» 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
» 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
Turkish Invasion of Cyprus 1974
Memories of the 1974 Turkish Invasion of Greek occupied Cyprus by Helen Wemyss who was a Ward Stewardess in the QARANC at British Military Hospital Dhekelia
As a ward stewardess I was posted to British Military Hospital Dhekelia on 26th January 1973. It was my second posting after being at the Cambridge Military Hospital for 11 months.
BMH Dhekelia was a very pleasant hospital to work in. Sunshine flooded in through the many windows. It was only about a 5 minute walk (or a 3 minute run if you were late) from our accommodation in Nightingale Barracks.
I had the opportunity to spend time working on all of the wards in the hospital. My favourite was the children's' ward. As Sue Simmons recalls earlier on this page, it was a very busy ward. There was a weekly Thalassemia clinic when many local Cypriot children were brought in for treatment. It was sad watching them lie there in bed while they had their transfusions. Sometimes I went inside the ward's very large birdcage to clean it out. I actually hated going in there and I would make such a fuss as the birds flapped their wings around me but it made the children laugh so I didn't mind.
The social life for QA's in Dhekelia was second to none. There were opportunities to get involved in many sports, from tennis to parachuting. Being some of the very few females in Dhekelia, invitations to parties came in often. Due to the heat we also worked shorter day shifts, starting at 7am and finishing at 1pm. That left us plenty of time to head to the beach. BMH Dhekelia is what many who were lucky enough to be posted there will recall it as a dream posting.
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
What if the loss of a child was not every parent’s worst nightmare?
Hamish and Alison wake to some awful news from the police banging at their door, but what if their trauma was only just beginning?
Read how these former army nurses copes with their grief through to a terrifying ending.
Buried in Grief is my new novel, available in Paperback or Kindle and other devices.
Read the Opening Chapter for Free.
If you like this page and would like to easily share it with your friends and family please use the social networking buttons below:
In 1974 that dream was to be shattered when, in July 1974, Turkish forces invaded Cyprus. This occurred after a period of unrest when the Cypriot president Archbishop Makarios was deposed and replaced by Nikos Sampson during a military coup. The first I knew about it was when a colleague woke me up, soon after completing a nightshift, on the morning of the 20th July to tell me we all had to report to the hospital as Turkish Troops had just parachuted into Nicosia.
As many patients as possible who could be discharged were moved out and then there began an orderly scramble by staff to prepare the hospital for mass casualties. The families of British servicemen on the island were evacuated and medical support troops were flown in from various units with empty spaces within the hospital becoming makeshift sleeping quarters for the extra staff. Security around the hospital was extremely tight. We had soldiers on the roof of the hospital as it afforded a clear view of the surrounding areas. Suddenly every soldier we saw around the base was armed. Gone was the idea of different dining rooms for other ranks and officers. During this time we ate together, mostly army rations, and washed up together. All the army training we had been through came into force and we worked well as a team. We were all confined to being either at the hospital or in our accommodation blocks but morale was high. We had a bar in the basement of the hospital called the Fidelis Club. The bar became our main source of entertainment.
We didn't have to wait too long before casualties started arriving at the hospital. We looked after both Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot casualties. Many of the casualties were also from the United Nations Peacekeeping Force who were trying to establish a buffer zone on the island.
It was challenging to try and look after so many non-English speaking patients. As I remember, many of the UN casualties were from Finland , Denmark, Sweden and Canada. Their injuries were mainly gunshot wounds. We had one young French Canadian patient with so many injuries we didn't think he was going to make it. For about three months we treated him in the intensive care unit while he remained in a coma. We used to carefully treat his wounds every day while discussing our social lives. The soldier eventually made a good enough recovery to be repatriated to Canada. It was about 6 months later that same soldier, having made a full recovery, came back to BMH Dhekelia to thank the staff for the excellent care he had received. He also informed us with a grin of the times he lay listening to our social life revelations!
During shifts at the hospital we would listen to bombs going off in the town of Larnaca, approximately 12 miles away. Soon tent "cities" started to appear as more and more civilians became displaced.
The Turkish invasion ended with the partition of Cyprus along the UN-monitored Green Line in Famagusta, which still divides Cyprus. The once busy and prosperous city remains empty with hotels, office buildings and homes left to rot and continue to be a no man's land.
During the conflict many thousands of people lost their lives, including many civilians. We heard much talk of atrocities being carried out by both sides. Although this was disturbing to hear, our job remained, as always, to help the sick that came our way, no matter what side they were from.
My tour of Cyprus came to an end in January 1975. By then things had settled down as politicians began to try and find a political solution to the conflict. When I finally left Cyprus I was using crutches. When things began to settle down on the island I managed to fit in my second parachute jump. Unfortunately it when wrong and I ended up with three broken leg bones...but that's another story! Helen Wemyss QARANC.
If you would like to contribute any info, photographs or share your memories then please contact me.
Forces War Records
Forces War Records are a genealogy site where you can find military records of over 6 million British Armed Forces personnel cross matched with over 4000 Regiments, Bases and Ships. This link includes a free search and a special discount of 40% off membership offer for visitors who use the discount code AF40 if they decide to become a member.
Search Now. A unique feature is their WW1 Soldiers Medical Records section.
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.
» 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
» 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
» 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
» 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
International Nurses 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