» Site Map
» Home Page
» Find Friends - Search Old Service and Genealogy Records
» QAIMNS for India
» QAIMNS First World War
» Territorial Force Nursing Service TFNS
» WW1 Soldiers Medical Records
» Field Ambulance No.4
» The Battle of Arras 1917
» The German Advance
» Warlencourt Casualty Clearing Station World War One
» NO 32 CCS Brandhoek - The Battle of Passchendaele
» Chain of Evacuation of Wounded Soldiers
» Allied Advance - Hundred Days Offensive
» Life After War
» Auxiliary Hospitals
» War Graves Nurses
» Book of Remembrance
» Example of Mentioned in Despatches Letter
» Love Stories
» Autograph Book World War One
» World War 1 Letters
» Service Scrapbooks
» QA World War Two
» Africa Second World War
» War Diaries of Sisters
» D Day Normandy Landings
» Belsen Concentration Camp
» Italian Sailor POW Camps India World War Two
» VE Day
» Voluntary Aid Detachment
» National Service
» Korean War
» Gulf War
» Op Telic
» Op Gritrock
» Royal Red Cross Decoration
» Colonels In Chief
» Chief Nursing Officer Army
» Director Army Nursing Services (DANS)
» Colonel Commandant
» Matrons In Chief (QAIMNS)
Follow us on Twitter:
» Grey and Scarlet Corps March
» Order of Precedence
» QA Memorial National Arboretum
» NMA Heroes Square Paving Stone
» NMA Nursing Memorial
» Memorial Window
» Stained Glass Window
» Army Medical Services Monument
» Recruitment Posters
» QA Association
» QA and AMS Prayer and Hymn
Former Army Hospitals
» Army Chest Unit
» Cowglen Glasgow
» CMH Aldershot
» DKMH Catterick
» Duke of Connaught Unit Northern Ireland
» Endell Street
» First Eastern General Hospital Trinity College Cambridge
» Hospital Ghosts
» King George Military Hospital Stamford Street London
» QA Centre
» QAMH Millbank
» QEMH Woolwich
» Medical Reception Station Brunei and MRS Kuching Borneo Malaysia
» Military Maternity Hospital Woolwich
» Musgrave Park Belfast
» Royal Chelsea Hospital
» Royal Herbert
» Royal Brighton Pavilion Indian Hospital
» School of Physiotherapy
» Station Hospital Ranikhet
» Station Hospital Suez
» Ghost Hunt at Tidworth Garrison Barracks
» Ambulance Trains
» Hospital Barges
» Ambulance Flotilla
» Hospital Ships
» TPMH RAF Akrotiri
» Bowen Road
» Mount Kellett
» Wylie Road Kings Park
Overseas Old British Military Hospitals
» BMH Malta
» Camp Bastion Field Hospital and Medical Treatment Facility MTF Helmand Territory Southern Afghanistan
» TA Field Hospitals and Field Ambulances
Africa Second World War
Recollections of army nurses and nursing sisters from Africa during the Second World War with photographs
Below are recollection from those who served in Africa during the Second World War. If you would like to add your own memories or those of a relative then please contact Qaranc.co.uk
Below is a letter sent from Audrey Hayward recalling her World War Two memories to her family and is reproduced below with kind permission.
To the left is a photo of Sister Audrey Hayward taken in 1944 while still in her TANS (Territorial Army Nursing Sister) uniform.
The letter describes her voyage to West Africa in convoy WS.8B. Her recollection at the age of 86 years is remarkable and her family have researched her life during the war and the reference to being escorted by HMS Devonshire and Rodney is incorrect because these ships were otherwise engaged in the hunt for the Bismarck. The convoy was escorted by the fourth destroyer flotilla under the command of Captain (D) Phillip Vian; the flotilla was detached from the convoy to join the hunt as well, leaving the convoy with almost no escort to speak of. According to the London Gazette report of the Bismarck incident published in 1947, convoy WS.8B came within 85 miles of Bismarck while the Navy were still looking for her. There is more written in Sir Phillip Vian's autobiography Action This Day: War Memoirs of Admiral of the Fleet and his description of the convoy being attacked by the lone Focke Wulf exactly matches Audrey's. Sister Audrey Hayward also features in the book Sisters In Arms: British Army Nurses Tell Their Story
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
My PTSD assistance dog, Lynne, and I have written a book about how she helps me with my military Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, and depression. I talk about my time in the QAs and the coping strategies I now use to be in my best health.
