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
In consequence of the repeated air raids in this Area, and in addition having heard of a very severe raid in the Etaples Area last night when many hospitals were damaged, I left for Etaples at 6 p.m. with instructions to look out for a house and an office for my own branch in Le Touquet. Arrived just in time to see the DDMS before he left his office, and went with the A/Principal Matron, Miss Stronach, to the Villa Tino, where I spent the night. Before leaving Abbeville it was considered desirable to move the whole of the office staff, to enable them all to get at any rate one night’s rest. Miss G. M. Smith QAIMNS, Miss Barbier CHR, Miss Hill and Miss Martin were sent to Treport, Miss Urquhart, Miss Craig and Miss Nisbett and Miss Manning VADs to Hardelot. Miss Hopper and Miss Anderson VADs were temporarily attached to No.3 General Hospital, and Miss Cay and Miss Maconochie to No.2 Stationary Hospital. Miss Maude and Miss Wright were on leave, and Miss Tribe at the Convalescent Home at Hardelot.
Sir Arthur Sloggett left France for England on completion of his appointment as DGMS of the British Armies in France. All the most prominent officers in France were at the Quay to see him off and he had a Guard of Honour.
Received a telegram of sympathy from Queen Alexandra. With Miss Ridley, Principal Matron of the Canadians, I called upon General Friend, DMS Claims and Hirings and ascertained whether a house and office were available at Paris Plage or Le Touquet. We were received with great courtesy, and told that he would help as far as possible, the selection of houses would be very small, but he would send his officer with me. I then called at the Base Commandant's, to ask permission to establish an office in this Area.
After lunch I went with the Rent Officer, Mr. Carr, to inspect several houses, two of which seemed suitable in every respect, and I undertook to ask officially for them on return to Headquarters.
I returned to the DDMS office and reported what had been done and learnt it had been decided to evacuate all the hospitals in the Etaples Area and the DMS General Carr had just been to the office to give them this information. The situation in Etaples is as follows:-
The St. John’s Ambulance Brigade Hospital, No.1 Canadian General Hospital, the Liverpool Merchants’ Hospital and 56 General Hospital closed. They were evacuating all patients as quickly as possible and all the fractured femurs (over 400) were being sent to England. No.7 Canadian General Hospital was taking local sick, Nos.24 and 26 General Hospitals were going to take a few patients, all local, and 46 Stationary Hospital would continue to take infectious cases from this Area. At Camiers all the hospitals were going to remain as they were. The St. John Brigade Hospital and No.1 Canadian General were to be the first two to move to another Area, when the position had been decided.
I went on to No.20 General Hospital where I saw General Carr and told him what I had been able to do. Afterwards I had tea in the Mess where I met a great many of the Nursing Staff as well as many of the Medical Officers.
On my way back I visited No.1 Canadian General Hospital where I saw the Matron, who showed me the damage which had been done the night before. Some huts were slightly damaged, and the whole of the enormous hospital kitchen entirely wrecked.
Then I went to 7 Canadian General Hospital where I saw the Matron, Miss Willoughby. She, with one of the Officers, showed me the dug-outs which were being made for the Nursing Staff.
Then to 56 General Hospital, where I saw the OC Col. Bush and the Matron, Miss Smith TFNS and where I learnt that both the Operating Theatre and the X-ray room had been absolutely destroyed. Fortunately the casualties were small in comparison with the damage done, in consequence of there having just been an evacuation, and a great many patients had been able to seek shelter in the trenches. For the safety of the Staff it had been arranged that all the day duty people should be taken into the forest for the night until the “all-clear” sounded, when they returned to their own Units. This was to be continued until proper cover had been provided in the way of trenches and dug-outs in each Unit. Stayed the night at the Villa Tino, with Miss Ridley.
Left early with Miss Ridley for Abbeville, arriving at the office at 10.30 a.m. to find that no-one had arrived from Le Treport in consequence of the difficulty of transport. On seeing the DDMS he advised that all workers should return, as he realised that the office could not go on in the present condition. I telephoned for those from Hardelot and Le Treport to return without delay, the arrangements still being that they were to return to Treport each night to ensure a proper night’s rest. Colonel Gallie left for Trouville to look for a new site for the hospitals which were under orders to move from Etaples.
I left in the afternoon for GHQ where I saw the new DGMS, Lt. General Burtchaell and his deputy, Major-General Thompson. I discussed the question of the office, the arrival of the Canadian Matron-in-Chief and my visit to Paris. We also spoke of the German success in the South, where they had been very anxious for some time about the safety of the 8th and 9th Corps as well as the four Surgical Teams which had joined, and they had only recently heard that the Teams were absolutely safe. Returned to Etaples for the night.
