CROWN COPYRIGHT: THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES, WO95/3991
RECORD OF WORK DONE AWAY FROM HEADQUARTERS
RECORD OF WORK DONE AWAY FROM HEADQUARTERS
Chateau Boursot: Visited Calais and inspected the Chateau Boursot, a new Sick Sisters’ Hospital with a small Isolation Block attached, which is just ready for occupation. A/Matron Miss Tyers, TFNS, late Assistant Matron 73 General Hospital, and a Staff of 4 Trained Nurses and 3 VAD members. There is accommodation for 18 general cases and for 7 infectious cases, partly in a building and partly in huts. In the house there are 2 wards, one of three beds and another of 9, and a nice verandah which forms a good sitting room for the patients. In addition the Hospital Nursing Staff are accommodated in this building. On the ground floor there is a nice pantry, and up above there are three bedrooms, one set apart for the Matron, one for the night people, and one for the VADs. There is a fine verandah here closed in with glass, part of which has been used as a bedroom, and which it is suggested to divide off again, one portion for a bedroom, making the remainder a sitting room. In the attics, four General Service VADs are accommodated. In huts, between one ward of 9 beds, is the Operating Theatre, linen room, bath room, and all the usual offices for the general cases, also two very good rooms for the staff in which 2 people can be accommodated well and comfortably. These huts are connected with corridors and in the same grounds as the Isolation Block, self-contained with separate rooms for infectious cases, which will be very comfortable and suitable in every respect when once it is opened. There is a kitchen detached from the building, where the cooking both for the patients, Nursing Staff, General Service Section and men is done. A small pantry is attached, and a good vegetable hut and meat safe. As there are no other General Service VADs in this Command, these four people have been posted to this Unit and are under the entire control of the A/Matron, and they happen to be four extremely nice girls of the same social standing as the other VADs, and as there is no other accommodation with respect to the Mess and Ante-room for the domestic staff, arrangements have been made for these girls to mess with the remainder of the staff.
Attached to this unit is a Corporal and 4 men, who are accommodated in huts in the Compound and have their own Mess, and the General Service girls cook for them also. The Unit is lighted with electricity and heated with gas stoves. It is provided with a dug-out and the huts are well protected with sand-bags. The bedroom accommodation for the General Service VADs is not good; they are accommodated in attics quite in the roof, but things are being made as comfortable for them as circumstances permit.
35 General Hospital: OC Colonel Hitchens, A/Principal Matron, Miss Bond, RRC, QAIMNS, Assistant Matron Miss M. Pedlar, QAIMNS.
This Unit is equipped for 650 beds, 52 for Officers, 12 set apart for fractured femurs. There is a staff of 35 trained members and 21 VADs and 2 Masseuses, one of whom the Principal Matron considered she could dispense with, as the fractured femurs were being evacuated to the United Kingdom as soon as possible in consequence of the number of air-raids. 1 trained nurse and 3 VADs were on night duty, and S/Nurse O’Connor was in the Theatre training for that branch of work. A Dietitian had just joined this Unit, and in the short time it was appreciated by everyone that the cooking and the way the meals were served was vastly improved. The accommodation for the Staff of this Unit has never been satisfactory. They are in scattered billets in the town and round the Casino, 2 houses, 1 Chalet and a half, and 5 Armstrong Huts. The staff are conveyed backwards and forwards to their work from the houses in the town by Ambulance, and the anxiety of the Matron is considerably increased during air-raids. Another arrangement for their safety during an air-raid is a big dug-out near the Chalet. In the houses they have strong cellars. The accommodation of the Nursing Staff of this Unit compares very badly with that of the FANYs who have well built huts with sitting and mess rooms absolutely next to the Hospital. These scattered houses necessitate separate messes which mean a considerable amount of arrangement and are extravagant in every respect. At present they have 8 French servants, who come daily and are paid 2 francs a day. Of this, 160 francs a month is met by Government funds, and the remainder comes out of Mess expenses.
The work appears to be entirely satisfactory, but there were two staff nurses whom the Matron was anxious to have moved, as they appear to have made rather undesirable acquaintances. An official application has been made from this Unit for General Service VADs to replace French servants, but up to the present this has not been able to be arranged. I returned to Boulogne in the afternoon and visited 83 General Hospital.
