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Field Hospital and Flying Column
Being the Journal of an English Nursing Sister in Belgium & Russia

written by "Thurstan, Violetta, 1879-1978"
...heard of any. And then began a very happy time for me, in spite of many difficulties and disappointments. I can never tell the goodness of [28]the Committee and the Belgian doctor to me, and their kindness in letting me introduce all our pernickety English ways to which they were not accustomed, won my gratitude for ever. Never were Sisters so loyal and unselfish as mine. The first part of the time they were overworked and underfed, and no word of grumbling or complaint was ever heard from them. They worked from morning till night and got the hospital into splendid order. The Committee were good enough to allow me to keep the best of the Red Cross workers as probationers and to forbid entrance to the others. We had suffered so much at their hands before this took place, that I was truly grateful for this permission as no discipline or order was possible with a large number of young girls constantly rushing in and out, sitting on patients' beds, meddling with dressings, and doing all kinds of things they shouldn't. I am sure that no hospital ever had nicer patients than ours were. The French patients, though all severely wounded and prisoners in the hands of the Germans, bore their troubles cheerfully, even gaily. We [29]had a great variety of regiments represented in the hospital: Tirailleurs, Zouaves, one Turco from Algeria—our big good-natured Adolphe—soldiers from Paris, from Brittany and from Normandy, especially from Calvados. The German soldiers, too, behaved quite well, and were very grateful for everything done for them—mercifully we had no officers. We had not separate rooms for them—French and German soldiers lay side by side in the public wards. One of the most harrowing things during that time was the way all the Belgians were watching for the English troops to deliver them from the yoke of their oppressor. Every day, many times a day, when German rules got more and more stringent and autocratic,...

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