I left early for Paris, arriving at 1 p.m. Reported to the ADMS office and then had lunch with him, at the Hotel Regina, where I took a room and decided to spend the night. After lunch I went to the Hotel Crillon in the hope of seeing Lady Algernon Gordon-Lennox with reference to her Club at Etaples, but found she had gone to Trouville and would not be returning until the beginning of the week.
Then I went to visit the American Red Cross, where I saw Miss Stimson, the head of that department. I found that Miss Bessie Bell, Head of the Military Department, was not in Paris, but Miss Stimson undertook to approach her on the subject of Miss Urch, Chief Nurse of 18 General Hospital, who without any warning whatever was reduced by her CO to ordinary Sister’s rank and another member of the Staff put in her place. I also discussed the question of accommodation for the 5 Nurses who were shortly to arrive in Paris for the small British Hospital which is opening there, and she has undertaken to accommodated them if possible at the American pension which is close to the unit.
I then met the ADMS and inspected the new hospital, which is in the Rue Christophe Colombe, a nice solid-looking 4 storied house in a row, being well decorated, but will only accommodate 50 patients, one floor being set apart for officers. The rooms are large and airy, lit with electric light, tastefully decorated. There is plenty of bath accommodation and a good staircase, but no lift. There is a very fine kitchen in the basement, but all the other offices are very small.
Called on the late Ambassador, Lord Bertie of Thane, and found that his condition had improved. Spent the night at the Hotel Regina, quite peaceful, not even any air warnings.
After seeing ADMS I left for Rouen, arriving there at 2 o’clock. Reported at the DDMS Office, and had lunch with the A/Principal Matron where I met the Matrons of 58 and 59 General Hospitals, who are waiting there until their Units re-open.
Then to 8 General Hospital where I stayed the night and where I inspected the Hospital. They have now accommodation for 400 Officers. This Unit has improved enormously in every respect, the OC Lt. Col. Butler taking a personal interest in every detail. I saw old General Hart’s son, a Brigadier, who had both his legs amputated, and who had only escaped from the Citadel at Doullens one night before it was destroyed. He was getting on very well and was in the best of spirits. The Officers are accommodated both in the building and in huts which have been specially arranged for them, and there were a large number of fractured femurs, which are in huts. The Nursing quarters are increased, the mess and ante-rooms enlarged, and four bathrooms added. The arrangements for the mess and the Home were excellent in every respect, the table appointments good, and both kitchen and pantry in first class order. I stayed the night there, and had dinner with the Matron. An excellent dinner, cooked by one of the VADs.
I went to the A/Principal Matron’s Office where I saw Miss Willetts QAIMNS Matron of 10 General Hospital, who has been feeling sore at being posted to a Unit where the Principal Matron was her junior, and she had applied officially for a transfer to the Home Establishment in consequence. However, after talking the matter over with her, she decided to stay where she was. I gave her the opportunity of working in the Havre Area under Miss Rannie, but she preferred to remain where she was.
I then saw Chief Nurse, Mrs. Daly, of the hundred Americans who have been lent to us by the American Army to work in British Units. These hundred are distributed among the various Units in Rouen. She is working with Miss Willetts so as to learn our administration, and she keeps the records of all her hundred Nurses. I arranged that she should visit all Units each week, where she would see the Matron and the Matron would arrange for her to see all her American Nurses.
Before going round the hospitals, the DDMS Col. Meeke, called upon me. I was able to tell him that matters were satisfactorily settled as far as Miss Willetts was concerned, and he was anxious I should visit 3 Stationary Hospital without any delay as there was a certain amount of friction there in consequence of what appeared to be a certain amount of disloyalty to a new Matron, Miss Bamfield QAIMNSR who had only just taken over.
I went to 3 Stationary Hospital. I first saw the OC Col. Hull, and from him I gathered a great many of the Staff had been encouraged to discuss the Matron with the Medical Officers, and instead of the Medical Officers giving Miss Bamfield the support they should have done, they were encouraging them in their disloyal behaviour. I afterwards saw Miss Bamfield, and I was more impressed than ever that as a newcomer she had been given no support whatever, and I arranged to move many of the Staff who had been a considerable time in the Unit, and in this way to give the new Matron a fair start. Went round the hospital and quarters. Everything seemed to be well arranged. The quarters gave one the impression of being exceedingly comfortable. Lunch was laid and seemed very nicely served, the larder and store room were well supplied with good food.
