Army, asked for 2 more nurses for 9 and 49 CCS.
Thiepval, Combles, and Guedecourt captured. 10,000 prisoners taken by the English in the last fortnight. Sent the Paymaster, AIF, nominal roll of members of 1 and 2 Australian General Hospital serving in British Units. 14 days’ leave granted to Miss Brindle – illness of relative. Asked for report on Miss McLaren, sent from 4 General Hospital to 2 Stationary, on completion of 6 weeks’ service. Sent all areas ruling with reference to termination of contract of VAD members and Special Probationers. WO Letter with reference to previous service of Miss I. M. C. Smith, stating pay entitled to draw. WO Letter accepting Miss Cuthbertson’s resignation from TFNS. This is the lady who was married in Boulogne and crossed to England immediately afterwards. WO Letter saying engagement of Miss Ashworth, Special Probationer, terminated on 17th and she was entitled to be released on that day. Special leave, 14 days, granted to Miss Knowles, QAIMNS, A/Matron, 8 Stationary Hospital, pending of acceptance of resignation – reason – marriage. Saw Miss Kaberry, QAIMNS, before joining to take over from Miss Knowles as A/Matron, and told her what I required of her, and pointed out the importance of many matters – that hers was a peculiar unit, because they took Germans, and also a mental block which was managed by 3 nurses specially trained in mental work.
DDMS, Havre telephoned to say Miss Rentzsch, Assistant Matron on “Asturias”, was suffering from influenza and admitted to 2 General Hospital. The Matron could manage without a substitute. Correspondence received from Etaples with reference to Miss Monohan and Miss Leary, Chicago Unit – permission granted them to proceed to Juilly. Asking how this authority was given, as Juilly was in the French war zone. Correspondence forwarded to APM, GHQ, to show that authority had been received for this move. Sister i/c, 2/2 London CCS, at Drovetown, telephoned to say that her theatre sister who had only been up a few days was knocked up – the work was very heavy and she was not able to carry on. Asked for another theatre sister as soon as possible. Arranged this, and ordered Miss Rushforth to return to 3 General Hospital from which she had been withdrawn for temporary duty during the rush. Telephoned to DMS, 4th Army, to send Miss West from 39 CCS to fill post and undertook to send another nurse to the infectious unit without delay. Sent circular to all areas with reference to winter uniform for whole of nursing staff. Also one asking for particulars of leave – when all members had had leave last – whether ordinary, special or to a convalescent home. This I considered necessary as so many nurses have not been able to have leave for so long, and I hope to be able to arrange some method whereby those who have been longest in France may get leave first. Received 4 Military Medals for Sisters from 33 CCS.
DGMS came to see me about the staff for Officers’ Convalescent Home at Cap Martin, also to mention several names whom he thought ought to be specially remembered for mention in the next honours list. Asked why I had not forwarded the Supplementary List for RRCs asked for by the King. Explained that it had been sent and he said he would look into the matter. Colonel Myers, Mental Specialist, came to ask me if I could supply staff for a mental block, which was being opened next to a large hospital for non-sisters’ cases at Havre. There is no General Hospital of any kind near it, and I pointed out that the arrangement was impossible, and as there were a large number of trained mental orderlies, I thought this could be managed, and I had discussed the matter with the DMS, who was entirely of my opinion.
Received letter from Mrs. Haswell, Matron, French Flag Nursing Corps, forwarded by DDMS, Havre, asking permission for Miss Lind, who was tubercular, to travel from Grasse by ambulance train and hospital ship and to be accompanied by Miss Hitchcock. (Miss Lind was a New Zealand nurse, and Miss Hitchcock a friend). This correspondence was forwarded to DGMS for approval and sanction. Asked DGMS to forward recommendation for 3 VADs – Miss Gibbs, Miss Wright and Miss Lambert, now in England, for permission to wear the Long Service Bar. Correspondence received with reference to maids employed at Sick Sisters’ Hospital, Rouen. Asked whether they were employed as servants or ward-maids. Replied ward-maids. WO Letter received saying that Miss A. Harrison, TFNS application to be transferred to Hospital Ship in Mediterranean not approved, as she had already done her tour of service on a hospital ship. Resignation received from Miss E. M. Cooper, QAIMNSR, Sister i/c Highland CCS, late Matron, Military Families’ Hospital – I understand that she had had some difficulty with the CO and in consequence was sending in resignation. Sent orders for her to proceed to Nurses’ Home, as I am anxious to interview her and see what the trouble is. Saw her recently and promised to give her charge on ship if possible as she is an excellent sailor. Withholding her resignation until I have seen her. Asked for confidential report on Staff Nurses recommended for promotion. Telephoned to DMS, 3rd Army, and asked him to arrange for Miss Gregg to go to 2/2 London CCS as still another sister was wanted there. Arranged to send her by ambulance. Arranged for substitute to be sent to 39 CCS. Sent orders for Miss McCormack, QAIMNSR, to take over the Highland CCS as Sister i/c from Miss Cooper. DMS, Reserve Army, telephoned for another sister for 9 CCS – very heavy work, also said that the Sister i/c had a cold, and later learnt that she had a septic throat and was being sent down to the Base. Arranged in consequence to send 2 sisters from another CCS and for the most senior sister to take over the charge.
