CROWN COPYRIGHT: THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES, WO95/3990
AUGUST 1st – 31st 1917
From the time of Miss McCarthy's return from sick leave on August 10th 1917, the form of the war diary changes, being divided into two distinct sections. The first part outlines the day to day running of the nursing services, while the second brings together all visits done away from Headquarters in Abbeville; these sections will be published as two separate pages each month.
Sick Sisters 95
4 Canadian CCS: ADMS St. Omer asked for additional staff for 4 Canadian CCS – staff not yet having reported from England. 5 trained nurses having been sent to St. Omer, as well as 12 VAD members, the ADMS was notified that temporary use may be made of these trained nurses for 4 Canadian CCS pending the arrival of the staff from England.
Establishment: List of authorised establishment of nurses to meet expansion of beds in all units asked for by the Director of Works, with regard to hutted accommodation required for the Sisters’ quarters.
Sick Sisters 91
AANS Nurses: Received copy of letter from HQ, AIF notifying that the 27 surplus nurses, after grouping the Australian Nurses in British Hospitals, should remain temporarily attached to the units in which they were at present situated.
Rest Club: 3 VADs authorised for HRH Princess Victoria’s Rest Club, Abbeville.
Late Miss M. E. Evans, VAD: Received wire from Dehorted saying that no official intimation had been received with reference to the death of Miss M. E. Evans, VAD. Replied that Miss Evans died on 22nd of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis and a letter had been sent giving all details.
Monthly return: Forwarded to DGMS, Monthly Return shewing wastage, reinforcements and requirements. Wastage = 40 Trained, 156 Untrained; arrivals = 32 Trained, 104 Untrained; shortage = 287 Trained.
AANS in British Hospitals: DMS, AIF called at the office and objected to the Australian Nurses being placed at 25 General and 5 Stationary Hospitals. Reasons for the selection of these hospitals have now been forwarded to him.
Queen Amelie of Portugal arrived in Boulogne on a few days’ visit to Lady Gifford.
Left Abbeville at 8.30 a.m. on a 4 days’ tour.
Arrived at Amiens 10.30 a.m., visited 42 Stationary Hospital and went over all three sections and the Sisters’ quarters. This Hospital is greatly improved since the last visit. The Sisters are more comfortably accommodated, and extra cupboards and sculleries in the Hospital have been put up. The Hospital was not busy at the time of visit – chiefly local sick. There were only 9 officers in the Officers’ Section, and about 150 men in the main building. Seven VAD members are now working in this Hospital, which is giving a corresponding number of trained nurses for temporary work in “Front” areas. Had lunch in the Sisters’ Mess – arrangements satisfactory.
Left Amiens for Bray at 3.30 p.m.
Visited 38 CCS. This Hospital is used for Infectious cases only for the 3rd Army – Sister Caulfeild, QAIMNS, in charge. There were only about 100 cases in at the time of my visit, chiefly Rose Measles; there were only 10 Enteric cases, 8 or 9 cases of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis (all Egyptians) and about 12 cases of suspected Dysentery. This is a hutted Hospital, all good Huts, Swiss and Adrian chiefly. The Sisters are comfortably accommodated in huts, there being a Staff of 7.
From Bray went via Bapaume to 29 CCS at Grevillers. Owing to taking the wrong road, which was very bad – all shell holes – did not arrive until 9 p.m. Had dinner in the Sisters’ Mess and stayed the night.
Sick Sisters 93
CAMC Reinforcements: Received copy of wire from “Adcanef” stating that 25 Sisters were available for No.4 Canadian CCS, who could proceed immediately if required. Replied 10 required for No.4 Canadian CCS, the remainder for duty in other Canadian units.
Rest Club: DGMS approved of extra Rest Club for Nurses at Wimereux being opened. Proposal to be submitted to GOC, L of C.
VAD reinforcements: 26 VAD members arrived at Boulogne for duty in France.
Visited No.48 CCS at Ytres. Saw the Sister-in-Charge, Miss Barrett, and the Commanding Officer, Lt. Colonel Morris. Visited all wards, Sisters’ quarters and Theatres; the hospital has not been busy for some few weeks – there were only 100 patients at the time of my visit, chiefly medical, 13 officers. The wards, huts and marquees, are very comfortable and all in good order.
Visited 21 CCS which is by the side of No.48 CCS. Went round the Hospital with A/Sister M. Griffiths; not busy at the time of visit – 118 patients in only, and 7 officers. There are 4 huts and the rest of the Hospital is under canvas, all comfortably arranged. Sisters’ quarters most comfortable.
From Ytres proceeded to Tincourt via Peronne where there are now four Casualty Clearing Stations situated – Nos.5, 13, 34 and 55, two of which are temporarily closed.
Visited No.13 CCS The patients had just been evacuated – hospital very light. The Sister-in-Charge, Miss Evers, said there had been very little work since July 5th – there are only 4 Nurses at this Station now.
Visited No.34 CCS: Sister-in-Charge Miss E. B. Hill, QAIMNSR. Patients had just been evacuated, only 20 in Hospital at the time of my visit. These two Hospitals are the ones selected to be closed.
Visited No.55 CCS: This unit took over the Camp which was pitched by No.36 CCS. It is a most comfortably arranged unit – good wards and excellent Theatre. The surgical work in the 3rd Army appeared to be concentrated at this Clearing Station. The hospital was busy at the time of visit – 4 “Teams”** working in the Theatre – about 270 patients in, chiefly battle casualties. Very good quarters for the Nursing Staff, Miss Potts, ANSR, Sister-in-Charge. Had lunch in the Sisters’ Mess.
Visited No.5 CCS Sister-in-Charge Miss Todd QAIMNS, CO Colonel Lowe. Hospital not very busy at time of visit. In this unit all the wards are connected by means of corridors; very good Theatre, wards all most comfortable. Sisters accommodated in huts.
Returned to Grevillers: by 4.30 p.m.
Visited No.3 CCS: Sister S. F. Davies, QAIMNS in charge. Had tea in the Sisters’ quarters which are all most comfortable – 4 Huts, including bathroom, were put up for the convenience of the Sisters by the GOC Australians. The Hospital was not busy at the time of the visit – cases all surgical. A new theatre, Hospital Nissen Hut with extension, had just been erected.