6 General Hospital: From there I went on to No.6 General Hospital, where I had lunch with the Matron, Miss Hepple QAIMNS. Afterwards I went round the hospital with the Matron and Lt. Col. Adye Curran, the OC. Every available spare piece of ground has been utilised for a vegetable garden, poultry, rabbits and pigs.
9 General Hospital: I went to No.9 General Hospital, an American Unit, where I called upon the Matron and was invited to tea the next day to meet all the Medical and Nursing Staff.
10 General Hospital: I went to 10 General Hospital and had tea with the Staff and afterwards went round the hospital. This Unit has very much improved since last I saw it and now is almost entirely composed of Adrian huts. They had good cupboards, and the best was made of all available space. The hospital was very full of people, many of them badly wounded and others badly gassed. There was no doubt the very best was being done for the patients. I saw Miss Whyte QAIMNS the Assistant Matron who had just returned from nursing Lord Bertie, late Ambassador in Paris, and whom I have selected to do Matron’s duties at the new hospital in Paris.
I returned to the Nurses’ Home, and had dinner with Miss Tunley, the Principal Matron, Miss Whiffin TFNS, Matron of 59 General Hospital, Miss Hills TFNS, Matron of 58 General Hospital, the DDMS Col. Meeke, Colonel Pilcher and Capt. Smith. I stayed the night there.
Left early. Visited No.1 Australian General Hospital. Found that the DGMS Australia and the DMS had been at the Unit the day before, and the Unit had neglected to let either me or the DMS know of his arrival. Went round the hospital. Everything in first rate order, the wards very pretty, beautiful flowers everywhere, and a blue note everywhere, nearly all the screens being blue of a very pretty shade. I went round the quarters also, which had been enlarged, there being ample accommodation for everyone in huts.
Then I went to 12 General Hospital, another American Unit, where I saw the Chief Nurse Miss Taylor and the OC Major Veeder.
Next I visited No.5 General Hospital where I had lunch in the Mess. I saw Miss C. V. S. Johnson QAIMNS Matron, Lt. Col. Lawson, OC, Miss Esden, Assistant Matron, and Miss Roy QAIMNS, who was waiting to join 48 CCS. After lunch I went round the Unit. This Unit is almost similar to No.6 and the Nursing arrangements are equally good, both in the hospital, mess and the Home.
From there I went to 25 Stationary Hospital, Isolation. Matron Miss Northover TFNS, OC Col. McCarthy. A most beautiful Isolation Hospital with every possible convenience; absolutely separate divisions for the different diseases, self-contained with little kitchen, pantry and every convenience, the accommodation for Officers and Sisters being quite excellent. The Nursing Quarters, which are entirely hutted are the best arranged and neatest Nursing Quarters I have ever seen in France. All the bedrooms were in excellent order, and exceedingly pretty. In this Unit they have a wonderful Chapel, made of rough logs, entirely made by the personnel, the windows being of old Xray plates, all made without any cost whatever to the public. The seats were rough-hewn logs, and the little Altar was given by one of the patients and the hangings by the mother of one of the VADs.
11 Stationary Hospital: From there I went to 11 Stationary Hospital, half run by the Scottish Red Cross Society. This Unit was not as satisfactory as the remainder, and I was astonished to find that the A/Matron, Miss Ram QAIMNS had put a complete staff of American Sisters, with the Night Superintendent an American, on night duty, and as these ladies had only recently arrived in the Country and knew nothing of our methods and had never worked with orderlies, I pointed out how exceedingly bad her judgement had been. However she is of an exceedingly argumentative nature, and gave one the impression that she thought she knew better than anyone else.
9 General Hospital: Then to No.9 General Hospital, where I had tea and met many American Nurses and Officers. Had a most gorgeous repast, including Strawberry ice-creams.
Went to the Sick Sisters’ Hospital. Everything going well, and well managed. A good many sick people, including a WAAC woman of 22 with her baby. Stayed the night at 8 General Hospital, and had dinner with Miss Roscoe QAIMNS, the Matron, Miss Tunley the P/Matron, and the OC Col. Butler.
Left early for Abbeville, arriving at 11 a.m.
To Boulogne, to meet Miss Conyers, Matron-in-Chief Australian Nursing Service, who had arrived the day before. Had lunch with her at the Principal Matron’s Mess. After lunch, under instructions from the DMS, L of C, I saw the DDMS Colonel Thurston, and the Base Commandant, General Wilberforce, with reference to taking a house in Boulogne for this branch of the office. Both were most kind and helpful, and have undertaken to find me suitable buildings both for an office and a residence, the Base Commandant being most emphatic that the very best that could be found was to be had for me.