A/Matron G. M. Smith, QAIMNS, arrived from Havre at Nurses’ Home on her way to the Villa Tino for a rest after having been on the sick list for 6 weeks at Havre. WO Letter received reporting the arrival of 10 trained nurses on October 2nd. Telephoned to DMS, 4th Army, to ascertain whether 12 barges on the Somme which had not come down for some time were out of commission. Discovered that 1/2 were at Amiens and the remainder at Corbie and as these barges are intended only for transfer of wounded to Abbeville and that the CCS were filled mainly with sick, their services were not required. Reported the matter to DMS, L of C and asked if some arrangement could be made so that the services of the 24 nurses on these barges could be utilised in areas where they were needed. The Sister i/c 41 CCS rang up to say the unit was closing and that as soon as the patients were evacuated, she and her staff would return to the Nurses’ Home, Abbeville, until the unit, which was moving forward, was ready. Instructed 2 nurses from 4th Army to proceed to 9 CCS where their services were urgently required. 7 days’ special leave granted to Miss Jones, VAD, in consequence of illness of relative, also to Miss Chatfield, QAIMNSR, in consequence of mother’s illness, pending transfer to Home Establishment. 14 days’ leave to Convalescent Home, St. Albans, granted to Miss Blackett, 2 AGH. Correspondence received with reference to claims for uniform allowance for members of the 2nd Chicago Unit, who arrived on 2nd September. This was forwarded to the OC for explanation. 14 days leave granted to Miss Harris, TFNS, A/Matron of Hospital Ship “Brighton”, before reporting to 14 General Hospital for duty. Leave granted to 4 Canadian Sisters to Convalescent Home, Margate.
Correspondence received from DDMS, Rouen, asking for sanction for 1 ½ pints of oil per diem for each sister for the winter season. This has been forwarded to DDS, asking for 1 pint to be granted to each sister for use in stoves with which they are provided on mobilisation, and pointing out the importance of this being settled at an early date, in consequence of these ladies not being granted any fuel and light allowance. Letter from Sister i/c, 45 CCS, saying that 3 shells from long range guns had burst over the Sisters’ quarters, but no harm done.
Interviewed Miss Edwards, TFNS, before she proceeded to 9 CCS in charge, in relief of Miss Whittall, QAIMNS, whom we now learn has diphtheria. Letter from Miss Richards, saying that the Matron-in-Chief, WO, had influenza, but was better. Telegram received from Matron-in-Chief, WO saying that 239 VADs ready for France. Should I like them to proceed in detachments of 25 each week. Telephoned DGMS, referring to previous correspondence in which I had emphasized the fact that more trained nurses were required, as VADs were out of all proportion. He asked me to send the whole correspondence with a copy of telegram to GHQ, which is being done. Correspondence forwarded to DGMS asking if local moves in Canadian Units could be made from this office instead of the WO, and that we could inform the DMS, Canadian Contingents at home as they were effected. Forwarded to DMS, Reserve Army, copy of War Office, asking if all claims against Miss Leith, CHR, had been adjusted, and her departure to be reported, also confidential report to be furnished. Forwarded to DGMS correspondence with reference to Miss Wright, TFNS still absent on leave without permission, her leave having expired on 23rd inst. Correspondence forwarded to DGMS, explaining the difference between VADs and Special Probationers, in connection with my application asking under what conditions Special Probationers could wear the Long Service Bar. WO Letter asking for report as to Miss K. M. Tozer, 16 General Hospital, and her suitability for further employment in military hospitals. WO Letter asking that Miss Trottier, CAMC, be transferred to Moore Barracks, Shorncliffe, to appear before a medical board. WO Letter asking for Miss Lowrie, AANS, to be transferred to England and to report to Headquarters, AIF. WO Letter received, accepting resignation of Miss Walford, VAD.
Correspondence received from DGMS with reference to application forwarded for permission for Miss Lind to travel from Grasse by ambulance train and hospital ship. Approving of it but laying down certain conditions which must be complied with and application to be forwarded to HQ, IGC, for approval, before forwarding correspondence. Letter from Lady Michelham – anxious that her niece who has worked at a VAD hospital for more than a year, might come to France and work at the Convalescent Home, Cap Martin. Wrote that her niece must apply to Mrs. Furse and I would write also – I hoped she understood that she must sign a contract and conform to the rules and regulations of the service.