Went to 29 CCS: Went round the Hospital with the Sister-in-Charge, Miss F. M.Rice, TFNS; visited the wards – all in good order. This Hospital takes chiefly medical cases and was not busy at the time of my visit. The Sisters’ quarters are most comfortable. At this unit they also have huts, the gift of the GOC Australians.
**From this point there are frequent references in the diary to 'Teams', 'Team Duty' or 'Surgical Teams'. These were small, specially selected groups of staff who moved from unit to unit as needed, mainly working in Casualty Clearing Stations, and providing surgical expertise in operating theatres. One 'team' comprised one surgeon, one anaesthetist, one theatre sister and one experienced theatre orderly.
Miss Wilson, Principal Matron QAIMNS passed through Boulogne on her way to the War Office from Salonica.
Mediterranean L of C: Forwarded to DGMS departure reports of 4 Sisters to Taranto who proceeded, 1 on 27.7.17 and the remainder on 28.7.17.
Application to join QAIMNSR: Received letter from Miss S. M. Browning who has applied to join the QAIMNS Reserve saying she would be free to report for duty on August 15th.
Left Grevillers at 8.30 a.m. for Agnez les Duisans via Arras.
Arrived at No.8 CCS at 9.30 a.m. Went round the Hospital and Quarters with Sister-in-Charge, Miss A. P. Smartt, CHR; saw the CO. This Hospital was not at all busy at the time of visit, chiefly medical cases – some pneumonias.
To No.19 CCS: Sister-in-Charge Miss Bayley TFNS; saw the CO Lt. Colonel Hartigan. This Hospital had been very busy during the last fortnight but at the time of visit was very quiet, the patients having been evacuated by Ambulance Train.
To Frevent: Visited No.6 Stationary Hospital. Went round the Hospital with the CO, Colonel Harding and Miss Daly, Acting Matron QAIMNS. This Hospital takes all self-inflicted wounds; there is a Kaffir camp also attached for these cases. The number of patients at the time of visit was 350 and 7 officers. The beds have been increased to 1000; the camp was in excellent order, very good huts, and the gardens are beautifully laid out, chiefly the work of the Shell Shock cases who were previously located in this unit but have now been transferred. Had lunch in the Sisters’ quarters; left for St. Pol at 3 p.m.
Went round 12 Stationary Hospital with Miss Phillips, A/Matron QAIMNS; wards all in excellent order. The cases are chiefly medical; in the general wards there were 230 patients, and 9 officers. There were a large number of throat and ear cases, also PUOs. There is a large infectious division attached to this unit; at the time of visit there were 6 cases of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis, 4 Enteric cases and 4 cases of Dysentery in addition to a number of cases of Rose Measles; there were 106 patients in the infectious division altogether, including 5 officers. Total number of beds in this unit 920.
VAD members have been lately stationed at these two Hospitals – 15 at 6 Stationary Hospital and 17 at 12 Stationary Hospital – all doing most satisfactory work. This has relieved a number of trained nurses for the Clearing Stations. Had tea with the Sisters and left for St. Omer 6 p.m. arriving at 8 p.m. Dined in the Sisters’ quarters in 10 Stationary Hospital and stayed the night.
Sick Sisters 99
Mediterranean L. of C: Received copy of wire from “Dehorted” stating that Acting Matron Miss Bartleet QAIMNSR, 2 Sisters and 3 Staff Nurses should hold themselves in readiness to proceed to Italy for duty at a Hospital, place not stated, on receipt of a message from General Officer Commanding British Artillery. Sent names of nurses selected to War Office.
WAAC Sick Bays: Received copy of letter from DGMS to Commissioner BRCS approving the employment of 2 VAD members at Sick Bays for WAAC at Calais and Etaples.
CAMC Servant Allowance: Received copy of War Office letter with enclosure from AG Canadians regarding the issue of Servant Allowance for Nursing Members of the CAMC. Employment of female servants is approved for members of the CAMC in Army areas at the rate of 1 servant for every 5 Sisters at the rate of 2 francs a day; the batmen now employed will be withdrawn. This arrangement applied to the Canadian Casualty Clearing Stations and Nos.3 and 7 Canadian Stationary Hospitals.
Called at ADMS, St. Omer 9.30 a.m. and discussed the suitability of General Petain’s house for the accommodation of the Nursing Staff of No.59 General Hospital. This house will accommodate 50 Sisters and it is proposed to erect a hut in the garden which will take another 20. There are good rooms in the house which will be suitable for Mess and Sitting rooms.
The ADMS expressed himself very grateful for the extra Nursing Staff recently sent to his area on account of great pressure of work.
Visited No.59 General Hospital and called for Miss Whiffin, the Matron; with her inspected the new Officers’ Hospital at Moule, about 5 miles out of St. Omer, and which is a section of No.59 General Hospital. There were 105 officers in Hospital at time of visit – all Shell Shock cases. The arrangements in this Hospital are not yet complete nor the requisite equipment available. It is situated in a Chateau with huts and tents in the grounds, and when complete should be a very good Hospital. Discussed nursing arrangements with Miss Whiffin.
Left for Boulogne at 11.30 and visited No.53 General Hospital at Wimereux. Saw Miss Riddell, the Matron, with regard to statements made by Mrs. Furse that the VADs in this Hospital are all very unhappy. Miss Riddell had heard of no unhappiness; the VAD members were all doing good work and many had worked with her for two years. She was amazed at the statements made by Mrs. Furse, but will make a thorough investigation of everything. Had lunch in the Sisters’ Mess with the Matron, Sisters and VAD members; spoke to several of the VAD members – all appeared to be quite happy. I informed Miss Riddell of letters that I had had from two of the VADs working in this unit stating they were unhappy; both of these ladies had been working with Miss Riddell at home for sometime; neither of them had informed Miss Riddell they were making complaints or were in any way unhappy. From what I saw there seemed to be no ground for complaints or for Mrs. Furse’s statement.
Visited No.54 General Hospital, a Territorial unit: saw the Matron, Miss Cockrell, and Assistant Matron – Sisters’ quarters most comfortable. Visited Lady Gifford’s Convalescent Home at Hardelot and returned to Abbeville by 7.30 p.m.