Received a telephone message from the AAG saying that he had been up to Headquarters at 5 o’clock to see me on a matter of importance. Found that he wished to let me know that a certain S/Nurse of the name of Rooney QAIMNSR had been found carrying on correspondence with the enemy. She was thought to be a Sinn Feiner, and it was probable that she would be tried by Court Martial. He wished it to be entirely confidential until the official information came to Headquarters. He did not wish it talked about.
Lt. Col. Jenner AAG: I also saw Colonel Lyster with reference to the operation which is to take place on Sunday next on the AAG, Lt. Col. Jenner, who had double glaucoma. He is very anxious that he should be nursed at 25 General Hospital, Hardelot, so as to obviate, if possible, the fear of him having to be subjected to the annoyance of air raids, after the many very trying experiences he has had at Abbeville. I suggested that 32 Stationary Hospital would possibly be a more desirable Unit, as it is well out of Boulogne, is admirably managed and has excellent Sick Officers’ accommodation. It seemed preferable to 25 General Hospital, which although some distance from Boulogne is a hospital where the men admitted are mainly skin cases. He was pleased at the suggestion, and undertook to go and inspect 32 Stationary and let me know in the morning what his decision was.
With Miss Conyers stayed the night at the Hotel du Nord, the Canadian Nurses’ Hostel, where we were both most comfortable and luxuriously housed, and where they insisted on us being looked upon as guests. I inspected the whole of the building, which is right in every respect. The work of the hostel was being done entirely by Canadian VADs, quite young, aged from 19 to 22, quite charming in every way, and doing their work in a magnificent manner.
Lady Algernon Gordon Lennox: Visited the Lady Algernon Gordon Lennox with reference to the various clubs that have been obliged to close and others which are opening. Learnt that Lord Bertie had improved sufficiently to be evacuated to the United Kingdom by hospital ship from Havre, the French President having arranged for a special train with every possible comfort and convenience to take him from Paris to Havre, and on arrival in England Sir Bertrand Dawson was making every arrangement for his comfort. He was to be transferred to one of Sir Bertrand’s special Nursing Homes for further treatment.
Houses in Boulogne: Went with Major McFarlane DAQMG and the Rent Officer to view two large houses, either being equally good for an office, one being an annexe to the big Theatre, and the other Cavans’ Tea Rooms. Also looked at a beautifully furnished house, recently occupied by one of the French Generals, situated in very fine grounds, which would suit admirably if one could take a small house as well, if the French agree. A drawback is that the house is rather a distance from the office, but there is a tram line passing the house which makes the distance about 10 mins. from one building to the other.
25 General Hospital: Went with Miss Conyers to 25 General Hospital, which has improved in many respects, and which is still overflowing with every class of skin case.
Convalescent Home, Hardelot: Went on to Lady Gifford’s Convalescent Home, which is absolutely next door, and which has the sea in front and the forests quite close at hand. There is accommodation for 45.
Lady Hadfield’s Hospital: On return, visited Lady Hadfield’s Hospital and saw Capt. Hastings A’Beckett.* He had been wounded in the jaw, the third time he had been wounded. This time the bullet had gone right through from one side of the jaw to the other leaving no disfigurement whatever, merely fracturing his jaw in two places, a miraculous escape.
With Miss Conyers, Miss Blakeley, A/Principal Matron, and Miss Woodford, Embarkation Sister, dined at the Mess of the DDMS where we met Lt. General Babtie VC who had just arrived from the United Kingdom and was on his way South to see what arrangements were being made for our British wounded in French Hospitals. A quiet night.
* This man was a relative of Miss McCarthy. Her mother’s maiden name was A’Beckett, and one of her brothers named Hastings McCarthy, so the patient was probably either a cousin or a nephew.
First went to see the DAQMG with reference to the house and office. He undertook to let me know what could be arranged on Saturday 15th.
83 General Hospital: To 83 General Hospital where the Matron, Miss Smyth QAIMNS took Miss Conyers round while I interviewed Col. Lyster with reference to Colonel Jenner’s approaching operation. He finally decided that he was to be operated on at 32 Stationary Hospital. A special and suitable room was being prepared, and two Nurses, Sisters Lear and Day, were to be specials. Three Sisters were specially selected by Colonel Lyster as he knew them to be absolutely efficient in this class of work.
Returned with Miss Conyers to Abbeville in time for lunch. Miss Conyers went to 3 Australian General Hospital to stay.
