» 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
World War 1 Letters
Copy of letters from World War One to widows and families written by nurses in hospitals in France
This moving letter from a Nursing Sister working in a British Red Cross Hospital in France during World War One was written to a patient's widow. It has given much comfort to his widow and family and is reproduced here with kind permission of his granddaughter Elizabeth.
The soldier, Fred Allen, aged 42 years, was in the Veterinary Corps and the VAD nurse wrote it 4 days after his death.
His granddaughter, Elizabeth Tucker, told us:
This letter was given to me in 1962, when my grandmother Emily, widow of Fred Allen, died aged 92; she had never remarried. She had been widowed for almost 50 years and kept this very personal letter, private to her-self.
I still find the letter very intimate and emotional, the only link the present family have to an unknown grandfather.
I also find it amazing that a nursing sister during the first world war would have the time and compassion to write such a moving letter of comfort to a grieving widow; she must have been a truly wonderful and dedicated person.
Section 2 British Red Cross Hospital
30 April 1915
Dear Mrs Allen,
You and your dear family have been very much in my thoughts during the past week and allow me assure you my deepest sympathy is with you in your sad loss. It has been my great privilege to nurse your dear husband whom I can never forget. He was such a brave splendid fellow and no soldier on the British battlefield could have done more for his Country than he, and no soldier could have died more bravely. All was so sudden - he walked from his work to this hospital in the evening about 9 o'clock only feeling ill in the afternoon. Two comrades assisted him along - his camp is only a very short distance away. They offered to carry him, but this he would not hear of. Immediately I saw him I saw he was ill and put him just as he was with boots on
and all his clothes into bed with hot bottles and hot blankets, then we gently undressed him under the warm blankets, and as he was feeling chilly I put 5 hot bottles around him. Soon he said "Sister I am so comfortable now" and seemed so pleased. He was quite chatty, though feeling ill and when I teased him about being so fat he gave such a hearty laugh. After taking his clothes off and before removing them from his bedroom I asked him if he wished anything out of his pockets. He said "Yes only one thing my wife's photos and my little boy." It was so sweet of him and I was so thankful to think he had someone to love him and just wished I could have called you to his bedside. Before long about 2 in the morning (I was with him all the time) I saw he was looking worse and immediately gave him brandy and injected strychnine into his arm and then sent for the doctor who was a few doors away. He came in a few minutes and from that moment for two nights and two days we never left his bedside.
We put him in hot packs constantly to try to get his kidneys to act. I tried everything that possibly could be done as though if he was in London or anywhere else under the best medical skill in the world nothing more could be done by Doctor Ransom our doctor here did for your dear husband and no brother could have handled him more tenderly. I dressed him in a very nice white flannel gown and with the aid of one or two other we lifted him tenderly into his coffin, putting his head on a comfortable pillow and wrapping him carefully in nice soft sheets. On his face was a beautiful smile, as if her were speaking to you. He was not conscious very long and once or twice he addressed you "my darling wife that's lovely, that's lovey" as I pour Eau de cologne on his honoured head.
So patient and not a grumble ever escaped his lips as we tried so many things to rescue him from death and he helped us all he could. It was a blessing he did not
suffer. The doctor and myself were beside him in every minute to the last and oh how we grudged him:
I enclose photos of his funeral which was a very large one. Both of our own soldiers and the French, about 50 of them and they sent beautiful wreathes. Numbers of the French women joined the funeral and walked with it to the cemetery. One dear old lady (French) heavily draped in crepe, followed to the grave and laid on a beautiful wreath from herself. The large wreath at the head of the grave is the one sent by your husband's soldier friends in No 7 and 8 camps. Several men, soldier friends, brought in their hands. The clergyman read a beautiful service by the grave with at least a dozen of our officers by the side and French officers also. And all the other soldiers French and English, it was all very impressive. He is buried in a beautiful spot of the cemetery in this pretty country Town.
The wreath with the soldiers friends behind were sent by French people in Forges-les-Eaux. The writing across is "Honour (or homage) from France".
Besides the officers and men all the French people who could and helpers went to the funeral. My probationer nurses also went - 4 of them - I am in an Army Cap behind Captain Lake (the head of Camp 7) in the funeral procession - then away behind are the French soldiers and officers but so far behind that they are scarcely seen in the photo.
Now I must close and I hope that this letter may give you a little comfort in your sad hours of sorrow.
It may interest you to know I am Sister in Charge of this Hospital - if there is anything more you would like to know then let me know by return - I know your loved ones things have been sent home to you.
With much sympathy from all here.
Yours very sincerely.
Sister I Gordon Macleod.
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:
If you would like to contribute any info, photographs or share your memories of World War 1 letters 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
» 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
» 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
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