Sick Sisters 102
Appointment to QAIMNS Reserve: Received copy of War Office letter stating that Miss S. A. Clegg, from Hopital Temporaire at Arc en Barrois had been appointed to the QAIMNS Reserve and that the date she reported for duty should be forwarded to the War Office. Sent Miss Clegg the necessary instructions and told her to inform this office the date when she would be free for duty, when she should join No.8 Stationary Hospital. Informed Boulogne.
Command Paymaster AIF: Circular sent to all areas stating that information had been received that the Commander Paymaster AIF had been writing direct to COs of units asking for information with regard to messing arrangements for Sisters in British units. Instructions were to be issued to all concerned that such questions should not be answered locally but referred to DMS, L of C.
5th Army: Rang up DMS 5th Army and told him that the 6 Sisters temporarily lent from No.59 General Hospital would be urgently required in their own unit owing to the establishment of an Officers’ Hospital – these ladies would be replaced.
3rd Army: Rang up DMS 3rd Army to ask if the Sisters from the two Clearing Stations being closed in his Army could be utilised for service elsewhere; replied “Yes, if their services were urgently required – if not would be glad of their services in the area.”
Matron-in-Chief, AIF: Telephoned Miss Woodford at Boulogne, asking her to meet Miss Conyers, Matron-in-Chief, AIF and to let me know her movements, also to let me know about Pass which would be with the APM.
Application to join QAIMNS Reserve: DMS, 4th Army forwarded application for Miss C. C. du Sautoy for work in British Military units – forwarded application form for the QAIMNS Reserve to Principal Matron, BRCS, under whom this lady is at present serving.
Military Families’ Hospitals Nurses: Circulated War Office memo to all areas and Armies stating that the Nursing Staff of Military Families’ Hospitals are not eligible for the yearly increment of £20, being in the Regular Service and serving for Pension.
DDMS Rouen: Memo sent to him to know if the money received from the sale of Mess furnishings of Nos.9 and 12 General Hospitals, recently taken over by American units, had been paid to Matrons Toller and M. S. Smith for distribution to the ladies concerned.
DMS 4th Army: Received memo from DGMS to say that DMS, 4th Army has been instructed to arrange direct with the Matron-in-Chief BEF for his requirements of Nursing Sisters for Clearing Stations in the 4th Army area.
Miss Daly, VAD: Application received from Miss Stronach, A/Principal Matron, Etaples area, for Miss Daly VAD to be granted leave to visit fiancé who is prisoner of war in Switzerland, information having been received from the authorities in Switzerland that this could be arranged. Asked DDMS Etaples to make enquiries from the Commissioner, BRCS if this visit could be carried out. Informed Miss Stronach that Miss Daly should have permission from her own home people before this could be granted.
5th Army: Clearing Stations in this Army all very busy; several very heavy train loads of wounded evacuated to Base Hospitals.
Visited 2 Stationary Hospital Annexe: New wards for WAAC workers nearly ready for occupation – most comfortable. Sister Cameron, QAIMNSR evacuated to England; this lady being still on the “Seriously Ill” list, was accompanied by Sister Jolly who has been nursing her for the last two months.
Sick Sisters 93
Miss Conyers, Matron-in-Chief, AIF: arrived in Boulogne; arranged for her to be met by the Principal Matron with the necessary Pass.
Staff Nurse Hockey, QAIMNSR: arrived in Abbeville for evacuation to England from Havre; has been seriously ill with Cerebro Spinal Meningitis.
VAD Cooks: Returned to DGMS application for VAD Cooks from OC, No.5 Casualty Clearing Station, stating that no VAD Cooks were available for duty in military units, and the matter was still under consideration.
Anaesthetists: DGMS forwarded correspondence from Colonel Gray, Consultant Surgeon, Headquarters, 3rd Army, suggesting that, owing to scarcity of Medical Officers, specially selected Nursing Sisters be trained to administer anaesthetics, and that they should be employed in anaesthetic work and thus relieve Medical Officers for other duties. This correspondence was returned to DGMS with remarks attached from Surgeon-General G. Makins, who is not in favour of this procedure. Colonel Sargent also expresses himself as not in favour of this scheme.
Special Leave: Received a telephone message from Havre asking if special leave could be granted to Miss Littlejohn, VAD member, 1 General Hospital, who had received news of the death of her brother and also that her father was dangerously ill. 7 days’ granted.
Memo sent to Command Paymaster AIF stating that all information with regard to the messing arrangements for British Nursing Sisters would be willingly given to him if his requests were addressed to the DMS, L of C and not to individual officers in his Command.
Sick Sisters 89
Miss McCarthy, RRC, Matron-in-Chief, BEF, returned from sick leave (Sister Barbier to Boulogne to meet her) arrived 8 p.m. and stayed the night in Boulogne.
Miss Conyers, Matron-in-Chief, AIF: arrived at Abbeville 5 p.m., was met by the Acting Matron-in-Chief BEF and by Miss Wilson, Matron of No.3 Australian General Hospital. Proceeded to Matron-in-Chief’s office and discussed nursing arrangements of the Australian nurses and all moves which had taken place since her previous visit. Arranged dinner at the billet of the Matron-in-Chief, BEF for Miss Conyers and Miss Wilson.
Miss McCarthy, RRC promoted Matron-in-Chief in a supplement of the London Gazette under “Honours for Valuable Services in the Field” – to date from June 3rd.
Miss I. V. Jolly, VAD: Forwarded to DGMS Confidential Report on this lady, who is not recommended for service after a second probationary period. Instructed Boulogne that she should report to Miss Crowdy, Principal Commandant VADs, before proceeding to her home in Nice.
Special Leave: Granted 7 days’ special leave to Staff Nurse Bamfield, 55 General Hospital – her brother had been killed in action.
Mrs. Simeon VAD: Applied to be moved from 25 Stationary Hospital as her husband objected to her working in an infectious hospital; orders were sent for her to join 5 General Hospital.
Miss O. Hockey, QAIMNSR: Called at 2 Stationary Annexe to see Staff Nurse O. Hockey, Cerebro Spinal Meningitis case, after her journey from Havre. Found her still very weak and ill, but non-infectious – 3 Negative tests having been obtained.
Miss Conyers, Matron-in-Chief, AIF: Arranged with DDMS Rouen about car for Miss Conyers, who proceeded to Rouen on Saturday 11th.
Sick Sisters 86
Miss McCarthy, RRC Matron-in-Chief, BEF, arrived at Abbeville midday and took over duties from Miss Beadsmore-Smith.