Left for GHQ with the Matron-in-Chief AANS, Miss Conyers, where we both saw the DGMS Lt. Gen. Burtchaell, and the DDGMS General Thompson. With the DGMS I discussed the approaching move of the office. He is quite in favour of it being detached if I feel the arrangement is a good one. My opinion is that so long as definite instructions were sent from his office to let all the Areas and Armies thoroughly understand that everything in connection with the Nursing Service was to be sent direct to me, then in any matter of doubt I might refer to him or the DMS, L of C as the case might be, provided I had ample telephonic communication, I felt the arrangement would be a good one. At any rate I would make every effort to make it so, as the general opinion was that this arrangement would be more satisfactory for both Headquarters.
Appointment of A/Principal Matrons: I asked whether I might put up the question of appointing an A/Principal Matron of every Area and in all Armies, and pointed out that if this could be done it would be an enormous help to me now that the work was increasing so rapidly. This he approved of.
Reports: I let him know that every Unit I visited I wrote a short report on, which is kept in the office and can be referred to at any moment. I undertook to let him know of anything of an unusual nature which might occur, so that he might be kept in touch with everything in connection with the Nursing Services. With the DGMS I discussed the work in the Armies and this new Area which has been taken up where the 9th Corps has been established, also the Paris Club, and it is arranged that later it will be advisable for me to visit that Area.
RAF: I also learnt that as well as the Army and Navy one has to bear in mind that there is yet another Service, the Royal Air Force, to which hospitals are going to be attached for work with that Service alone, and in that respect 8 Canadian Stationary Hospital, stationed near Nancy is working.
I spoke about certain members of the Nursing Service who are under suspicion for holding intercourse with German prisoners (enemy), and I was advised by him of the best procedure to take in this matter.
We had lunch at GHQ and then left for the 2nd Army. Reported at Headquarters and then with Miss Conyers visited 1 and 2 Australian Casualty Clearing Stations, both in first rate order, both most satisfactory in every respect. In consequence of Nos.2 and 15 CCSs being closed to move to another position they were expecting an increased amount of work, and three Teams from these Units had arrived at one CCS and two at the other. All these Nurses, 10 in all, which includes 5 Anaesthetists, I interviewed, and ascertained when their leave was due, and as most were overdue, I arranged with the OC to send reliefs to enable them to get away.
Left Miss Conyers at the CCS and went on to Moulle, the new quarters for members of the Nursing Staff passing through to the Armies which has been established since St. Omer had to be evacuated. Miss Hartigan, A/Principal Matron St. Omer, is in charge, and at the time of my visit there were a large number of Nurses waiting from Clearing Stations which had been suddenly obliged to close. They are established in a beautiful Chateau, which until lately has been a section of 59 General Hospital. When the remaining number of Medical Officers who are at present obliged to be accommodated there, move, the accommodation will be excellent. There is a beautiful river running through the grounds, and the Sisters are feeling the benefit of this change from their recent noisy quarters at St. Omer.
11 CCS: Situated in the grounds is 11 CCS, under canvas with ample hutted accommodation for the Nursing Staff, with Miss Fergusson TFNS in charge, OC Lt. Col. Hallowes. Everything was going smoothly and satisfactorily. There is still part of the Compound set apart for the Chinese. There are about to be moved to another Camp, and when this has been arranged this CCS will be in excellent order. Stayed the night at Moulle, and had the opportunity of talking to a large number of Nurses and Sisters in charge.
Left early. Called at 3 Australian CCS for Miss Conyers, and then visited the Headquarters of the Army, where I saw the DMS. Asked that the Sick Sisters now at Malassises might be transferred to some vacant huts at Moulle, so that they would be under Miss Hartigan’s eye, and there would be considerably less fear of them being worried with air raids which occasionally occur at Malassises, when everyone has to be carried to the cellars. This he approved of. He was very glad to hear of the arrangement of the A/Principal Matron St. Omer being responsible for the Nursing at the Clearing Stations in his Army, and he is going to arrange so that she has proper transport. I spoke about the Barges, which I feel are not very satisfactory, with which he agreed, and I let him know that I had instructed the Principal Matron to go into this matter thoroughly and report.
18 CCS: With Miss Conyers visited 18 CCS, established on the old site of 7 General Hospital, Malassises. Saw Captain Barefoot, who had been dangerously ill with pneumonia, and was glad to find he had had his crisis and his condition was satisfactory. I saw Lt. Col. Storrs RAMC and Miss Jennings TFNS, the Sister in charge. Went round the Sick Sisters’ Division, where are a large number of Sisters suffering from minor complaints. Learnt that the Unit had been increased to 1040 beds, and they had a large number of infectious cases.