83 (Dublin) General Hospital: Here I met all the American Nurses in the Sisters’ Mess, in company of the Head Nurse, Miss Almer, and the Matron of 13 General Hospital, Miss Butler. After discussing with them the cause of the discontent which appeared to exist among American Nurses working in the scattered Units in the Boulogne Area, I interviewed them all in the presence of Miss Almer. I saw them in groups of those from each separate Hospital. Many of them had many trivial complaints, but the general cause of their discontent and unrest appeared to me to be their disappointment at coming out as a Unit and being scattered, and their feeling of loneliness at being thrown among a large number of strangers, whose work and methods appeared different to their own. It is a misfortune to have for their Chief Nurse one who has certainly no experience whatever of the work and management of women. After interviewing them and hearing their grievances, I informed them that I was going to gather them all together and put them in one Unit with their Chief Nurse, as I thought this would overcome many of their difficulties and remove their sense of loneliness. On hearing of this suggestion, with the exception of one group, they all begged to remain where they were until they could be once again united in one American Unit. From this it is evident that whatever their troubles were, they were of a very trivial nature. The three girls who expressed a wish to be moved form their Unit, I transferred to a Unit where the Chief Nurse was working.
In consequence of having received a letter from Major Veeder, OC of 12 General Hospital with reference to the discontent which appeared to be existing among the last batch of American Nurses who had arrived in France, I went to Abbeville to discuss the matter with the DMS, L of C before going on to GHQ. I took the letter with me, and discussed the question fully with the DDMS. I found also on arrival that a request had been made suddenly from GHQ for a large number of nurses to proceed at once to the 4th Army, and Units in that Area were to be increased by 8 Nurses, and that as well 13 Teams had been ordered to proceed, 3 of which were to remain at No.2 Stationary Hospital in readiness, lest further reinforcements should be required.
I went on to GHQ and saw the DDGMS, General Thomson, and discussed the question of the American Nurses, arranging to collect them into two bodies as soon as possible. I then discussed the question of having groups of nurses in readiness to proceed at short notice, and the need of having a certain supply of Red Cross goods for Nurses who are suddenly asked to proceed to a new Area to take with them. I learnt that in the event of any of our troops suddenly being ordered to a Base, the CCS was to be moved at once, taking with it the whole of its personnel. I discussed the question of considering whether senior VADs, who had been promoted to Assistant Nurses should work in Casualty Clearing Stations, and undertook to let the DGMS have the correspondence on the subject before any action was taken in the matter. Ascertained that the question of my car had been very strongly recommended from GHQ and that the AG had sanctioned and approved that a car should be placed at my disposal for my own use only, and that the matter was looked upon as an urgent one, as since leaving Abbeville I had been considerably hampered and had been unable to carry on my work in consequence of the car in which I had been in the habit of travelling about having been recalled to DMS, L of C Headquarters.
On my way back to Boulogne I passed the DGMS who stopped and discussed the questions which I had already been discussing with the DDGMS, namely: Americans; making use of senior VADs at the Front; and the weekly Diary, which he wanted made as brief as possible.
Miss Anna Maxwell, a prominent leader in the American Nursing world, arrived in Boulogne. I ordered the American Nurses from Etretat to join Boulogne, and the Nurses from Trouville and Havre to join Treport, and, together with those already working in Treport in British Units, to be attached to 47 General Hospital.
Miss Cline, USANC arrived accompanied by Miss Wilson, USANC from London. Miss Wilson was one of the American Nurses who should have come with the 2nd Detachment but was sick in England. She was young and pretty and cheerful, very pleased with all the care and attention she had received at Vincent Square, and looking forward to her work with the British people. The American Nurses arrived from Etaples, among them being Miss Tobin, USANC and Miss McGowan, USANC: the former had worked at 24 General Hospital and the latter at 26 General Hospital. I learnt that on arrival they had been extremely rude to Miss Maxwell, and later I went myself and saw them personally at the Hotel du Nord. I found them, one an older woman than the other, very undisciplined, full of grievances, the chief grievance being that they had come out as a Unit and had been scattered; had left America understanding that they were to work with the American Nursing Service, and had later learnt that they had been specially selected to work with the British Expeditionary Force. They have now joined No.32 Stationary Hospital, and I undertook to represent the whole matter at the earliest opportunity.
Left in an open car lent by the DDMS at 7.30 with Miss Maxwell for GHQ, where we had an appointment with the DGMS at 9.30 a.m. and where on arrival we were met by General Burtchaell, General Thomson, and Colonel Davidson. Miss Maxwell and I had an interview with the DGMS in which all matters in connection with the American Nursing Service were discussed, and finally the DGMS arranged that he would write to the Director General of the American Medical Services and ask him to arrange for me to have an interview with him before Miss Maxwell left for America.
