WW1 Photos Centenary Website: 2014-2018 By Paul Reed

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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