58 CCS: From there I went to 58 CCS at Longuenesse. The OC Lt. Col. Martin was away. I saw his representative, Major Harvey, and the Sister in charge, Miss Lowe QAIMNS. At the time of the visit the Unit was very empty, but the number of beds had been increased to 1040 in consequence of heavy work which is expected at any moment. Went round the Quarters, which are hutted and will eventually be very good. Miss Lowe has had a somewhat heavy time, but seems to be overcoming her difficulties, and should, I think, prove satisfactory.
No.9 BRCS Hospital: From there I went to Millicent, Duchess of Sutherland’s Hospital, situated in the most lovely grounds with a Chateau which she has taken as a residence. The hospital is in the park, and she was able to bring the whole of her hutments from Calais. Her arrangements are first rate, and her little Unit is quite beautiful in every respect, the colours in the different huts being very attractive and quite different from anything else I have ever seen in France. Saw a great many wounded men, both English and American, also some seriously ill Chinese suffering from medical complaints. They were being nursed in the same wards at the Tommies and looked very happy, and I learnt were splendid patients. In addition to this, there were a large number of Officers from a Headquarters near, suffering from Influenza.
We had lunch with the Duchess in her Chateau, and from there went to 3 Australian CCS where we saw the acting OC Major Woolner, and the Sister in charge, Miss Fleming, AANS. The arrangements here, both for the patients and staff seemed very good. At the time of the visit this Unit also had very few patients. Here also two Teams had arrived from 15 CCS in readiness for the work which was expected.
After tea left for Boulogne, arriving at 7.30. After reporting to the DDMS spent the night with Lady Algernon Gordon Lennox. Absolutely quiet, no warnings given.
In consequence of hearing from the DDMS that the Nursing Sisters’ quarters of the Units in Boulogne were overcrowded with staff, I visited, first, 83 General Hospital where I inspected the whole department. They have accommodation for 93 people, in huts, in a Chateau in the road opposite, and in a building in a house just behind the quarters. Everywhere I found things in absolute order. There was no over-crowding. Sisters going on leave or being transferred sick invariably pack up all their belongings, thus leaving their room or part of room available for newcomers. The Mess and Ante-Room were commodious and tastefully furnished, the kitchens, larders, out-houses and bathrooms being absolutely clean. In this unit the Home is run by 2 VADs and all domestic arrangements are managed by 7 French servants who are paid from Mess funds. They have only 1 batman, who draws the rations, coal etc. and does odd jobs.
8 Stationary Hospital: I went to 8 Stationary Hospital. This Unit has recently been taken over from Miss Kaberry QAIMNS by Miss Lang QAIMNS, and I was more than astonished to find how inadequate and unsatisfactory the arrangements for the Nursing Staff were. They have no French servants. The kitchen and all these departments are run by men and are very dirty and unsatisfactory. Miss Lang realises she has a lot of work before her to get things into proper order, and has since her arrival appointed a new Home Sister. I have told her to go into the question of domestics, and engage some more French servants without delay, who will go by the day as they do at No.83.
No.2 Australian General Hospital: Then I went to 2 Australian General Hospital with Miss Conyers, had lunch, and inspected the quarters and hospital Everything very satisfactory. Saw the OC before I left.
32 Stationary Hospital: Then I went to 32 Stationary Hospital, where I inspected the quarters and the hospital. Here everything is first rate; the accommodation for the whole Nursing Staff is equally good as 83 General, and they have extremely nice Mess and Ante-rooms.
Night Duty Staffs: In all the hospitals in this Area I found that the night duty people are kept absolutely separate from the rest of the staff, and this is an order which was given some months ago.
Office: Returned to the office, where I went into the question of the office, which is still in abeyance, delayed in consequence of the sudden illness of Major McFarlane DAQMG. Arranged to go with the Rent Officer tomorrow to see new places, and to hurry him up with reference to a decision about a building I saw last week which should be suitable as an office.
Left early for the office. Called on the DAQMG and then went on to the Rent Officer, where I was given the address of another house facing the sea front, which might be suitable as office premises, so that I might consider it, as there was still delay in getting an answer from the other. Ascertained that the house which I looked at last week and which would have been suitable for the Staff was not available. I saw several other buildings before I left for Headquarters. DDMS, L of C has kindly undertaken to look into the matter of all the necessary arrangements with as little delay as possible, and let me know when he has been able to deal with the matter in a satisfactory manner.