We then drove on to Abbeville. Miss Maxwell had lunch at No.2 Stationary Hospital “Annexe” before proceeding by train to Paris.
After seeing her off, I went on to the 4th Army. I called at Headquarters first, found out that everything was going wonderfully well, and that in consequence of the rapid advance many of the Casualty Clearing Stations had had to close and re-open further North. After ascertaining what the present needs were, I went on to 48 CCS which was opening up in a large Lunatic Asylum a little out of Amiens. I had not been through Amiens since the Retreat, and was shocked to find what an enormous amount had been done. On all sides there was destruction, and practically all the dwelling houses were closed up and the town deserted. The trains are beginning to start from Amiens again, and there were numbers of English soldiers everywhere and men directing the traffic.
The Lunatic Asylum in which No.47 and 48 CCS are to establish themselves is an enormous building in large blocks in extensive grounds. No.48 CCS had opened up the night before. It was simply crowded with patients, wounded men, the majority being Germans. 11 Teams were working and in addition they had 6 Nurses – 15 others who were on their way had not yet arrived. I returned to Headquarters where I let the DMS, Major General O’Keeffe, know what arrangements I had made.
I then went on to Abbeville, where I spent the night, and where we were somewhat disturbed by a bad Air Raid. I slept at the “Annexe” and had an opportunity of seeing what admirable arrangements were made for the sick Sisters and WAACs, as well as all the Staff and the Nurses who were waiting at the Nurses’ Home on the opposite side of the road to proceed when required. The cellar is fine and big and the doors considerably strengthened with wooden beams and supports. The Medical Officer was on duty, as well as the Nursing Staff, and it was perfectly safe to have a light burning, as nothing could be seen from the outside. Immediately the ‘Alert’ was given, the water and gas supplies were turned off, and everyone proceeded downstairs; those unable to walk were carried on stretchers.
Left early for the 4th Army. I first visited Pernois, Nos.4 and 41 CCS, Miss Potts, ANSR and Miss Townend, QAIMNS, Sisters in charge respectively. Both these Units in the last 48 hours had passed through 3000 patients. They were then quite full of people waiting for evacuation, each had 7 visiting Teams in addition to their own 3 Teams, and the Theatre work since the beginning of the attack had been continuous night and day, Teams working for 12 hours at a stretch.
From there I went to Vignacourt where I found No.61 CCS busy closing down to move to another Area. They were evacuating all the patients they could as quickly as they were able, and those who were too bad to be moved they were transferring to No.20 CCS which was just next door.
I went to No.20 CCS where I had lunch. This Unit is most splendidly managed and run, and looks more like a miniature General Hospital than a CCS, though it is mostly under canvas, and they are provided with every convenience it is possible to have.
From there I went to Vecquemont where I found No.53 and No.55 CCS busy opening up. They had not been there 48 hours, their Theatres were in full swing, and a great deal of their canvas was up. Here like everywhere else, they were swarming with patients, both English and Germans. The advance party of No.61 CCS had already arrived and were beginning to get into order. Here I met the DMS 4th Army, Major Black, and two surgical Consultants, Colonel Gask and Colonel Thorborne. Great demands were made for Nurses, which I undertook to supply as soon as accommodation was ready for them. Evacuation here was hung up in consequence of a collision between two ammunition trains, causing a great deal of damage to the tunnel. It was hoped that before night traffic would be in order again. I returned by Headquarters to Abbeville, where I spent the night, and where we were not disturbed. One of last night’s raiders was brought down in flames near one of the Casualty Clearing Stations.
I could not return to the 4th Army, as I was not able to keep the car any longer, and in consequence I was unable to visit some of the Units. Before leaving Abbeville I saw Miss Willetts, the Matron of No.2 Stationary Hospital, Miss Wilson, the Matron of No.3 Australian General Hospital, and the Sisters in charge of Nos.1 and 4 Canadian Casualty Clearing Stations. I found the work in the Hospitals in Abbeville very heavy, and arranged to increase their staffs. The Canadian Sisters in charge arranged that some of their Staffs should work at the Australian Hospital until their services were required at Bovis St. Nicholas, where the two Units are opening up with No.49 CCS.
