A Nurse's Diary serving in Passchendaele WW1 1917
Private diary from a serving V.A.D in Passchendaele (1917)
Small octavo lined notebook bound in quarter red paper over textured cloth, fading but a very good binding. Stationer’s label to first pastedown. The diary runs to 34 pages from 23 April 1917 to August 8th and is written in a clear hand before breaking off suddenly.
Beginning in April 1917 the young woman begins with the disappointment of arriving in France without a Hospital to work in “this planting of a new Hospital staff out here, before the Hospital is very disgusting”. The writer then records her firsts experiences of seeing injured men, where she finds herself working in a tented hospital. “We six nurses sleep in a marquee…2 sheets and 3 blankets…they seem rather careless as to whether things are antiseptic here”.
Her final entries record the casualties “trains of wounded and sick stream in” from the battle of Passchendaele. “in my wards we have a lot of gassed men – the particular kind of gas that Fritz is using now causing running at the eyes, sneezing and sickness about 12-24 hours after gassing….the eyes become very blood shot and for a while are shut tightly…the throat burns…the patient if the attack is severe finds it difficult to swallow.” The diary then ends abruptly. It is scarce to find original diaries entries and a first-hand account from a V.A.D.