Left after lunch for Boulogne, in a car lent to me by DOW South, in consequence of shortage of cars in the Directorate. Reported to DDMS Office. Saw the Base Commandant, General Wilberforce, DAQMG, Capt. Kemp, and the Rents' Officer, Capt. Murrel, all very helpful, the General being emphatic that no house was to be taken unless I entirely approved of it, and all alterations necessary should be put in hand as soon as a building was secured. Went with the Principal Matron and Capt. Murrel to various houses, none of which were suitable. Arranged to meet him again in the morning, and spent the night at Lady Algernon Gordon Lennox’s. All quiet, no air raids.
The Sanitary Officer, Captain Ferguson, brought his Interpreter, who told me of a house which he thought might be suitable, owned by a Marquise. Inspected it with the Rent Officer, found it suitable in every respect. Then interviewed the Solicitor who was acting for the owner, who is in the South of France. A telegram was sent asking for a reply at once. Spent the rest of the day looking at houses which might prove suitable for the staff and myself, without much success.
S/Nurse Rooney QAIMNSR: Interviewed S/Nurse M. W. Rooney QAIMNSR and Miss Morris QAIMNS Retired, the Assistant Matron at 11 Stationary Hospital who had brought Miss Rooney from Rouen for temporary duty in Boulogne Base until authority was received for her transfer to the Home Establishment.
Dietitians: I interviewed Sisters Haywood and Roberts in connection with Dietitian’s duties. Neither of them at all anxious to undertake the work, and Miss Roberts would not be at all suitable. She has only just completed her training before coming to France and has been solely employed in surgical work.
14 General Hospital: Visited 14 General Hospital. Went over the quarters, which are not too satisfactory, but another house available for 20 has just been taken which should improve matters. Have arranged with the Matron that when this building is ready the staff of the Chateau Mauricien should be moved from their present not too desirable billets.
Saw the GOC, L of C Sir John Asser with the Base Commandant, General Wilberforce in connection with the new office. Air Raid of short duration. Wrote to General Carr.
Spent the day looking at houses, without any very great success.
BRCS: Visited Headquarters BRCS where I saw Miss Crowdy with reference to the work of VADs in Military Hospitals and General Service VADs, emphasising the fact that it was important that the General Service Section people, the same as all other workers in Military Units, should have a definite time to go on and to come off duty, with recognised on and off duty times. It appears that up to the present Miss Crowdy has interviewed all the OCs of the various Units and asked each what time they would like the members of the various departments to go on duty, the result not being satisfactory. She is anxious that I should meet her with Lady Ampthill in London next time I go on leave. Another thing we discussed, was the question of Clubs for General Service VADs, official authority for which has not yet been received.
Pay Office: Then I went to the Pay Office, and discussed Mess Allowances; pay and special allowance which is necessary for the Nurses working in Paris where messing and accommodation cannot be obtained for less that 14 francs for the Matron and 12 francs for the Nursing Staff per day. As there is no Mess or accommodation available, they are accommodated at the American Pension, which is most comfortable and suitable in every respect. Also discussed the question of Acting rank of all people not employed, they have to revert to their own rank until employed in a higher capacity. I pointed out the difficulties at present in some Units being granted servants paid by Government funds, some have General Service VADs, and some have to meet all needs from their own funds. Recommended that this should be put up officially to bring all Units on the same footing.
Very bad Air Raid, lasting about 3 hours. Incessant bombing the whole time. Wrote to General Carr, DMS, L of C.
SUMMARY FOR JUNE 1918
No.43 Ambulance Train, on 3.6.18: Staff supplied – 3
Station Hospital, Paris, on 11.6.18: Staff supplied – 5
No.64 Casualty Clearing Station, on 1.6.18: Staff supplied – 14
No.33 Casualty Clearing Station, on 15.6.18: Staff supplied – 9
No.36 Casualty Clearing Station, on 19.6.18: Staff supplied – 10
No.34 Casualty Clearing Station, on 20.6.18: Staff supplied – 7
No.46 Casualty Clearing Station, on 26.6.18: Staff supplied – 7
Total – 55
No.13 Casualty Clearing Station, on 9.6.18: Staff released – 15
No.2 Casualty Clearing Station, on 17.6.18: Staff released – 19
No.15 Casualty Clearing Station, on 17.6.18: Staff released – 22
Total – 56
Trained – 4
VADs – 39
Sent home sick
Trained – 35
VADs – 16
Returned from sick leave
Trained – 5
VADs – 4
Total at present sick in England
Trained – 135
VADs – 76
Resignations sent forward
Trained – 14 (4 for marriage)
Transfers to Home Establishment
Trained – 6
Approximate No. of leaves granted
To United Kingdom – 805
To Paris – 1
To Etretat – 1
Total – 807
VADs returned to England
Resigned – 13 (1 for marriage)
Termination of contract – 10
Transferred to Home Establishment – 24
Total – 47
Accidentally drowned – Miss A. H. Lancaster, Special Probationer, on 3.6.18.
