A single cornet player led the start of today’s World War 1 remembrance readings in my local library. Over 60 women turn out to listen to the readings from diaries, poems and memoirs of the Women’s Voices. The script was compiled by Maggie Norton a local Poet Laureate researched from publications of a generation of women who volunteered to serve their country.
The readings were written by women who served at home and abroad. Many of them were nurses, either VADs (Volunteer Aid Detachment), trained nurses or rising military Captains, Flying Ambulance Corp Nurses, Frontline Nurses on first aid posts and Suffragettes in Women’s Emergency Corps.
At the event I had the pleasure of meeting a nurse who had started nursing only months before the start of World War 2. She was born in Northumbria, went to train as a nurse at the Hammersmith Hospital and treated the wounded throughout the London Blitz. She even did combat training to land at Normandy treating up to two hundred soldiers a day.
These days she is a champion for the nursing profession and a Veteran. She is active in the remembrance services throughout Britain and in France where she is a VIP in towns and at state events. She regularly visits schools and talks about the Blitz and has visited French schools to pass on a generation’s experience of war. As the anniversary of the war starts today, remember our nurses, so brave, “lest we forget”.