Special Leave: DDMS Havre telephoned to ask if special leave could be granted to Staff Nurse Aylett, 40 Stationary Hospital on account of the serious illness of her sister – 7 days approved.
Convalescent Home for Canadian Nurses: Forwarded to DDMS Havre correspondence re suggestion for Canadian Convalescent Home – asked if there were any accommodation at Etretat. It was proposed that a Convalescent Home for Nursing Sisters should be started in France as there were now over 700 Canadian Nurses in the country. These nurses have hitherto been admitted to Imperial Convalescent Homes, but the demand for beds is now more than the accommodation and the Canadian Red Cross Society would supply the necessary furnishings.
No.36 Ambulance Train came into commission today and was staffed by Sister Bryant, TFNS, Staff Nurse Tait, TFNS, and Staff Nurse Hackford, TFNS.
Sick Sisters 93
Sister Jardine, Harvard Unit: Received application from Matron, 22 General Hospital, that Sister Jardine might be granted permission to visit Sister Noyes of the same unit who is seriously ill at 10 Stationary Hospital. 48 hours’ leave granted.
Rest Club: Memo received from DDMS Boulogne stating that the proposed extension of HRH Princess Victoria’s Rest Club for Nurses at Wimereux about to be established in Boulogne would not interfere with the existing club at present run by Mrs. Robertson-Eustace.
Miss Watkins, QAIMNS: Received letter from this lady, Sister-in-Charge of 45 Casualty Clearing Station, asking that she might be granted leave, or sick leave, before taking up new duties as she had not been feeling very well and for some weeks. Advised that she should be sent down as an invalid to the Sisters’ Hospital at Abbeville.
Miss Hockey, QAIMNSR: was evacuated by Ambulance Train to No.14 General Hospital, Boulogne, after having passed a very good night.
Sick Sisters 88
Identity Kit of VAD members: Forwarded to DGMS correspondence re the recent Army Council Instruction 1216 of 1917 with reference to Identity Kit of VAD members.
Miss A. B. Smith, RRC Principal Matron, QAIMNS: Informed DGMS that this lady was proceeding on 14 days’ leave to the United Kingdom on the 14th instant, and was reporting to the War Office on arrival in England.
Promotion: Forwarded to Command Paymaster and DDMS Boulogne copy of Routine Orders, DMS, L of C, August 11th 1917, appointing Sister Howe, QAIMNS as Acting Matron of No.13 General Hospital from 14.3.17 to 3.7.17.
Reinforcements: Received copy of War Office letter giving the names of 5 Sisters, and 14 Staff Nurses of the QAIMNS Reserve, 5 probationers (4 VAD members and 1 Special Probationer) who embarked for duty in France on the 11th instant, reinforcements from the Croydon War Hospital.
Special leave: granted to Sister Mayhew, CAMC, No.1 Canadian General Hospital, to proceed to St. Omer to see her brother who was dangerously wounded, at No.7 General Hospital. She was instructed to report to Miss Tunley, Matron 10 Stationary Hospital, who would make arrangements for her.
Sick Sisters 92
Reinforcements: Received letter from the Matron-in-Chief, TFNS, notifying that 50 members of the TFNS – 18 Sisters and 32 Staff Nurses, were proceeding to France for duty on 21st inst., also a letter to say that Sister Crawford TFNS had been instructed to proceed to France on the 15th inst. to replace Sister Watmore, TFNS, resigned. Staff Nurse E. Morrad, TFNS was proceeding to France on the 15th inst. for duty with 53 General Hospital.
WAAC Sick Bay: Received copy of letter sent by DGMS to Commissioner, BRCS stating that 1 VAD member would be withdrawn from the Sick Bay for the WAAC at St. Omer.
Harvard Unit: Forwarded to DGMS application from Mrs. Hagar, Matron, 22 General Hospital, for the promotion to Assistant Matron of Miss A. B. Stevens, who had been at this unit since 17.7.15.
Miss Conyers, RRC Matron-in-Chief, AIF: returned from Rouen and called at the office.
Miss O. Hockey, QAIMNSR: transferred to 14 Stationary Hospital, Boulogne, diagnosed Cerebro-Spinal Meningitis.
Sick Sisters 99
S/Nurse A. Payne, CHR: Received telegram from OC 20 CCS stating that this lady was seriously ill with Renal Calculus. Telephoned to DMS 3rd Army that she should be sent down to the Sick Sisters’ Hospital at Abbeville; she was then seen at 20 CCS by Colonel Gray, Surgical Specialist, who pronounced her not fit to be moved that day.
Miss Hockey, QAIMNSR: died at 14 Stationary Hospital; the Principal Matron, Boulogne telephoned to say that the funeral had been arranged to take place the next day.
Sick Sisters 93.
Miss Daly, VAD: Forwarded to Major Waterhouse, Military Permits Office, London, application for leave to Berne, Switzerland, from this lady, to see her fiancé, who is a prisoner of war and seriously ill.
Almeric Paget Masseuses: Sent memo to DGMS asking that the arrival of members of this corps in France might be delayed until definite instructions had been received from the War Office for those serving abroad, as the Standing Orders are not applicable in many instances for Active Service.
Exchanges: Sent memo to DGMS re the desirability of exchanging another 100 members of QAIMNS, QAIMNS Reserve and the TFNS in England with those in this country. A selection would be made from those who had been in France since 1914 and 1915 and were showing signs of strain. The same procedure would be carried out as with the first group of exchanges, in 1916. If approval were given it was asked on what date the first exchanges should be made.
Miss O. Hockey, QAIMNSR: Sent wire to Matron-in-Chief, War Office, informing her that this lady had died at 6 p.m. on the 14th instant; also informed the DGMS.
Ordered to Italy: Received telegram from the War Office to ask if the party of Nurses had proceeded to Italy, and if so, when; Replied “No” no orders having yet been issued by the GOC British Artillery. Forwarded to DGMS copies of wires for his information.
Staff Nurse Payne, QAIMNSR arrived at the Sick Sisters’ Hospital, Abbeville, from No.20 CCS. She had borne the journey well.
