Nurses deputed to duty in Hospitals at home and abroad 1914-1918

This collection is a work in progress
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Original source:



This collection is collated from ‘The British Journal of Nursing which incorporated the Nursing record’. From 1914 to 1918 the publication listed those nurses and sisters who had deputed for duty and active service in hospitals at home and abroad.



Collection Description:



Voluntary Aid Detachments first came into existence in 1909, their original purpose being to have in readiness bands of trained voluntary workers to assist the regular nurses if Britain were invaded. As the name suggests, they were voluntary workers and were organised locally in detachments.



When the war broke out in August 1914, there were no fewer than 40,018 women enrolled as members of the 1,382 detachments scattered all over the country. These were at once mobilised as need arose for the numerous auxiliary hospitals - that is, hospitals controlled by the Joint War Committee of the British Red Cross Society and the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.



Before two months of war had elapsed, however, it was seen that work awaited the V.A.D. abroad, and in October 1914, immediately after the Joint War Committee of the British Red Cross Society and the Order of St. John of Jerusalem had been established, the first V.A.D. unit left for Boulogne. Here they formed a rest station, and very rapidly other unites were launched from Boulogne. The Joint War Committee organised volunteers alongside technical and professional staff. It also supplied the machinery and mechanisms to provide services in Britain and in the conflict areas of Europe, the Middle East, Russia, and East Africa.



This unique collection includes transcribed records of those nurses and sisters who had deputed for duty and active service in hospitals at home and abroad during the Great War. These records were published from 1914 to 1918 in the ‘The British Journal of Nursing which incorporated the Nursing record’.



By the end of the Great War the Red Cross had provided 90,000 VADs, who had volunteered at home and abroad. Over 1,786 auxiliary hospitals had been established, with patients arriving by staffed ambulances, hospital trains and motor launches.



Period covered: 1914-1918


Records in this collection are likely to include the following:

  • firstname
  • surname
  • title
  • rank
  • training establishment
  • next employment establishment
  • new appointment

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.

Original Source: This collection is collated from ‘The British Journal of Nursing which incorporated the Nursing record’. From 1914 to 1918 the publication listed those nurses and sisters who had deputed for duty and active service in hospitals at home and abroad.

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