I visited Headquarters, L of C, and let the DDMS know that I was proposing to go to Paris to meet the Director General of the Americans. Returned to Boulogne midday.
After lunch I learnt that the Director General of the Americans could see me on Wednesday morning, and accordingly I made every effort to try and obtain a car to take me to Paris in the morning, but without success. The Adjutant General called, and went over with me to see the house where the office Staff are accommodated. Later in the evening I received another telephonic message to say that the Director General Americans would not be able to see me on Wednesday, as he had been called elsewhere. Wrote a letter to the DDGMS, General Thomson, putting forward very strongly the question of the necessity of having the matter of my car settled with as little delay as possible.
On the evening of the 17th I went to Etaples, staying the night at the Villa Tino. In the morning I called on the DDMS and afterwards was introduced to the new Base Commandant, Lord Ardee.
I then went to No.42 Stationary Hospital, which has just received orders to pack up and proceed to Nancy. The Hospital was empty, and I saw the A/Matron, and arranged that all the Mess property should be packed up and handed over to the Quartermaster, from whom she should receive a receipt. I then arranged with the OC that the whole of the Nursing Staff should be transferred to other Units, and that as soon as he was ready for his new Nursing Staff after arrival at the new Base, they should be supplied.
Then I visited No.4 General Hospital where I saw the Matron, Miss G. M. Allen, RRC, QAIMNS, and discussed certain questions in connection with the Nursing Staff, getting particulars of all their capabilities. I visited her Mess and the Sisters’ quarters, which are vastly improved since she took over, and are extremely pretty. The car which is being lent temporarily for my use from the GHQ pool, until the question of my permanent car is settled by the War Office, arrived, and after lunch I returned to Boulogne.
Left for Abbeville in the evening and stayed the night at the Annexe. Found everything going satisfactorily. 20 Nurses, including 6 Canadians, had left early for 43 CCS, and there still remained 6 more Nurses in readiness for urgent calls at the Annexe and 8 at No.2 Stationary Hospital.
Visited Headquarters, L of C. Saw General Carr, and discussed the question of Miss Oates, late Matron of 57 General Hospital, report. Informed him that she had gone Home on leave, that this had been extended in consequence of a growth on her lip for which it was necessary for her to have radium treatment, and that she had also written saying that she had applied officially for three months’ leave without pay. I suggested that when this matter came through officially, with his approval, I should like to forward the confidential report, stating that as this lady’s vacancy had been filled, when fit for duty she might be transferred to the Home Establishment. To this he agreed. I then let him know that Miss Rooney had been transferred to the Home Establishment, and that Miss Harrington, her friend, was still feeling worried and felt that she was under a cloud. I have undertaken to see her personally and set her mind at rest. I informed him, also, that Miss Calver, who had been waiting since the 20th July for orders to return to the Home Establishment in consequence of refusing to comply with an order, was still waiting.
I told him also that Miss Ridley, RRC, Principal Matron Canadians, had gone to Paris to represent the Canadian Women at the women’s Mass Meeting, that my invitation had come in an irregular manner, that it had been forwarded to the DGMS who decided that this matter should have been passed to Headquarters had representatives of the British Nursing Services been needed. I spoke to him about the difficulty existing in connection with the Fractured Femur wards owing to a recent ruling that no nurses should be moved from these wards without the permission of the Consultant Surgeon, and the DMS said he would look into the matter at once, and that now the number of Fractured Femurs was so considerably reduced, this ruling should be modified. I told him that I had an appointment with Major Veeder, the OC of No.12 General Hospital, who was responsible for the group of American Nurses working with the BEF and that I would let him know the result.
Before leaving Abbeville I saw the Matron of No.2 Stationary Hospital, Miss Willetts, RRC, QAIMNS, and found that everything was going satisfactorily in that Unit. It was very full of patients, including a very large number of American wounded, and many suffering from dysentery. I left at 11 o’clock and arrived at Boulogne in time for lunch.
After lunch I met Major Veeder and discussed the whole question of the management of the American Nurses working in British Units, and he shewed me exactly how he wished the confidential reports submitted monthly. He was more than anxious that all Americans who were not working smoothly and peacefully should be sent to his Unit, where they could be dealt with.
I then visited Lady Algernon Gordon Lennox with reference to the opening of the Club in Paris and leave to Paris. She hoped to have a Superintendent by the 1st September, and a circular to that effect has already been issued to all Bases and all Armies.