Along the way, I have had help from various military charities, such as Help for Heroes and The Not Forgotten Association and royalties from this book will go to them and other charities like Bravehound, who paired me with my four-legged best friend.
I talk openly about the death of my son by suicide and the help I got from psychotherapy and counselling and grief charities like The Compassionate Friends.
The author, Damien Lewis, said of Lynne:
"A powerful account of what one dog means to one man on his road to recovery. Both heart-warming and life-affirming. Bravo Chris and Lynne. Bravo Bravehound."
Buy the Paperback.
This beautiful QARANC Poppy Pin Badge is available from the Royal British Legion Poppy Shop.
For those searching military records, for information on a former nurse of the QAIMNS, QARANC, Royal Red Cross, VAD and other nursing organisations or other military Corps and Regiments, please try Genes Reunited where you can search for ancestors from military records, census, birth, marriages and death certificates as well as over 673 million family trees. At GenesReunited it is free to build your family tree online and is one of the quickest and easiest ways to discover your family history and accessing army service records.
Another genealogy website which gives you access to military records and allows you to build a family tree is Find My Past which has a free trial.
We sailed from Liverpool on May 17th 1941 (Dad's birthday) on ABOSSO of Elderdempsters Line. Mostly civilian passengers, so we were placed last in the convoy, consisting of two troop ships and merchantmen. Our escort included two destroyers, HMS Rodney and Devonshire. We sailed N.W into the N. Atlantic before turning south. After about 2 days, e.g. May 19/20 at about 8AM we were bombed by a lone German plane. He placed a bomb either side of the ship which had a shallow draught to enable it to navigate W. African rivers.
There were two other QAs in the cabin with me and we had all been seasick. When the alarm of the air attack sounded we put on greatcoats and I climbed on a chair to reach for our gas masks (don't ask me why) and tin hats. We were not allowed to close cabin doors because they could get jammed. When the bombs exploded the ship lurched badly and I shot over the top of the chair through a curtain onto the corridor. A passing seaman pulling on his life jacket called out, "Come on Miss, get to your action stations". This I did, but couldn't get my tin hat on ---- curlers! Two flasks in metal rings either side of the WHB were lifted out of rings and landed on the floor. It is thought our guns had hit the plane as we had no return visit. Probably true as it was an important convoy of troops.
ABOSSOs' engines were put out of action, some fridges also and the dining room was damaged. We were asked to go on deck where they would serve bacon and egg sandwiches in lieu of breakfast. I can remember one of my colleagues sitting on the deck looking very green saying "I have been praying for those B - Y engines to stop pounding now I must pray for them to start again!!
The convoy just sailed on and we watched it go over the horizon as we lolled in the breeze. We rejoined the convoy, as I remember, about twilight. We received a message from the commodore "To all on board Abosso, well done"!
At this time the Bismarck had already slipped out of port on her maiden voyage and was heading with her sister ships for the N. Atlantic. A day or two after the bombing we noticed we had lost two of the destroyers, Dorsetshire and Rodney [Note - this is a battleship]. We were pleased thinking "now it is safer!" In the battle between HMS Hood, Prince of Wales (both top class battleships) and Bismarck in the N. Atlantic, the Hood was sunk, she went down on 24th May with only 3 survivors of a crew of 1,400. Sank in 3 mins, the shell having hit a magazine. The P. of Wales was also hit which reduced her speed. Our two destroyers had left us to join the rest of the Fleet in Battle. The Bismarck was eventually sunk, Dorsetshire having fired the shot that finally sunk her.
Former Royal Air Force Regiment Gunner Jason Harper witnesses a foreign jet fly over his Aberdeenshire home. It is spilling a strange yellow smoke. Minutes later, his wife, Pippa, telephones him, shouting that she needs him. They then get cut off. He sets straight out, unprepared for the nightmare that unfolds during his journey. Everyone seems to want to kill him.
Along the way, he pairs up with fellow survivor Imogen. But she enjoys killing the living dead far too much. Will she kill Jason in her blood thirst? Or will she hinder his journey through this zombie filled dystopian landscape to find his pregnant wife?
