First World War in the News is an edited review of hand-picked World War I (1914-1918) articles - covering everything from the soldiers and generals to the trenches and militaria.

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Medics, Nurses & Health

Latest hand-picked First World War news. See also: See also 'Militaria, Collectibles', 'Last WW1 Veterans', 'Trenches', 'Great War Letters'.

Pictures reveal the pioneering plastic surgery carried out on WW1 facial gunshot victim by leading British surgeon
His is the face of one of the very bravest of our ancestors and his scars pay testament to the horrors he endured in the trenches of the Great War. But staring back from the camera, the pictures also demonstrate the work of the pioneering British plastic surgeon who attempted to help some of the men get their lives back after they had suffered terrible injuries. Dr Harold Gillies is renowned for developing the first skin grafting and plastic surgery techniques to treat the World War One soldiers left wounded with severe facial disfigurements.
(dailymail.co.uk)

Diary and uniform of Battle of Somme nurse Lucy Kate Card to be auctioned off
The diary of a WW1 nurse will go on sale along with her pristine Red Cross uniform, 5 medals, photographs and touching letters written by soldiers she treated. Lucy Kate "Kitty" Card cared for injured soldiers from the bloody Battle of the Somme, working in military hospitals and keeping a diary in which she wrote movingly about the horrors of the Great War.
(dailymail.co.uk)

Edith Cavell by Diana Souhami (book review)
The life of Edith Cavell is being remembered in a new biography which marks the work she did in the Great War and the 95th anniversary of her execution for aiding allied soldiers escape German-occupied Belgium. "I wanted to write about altruism... I don't think you could find anyone who fitted the bill better than Edith Cavell," said author Diana Souhami. "She trained as a nurse in the Florence Nightingale tradition. She then went to Brussels to start up the first ever training school for nurses... when the Germans marched into Belgium in 1914. She didn't really set out to become a resistance worker..."
(bbc.co.uk)

WWI nurse's pocketbook includes poems and messages from injured soldiers
A pocket book, passed between injured WW1 soldiers to record their poems and messages, has come to light after 92 years. The unknown nurse kept the book on her uniform while she worked in hospitals in England. As she tended the soldiers, she asked them to write their thoughts down. Almost all wrote their name, regiment and wounds. Private Albert Brown, of the Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment, wrote: "Wounded in the face by shrapnel at Ypres, but still alive and kicking." The only clues to Nurse's identity is a note at the front: "A birthday wish, good luck and good health" - signed by a L Brown on May 22, 1911.
(telegraph.co.uk)

The Other Anzacs: Nurses at War 1914-1918 by Peter Rees [book review]
New Zealand military history during the past 150 years has with some unwillingness recorded the place of NZ women at war. Only 3 pioneer females were recipients of the New Zealand War Medal in recognition of their bravery during the NZ Land Wars of the 19th century. This is a far cry from the use of nurses in WW1 when women from the Anzac nations volunteered to serve either as nurses or nurse aids. They were posted at field hospitals close to the battle lines and in the rear and reserve areas where the wounded were eventually moved. It was the numbers of women who volunteered that is as noteworthy as was their readiness to sacrifice their lives.
(stuff.co.nz)

Ceremony in Serbia to honour forgotten Highland heroine of the Great War
Residents of a Serbian town will hold a ceremony to honor a forgotten Highland heroine. Dr Elizabeth Macbean Ross - the first woman doctor to work on an ocean liner - died of typhus fever in 1915 while single-handedly running 6 typhus wards at a First World War military hospital in Kragujevac, 60 miles from Belgrade. At least 23 British women perished in Serbia during WW1, and ceremonies are still held all over Serbia in their memory. Women weren't allowed to work in the British Army field hospitals so, if they wanted to contribute to the war effort, they had to go to places like Serbia or Russia.
(pressandjournal.co.uk)

