The extraordinary actions of these women can be seen by the citations of those who earned the Military Medal. Examples such as Daisy Dobbs who displayed "conspicuous bravery, calmness and devotion to duty in looking after the safety of the patients under her charge, even after she was wounded by a bomb and bleeding profusely" or Kate Mahony who had to deal with the arrival of a train carrying 450 sick and wounded during an aeroplane attack where the gazette states "Five bombs fell in the immediate neighbourhood…causing damage and some patients to be thrown out of their cots…she went about her work coolly and collectedly and cheerfully".
Despite this over 10,000 nurses served in each war. Many of these are found within this collection, and includes plenty of famous heroines, such as Edith Cavell (a distinguished nurse before WW1) whose execution for helping to smuggle British soldiers out of occupied Belgium was seen as one of the worst atrocities of the First World War.
These records contain names drawn from a wide variety of sources – ranging from documents held at the National Archives or the Museum of Military Medicine (Formerly Army Medical Services Museum) and even include names drawn from ‘Femina Patriae Defensor’. This is a book compiled by the 'Federation Interalliee des Anciens Combattants' to commemorate all of the Women who died in the great war. It gives a detailed description of the various roles women played in the war effort in several of the Allied powers, as well as providing the most definitive list of women who died in the great war. The units in the records have been translated from the French to avoid confusion - so 'Le Detachment d'aides volontaires' became the Voluntary Aid Detachment and the 'Service Infirmieres Militaires de Queen Alexander became Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service).
Please be aware that due to the way we collate, and cross reference our databases, some records will contain more information than that listed above.