Miss Conyers, Matron-in-Chief, AIF: left Abbeville for Boulogne at midday; Miss Nunn QAIMNS, Acting Matron, No.2 Stationary Hospital, saw her off at the station and instructions were issued to Miss Steenson, A/Principal Matron, Boulogne, to meet her on arrival there. Miss Steenson, A/Principal Matron, Boulogne, telephoned to say that Miss Cox, Matron, QAIMNS, with a staff of 29, had arrived at Boulogne on their way to Egypt.
Sick Sisters 101
Transport duty: Received copy of letter from Administrative Headquarters, AIF requesting that Head Sister C. Marshall, AANS, at No.2 Australian General Hospital should be transferred to England forthwith as she is required for transport duty.
22 General Hospital (Harvard Unit): Forwarded to DGMS application from the Matron of this unit, Mrs. Hagar, for 22 of her Staff Nurses to be appointed Sisters, to bring the strength up to the required complement. Forwarded to DGMS application from Mrs. Hagar for 24 kits to be supplied for the members of her Nursing Staff: the strength of the unit on arrival in France was 76, but is now 100, and the extra kits had never been supplied.
Sick Sisters 112
5th Army: Received memo from the DGMS asking for the number of Sisters working in the 5th Army between 31.7.17 and 6.8.17 under the following headings:-
1. Number of Sisters on the strength of the unit.
2. Number of Sisters attached from other units.
Received copy of War Office letter with enclosure, giving the number of reinforcements of the Nursing Service sent to France during the month of July.
BRCS: Received copy of letter from the Commissioner BRCS to the DGMS asking for the sanction for a staff of 3 VAD members for a recreation hut to be erected in No.12 Convalescent Camp, Aubengue Halt: forwarded it to DDMS Boulogne for his remarks.
Military Medal: Received correspondence from DMS, 2nd Army re the award of the Military Medal to Sisters D. G. Cawood, C. Deacon, A. Ross-King and Staff Nurse M. J. Derrer of the AANS “who all displayed great coolness and devotion to duty during the bombing of No.2 Australian CCS on the evening of July 22nd 1917.”
Appointment of Assistant Principal Matrons: Sent to Calais and St. Omer a memo stating that it had been decided that the Senior Matron in each of these areas would in the future act as Assistant Principal Matron in addition to her present duties. Forwarded a copy to the DGMS for information.
Efficiency Stripe: Sent memo to DGMS asking if the conditions with regard to the issue of this Stripe should be retrospective.
Miss D. M. Spear, VAD: who had returned from Sick Leave on 15.8.17 with orders to proceed to the Nurses’ Home, Abbeville, was pronounced unfit for duty in the wards as she still had a septic finger.
Queen Mary’s Hostel: Captain Boulton, Chairman of this Hostel wrote asking that the Matron-in-Chief, BEF should convey to the American Matrons in France Her Majesty’s hope that they and all members of their staffs would avail themselves of the hospitality of the Hostel when in London. Wrote to the Matrons of the 6 American units informing them of Captain Boulton’s letter and telling them that to every Leave Pass would be attached a chit introducing the member to the Lady Superintendent of the Hostel.
Sick Sisters 110
Sisters wounded: Miss Steenson, Principal Matron, Boulogne, telephoned that three Sisters had been admitted to the Chateau Mauricien, 14 General Hospital, from No.61 CCS which had been bombed by hostile aircraft – Sister McDonald, American Nursing Service, with a serious wound of right eye, A/Sister E. McGuillam, QAIMNSR, bomb wound left side, and S/Nurse I. Webster, QAIMNSR, bomb wound right leg.
Received from Command Paymaster, AIF copy of circular he had sent to all units re the drawing of rations for Australian Sisters.
Sick Sisters 110
Returned to DGMS table, showing discrepancies in the War Office Letter of the 12th instant, which had been sent, giving the numbers of reinforcements during the month of July. The War Office letter stated that 84 trained reinforcements had arrived and 115 untrained (97 VAD members and 18 South African Probationers) – the actual numbers being 85 trained and 115 untrained (97 VAD members and 18 South African probationers); The War Office letter stated that 17 (trained and untrained) had returned from Sick Leave, the actual number being 10 (trained and untrained). The War Office total of reinforcements for the month was 216, whereas the actual total was 210.
Miss McDonald, American Nursing Service: Principal Matron Boulogne telephoned that this lady had had her right eye excised this afternoon, and that her condition was fair.
Sick Sisters 110
Reinforcements: Received copy of War Office telegram notifying that 50 Members of the TFNS were arriving for duty in France on Tuesday, 21st instant – 18 Sisters and 32 Staff Nurses.
Almeric Paget Corps: Received copy of War Office telegram notifying that 10 Masseuses of this Corps were arriving for duty in France today. Received copy of War Office letter to DGMS requesting that provision be made for 10 Masseuses as that number had been placed under orders to proceed to France. DGMS had replied that provision would be made. Nine only of these ladies reported.
WAAC: Forwarded to DGMS application from ADMS Calais for the 1st VAD member for the WAAC Sick Bay at Calais.
WAAC: Received from DGMS for my remarks a letter from the Commissioner BRCS, who suggested that time and correspondence would be saved if an establishment of 40 VAD members could be sanctioned to staff all Sick Bays for WAAC units as and where they may be required by the Chief Controller, WAAC. At present there were 21 VAD members sanctioned, and if the proposal were approved these would be merged in the total establishment asked for. I concurred in this suggestion.
Sick Sisters 116.
22 General Hospital (Harvard Unit): Forwarded to DGMS an application from Etaples for permission for 9 Nurses of this unit whose contracts terminate on 7th, 8th and 12th September respectively, to be sent in one party instead of individuals – the proposal being that they should all be sent on the 8th September. Asked if there were any objection.
Reinforcements: Received copy of War Office letter, with enclosure, giving names of 7 Sisters, 4 Staff Nurses, 1 Special Probationer and 10 VAD members who arrived for duty in France on 18th.
Staff Nurse N. Spindler, QAIMNSR: Received telegram from OC 44 Casualty Clearing Station that this lady had been killed that morning, when the Clearing Station had been shelled by the enemy. Repeated telegram to the Matron-in-Chief, War Office, and also informed the DGMS.
Mediterranean L. of C: Informed DGMS that Staff Nurse M. McKenzie, TFNS, had proceeded to No.1 Eastern Rest Camp for duty in relief of Staff Nurse MacLaren, QAIMNSR, who had gone to the Convalescent Home, Etretat, for a rest.