Left for lunch at Headquarters of the 3rd Army. I went past No.6 Stationary Hospital which has just opened at Fillievre from Frevent. I found that they had moved everything belonging to the Unit, such as huts, etc. etc., and as one passed along the high road one looked at the Unit as it actually was at Frevent. The garden has been marked out, the poultry and rabbits were in their positions. The staff are extremely well accommodated in huts, and the arrangements are even better for them than they were in their last position. The Unit was ready to take in and they were then receiving the patients from No.46 CCS, which was moving forward.
I then went on to Headquarters where I just missed the DMS and where I learnt that there was an Advanced Dressing Station at Bac-le-Sud with 3 Sisters, and that Nos.45 and 46 CCS would be moving forward.
From there I went on to Frevent, and visited Nos.43 and 19 CCS. No.43 CCS: OC Lt. Colonel Watson, RAMC; Sister in charge Mrs. Dalrymple, QAIMNSR. No.19 CCS: OC Lt. Colonel Dunn, RAMC; Sister in charge Sister E. E. Flower, ARRC, CHR. Both these units were busy and everything was going smoothly and satisfactorily, and the staffs were meeting all requirements. These Units have been established for some time, their position is very good and they have every possible convenience. Each had 8 Teams working and an adequate number of nurses in the marquees. The Nursing Staffs were both accommodated under canvas, the bell tents being sunk, and each had marquees for a Mess. No.43 CCS had passed through a large number of Sisters to other Units in the last 48 hours from the Nurses’ Home, Abbeville. I again missed the DMS 3rd Army at both these Units.
I then went on to Gezaincourt to No.56 CCS. OC Lt. Colonel Steele, RAMC; Sister in charge, Sister A. M. Phillips, RRC, QAIMNS. The Colonel feels that Miss Phillips will be all the better for a change of work, as she has been a long time up in the Front areas. At the time of the visit the Hospital was very full, and after some difficulty Miss Phillips was found. None of the nursing arrangements were up to the mark, and as Miss Phillips is due for leave, I arranged to send a relief as soon as I could. The Nursing Staff were accommodated in Armstrong Huts with a marquee for their Mess, and they have a most wonderful dug-out in the side of an enormous hill.
I then inspected No.29 CCS. OC Lt. Colonel Carmichael, RAMC; Sister in charge, Miss E. V. Forrest, ARRC, QAIMNS. This is a wonderful Unit, wonderfully managed. Theatres, and marquees with the surgical and medical cases looked beautifully well managed, and the very best done for the patients, and the resuscitation wards were splendid. The Sisters in this Unit were also accommodated in Armstrong Huts with a marquee for a Mess, and were next to No.56 CCS.
No.3 CCS is in 2 Divisions, one in the Camp next to 56 and 29 CCS and the other at the Chateau. OC Lt. Colonel Reay; Sister in charge Miss W. M. Gedye, ARRC, QAIMNS, the Camp being at present run by Miss Jeans, QAIMNSR. This also is an admirably arranged Unit and the patients looked very well done for. At the time of the visit all these three Units were crowded with patients, they were taking in at one end and evacuating to the Train which was at the siding up on the hill at the same time. The Train which was waiting was No.37 Ambulance Train. I sent for the Sister in charge, Miss Cardwell, and ascertained that everything was going smoothly, that this Train was one which had recently been working with the American Army, and she undertook to send me a detailed account of her work and experiences while with the American Expeditionary Force. Then I went over to the Chateau, the other section of No.3 CCS, which was simply crowded with wounded officers. Here they were evacuating and taking in, in the same extraordinary manner. It was quite evident that they had not enough help, and I telephoned at once for 6 more Sisters. They had been operating continuously day and night here, as in the Camp, and for many of these badly wounded officers there was no hope of recovery. The staff were accommodated at the top of the Chateau, where I stayed the night, and they mess in a marquee in the garden. Everything was as comfortable as it could be under the existing pressure of work.
Left early for the Headquarters of the 3rd Army where I saw the DMS and the Surgeon, Colonel Pilcher. I learnt that the news was extremely good, that Nos.45 and 46 CCS were closing up, and were going to open at the old site at Warlincourt Halte, and that the staffs were to wait in the meantime at Abbeville till required.