Forwarded to DDMS, Havre, correspondence in connection with Miss Lind’s application for permission to be transferred by hospital ship to England – being given under certain conditions, which must be complied with. Returned correspondence to DMS, 4th Army, with reference to Servants’ Allowance for New Zealand Stationary Hospital – regretted authority for employment of servant cannot be granted. 14 days’ special leave granted to Miss A’Herne, 14 Stationary Hospital and 7 days to Miss Botting, pending acceptance of transfer. Forwarded to DGMS postings of VAD cooks who arrived on 14th – the two Misses King posted together to 14 General, as they could not undertake the cooking alone, 4 men to be released. 14 days’ special leave granted to Miss Starbuck, also to Miss Thorn, 1/2 S/Midland CCS to see her fiancé who had returned wounded from Egypt. Application to transfer to Home Establishment forwarded from Miss Harvey, QAIMNS, anxious not to spend another winter in France. Sent to Command Paymaster list of nursing Staff transferred sick to England during the month. Forwarded to Mrs. Furse list of VADs transferred to England during the month. DGMS telephoned with reference to Miss White, Miss Barton, Miss Watkins and Miss Daly, all to be recommended for the RRC. Letter received from Commissioner, BRCS which had been forwarded to IGC with reference to the BRCS opening a convalescent home for sick sisters at Etretat. Whole correspondence forwarded to DGMS.
Left at 11 a.m. for Reserve Army and went first to Contay. I found they had been extremely busy at 49 CCS, and although there was a train in the siding and they had just evacuated, there were still a great many patients – many seriously wounded men and officers continuing to come in during my visit. Many of them had been lying out some days in the trenches and were in a bad condition. The hospital is in good order now and a tremendous amount of good work has been done, the sisters on many occasions having stayed up all night. Both the OC and Sister i/c said how suitable the staff were, and how well they had worked. The 2 Canadian Sisters i/c from Havre for temporary duty were excellent in every way. Had lunch at the Mess, - comfortable, well-cooked, nice hot meal. All the staff seemed in excellent health.
I then went to 9 CCS which was in full working order and had had a very busy week, taking in alternately with 49. Unfortunately the Sister i/c, Miss Whittall, had developed Diphtheria a few days after her arrival and had been sent down to the Base. I had sent Miss Edwards, TF, to replace her. Everything seemed to be going smoothly. In this area, in both units, there are two great difficulties – the difficulty of getting their own and the Clearing Station washing done and the difficulty of buying extra supplies for the Mess, fresh vegetables, milk and eggs being impossible to obtain, all there is to be had being sold to the soldiers resting near, at very high prices.
From there I went to HQ, where I saw the DMS and ADMS who told me two new CCS would be opening at Acheux in a few days, and that the work would be extremely heavy and that they would require a very capable staff. Surgeon-General Bowlby was also there, and he expressed himself satisfied with the nursing arrangements at all the CCS at the front. From there I went to HQ, 4th Army, where I say the DMS who spoke of the recent heavy work and the satisfactory arrangements everywhere. Two of the CCS which have just opened at Drovetown are now in French area, as the French have taken up a different position. These two stations will be moving further forward. Corbie seemed likely to have no really heavy work in the future unless the numbers of wounded are so great, that they have to make use of these units, and there is a probability of one of these stations moving. I discussed with him the question of making use of some of the trained nurses belonging to the New Zealand Stationary Hospital at Amiens. He entirely approved of this, as the work at Amiens is considerably lighter and the staff very ample. With his approval I visited the New Zealand Stationary Hospital and interviewed the OC and Matron on the subject. Both were willing that the staff should have this experience, and the Matron undertook to give me the names of those specially suited, so that when I required these nurses, I could telegraph for them by name. I made it quite clear to her that these nurses would only be employed for temporary duty and there would be no fear of their not returning to their unit.
Returned to Abbeville at 7 o’clock. Telegram from Matron-in-Chief, WO, saying that 239 VADs were coming to the country. How should they be sent – would detachments of 25 twice a week be suitable? Replied would recommend that they should be sent at intervals of 4 days, in consequence of the difficulty of accommodation and dealing with the luggage at the port of embarkation. Letter from Sister i/c, No.1 Ambulance Train, saying that the train had been shelled but no one hurt. Letter from Matron-in-Chief, AIF, enclosing list of those suitable for Clearing Station duty. Also forwarded a list of Sisters promoted to Head Sister. Letter from Surgeon-General Donovan, DDMS, Southampton, giving me information about the hospital ships in dock, but would otherwise send them on leave, as they always looked forward to getting leave at that time. Replied that he should give them 14 days’ leave and then send them over, if the ship was still in dock they would be employed on this side.
Barge 370, 5 Ambulance Flotilla, on 7.9.16: Staff supplied - 2
1/1 South Midland CCS, on 13.9.16: Staff supplied - 14
2/2 London CCS, on 14.9.16: Staff supplied - 10
7 Barges on La Bassee Canal, on 19.9.16: Staff released, 7 Sisters 7 Staff Nurses
Trained - 0
4 VADs on 14.9.16
1 VADs on 15.9.16
4 Special Probationers on 15.9.16
Transfers to Home Establishment - 18 Trained
Sent Home Sick
Trained - 24
Untrained - 17
(N.B. This does not include Colonials, or members of the nursing staff on 3 weeks’ sick leave)
Returned from sick leave
Trained - 14
Untrained - 2
Total sick at present in UK
Trained - 81
Untrained - 41
Resignations sent forward
Trained - 14 (10 of these were on account of approaching marriage)
Special leaves granted - 50 (This includes Trained and Untrained)
VADs returned to England
On termination of contract - 10
Resignations - 6
Invalided - 2
Miss Knowles QAIMNS granted special leave pending resignation (approaching marriage on 30.9.19)