Wounded Sisters 61 CCS: Informed DGMS of the evacuation to the Base of 3 wounded Sisters, from No.61 CCS – Sister B. McDonald, American Nursing Service, bomb wound right eye, A/Sister E. McGuillam, QAIMNSR, bomb wound left side, and S/Nurse I. Webster, QAIMNSR, bomb wound right leg. Sister McDonald had had her right eye enucleated, the other two Sisters were only slightly wounded, and that all three were progressing satisfactorily.
Clearing Stations Shelled: DMS 5th Army telephoned that Brandhoek was being shelled and that he wished to send down to St. Omer 20 Nurses from 44 CCS and 20 from No.3 Australian CCS. I concurred and notified ADMS St. Omer of the arrival of these Sisters.
Miss Steenson, Principal Matron, Boulogne, telephoned to say that 10 Sisters had arrived at the Chateau Mauricien, 14 General Hospital, all suffering from Shell Shock – 4 from 44 CCS – Staff Nurses J. Wilson, QAIMNSR, E. Gallant, TFNS, H. Magee, TFNS and N. Thompson, QAIMNSR; 5 from 47 CCS – Staff Nurses M. Niekirk, SAMNS, M. Evans QAIMNSR, E. Burgess, SAMNS, Sisters W. Hawkins, TFNS (also wounded in the thigh) and E. Smith, QAIMNSR, and 1 Sister from 4 CCS – A/Sister M Weever, QAIMNSR
Sick Sisters 128
Uniform: Forwarded to Matron-in-Chief, War Office correspondence received from Principal Matron Boulogne asking if Assistant Matrons should wear 3 Red Stripes, if Acting Matrons, QAIMNS Reserve, who are now fulfilling other positions should still wear red cuffs, and if members of the TFNS were allowed to wear soft collars.
Resignation: Forwarded to DGMS application to resign from Miss N. Hancock, VAD member, No.53 General Hospital on account of the sudden death of her sister; she had proceeded on 7 days’ Special Leave pending the acceptance of her resignation on the 20th instant.
VAD transfer to Special Probationers: Forwarded memo to DGMS asking if the question of VAD members transferring to the Corps of Special Probationers could be again referred to the War Office; some VAD members are anxious that their War Service should be counted towards General Training and think that by becoming Special Probationers they would obtain advantages in this direction.
Special Leave: DDMS Etaples telephoned for permission for Sister Murray, 24 General Hospital, to go to Calais to visit her brother who was at No.9 BRCS Hospital, dangerously wounded. Approved, and instructions given for her to report to the Matron, 35 General Hospital, who would accommodate her for the night.
1 South African General Hospital: Received copy of War Office letter and enclosures, being communications received by Staff Office, South African Expeditionary Force, from OC 1 South African General Hospital asking that 7 Staff Nurses in that Hospital might be promoted to rank of Sister with effect from March 19th 1917. The War Office asked that action might be taken and a report forwarded as to the result, adding that Local Authority was sufficient for the promotion of Staff Nurses to the acting rank of Sister; they also asked that the OC No.1 S. African General Hospital should be instructed to transmit all official correspondence through the usual channels. The correspondence was forwarded for transmission to the OC with the instructions that confidential reports should be furnished on the Staff Nurses he had recommended for promotion to the rank of Sister.
47 Casualty Clearing Station bombed: Miss Roy, QAIMNS, Sister-in-Charge to say that her Station had been bombed last night, several bombs falling near the lines for walking cases and several of them were injured; one of the Sisters, Miss W. M. Hawkins, TFNS, was injured in the left thigh and would be evacuated to the Base by the next Ambulance train with 4 other Sisters suffering from shock. Altogether there were about 50 casualties, 12 of whom have died, including one RAMC orderly.
54 Casualty Clearing Station: Miss G. M. Jones, QAIMNS, wrote to say that the Station had been bombed last night; a good deal of damage had been done to the roof and 3 slight fires caused; fortunately there were no casualties and all the Staff were well.
Sick Sisters 128
Efficiency Stripe: Sent circular to all Bases, 3rd Army and Marseilles re ruling for the Efficiency Stripe for VAD members; all certificates must be sent to this office.
Identity Kit of VAD members: Received from DGMS instructions re the disposal of Identity Kit of VAD members and copy of Army Council Instruction – Brassards and certificates of VAD members to be given up to the CO of the unit on resignation or termination of contract, except in the case of members whose kit had been supplied by the BRCS.
Resignation: Received copy of War Office letter accepting the resignation of A/Sister J. W. Angus, QAIMNSR on account of mother’s ill health.
Masseuses: Received application from No.4 General Hospital for a trained Masseuse; Instructed a Masseuse of the Almeric Paget Corps to join this unit, notifying that while there she would be entirely under the control of the Matron of the Hospital and that on active service this Corps comes altogether under the Standing Orders of the QAIMNS.
Miss Oates, TFNS: The Principal Matron, Boulogne, Miss Steenson, RRC, telephoned that this lady had been knocked down by a motor bicycle and admitted to the Chateau Mauricien, 14 General Hospital, with a broken collar bone, was going on satisfactorily, and in the meantime her duties would be carried on by the Assistant Matron, Miss Crooks, TFNS.
Sick Sisters 132
Received application from DGMS for a return to be furnished giving the total number of Nurses and VAD members, by categories, (QAIMNS, QAIMNS Reserve, TFNS, CAMC, BRCS, Americans etc.) serving in each unit, including Clearing Stations, with the BEF – the total in each category and the grand total to be stated.
WAAC Sick Bays: Received copy of letter to Commissioner BRCS from DGMS asking that the first VAD members for WAAC sick bay at Calais be posted for duty; also copy of letter from DGMS giving approval for an establishment of 40 VAD members to be maintained for the staffing of all WAAC Sick Bays as required by the Chief Controller, WAAC. This number includes 21 VAD members for whom sanction had already been given for this purpose.
Forwarded to DGMS memo asking if authority could be obtained for Miss G. Wilton Smith, RRC, QAIMNS, now in the Office of the Matron-in-Chief, BEF, to hold the rank of Acting Matron. Owing to the large increase of the Nursing Establishment it had been found necessary to appoint a senior member of the QAIMNS to assist in the office, and with this appointment Miss Smith loses Matron’s pay, and in addition, charge pay, both of which she had drawn since June 1915, because, being a member of the Regular Service she reverts to Sister’s rank on taking up this appointment.
