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Sisters of the Somme: True Stories from a First World War Field Hospit


aengland
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I have just seen this book while searching on Amazon...(Sisters of the Somme: True Stories from a First World War Field Hospital Paperback: published May 2016: Penny Starns)

This is the 'write-up' that goes with it...

With First World War casualties mounting, there was an appeal for volunteers to train as front-line medical staff. Many women heeded the call: some responding to a vocational or religious calling, others following a sweetheart to the front, and some carried away on the jingoistic patriotism that gripped the nation in 1914.

Despite their training, these young women were ill-prepared for the anguished cries of the wounded and the stench of gangrene and trench foot awaiting them at the Somme. Isolated from friends and family, most discovered an inner strength, forging new and close relationships with each other and establishing a camaraderie that was to last through the war and beyond.

Based on the previously unpublished true stories of its nurses and medical staff, this book is a heart-warming account of the joys and sorrows of life in an extraordinary Somme field hospital.

Has anyone seen it? glanced at it? even read it? Is it really about one 'Field Hospital'? and if it is then which one? Are there really 'unpublished true stories of its nurses and medical staff' all from one hospital?

My thanks in advance for any answers provided

Andrew

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  • 2 years later...
On 20/05/2016 at 08:52, aengland said:

I have just seen this book while searching on Amazon...(Sisters of the Somme: True Stories from a First World War Field Hospital Paperback: published May 2016: Penny Starns)

This is the 'write-up' that goes with it...

With First World War casualties mounting, there was an appeal for volunteers to train as front-line medical staff. Many women heeded the call: some responding to a vocational or religious calling, others following a sweetheart to the front, and some carried away on the jingoistic patriotism that gripped the nation in 1914.

Despite their training, these young women were ill-prepared for the anguished cries of the wounded and the stench of gangrene and trench foot awaiting them at the Somme. Isolated from friends and family, most discovered an inner strength, forging new and close relationships with each other and establishing a camaraderie that was to last through the war and beyond.

Based on the previously unpublished true stories of its nurses and medical staff, this book is a heart-warming account of the joys and sorrows of life in an extraordinary Somme field hospital.

Has anyone seen it? glanced at it? even read it? Is it really about one 'Field Hospital'? and if it is then which one? Are there really 'unpublished true stories of its nurses and medical staff' all from one hospital?

My thanks in advance for any answers provided

Andrew

 

On 20/05/2016 at 08:52, aengland said:

I have just seen this book while searching on Amazon...(Sisters of the Somme: True Stories from a First World War Field Hospital Paperback: published May 2016: Penny Starns)

This is the 'write-up' that goes with it...

With First World War casualties mounting, there was an appeal for volunteers to train as front-line medical staff. Many women heeded the call: some responding to a vocational or religious calling, others following a sweetheart to the front, and some carried away on the jingoistic patriotism that gripped the nation in 1914.

Despite their training, these young women were ill-prepared for the anguished cries of the wounded and the stench of gangrene and trench foot awaiting them at the Somme. Isolated from friends and family, most discovered an inner strength, forging new and close relationships with each other and establishing a camaraderie that was to last through the war and beyond.

Based on the previously unpublished true stories of its nurses and medical staff, this book is a heart-warming account of the joys and sorrows of life in an extraordinary Somme field hospital.

Has anyone seen it? glanced at it? even read it? Is it really about one 'Field Hospital'? and if it is then which one? Are there really 'unpublished true stories of its nurses and medical staff' all from one hospital?

My thanks in advance for any answers provided

Andrew

 Dear Andrew,

 

The Field hospital is the Order of St John Brigade Hospital based at Etaples during the First World War. The entire book was based on archives contained in the Order of St John Archives Clerkenwell London. Yes these were all unpublished reports, letters and diary extracts from one field hospital, in fact, when I began work in the archive most of the material had not been seen for a 100 years. Indeed, the process of cataloging the research material only began in 2015. The archive has since received funding to complete this process..

I hope this answers your queries.

Best Wishes

Penny Starns (Dr)

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That looks fascinating, Penny, thanks!

 

seaJane

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Penny, if I may just question on... is it limited in time to the single Battle of the Somme??

the amount of casualties from the single first day was enough to make the whole system collapse and the field hospitals being mercilessly overcrowded...

 

M.

 

 

 

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another excellent book sea jane I have/read and can recommend

:poppy:

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downloaded a preview on Kindl...

 

M.

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Does it only deal with the Somme? Ernest Young died at the St John hospital in October 1915. 

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I read the intro (free preview download) and it seems to me that it is mainly about the hospital and not about the battle - so not limited in time.

in this the title may be a bit misleading, as Etaples is not even in the department of the Somme, but Pas de Calais... I'm sure it's a fascinating read nevertheless...

 

M.

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  • 1 month later...

Am reading it at present and think it's an excellent read. Can't say I found the title misleading. It is based on the Brigade (Field) Hospital and its staff Sept 1915 to March 1919 so unlikely to only cover the Somme offensive of 1916 or have a Field Hospital on the Somme. Sisters of Etaples and later Trouville has less of a ring to it. July, Aug, Sept, Oct & Nov they had an intake of 6,085 from the 1916 Somme offensive, generally the more serious stretcher cases. 36,000 over the course of the war.

 

One niggle so far is that one of the main VADs had connections to my home town which prompted me to find more on her. So far failed to find a VAD card, or medal entitlement for her.

TEW

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