CROWN COPYRIGHT: THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES, WO95/3990
SUMMARY OF INSPECTIONS AND WORK DONE DURING THE MONTH AWAY FROM HEADQUARTERS
SUMMARY OF INSPECTIONS AND WORK DONE DURING THE MONTH AWAY FROM HEADQUARTERS
Left No.2 CCS with Miss Wilson, A/Matron-in-Chief, AIF, and proceeded to No.17 CCS where I saw the Sister in charge, Miss Paynter, and the OC Colonel Marriott, also the Officer in charge of the new Research Department, with whom we discussed the question of staff, and they all pointed out to me the necessity of having a specially good staff and an ample one, to give this new work which they were taking over every possible chance. A discovery had been found whereby all bad wounds after having received certain treatment could be closed up and the wounds healed in a very short time. The results had been excellent and by this means men were soon sufficiently well to return to the front without going either to the Base or home. The patients were more than pleased at getting well so soon but they were naturally disappointed that in consequence of their rapid recovery they had not the opportunity of going home. This matter was being represented to the Army Commander with a view to granting these men after complete recovery 3 weeks’ sick leave in England before returning to the front. In addition to the staff of trained nurses, a demand was made for masseuses, and I arranged to send one to begin with and to increase the numbers when considered necessary.
No.10 CCS – I saw the Sister in charge, Miss Dodd, TFNS who had recently taken over, with her staff of 4 people only, as this CCS is at present not doing CCS work but is merely a rest camp for tired officers and men.
Left for GHQ arriving in time for tea, where we saw the DGMS and also Sir William Macpherson and the remainder of the staff. We were able to let the DGMS know the result of our interview with General Birdwood on the subject of leave. Went on to Boulogne for the night.
Saw Miss Gray, RRC, AANS Matron of 2 Australian General Hospital and told her about our interview with General Birdwood. She was naturally more than annoyed that any of her staff should have made an official complaint during an inspection to the General, with reference to leave, which entirely misrepresented matters. Saw Miss Wilson off on her return to London.
Went to No.14 General Hospital and inspected the different billets and houses which have been taken for the staff as they have recently been turned out of their hotel. They have been able to secure various houses which will accommodated the whole of the staff – they are fairly near the hospital and there will be one common mess and ante-room which are being thoroughly done up and will eventually be most comfortable and I feel sure the staff will thoroughly appreciate the comfort of having a mess of their own.
Went with Miss Ridley, Principal Matron, Canadians, to GHQ to introduce her to the DGMS and his staff. Had lunch and afterwards called on the Canadian Representative and discussed with him all matters connected with the moving and work of the Canadian Sisters in France, to enable Miss Ridley to be recognised as the Head of the Canadian Nursing Service in France. Returned to Abbeville.
Left for Rouen with Miss Ridley, arriving in time for dinner. Reported to the DGMS office and also called on the A/Principal Matron. Stayed the night at the Hotel.
In the morning, visited the Scottish Section of No.11 Stationary Hospital, where I went into particulars of the recent disturbance amongst a certain number of their nursing staff, 9 of whom had signed a round robin making a serious complaint against their Matron. I saw the OC of the Unit, Colonel Jamieson, as well as Major McNeil, the OC of the Scottish Section, and learnt that in addition to the 9 people, the Sister in charge of the Operating Theatre who had been in since April, 1915, even before the present Matron’s arrival, was the main mover in the disturbance. I afterwards saw the Matron, the Theatre Sister and 8 of the Sisters, the 9th being away on leave. After taking notes, before leaving the hospital, I informed the OC that I would make a report and that there was no doubt that the 9 people in question, in addition to the Theatre Sister, should be transferred to the Home Establishment without delay.
After lunch, I saw all the Matrons of the area in the Principal Matron’s office and discussed the question of uniform, suitable recreation, leave to the South of France, and the importance of seeing that all wore suitable uniform of regulation pattern. Later went with Miss Ridley, Principal Matron, Canadians, to the 3rd Echelon, where we discussed various matters in connection with her new appointment and also the best arrangements for the transfer of members of the Canadian Nursing Service to the Home Establishment. Returned to Abbeville.
Went to Treport with Miss Ridley, Principal Matron, Canadians. Called on the new ADMS, Colonel Begbie, who unfortunately was out, and proceeded to:
No.2 Canadian General Hospital where we saw Miss Goodeve, the Matron, and had lunch in the mess which was comfortable and well arranged. Afterwards inspected the hospital which was first-rate in every respect – cupboards, bathrooms, sculleries and annexes all absolutely first-rate. The Canadian Red Cross is a great acquisition. During the day until 5 o’clock it is for the convenience and benefit of the patients. After 5 o’clock the personnel have the benefit of it. There is a platform for concerts, lots of games and as well two large billiard tables. It is run by two Canadian VADs.
I then called upon Miss Dunlop, Matron of the American Unit at No.16 General Hospital and afterwards had tea at the Canadian Hospital with all the Matrons of the area – Miss Goodeve, CAMC, Miss Dunlop, USANC, Miss Willetts and Miss Lang, QAIMNS. Returned to Abbeville.
Left after lunch for Etaples with Miss Ridley, Principal Matron, Canadians.