Scottish nurses who defied Whitehall to create hospitals on the Western Front honoured
In 1914, Dr Elsie Inglis, doctor so dedicated that she made Florence Nightingale look like a part-timer, defied the British Government and set up a hospital on the Western Front. Royaumont Abbey Hospital was initially overwhelmed: "Dying men lay huddled so closely together on the floor that they touched each other." Elsie Inglis and her team of female medics from the Scottish Women's Hospital Committee must have had moments when they questioned their ability to deal with this vision of Hell. But Elsie Inglis went on to set up 14 medical units. Now a monument to the Scottish nurses is to be unveiled at Abbaye de Royaumont.
(timesonline)

Soldiers` WWI diaries reveal devilish side of World War I angels
Nurses inflicted pain upon wounded soldiers in WW1 to a shocking degree. Military hospitals have been portrayed as havens run by caring, if overstretched, staff but evidence shows that the reality was different. WW1 Diaries have showed how soldiers endured brutal treatment by the female military nurses and surgeons. Surgeons became hated figures depicted as "Captain Scalpel". The female physiotherapists were "perpetrators of pain who resembled drill sergeants rather than bedside nurturers". Ana Carden-Coyne, who has researched new material for book "Men in Pain", describes how untrained medical staff were recruited.
(timesonline)

Silver Star medal awarded posthumously to World War I nurse
The Army will present the Silver Star to the daughter of a WWI Army nurse Linnie Leckrone who treated wounded soldiers while under artillery fire in 1918. She was authorized the Citation Star for her gallantry while attending to the wounded during an artillery bombardment at Hospital Number 127 July 19, 1918. In 1932, the Silver Star Medal, the nation`s third highest valor award, was created to replace the Citation Star. Leckrone`s contributions have led to the evolution of Army Nurse Corps. In March 1917, the Army had only 403 nurses, but more than 20,000 more would volunteer during WWI.
(armytimes)

Medic's World War I Western Front diaries for sale
The unpublished WWI journals of Sgt Hubert Harding, of the Royal Army Medical Corps, will be put up for auction after diaries surfaced in a descendant's basement. Journals run through from April 1915 until 1919 and describe how he risked his life at Loos, the Somme, Passchendaele, Vimy Ridge and Cambrai. On the first day of the Somme offensive, July 1, 1916 he wrote: "Lovely morning. Many aeroplanes about. Great offensive starts... Very good results obtained so far." But by the following day his mood had changed: "Commence collecting [casualties] at 6am. Very busy morning with bad stretcher cases. Find out that 8th Div very badly cut up yesterday."
(telegraph.co.uk)

Angel of the Battle of Passchendale - Nellie Spindler
She was one of a handful of brave women to experience the hell of World War I's bloodiest battlefield. Based deep inside the danger zone, nurse Nellie Spindler saw her field hospital flooded with Allied troops injured from day one of the Battle of Passchendale. The Leeds Infirmary sister was part of the small band of Queen Alexander Imperial Military Nurses sent close to the Western Front. Casualty Clearing Stations (CCS) were situated a safe distance away. But Nellie, treating abdominal wounds, needed to be closer to the action to prevent infection. But after just 3 week she would also join the massive list of fallen heroes.
(leedstoday)

Absolute misery of life in the First World War trenches
Bombs, bullets and barbed wire made the front line in World War 1 a horrendous experience. But Dr John Charters has explored how, quite apart from the fighting, the appalling living conditions in the trenches added another layer of misery for the troops. He has studied the impact of disease and health breakdown among soldiers caused by factors like lice, vermin, dirt and wet and cold. "If you want an impression of how awful it was, dig a 6ft hole in the garden, fill it with dead dogs and sewage and have the neighbours shoot at you." 300,000 British troops suffered from trench fever during the war.
(icnewcastle)

Chailey 1914-1918 tells the story of village community during WW1
Chailey 1914-1918 website tells the story about a village community during the First World War. It contains the biographies of over 500 Chailey men, wounded World War 1 soldiers and Sussex 54 VAD nurses. Chailey 1914-1918 is a tribute to the men and women of Chailey during the First World War: those who nursed or were nursed there; those who answered their country's call; those who lie in some corner of a foreign field. Photographs of wounded soldiers at Beechlands are scattered throughout the site and have also been grouped on a separate page.
(chailey)