From there I went on to No.21 CCS where I saw Miss Ruck, ARRC, TFNS, Sister in charge, and the Medical Consultant, Sir Wilmot Herringham. This Unit is very well placed and beautifully run, all under canvas. They have a most wonderful Operating Theatre where they could start 8 tables, and they had every possible appliance should it be necessary to take in wounded at any minute. They have very fine accommodation for both officers and men. At time of the visit they were evacuating by No.16 Ambulance Train which was at the siding. The Nursing Staff were accommodated in a Chateau which is just next to the CCS. It is in beautiful grounds, they have a comfortable Mess and very good bed-rooms, and a kitchen is set apart for them. They have a RAMC cook.
From there I went to Headquarters, GHQ and saw the DGMS just before he started for the 3rd Army. He said that he would arrange that I should be in attendance on the Duchess of Athol during her visit to the Lines of Communication, as he was most anxious that someone who was responsible for the Nursing arrangements should be with her, so that she would have the opportunity of knowing the position exactly of affairs in France. He hoped to dine with her the following night, and instructed me to bring the party to lunch on Monday. The Duchess of Athol had come over for the Mass Meeting of Allied Women War Workers in France, and was representing the women of Scotland. The DGMS also said that he had heard from the DGMS American Forces, and the latter had asked for me to arrange to be in Paris about the 6th of September, when he would meet me there, and that we would lunch with the DGMS on the 7th. I returned to Boulogne for lunch.
Left for Etaples in the middle of the day in order to meet the Duchess of Athol and Miss Bullock, who had been attending the Mass Meeting of Allied Women Workers in France and who were visiting the Lines of Communication with a view to getting some insight into the work of the WAAC and VAD Motor Drivers and the FANY Convoys. The Duchess, with the WAAC Commandant and the Medical Officers visited Les Pins, the Hospital for sick WAACs. She made a very thorough inspection and spoke to all the patients, inspected the kitchen, and had a long conversation with the VAD cook, and expressed herself very satisfied with all she saw. During the after noon they met the DGMS with whom they discussed various questions with regard to the Hospital management and the work of the VADs. The DDMS invited them to dinner, and in addition to his own Staff including the Principal Matron, Lord Ardee, the Commandant, General Carr, DMS, L of C, and myself were invited. The Duchess and Miss Bullock were both keenly interested in the work of that women had been able to do since the commencement of the war, and they were very anxious to get all the information they could, as in all probability the Duchess will be going to America shortly to lecture on women’s work.
With the DDMS, the Principal Matron, the Duchess of Athol and Miss Bullock I inspected No.24 General Hospital, where we visited a men’s ward, a German prisoners’ ward, an Officers’ ward, the Sisters’ Mess and the Dug-out. They were particularly interested in the German Prisoners’ Ward, and astonished at the comfortable condition in which these men were nursed. This Hospital was then full of a large number of seriously ill German Prisoners, many of whom were not likely to recover. They receive practically the same attention as our own wounded, having Sisters, Staff Nurses, VADs and German Orderlies. A German Sergeant Major who spoke fluent English was in charge of the orderlies in this Ward, and he went round with the Duchess and interpreted for her. Arrangements for the safety of the whole personnel, as well as the patients, is particularly good here, dug-outs having been made by the Tunnelling Company; they are sunk more than 30 feet below the ground surface, and are connected by various passages with numerous entrances.
We then went on to No.18 General Hospital (Chicago Unit), of which the personnel is entirely American. The Duchess was most gracious and particularly interested in everything, and visited a great many Wards as well as the Nursing quarters. Both Officers and Nursing Staff were most anxious to shew and explain everything to the visitors.
We next visited the RAMC School of Instruction which has only recently been established at Etaples. It is going to be run on exactly the same lines as the Depot at Aldershot. Colonel Ensor, the Officer in charge, took particular pains in explaining every branch of instruction which all officers and men arriving in the country have to attend, before being drafted out to Units on the Lines of Communication and the Front. A very interesting department is one where the method of evacuation from the Front line to the Base is made perfectly clear. Wards are set apart for instructing the men in the application of Thomas’ splints and other splints absolutely on the Field. In another department was laid out everything which is needed in an Advanced Dressing Post, all of which is capable of being carried in one lorry. That and many other matters which experience has shewn since coming to France with regard to the needs and requirements for Horse lorries, Motor Ambulances, etc. etc., are laid out for the information of all undergoing instruction.
We then returned to Headquarters where I said goodbye to the Duchess and Miss Bullock: they went on to the Ambulance Convoy where they were met by Miss Crowdy and Dame Furse. I returned to Boulogne for lunch.