Establishment: Sent memo to DGMS asking if it was to be understood that the authorised establishment for Territorial Hospitals of 1040 beds is to be 98 (50 trained and 40 VADs) as distinct from the War Establishment of Regular Hospitals, which gives a total trained staff of 73, and with VAD members (3 Untrained to 2 Trained nurse) a total of 85.
Staff Nurse Spindler, QAIMNSR: Received letter from the Sister-in-Charge, 44 CCS, Miss Wood, QAIMNS, giving details of Miss Spindler’s death when that Clearing Station was shelled on 21st instant; this Sister was in bed when she was hit and became unconscious almost immediately, dying about 15 minutes later. Owing to the continued shelling of the Station it had to be evacuated at once, and Miss Spindler’s body was taken to the Mortuary of No.10 CCS from where the funeral took place next day, with full military honours. The Army Commander, DMS of the Army and 4 other Generals attended and as many Sisters as could be spared were also present.
57 CCS Bombed: Miss Laughton, QAIMNSR, Sister-in-Charge, wrote to say that this Station had been bombed the previous night; fortunately the Hospital itself had not been hit, but a block of the French Asylum at the side had been badly damaged and about 12 women patients, mostly epileptics, had been badly wounded. They were tended by the Staff of 57 CCS until they could be moved to their own hospital.
Sick Sisters 123
Mediterranean L of C: Received communication from DGMS to the effect that the administration of the Mediterranean L of C was taken over by the War Office from the 8th inst. inclusive, and therefore had become an organization apart from the BEF. Any demands for personnel should be referred to DGMS for instructions.
Honours for French ladies: Received memo from the DGMS asking for names to be submitted in order of merit of any French ladies for consideration for the RRC and ARRC. This was circulated to all Bases for information and necessary action.
Miss N. Johnstone: Forwarded to DGMS memo from DDMS Etaples asking if Miss N. Johnstone who arrived in France on 18.8.17. was a VAD member or Special Probationer; the War Office letter notifying her arrival shewed her as a VAD but she stated that the Matron, Croydon War Hospital where she had served, said she was a Special Probationer.
Establishment: Forwarded to all the Bases memo, with tabulated form, shewing War Establishment for each unit, and asking if there were any unit at which an increase of Establishment should be recommended.
Sick Sisters 127
Almeric Paget Massage Corps: Reported to DGMS the arrival and postings of the nine Masseuses of this corps who had arrived on the 20th instant – 4 to No.8 Stationary Hospital and 5 to No.24 General Hospital.
BRCS Transfer: Received copy of War Office letter notifying that Miss A. Stead., HQ, BRCS, Boulogne was accepted for appointment to the QAIMNSR. This lady was posted to No.2 Stationary Hospital.
Staff Nurse J. L. Campbell, NZANS: Received copy of War Office letter enclosing letter from ADMS, New Zealand Expeditionary Force, enquiring into the circumstances in which this lady, stated to be a Cerebro Spinal Meningitis Carrier, had been granted permission to proceed on 21 days’ Sick Leave to England. This was forwarded to DDMS Boulogne for report as Miss Campbell had been admitted to 14 Stationary Hospital as a contact.
Queen Mary’s Hostel: Forwarded to all American Units and Imperial Units staffed by Australian Nursing Sisters, copies of circular with regard to this Hostel.
Sick Sisters 134
Honours: Sent telegram to Dame Furse, GBE with congratulations from Matron-in-Chief, BEF and all VAD members working in Military Hospitals.
Establishment: Received from DGMS correspondence forwarded by us and tabulated form (showing what had been found to be a satisfactory working basis for Hospitals of different numbers of beds calculated on an Establishment pro rata with War Establishment for Stationary Hospitals of 400 beds and General Hospitals of 520 and 1040 beds, taking one half of the Staff Nurses as VAD members, in the proportion of 3 VADs to 2 Staff Nurses) asking if there were any special reasons for deviating from the authorised War Establishment, i.e. Part vii gives 26 Sisters and 46 Staff Nurses as being allowed for a 1040 bedded General Hospital.
Rest Clubs for Nurses: DGMS returned correspondence with reference to the establishment of Princess Victoria (Great Britain and Ireland) Rest Club at Le Treport and Boulogne for the sanction of GOC, L of C to be obtained for their establishment.
Sick Sisters 129
Rest Clubs for Nurses: Sent the correspondence re proposed Princess Victoria Rest Clubs for Nurses for Treport and Boulogne to AQMG, asking for authority for the establishment of these two Clubs from the GOC, L of C.
Ordered to Italy: Reported to AAG and DGMS the departure on the 25th instant of Miss F. M. Bartleet and her Staff to Palmanova, the British Artillery Station on the Italian Front.
Miss Steenson, RRC A/Principal Matron, Boulogne, telephoned that there had been a very bad storm, and that 54 and 55 General Hospitals were absolute wrecks; also the tentment of 32 Stationary Hospital was down; 500 beds in the last named hospital had had to be evacuated and all the patients of Nos. 54 and 55 General Hospitals. The Nursing Staffs had been distributed, the Matron of 55 General Hospital and 3 of her staff remained at that Hospital – 14 General, 14 Stationary, 32 Stationary and 57 General Hospitals had all taken Nurses and 68 were billeted in a house belonging to Lady Norman, now taken over by the WAAC.
Almeric Paget Massage Corps: Sent memo to DGMS asking if another Masseuse of this Corps was to be expected, as the original demand had been made for 10 Masseuses and only 9 had reported.
Sick Sisters 131
Establishment: Returned tabulated forms and correspondence to DGMS, explaining that this had been worked out on the basis of 1 Matron, 24 Sisters and 48 Staff Nurses for 520 bedded Hospital; regretted that the change in ration for 1040 had been overlooked, but the total for accommodation was not thereby affected.
Pay: Sent memo to Base Paymasters of all Overseas contingents, asking them to supply particulars with regard to Lodging, Fuel and Light, and Ration allowances made to their respective members.
Forwarded to DGMS suggestion that unsuitable CAMC Nursing Sisters in Front areas should be transferred immediately to the Base, without individual reference to DMS Canadians. Asked if the latter would object.
VADs: Sent memo to all A/Principal Matrons saying that all correspondence with reference to VAD members must be passed through this office and never direct to Devonshire House.