Died – Miss N. Taylor BRCS Motor Convoy Driver (Melancholia) on 27.6.18
Units bombed or shelled
Frevent has been shelled regularly during the month by long range guns, but fortunately the units there – No.6 Stationary Hospital and No.3 Canadian CCS – have not suffered. The latter unit has been moved a short distance to a site out of range of the guns. No.6 Stationary Hospital nursing staff has been reduced to 10.
St. Omer area has also been shelled by long range guns but all hospitals have now been removed from the danger zone.
Frequent bombing raids have occurred in all Front Areas and in many districts on the L of C but these have not been of such a severe nature as those of last months and fortunately no casualties have occurred amongst members of the nursing staff.
Boulogne: There have been frequent warnings during the month, but no serious raids.
Calais: Has had several minor raids and alarms, but no casualties.
Abbeville: The first fortnight was quiet, but there was a bad raid on the night of the 17th-18th. Considerable damage was done to private property but no casualties to nursing staff or patients.
Etaples: This area has been free from raids during the month, although they have had numerous warnings and alarms.
Military Medals awarded
Sister C. L. A. Robinson, QAIMNS: No.10 Stationary Hospital, St. Omer
A/Sister N. Galvin, CHR: No.10 Stationary Hospital, St. Omer
A/Sister M. de Guerin, CHR: No.10 Stationary Hospital, St. Omer
S/Nurse K. R. Lowe, QAIMNSR: No.10 Stationary Hospital, St. Omer
S/Nurse S. D. Munroe, QAIMNSR: No.46 Stationary Hospital, Etaples
Miss W. A. Brampton, VAD: No.46 Stationary Hospital, Etaples
Miss D. L. Crewdson, VAD: No.46 Stationary Hospital, Etaples
A/Matron L. M. M. Toller, RRC, QAIMNS: No.26 General Hospital, Etaples
Sister M. E. Davis, QAIMNS: No.26 General Hospital, Etaples
S/Nurse A. M. McGrath , QAIMNSR: No.26 General Hospital, Etaples
Miss M. G. Campbell, VAD: No.26 General Hospital, Etaples
Miss E. Hounslow, ARRC, VAD: No.26 General Hospital, Etaples
Miss M. Cavanagh, VAD: No.56 General Hospital, Etaples
Sister L. A. Wilkinson, QAIMNSR: No.24 General Hospital, Etaples
S/Nurse B. Dascombe, QAIMNSR: No.24 General Hospital, Etaples
Miss K. M. Freshfield, VAD: No.24 General Hospital, Etaples
Miss L. A. Gregory, VAD: No.24 General Hospital, Etaples
Matron C. E. Todd, SJAB: SJAB Hospital, Etaples
Asst. Matron M. Chittock, SJAB: SJAB Hospital, Etaples
Sister K. Warner, SJAB: SJAB Hospital, Etaples
Sister J. Bemrose, SJAB: SJAB Hospital, Etaples
Sister M. McGinnis, SJAB: SJAB Hospital, Etaples
Sister M. H. Balance, SJAB: SJAB Hospital, Etaples
Commandant Miss W.E.S.M. Batten: BRCS Motor Convoy, Etaples
Senior Section Leader J. V. Mellor: BRCS Motor Convoy, Etaples
Sub-Section Leader G. M. Cuthbert: BRCS Motor Convoy, Etaples
Section Leader G. F. Johnston: BRCS Motor Convoy, Etaples
Total No. of CAMC
Transferred to England – 11
Arrived in France – 17
Now in France – 755
Total No. of AANS
Transferred to England – 7
Arrived in France – 7
Now in France – 466
Total requirement of nurses in the BEF, according to War Establishment on the L of C, including Stationary Hospitals in the front area:
Trained nurses – 2314
VADs and Special Probationers – 1703
Total requirement in Front area (CCS, Trains, Barges, etc.)
Trained Nurses – 693
Total requirement in BEF
Trained nurses – 3007
VADs and Special Probationers – 1703
Total British Staff now in BEF
Trained nurses – 2439
Americans attached to British units nursed by British personnel (trained) – 97
AANS attached to British units nursed by British personnel (trained) – 20
Total – 2556
VADs and Special Probationers – 1760
Trained nurses – 451
Grand total in BEF (including Overseas and Americans)
Trained nurses – 4822
VADs and Special Probationers – 3380*
*Includes 882 General Service VADs working in British units.