Left for 1st Army, and called at Headquarters where I saw the ADMS Colonel Parkinson, who gave me particulars of what was needed in the way of Nurses and of the changes which were taking place and would still continue to take place with reference to Units in the 1st Army.
I then went to 23 CCS at Anvin which I found was moving to one of the old sites at Agnez-les-Duisans. The OC and most of the staff had gone, and I only saw the Major and 3 Nurses who were proceeding. I found there had been a staff of 12, 4 of whom were on Team duty.
I then visited 30 CCS at Wavrans. OC Lt. Colonel Kelly, Sister in charge Miss Cooke, TFNS. This Unit is for NYDN cases only. There was a staff of 7, but as nearly all the cases were walking cases, and evacuation was very rapid, Miss Cooke said she could do with one less. I left with the understanding that if she required more help she would let me know at once.
From there I went to Ligny-le-Flochel where I saw Nos.7, 33, and 1 CCS which was just opening. No.1 CCS: Lt. Colonel Cowell, OC; Sister in charge Miss A. White, TFNS. This Unit is opening up under canvas; will be ready to take in almost immediately.
Nos.7 and 33 CCS are fully established and have been doing a tremendous lot of work. At the time of the visit they were busy evacuating. In the Matron’s office I saw several convalescent patients busy cutting up dressings, as they had nothing like enough cut to cope with the work, though they had had a large quantity from the Voluntary Organisation Department.
I then went to 57 CCS at Mingoval, where I found them very busy indeed. They had a staff of 30. On the other side of the road No.42 CCS had only just opened up, and they were taking in merely walking cases, and sending the serious cases to 57 CCS, which Unit had lent them 2 Staff Nurses. I saw the OC of 42 CCS and saw what accommodation they had for Nurses, and arranged to send them 7 Nurses, Miss Sloan and 6 others from No.12 Stationary Hospital.
From there I went to No.12 Stationary Hospital, at St. Pol where I saw the Matron and arranged about the extra accommodation for the Staffs of Nos.1 and 4 Canadian CCS which were coming from the 4th Army to open up again in the 3rd.
I went to Abbeville and stayed the night at the Annexe. I found that the day before they had had 60 Nurses passing through.
Next morning before leaving I saw Miss Willetts, RRC, QAIMNS the Matron of No.2 Stationary Hospital, and also S/Nurse Harrington, QAIMNSR an Irish girl who appeared to have a grievance. I arranged that I would give her a change of station and send her to No.83 (Dublin) General Hospital.
I then went on to GHQ and saw the DGMS. We discussed the work at the Casualty Clearing Stations, and the best method for providing Nurses for the Front Areas at very short notice. He entirely approved of the suggestion that there should be an A/Principal Matron for every Army to be responsible for the Nursing arrangements, and that Nurses should be waiting at the Hostel, Moulle, for the 2nd and 5th Armies, at 12 Stationary Hospital for the 3rd Army, and at Abbeville for the 4th Army.
I went on to the Headquarters of the 1st Army, and again missed the General.
From there to Pernes where I inspected Nos.6, 13, and 22 CCS. Everything was most satisfactory in the wards and in the quarters. This group is not working at such high pressure as in the more northern part of the Army, and a they only take in every 3rd day they are able to cope with the work in a very satisfactory manner.
No.22 CCS: OC Lt. Colonel Goodwin, RAMC; Sister in charge Miss Wyllie, QAIMNSR.
No.6 CCS: OC Lt. Col. Wilson, RAMC; Sister in charge Miss Gardner, ARRC, QAIMNS.
No.13 CCS: OC Lt. Col. Watson, RAMC; Sister in charge Miss Killery, ARRC, QAIMNS.
Returned to Boulogne middle day.
Was busy in the Office all day. The Lady Algernon Gordon Lennox called to say that HRH Princess Victoria’s Rest Club for Nurses at Abbeville would be re-opening on the 3rd September, and asked if we would circulate this information not only to Abbeville, but to Treport and to Rouen, so that all the Staffs of Ambulance Trains might know.
Left for the 2nd Army at 6.30, arrived at Moulle in time for dinner, and stayed the night at the Nurses’ Hostel with Miss Hartigan, RRC, QAIMNS the A/Principal Matron.