Went direct to No.8 Canadian Stationary Hospital which has only recently been established and which is now packing up to hold themselves in readiness to move to another area at short notice. We only saw the Matron, Miss Urquhart, CAMC and discussed the best ways of arranging for her present staff, many of whom are overdue for leave, to get their leave before the unit moves. Instructed the Matron to see that all her mess property as well as all the heavy luggage of her staff was thoroughly well packed and ready to proceed with the unit as the staff would more than likely have to wait some two or three weeks before the unit would be ready for them. Impressed upon her the importance of arranging with her staff only to keep back such luggage as they required and what they could if need be carry themselves.
Called on the DDMS Colonel Barefoot. Miss Ridley stayed the night at No.7 Canadian General Hospital and I, with Miss Stronach, stayed at the Villa Tino.
To the DDMS office where I discussed the question of the recent irregularities at No.24 General Hospital and was glad to learn that the DDMS had seen the OC on the subject. I made it perfectly plain that the Red Cross Hut was not to be used as a place for the Officers to entertain the Nursing Staff and I also pointed out that in any form of entertainment where the nursing staff were invited the Matron should chaperone the party and bring them home. I spoke very seriously to the Principal Matron, Miss Stronach, on the subject and said I considered Miss C. Mackay had entirely failed in her duties as Matron, and had she remained with the party there is no doubt the dancing would never have occurred. I also said that before many days were out I intended to move the present Matron.
I then went with Colonel Barefoot, the DDMS, to 26 General Hospital where, with the OC and Matron, I saw Captain Morrison, the Officer in charge of the Red Cross Research Hut, with reference to the appointment of a new Sister to replace Miss Murray, who was resigning, and a Staff Nurse to replace one who had been sent to the Front.
Then I went to No.7 Canadian Stationary Hospital where I met Miss Stronach and Miss Ridley, the OC and the Matron, Miss Willoughby and went round the hospital, which is absolutely first-rate in every detail. The wards, bed-making, cupboards, annexes, the little extra kitchen where one of the Sisters is responsible for making all the extras, and their mess, are all first-rate.
We then went to No.1 Canadian General Hospital where we saw the OC and the Matron, Miss Campbell. This unit is not in the same high standard of perfection as No.7 Canadian General Hospital but they were undergoing very radical structural alterations so it was hardly fair to criticise them severely. This hospital is the one selected for the nursing of fractured femurs, both officers and men, and huts are being built and others altered for this purpose. Had lunch with the DDMS After lunch inspected the Villas Tino and Pins, more especially to see the new hut which has been built for the WAACs. Found that here they have not been getting a good supply of warm clothing and the girls were bringing in two night-dresses only and managing with them. I advised the Matron to put in to Queen Mary’s Needlework Guild for night-dressed, pyjamas, bed-jackets and dressing gowns, and these I felt sure would be supplied without delay. Returned to Abbeville.
SUMMARY FOR FEBRUARY 1918
No.46 CCS, on 3.2.18: Staff supplied – 8
No.41 CCS, on 4.2.18: Staff supplied – 8
No.32 CCS, on 7.2.18: Staff supplied – 8
Abancourt Stationary Hospital, on 11.2.18: Staff supplied – 5 Trained, 5 VAD
Sick Sisters’ Hospital Trouville, on 25.2.18: Staff supplied – 6 Trained, 5 VAD
Total – 35 Trained, 10 VAD
No.7 CCS, on 6.2.18: Staff released – 5
No.21 CCS, on 19.2.18: Staff released – 12
No.43 CCS, on 24.2.18: Staff released – 8
Total – 25
Trained – 13*
Untrained – 1*
*excluding No.73 General Hospital which arrived with a staff of 81 Trained and 40 VADs.
Sent home sick
Trained – 12
Untrained – 11
Returned from sick leave
Trained – 12
Untrained – 3
Total at present sick in England
Trained – 90
Untrained – 71
Resignations sent forward
Trained – 12 (2 for marriage, 6 to join CAMC)
Transfers to Home Establishment
Trained – 9
To Italy with Ambulance Trains: Trained – 6
To SAMNS: Trained – 1
Sister A. G. Stallwood, TFNS – Mrs. Hopwood
Miss L. Baulcombe, VAD – Mrs. L. Cooper
Approximate of leaves granted
To the United Kingdom – 657
To the South of France – 144 (Canadians 45, AANS 32)
To the Nurses’ Club, Paris – 67 (Canadians 21, AANS 14, Americans 16, British 16)
VADs returned to England
Resigned – 8 (2 on account of marriage)
Termination of contract – 22 (2 on account of marriage)
Transferred to Home Establishment – 3
Invalided – 1
Total – 34
Units bombed or shelled
Several CCSs in the front area reported bombings on moonlight nights, but there were no casualties to nursing staff during the month.
Recalled to England – 26
Arrived in France – 29
Now in the country – 741 on L of C, 85 in Army Areas
Recalled to England – 10
Arrived in France – 23
Now in the country – 401 on L of C, 48 in Army Areas
Total requirements of Nurses in the BEF according to War Establishments on Lines of Communications, including Stationary Hospitals in the Front area:
Trained nurses - 2138
Untrained – 1640
Total requirements in Front Area
(i.e. CCS, Field Ambulances, Trains, Barges)
Trained – 551
Total requirements in BEF
Trained – 2689
Untrained – 1640
Total British Nursing Staff now in BEF
Trained – 2374
Untrained – 1623
Trained – 315
Untrained – 17
Grand total in BEF (including Overseas and Americans)
Trained – 4784
Untrained – 3226*
Others – 27
*includes 427 General Service VADs serving in British units.