Medic's diary reveals the Western Front horrors in World War 1
Soldier recorded the savagery of life on the Western Front in World War 1. There is an entry in the First World War diary of field medic William Alchorne which gives a snapshot of the brutality of trench warfare. He describes how some infantry soldiers came across a kitten pinned with a bayonet to a wooden door in a deserted German dug-out. One soldier began removing it, only for the booby-trapped carcass to explode and maim him. It is of particular value historically as during the Great War any soldier found keeping a diary faced a court martial. Military top brass would only allow censored letters to be sent from the frontline in a propaganda bid to preserve morale.
(leedstoday)

True heroines of the First World War battlefields
In the trenches men prepare for the latest push over the top - that will lead to many of their deaths. And a few miles from the war zone a group of women struggle to tend to the huge number of casualties. Alongside their founder, Dr Elsie Inglis, these members of the Scottish Women's Hospitals Service are faced with a daily routine of blood and death as they strive to keep alive the young soldiers cut down by gunfire. Their base at Royaumont Abbey was one of the most important centres for medical aid during the war, but many of the stories about these women have remained unknown. Dr Elsie Dalyell was one of the most experienced doctors at Royaumont during the war...
(leithhistory)

Military madness of diggers lost in legend
Buried alive four times - once at Gallipoli and three times in France - by 1916 "Private A" could not stop the tremor of his head or limbs. Madness and the Military: Australia's Experience of the Great War, by Michael Tyquin is the first comprehensive study on mental illness in WWI. It shatters the stereotype of the tough Anzac, an icon that Australians look up to - but which never existed. Major Tyquin says of the soldiers who were "mentally shattered" by the war - some of whom recovered, though many did not - "I think we've erased them from our public memory. We like to celebrate Anzac, and there's no place in that myth for anyone that's less than perfect."
(smh)

A rare medal won by a war heroine has sold for more than Б3,000
The Military Medal was awarded to nurse Kate Carruthers for showing bravery in the face of the enemy during the First World War. Miss Carruthers was one of only a few women to receive the award for her heroic efforts in treating the wounded on the frontline. The 30-year-old nurse was stationed on the Western Front in 1917 when her field hospital came under attack. She was injured in the fighting but battled bravely through the pain barrier to continue treating the wounded. In 1917 she became one of only a few women to be awarded the prestigious Military Medal, which was created by King George V in 1916.
(coinbooks)

Play remembers female war doctor - The Influence of Beauty
A play which tells the story of a female doctor who treated wounded soldiers on the frontline during WWI has opened in Oxford. The play is based on the diaries of Dr Dorothea Clara Maude who was a graduate of Oxford University. She served in five hospitals in France, Belgium and Serbia during the war despite the British Government telling female physicians to remain at home. "The Influence of Beauty" is being staged at the Osler-McGovern Centre.
(bbc)

The health benefits of the trenches
Lyn Macdonald, a historian and the author of a number of books on the First World War, once made the point that in more than 1,500 hours of recorded interviews with veterans about their experiences on the Western Front, not one of them used the word "horror" ќ the word that springs to mind today when considering those terrible four years of conflict. This is partly because the world was a very different place 90 years ago.
(telegraph.co.uk)

Influenzia in the First World War
In the spring of 1918 large numbers of soldiers in the trenches in France became ill. The soldiers complained of a sore throat, headaches and a loss of appetite. Although it appeared to be highly infectious, recovery was rapid and doctors gave it the name of 'three-day fever'. At first doctors were unable to identify the illness but eventually they decided it was a new strain of influenza. The soldiers gave it the name Spanish Flu, and in Spain they called it French Flu. Others claimed that the disease started in the Middle Eastern battlefields. A recent study argued that the disease was brought to the Western Front by a group of USA soldiers from Kansas.
(spartacus)


See also

'Militaria, Collectibles'

'Last WW1 Veterans'

'Trenches'

'Great War Letters'.