BlissB asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 10 years ago

What were some things that nurse's had to endure during the battle of The Somme?

or a link to a website with the information :)

3 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Nurses working near the front line would have to cope with soldiers with horrific injuries, and with the terrible noise of shells exploding, the possibility of being hit etc. A nurse called K.E. Luard wrote vividly about her experience of working during a battle (she is not writing about the Somme, but about Passchendale,but it would have been much the same during the Somme):

    '5.a.m. The All-together began at 5 minutess to 4. We crept out on to the duckboards and saw. It was more wonderful than horrible. There was the glare before daylight of the searchlights, star-shells and gunflashes, and the cracking, splitting and thundering of the guns of all calibres at once. The S.O.S. call has come for three of the Sisters, but I think no cases are here yet. No mines have gone up yet.

    6.30 am. We have jusst began taking in the first cases. An officer died soon after admission, between 4 and 5 am. The Air people began streaming over at daylight adding their whirring and droing to the din. The mines have been going off since 5 like earthquakes. Lots of high explosive has been coming over, but nothing so far into this Camp. The uproar is almost stupefying. I'm going now to see how they are getting on in the Preparation and Resuscitation Hut.

    Same day, 11 pm. We have been working in the roar of battle every minute since I last wrote, and it has been rather too exciting, I've not had time to hear any details from any of our poor abdominals, but the news has been good till this evening: thousands of prisoners - and Ypres choked with captured guns and ammunition, and soem few of advance. This evening, they tell of heavy counter-attacks and some of our advance lost.-

    We have a lot of Germans in - all abdominalss. Everything has been going full pitch - with the 12 Teams in the Theatre only breaking off for hasty meals - the Dressing Hut, the Preparation Ward and the Resuscitation and the four huge Acute wards, which fill up from the Theatre; the Officers' Ward, the Moribund and the German Ward. That, and the Preparation and the Theatre are the worst places. Soon after 10o'clock this morning he began putting over high explosive. Everyone had to put on tin-hats and carry on. He kept it up all morning with vicious screams. They burst on two sides of us, not 50 yards away -no direct hits on to us but streams of shrapnel, which were quite hot when you picked them up. No one was hurt, which was lucky, and they came everywhere, even through our Canvas Huts in our quarters. Luckily we were so frantically busy that it was easier to pay lesss attention to it. The patients who were well enough to realise that they were not still on the field called it a 'dirty trick'. They were not gas shells, thank Heaven. Bursting shells are an ugly sight - black or yellow smoke and streams of jagged steel flying violently in all directions.

    It doesn't look as if we should ever sleep again. Apparently gunners and soldiers never do: it is difficult to see who can in this area. Our monster shells cutting through the air are the dizzy limit. There was a moment this morning when the C.O. and I thought he meant to do us in, but they stopped about one o'clock. And there was a moment about tea-time when I thought the work was going to heap up and get the upper hand of us, but the C.O. stopped admitting for an hour and sent them on lower down, which saved the situation. It is going to be a tight fit. Of coursse, a good many die, but a great many seem to be going to do. We get them one hour after injury, which is our raison d'etre for being here.'


    Source(s): The Virago Book of Women in the Great War edited by Joyce Marlow
  • Jim L
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    By nurses, do you mean RAMC as stretcher-bearers and manning field dressing stations, or the others, including the females, at hospitals well back of the line?

    The former would be in physical danger, while the latter would just have an increased work load and the effect of seeing horrific injuries.

    Source(s): Grandson of RAMC.
  • 4 years ago

    They had to endure a battle.

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