The Fence is the first in this series of post-apocalyptic military survival thrillers from the torturous mind of former British army nurse, now horror and science fiction novel writer, C.G. Buswell.
Buy the Paperback.
If you would like to contribute to this page, suggest changes or inclusions to this website or would like to send me a photograph then please e-mail me.
We on Abosso heard about the sinking of the Bismarck, first we celebrated. Then we heard about the Hood and felt terrible and realising the danger.
Life was not all work and I could often see the funny side of events. I write of a few reminiscences, and I promise to write of any more I remember.
When first mobilised in 1941 we were given a list of things we had to buy other than the uniform. It was February and Mum and I searched the shops for white shoes and stockings and a cream parasol lined with red! Managed to get the former, but had to settle with a green lining, Never used!
After the bombing incident at sea I was making my way to my Action Station but couldn't get my hat on. Great mirth: t was sitting on curlers!
When in Africa we had a busy social life and were made welcome by the civilians stationed there, but we had no mufti. We borrowed a sewing machine, purchased some material and made an evening dress. I shired the bodice (not sure how to spell that) with elastic and decide to have it strapless. All was well until one evening, when coming down some stairs in the club, somebody stepped on the hem. I had to almost sink to the floor to save my modesty. Never lived it down.
After an outbreak of dysentery in the sister's mess the bearers were asked for a stool for culture. The senior one, quite a guy, refused and said, "I am not fit to sh*t for public!!" He did eventually.
When mobilising for second front we were issued a valise to contain, blankets, pillow, a wooden tripod to hold small canvass basin for washing and could also hold a larger one to sit on and a canvass bucket. We were also asked to purchase a Beatrice Stove, flat iron and hurricane lamp. Imagine packing those after being used! We were housed two to a belle tent. I forgot to mention the camp bed which was also rolled in the valise. They had to conform when rolled to a certain size as they had to fit in a given long space in a lorry. There were many practices! My tent companion decided on a bath, closed the tent flap, but forgot the braiding. She called to me, "I'm on my back in the bath with my legs up the tent pole." What a view.
We were invited to the RAF Mess to have drinks with the pilots who were bored waiting for larger fuel tanks. About a dozen volunteered and we were picked up in a truck by the Adjut.. When nearly there he pulled into a field gateway and explained the men had no facilities for ladies and he suggested we went behind the hedge in the field, It was dark, but not to go into the field as it was mined!
I was i/c of resuscitation and pre-op.. This was linked to Reception and the Op. Theatres. Two, and each had two tables, 4 op. Teams. They, the op. tents, were linked with a square tent between them for sterilising. We were also responsible for all the drips, saline, blood and Penicillin in the 600 bed hospital. No drip stands, we used the guy rope inside the ward marquee. Because we acted as a blood bank for collection and delivery we grew some marvellous mushrooms!
I also did a spell of night duty. The only lights in the wards in the beginning were hurricane lamps and torches. Later the R.E. fitted up two lights in each 25 bed ward. Doing a round one night I was visiting the POW wards, (as an advancing army we had a lot) and found the Pioneer Corps Private standing under the light reading and his loaded rifle resting 10 feet away on a locker in the middle of the ward. Words did not fail me.
Among the first officers we admitted was a young Lieutenant who lived on Corton Road, just round the corner from us. I visited him and decided to write to his mother to say he would be OK and we usually discharged, (?flying) patients home, in about 1 week. (This communication of course is not allowed). His mother went to see Mum and said how grateful she was as she hadn't been notified until the next day!
I can't think or write any more, but you may not realise that when I retired from the T.A. I held the rank of Lt. Col. - Not bad for one who missed a first class education.
Lieutenant Colonel Audrey Hayward was a registered nurse and midwife and served in Africa (Nigeria, Sierra Leone and the Gold Coast which is now known as Ghana) and France during the war from 1941. Lt Col Hayward was part of the first medical unit to land via Mulberry Harbour after D Day where she nursed in the 600 bed Casualty Clearing Station. Following this hectic time Sister Hayward was posted to India until the end of World War Two. She continued her military nursing career after the war in the Territorial Army in locations such as Germany, England, Scotland and Wales.
Lt Col Audrey Hayward was awarded the Territorial Decoration for her 30 years of service. She was also awarded the Associate Royal Red Cross for her work as Matron at the 257 Eastern General Hospital Territorial Army and Volunteer Reserve.