SUMMARY FOR AUGUST 1918
Isolation Section, 74 General Hospital, on 8.8.18: Staff supplied – 8
No.13 Casualty Clearing Station, on 31.7.18: Staff supplied – 13
No.32 Casualty Clearing Station, on 27.8.18: Staff supplied – 7
No.37 Casualty Clearing Station, on 15.8.18: Staff supplied – 13
Total – 41
No.1 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station, on 29.8.18: Staff released – 15
No.3 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station, on 29.8.18: Staff released – 22
No.4 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station, on 29.8.18: Staff released – 25
No.3 Canadian Stationary Hospital, on 14.8.18: Staff released – 26
Total – 88
Trained – 115
VADs – 26
Sent home sick
Trained – 20
VADs – 12
Returned from sick leave
Trained – 9
VADs – 10
Total at present sick in England
Trained – 138
VADs – 72
Resignations sent forward
Trained – 9 (4 for marriage)
Transfers to Home Establishment
Trained – 13
Approximate No. of Leaves granted
To United Kingdom – 691
To Paris – 3
To Etretat – 0
To Trouville – 9
Total – 703
VADs returned to England
Resigned – 10 (3 for marriage)
Termination of contract – 27 (4 for marriage)
Transferred to Home Establishment – 2
Total – 39
Killed in a bombing raid. Miss E. A. Ingram, VAD on 13.8.18.
The Front Areas and the Lines of Communication have again suffered from constant enemy air raids, and considerable damage has been done, Boulogne particularly sustaining many severe attacks.
Boulogne: On the night of the 1st a raid took place, many bombs were dropped and Base Headquarters, including the DDMS and A/Principal Matron’s Office, were completely demolished, an Officer, a Sergeant Major and a clerk being killed. Again another severe raid occurred on the 13th, when bombs were dropped on No.55 General Hospital, causing the following casualties to the Nursing Staff:- Miss E. A. Ingram, VAD killed instantaneously, S/Nurse R. Brain, TFNS, Miss A. O. Larsen, Miss D. Dickenson, Miss H. Wood, and Miss Pleydell Nott, VAD members wounded, the latter sustaining wounds to the thigh and shoulder and being placed on the DI list. The Administrative block of the Hospital was put completely out of action. On the 24th enemy aeroplanes were overhead for 3 hours of the night, considerable damage was done to the Base Medical Stores, and the Ambulance Train Store was burnt to the ground, causing a large conflagration. The windows of the Sisters’ quarters of No.14 General Hospital were completely shattered, though no casualties occurred among members of the Nursing Staff. In addition to these raids there have been frequent warnings at intervals during the month.
Calais has also suffered, particularly on the nights of the 11th, 12th, and 14th, and much damage has been done to the town.
Rouen experienced a severe raid n the 13th, and has had frequent warnings, but there have been no casualties to the Nursing Staff.
Etaples and Abbeville have also experienced raids of a more or less severe nature.
Military Medals awarded
A/Sister Mrs. Watkins, QAIMNSR: 57 CCS
A/Sister J. E. Trotter, QAIMNSR: 57 CCS
S/Nurse Mrs. A. J. Parker, TFNS: 57 CCS
Matron E. Campbell, CAMC: 1 Canadian General Hospital
N/Sister L. Herrington, CAMC: 1 Canadian General Hospital
N/Sister L. Urquhart, CAMC:
N/Sister J. M. Williamson, CAMC:
Gold Medal of Queen Elizabeth
Miss H. Hartigan, RRC, QAIMNS
Millicent, Duchess of Sutherland
Total No. of CAMC
Transferred to England – 34
Arrived in France – 31
Now in France – 751
Total No. of AANS
Transferred to England – 4
Arrived in France – 8
Now in France – 457
Total requirements of Nurses in the BEF according to War Establishment on the L of C, including Stationary Hospitals in the Front Area:
Trained Nurses – 2252
VADs and Special Probationers – 1659
Total Requirements in Front Area (CCS, Trains, Barges)
Trained Nurses – 876
Total requirements in BEF
Trained Nurses – 3128
VADs and Special Probationers – 1659
Total British Staff now in BEF
Trained Nurses – 2411
(Not including 5 Dietitians and 88 Anaesthetists)
Americans attached to British Units nursed by British Personnel – 141
AANS attached to British Units nursed by British Personnel – 17
Total – 2569
VADs, Special Probationers and Assistant Nurses – 1695
Shortage, Trained Nurses – 559
Grand total in BEF (Including Overseas and Americans)
Trained Nurses – 4868
VADs and Special Probationers – 3229*
*Includes 858 General Service VADs working in British Units