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> Issue 34 > Page 3 - World War One Continues: Nursing-Sisters in England and France

Page 3 - World War One Continues: Nursing-Sisters in England and France

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1983/8/1 (291 reads)

be beds down both sides of the wards--25, 30 beds, perhaps 50. (And there may be a hundred come at one time?) Oh yes, probab? ly more than a hundred. Perhaps the wards would all be filled up. (It must have been terrible.) Well, to think back, it all went in a very orderly fashion. Everybody knew tjieir job, and they did it. (Were you surprised at how violent the war was?) Well, at first I didn't know anything a- bout war, just the dread about things, and in stories, and of course the front-page news, and all that. But unless you actual? ly see a thing, it's almost impossible to recognize it. (Once you saw it, were you surprised?) Well, you took everything more or less in your stride. What was, was, and what had to be, had td be, you know. I was always amazed at the bravery, the wonder? ful, wonderful bravery of the patients. They were amazing. Just terrific. Their thoughts were of home, and of the dear ones at home. If they were severely wounded, there was no question about them getting home. To England, getting home was always called "Blighty." Did you ever hear that name?--"They carried me back to Blighty." A blighty is a home wound. They were all, really, naturally glad to have a blighty. And they bore it very bravely. Their fortitude was amazing. They were won? derful patients. I never had a patient that I didn't like. They were always won? derful. (Is that really true?) Really true. They were wonderful. (You must have felt tremendous pity.) Usu? ally, there was enough to keep you so busy that you didn't have time. There was no sob stuff around. You couldn't sit down and hold people's hand, and pity them that Anglo-Canadian Hospital Camp way. You pitied them by doing things for them, trying to make them more comfortable.' And then if you had a chance to talk, you'd ask about their family. And they'd bring out the pictures of their parents or their wives and children. There wasn't a great deal of time, very often. If you were busy, you hadn't any time to do much talking. But if there was a quiet time, they'd love to talk about their homes. There was never any bitterness, that I ev? er came across. They were really, when I think of them now, they were marvellous. Because in civilian life, people complain about so little. They're always fault-find? ing and all that sort of thing. These peo? ple complained about nothing. (I would think that the bitterness and the depres? sion would be terrible.) It might have been later on, perhaps, in some cases, but it wasn't when I knew them. They were de? lighted to be out of the war. It was a won? derful feeling--they were safe. They were really amazing. They were delightful pa? tients. They just ruined one, almost, a-
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