WW1 Photos Centenary Website: 2014-2018 By Paul Reed

Posts tagged “WW1 Nursing

The German Crimson Field

gwp_0038The Crimson Field is a new BBC drama which has been received with what can be best described as mixed feelings by Great War enthusiasts on Twitter. It depicts a ‘Field Hospital’ close to the battlefield and while its accuracy may be questionable there is no doubt it will bring many who want to know more to the subject of WW1 medicine.

By way of contrast this image is from a small German collection that may well have belonged to a German nurse or doctor serving in Russia and in France during the Great War. This particular ‘crimson field’ is likely to be in Germany and visible are the nurses, left, and the doctors and orderlies as well as the patients at the window and on the balcony. The image gives an insight into the sophistication of Great War medical arrangements, something very lacking in the current BBC drama.

 


The Real Crimson Field: Nurses in France 1918

Tonight a new WW1 Centenary drama series, The Crimson Field, will start on BBC1 no doubt sparking a fresh wave of interest in the Nurses of the Great War.

This image was taken in Northern France in 1918 and shows Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service and also Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) personnel with the Royal Army Medical Corps medical officers from a Northumbrian Casualty Clearing Station.

If you wish to read more about Great War Nurses Sue Light’s Scarlet Finders website is highly recommended. Sue can also be found on Twitter.

 


Arras: German Views of Arras

During the Great War the Germans produced a vast amount of images depicting the conflict; unlike in the British Army, German soldiers were not punished if they had cameras and every German division appears to have had a photography unit that took images which were put onto postcard as souvenirs for the soldiers. In addition, many German units published photo books while the war was still on and these give us a valuable insight into the battlefields as they were at this time.

An example of this is Die Schlacht bei Arras which was published in Munich in 1918. It contains 350 printed images of the German Army in the Arras sector. Some of the photos date from 1916 but many were taken during the 1917 operations. They show the villages in a varying state of destruction, trench life for the Germans, British prisoners, shot down aircraft and numerous other scenes.

The above image shows British prisoners taken during the fighting in May 1917 being marched to the rear. The worst day at Arras was 3rd May when there were huge casualties with many prisoners of war; it is likely these men were captured at this time. The image is taken at one of the villages in the rear area close to Douai, which was the main logistics and supply centre for the German Army at Arras.

As part of the Oxford University WW1 Centenary project for Arras95 I have placed a selection of images on my Flickr pages which can be seen by following the following link: German Photos: Arras.


Medics At War: WW1 Nurses

During the Great War thousands of women served at home and overseas as Nurses working in military hospitals or in Casualty Clearing Stations closer to the battlefield. They provided vital skills and fulfilled an important role, one which is often overshadowed by the events on the battlefields themselves.

This image taken at a military hospital in Britain and shows a badly wounded Sergeant of the Sherwood Foresters escorted by two of the key types of WW1 Nurses. On the left is a member of the  Queen Alexander’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS) who were the regular establishment of military nurses serving as part of the British Army; a Territorial branch of QAIMNS also provided additional personnel. On the right is a member of the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD); this was what many young women joined during the war – in fact as many as 100,000 joined it by 1918. Arguably the most famous WW1 VAD was Vera Brittain whose Testimony series of books provide a fascinating insight into the work of Great War nurses and how the war affected young women.

For further insights on WW1 Nurses have a look at Sue Light’s excellent website and follow her on Twitter.


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