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Christopher M

Queen Alexandra's Nurses

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Christopher M

There's a plethora of resources for tracing soldiers, but how can I find out where my late grandmother worked as a QARANC nurse?

Her name was Mary Vaughan, and as a qualified nurse before the war I believe she joined fairly early on. She worked in hospitals on the Western front, and apparently sometimes drove ambulances there. She later became a ward sister at, I think, Stepping Hill hospital in Manchester.

Any ideas on where I can find out more?

Christopher Moss

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Yorts

Chris,

Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps was not formed until the 1st Feb 1949 (although effectively it was just a re-name). If you are sure your grandmother served in the great war then she would have been part of Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service.

Medal index cards for the service are available at the PRO, but are stored seperatley from those for male soldiers (there were no male nurses). Service records are available in WO 399, and professional qualifications are available in WO 25/3956. Recommendations for promotion to staff nurse are also here.

Rgds,

Alex.

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Guest dave neale

Christopher,

Just had a quick search on PROCAT the online catalogue for the PRO/NA. There is a Mary Vaughan seving with QAIMNS during First World War and her record is:

WO 399/8548.

If you cannot get to the records office you can order this online.

Dave

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MartinWills

I have had a look at some nursing records at the PRO for a friend some time ago and found the records both fascinating and fairly extensive, so looking out this file should be your first priority, though I would recommend getting to the PRO in person if you can just for the sheer joy of handling these papers linking to your nurse.

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Christopher M

This is excellent, thank you so much.

To Alex, yes it would have been the Imperial Military Nursing Service. I had a quick look on Google for the correct name and didn't know about the change.

To Dave, I can see how to find her entry in PROCAT from the record number you've cited, but I can't see how to search for nurse's records by name. Can you help me here?

As regards getting a copy of her record from the PRO, I see there's a £10 estimate fee. Is this what I have to pay just to find out how much it will cost to get a copy of the full record itself, and if so, how much does it typically end up costing?

Is there any way I can confirm this is the correct record before I pay the PRO? Although Mary was the name she used and thought she'd been christened under, on her birth certificate she's actually Polly Harriet, so I'd like to check first.

While I'd love to be able to visit the PRO and see for myself, I simply don't have the time or resources. I live in Cheshire, and the more I read about the records, the more I realise that, as a complete novice, I'd have to spend a few days just learning what records would be useful and how to find them in the first place, let alone actually reading them.

Thanks for your help.

Christopher

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Sue Light

Christopher

At present I'm researching aspects of nurses and nursing during the Great War. As I'm frequently looking at nurses' notes at the National Archives, I'm quite happy to add your grandmother's notes to the list within the next few weeks if you're not near enough to do this yourself. In common with officers' notes, they have been heavily weeded, and often contain a lot of detail about gratuities and pensions and the like, and very little of what would really be of interest, but hopefully you may get a list of placements while she was employed.

WO25/3956 is not relevant in your grandmother's case as it refers only to those nurses who were employed between 1903 and 1926 with the 'regular' QAIMNS, as opposed to the Reserve.

Sue

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Guest dave neale

Christopher,

I understand your difficulty with PROCAT. I have had several attempts at using it before finding the information I knew was there. But then that was probably just me!

If you go to "search the catalogue" you have 4 steps to complete.

Put the name, surname will do, in the first box, "word or phrase"

Box 2 1914 to 1918

Box 3 wo 399

Then hit search. You should then have a list of names.

From what I can remember, the 10 pound estimate fee is deducted from the total after the final order fee has been confirmed. Its been a while since I used this service, so not sure how you stand if the records are not the person you are looking for.

hope this is some help

Dave

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