After WWII Miss Hayward worked as a midwife and then trained as a Health Visitor where she worked in Brixton and Croydon. Miss Hayward was appointed the Deputy Chief Nursing Officer at Greenwich in London and later became the Director of Nursing Officer at Croydon where she was responsible for Health Visiting and School Health, Domiciliary Midwifery and Day Nurseries. During this time she continued her TA service at Chelsea.
In 1976 Miss Hayward was made an Officer of The order of the British Empire (OBE).
Lt Col Audrey Hayward died peacefully on 10 January 2011, aged 94. Audrey was the much loved aunt of David, Jane, John and Richard. A Service of Thanksgiving will be held at the church of St John the Evangelist, Shirley, near Croydon on 31 January 2011 at 11am.
Read more about:
37th Military Hospital RAMC West Africa World War Two.
QA World War Two Nursing.
Gold Coast WW2
The death of the Brotherhood will be avenged.
RAF gunner Jason Harper and a team of Special Air Service operators are enraged after the death of their brothers by a terrorist drone strike. They fly into south-eastern Yemen on a Black-op mission to gather intelligence and avenge the death of their comrades.
Can they infiltrate the Al-Queda insurgents' camp, stay undetected, and call down their own drone missile strike and get home safely?
Will they all survive to fight another day?
Operation Wrath is a free, fast-paced adventure prequel to the non-stop action The Fence series by military veteran author C.G. Buswell.
Download for free on any device and read today.
This website is not affiliated or endorsed by The Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC) or the Ministry of Defence.
» QARANC Poppy Pin
» Poppy Lottery
» The Grey Lady Ghost of the Cambridge Military Hospital Novel - a Book by CG Buswell
» The Drummer Boy Novel
» Regimental Cap Badges Paintings
Read our posts on:
» Army Discounts
» Claim Uniform Washing Tax Rebate For Laundry
» Help For Heroes Discount Code
» Commemorative Cover BFPS 70th anniversary QARANC Association
» Become An Army Nurse
» Junior Ranks
» Officer Ranks
» Service Numbers
Ministry of Defence Hospital Units
» MDHU Derriford
» MDHU Frimley Park
» MDHU Northallerton
» MDHU Peterborough
» MDHU Portsmouth
» RCDM Birmingham
» Army Reserve QARANC
» Florence Nightingale Plaque
» Why QA's Wear Grey
» Army Medical Services Tartan
» First Time Nurses Wore Trousers AV Anti Vermin Battledress
» TRF Tactical Recognition Flash Badge
» Greatcoat TFNS
» Lapel Pin Badge
» Army School of Psychiatric Nursing Silver Badge
» Cap Badge
» Corps Belt
» ID Bracelet
» Silver War Badge WWI
» Officer's Cloak
» QAIMNSR Tippet
» QAIMNS and Reserve Uniform World War One
» Officer Medal
» Hospital Blues Uniform WW1
» Armed Forces Day
» The Nurses General Dame Maud McCarthy Exhibition Oxford House London
» Edinburgh Fringe Stage Play I'll Tell You This for Nothing - My Mother the War Hero
» Match For Heroes
» Recreated WWI Ward
» Corps Day
» Freedom of Rushmoor
» Re-enactment Groups
» Military Events
» AMS Carol Service
» QARANC Association Pilgrimage to Singapore and Malaysia 2009
» Doctors and Nurses at War
» War and Medicine Exhibition
» International Conference on Disaster and Military Medicine DiMiMED
» QA Uniform Exhibition Nothe Fort Weymouth
» Dame Margot Turner
» Dame Maud McCarthy
» Lt Col Maureen Gara
» Military Medal Awards To QAs
» Moment of Truth TV Documentary
» Sean Beech
» Staff Nurse Ella Kate Cooke
Nursing Jobs Vacancies UK
International Nurses Day
International Midwife Day
» Site Map
» Other Websites
» Walter Mitty Military Imposters
» The Abandoned Soldier
We are seeking help with some answers to questions sent by readers. These can be found on the Army Nursing page.
» Find QA's
» Personalised Poster
» Poppy Badges
» Teddy Bears
» Pin Badges
» Wall Plaques
» Fridge Magnet