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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Red Cross nurse in military hospital, Rouen


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Hi there

I am quoting from my mother's description of my grandmother's nursing career in WW1:

"No doubt encouraged by her doctor father, and to her mother's dismay, she joined the Red Cross and, after a minimal basic training, was sent to work in a military hospital in Rouen."

This is all I know of my granny's war career and I would like to find out more. For starters, what would the hospital have been - a tented encampment? Or a real building that had been taken over?

Also, are there any records for Red Cross nurses in WW1 that can be found?

Many thanks


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Rouen was full of hospitals during the war, more than in any other French town, though not all there at the same time. There were both military and Red Cross hospitals, and they would have been mixture - tented, hutted, and in pre-existing buildings, although the latter were likely to expand into tents and huts as well. The Red Cross Hospitals were most likely to be in existing buildings. You might find it helpful to read 'A V.A.D. in France' by Olive Dent, which is obtainable from libraries, and also in a new edition from Diggory Press. Some of it is a little fanciful, but it gives a very good description of life for both patients and staff in a tented/hutted hospital, with original illustrations.

Personnel records are held by the British Red Cross, and you can find the details here:

VAD personnel records


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