CAMC Reinforcements: Forwarded to DGMS request for 39 Canadian Nursing Sisters to meet existing deficiencies in their units, also for a surplus of 20 Canadian Nursing Sisters to post to British Units in readiness to meet urgent calls from the “Front” areas.
NZANS: Forwarded to DGMS departure reports of 6 New Zealand Nursing Sisters, viz: Sisters Willis, McLeod, Sutherland, Lodge, Flower and Staff Nurse Stewart – who had returned to England without authority from this Office. The Staff of the New Zealand Stationary had gone down to the Base after the shelling of their Hospital, and while at St. Omer, the Matron, Miss Price received a letter from Miss Thurston, the New Zealand Matron-in-Chief ordering the above mentioned Sisters to England; this letter was acted on and the ladies proceeded before this office was notified. In forwarding the correspondence to DGMS it was requested that the New Zealand Matron-in-Chief be requested in future to send official correspondence through the usual official channels.
22 General Hospital (Harvard Unit): Received telegram from DGMS to say that Mrs. Hagar, Matron of this unit was to proceed to England on the 1st September for escort duty with reinforcements about to arrive for 22 General Hospital.
BRCS Nurses in British Units: I had a letter from Miss Smyth, QAIMNS, Sister-in-Charge of 36 CCS saying that two BRCS Nurses had arrived at her unit without orders or instructions of any kind and that she had put them on duty until she received further instructions. I wrote at once, saying that I was astonished at her procedure, and that she had a CO with whom she consult in all these matters, and that he would always allow her to telephone or telegraph to me when in doubt. I also telephoned to the DMS 4th Army, asking him if he would instruct these ladies to return to their own units. I wrote to him as well, explaining the situation, and said that we were not permitted by the War Office to employ BRCS Nurses in Military Units.
Sick Sisters 134
Mediterranean L of C: Forwarded to DGMS memo asking if Nursing Sisters for Meditarranean L of C were still to be drawn from the BEF as Colonel Statham, ADMS had stated that he had been informed by the Matron-in-Chief, War Office that this was to be the case. An answer was required as the ADMS was asking for reinforcements. Colonel Statham himself called at the Office to discuss the matter.
Almeric Paget Massage Corps: Reported to DGMS that Miss Waller, the tenth member of the party who had arrived in this country on the 20th instant had not yet reported for duty.
Honours for French ladies: Received telegram from DGMS asking for the names of any French ladies who had been recommended for the RRC or to be mentioned in despatches.
Honours for French ladies: Telephoned DDMS Etaples to ask Miss Hartigan, QAIMNS and Miss Bulman, QAIMNS for the names of those French ladies who had helped in our hospitals at Poperinghe, Malassises, and Amiens respectively, requesting that the names should be wired as soon as possible. We also telephoned to Miss Jolley, Assistant Matron 11 Stationary Hospital, to know the name of the French lady who had helped at Bailleul. Later, Major Turnbull, for DDMS Etaples telephoned to say that the Mother Superior of the Pension de la Sainte Famille and Miss Dale, an English Nun of the same Order, had been of great help to Miss Bulman at Amiens, and that the Countess van der Steen de Jehay, and the Countess d’Ursel had done excellent work with Enteric cases at the Chateau in Poperinghe, passing them on to Miss Hartigan’s Hospital at Malassises, unless they were too ill to be moved, in which case they nursed them themselves.
In reply to a telegram to Miss Church, Sister-in-Charge of the Officers’ Hospital, Warloy, the names of the Mother Superior Anna Marie, Sister Andre and Sister Marie of the Order of Sisters of Charity of Nevers were given as having [given] great help to the small staff of English trained Nurses in that Hospital. Sister Sloan, TFNS, who had been in charge of the Operating Centre at Authie reported that Madame Douelley and her daughter had been of invaluable assistance at this Operating Centre, which was established in her house and grounds, which was open for a considerable time and did very valuable work. The name of Madame Dumont of Abbeville was also sent forward as having since the arrival of English troops in Abbeville been untiring in her efforts and interest for the welfare of our men. She has also been most devoted in her care of the soldiers’ graves; she also started the first Soldier’s Club in this town, which is still doing valuable work.
Special Leave: DDMS Etaples asked that special leave might be granted to Miss Ashfield, TFNS, 20 General Hospital whose father was seriously ill. 7 days’ leave were granted.
Reinforcements: 54 Members of the QAIMNS Reserve arrived for duty in France in two parties; one of 26 should have arrived on the 28th but had been unable to cross on account of the weather; the second party, which should have been 29 Members, due to arrive today, consisted of 28, Miss H. V. Wilson, QAIMNSR, having failed to report.
BRCS Nurses in British Units: I received a telephone message from Surgeon-General O’Keefe, DMS, 4th Army, saying that there were 4 BRCS Nurses who had been working in an Advanced Dressing Station and had been shelled out, and were then attached to 24 CCS and that the Army Commander wished them to work in British Units. I then pointed out that it was not possible to arrange this. I communicated by telephone with GHQ saying what I had done and was informed that it was quite in order and that it was out of the question for these Nurses to remain in our units. Later on in the day I received an order from GHQ asking me to communicate with Colonel Stewart, the BRCS Medical Assessor, asking him to recall the 4 Nurses in question to BRCS units.
Sick Sisters 131
Honours for French ladies: Forwarded to DGMS the names of 9 French ladies for consideration for the award of the RRC stating that no names had been sent in from any of the areas and that these were ladies whose work had come under my personal observation.
The A/Principal Matron Boulogne telephoned that Miss Burwell, VAD 55 General Hospital wished to go on special leave at once and to resign on account of the serious illness of her mother; 7 days’ special leave were granted and Miss Steenson was told to forward Miss Burwell’s resignation officially.
Mediterranean L of C: Received a telegram from the ADMS asking for the remaining 6 Sisters for Taranto; wired in reply that these Sisters were on leave and due back on the 3rd prox., and that their departure would be reported to him.
No.32 Ambulance Train: was commissioned and staffed by Sister Ferguson, RRC, QAIMNSR in charge, and Staff Nurses Felpts and Robertshaw, CHR.
NZANS: Received telegram from the Matron-in-Chief, NZANS consenting to her Nurses being temporarily employed in CCS until their unit is again established.