Sunday, 5 February 2012

Branching Out

I do quite a few talks now on nurses both to military interest groups and increasingly to family history societies, U3A and private 'clubs.' I often have to adapt the same talk to fit in with the different requirements on time allocation, and to suit varied audiences, some of whom have no knowledge of things military (or things nursing for that matter). I find I can do the same talk to the same type of group with vastly different outcomes. Sometimes I am loved and feted, sometimes I walk quickly away, with a backward glance at a dazed audience, many of whom are soundly snoring, oblivious to the fact that I'd finished (or perhaps started).

My main theme has always been military nurses of the Great War period, including VADs and hospital life. Last year I was asked by a private group if I would extend that to talk on the formation of the army's nursing services from the Crimean War right up to the end of the Great War. I wasn't keen, as my knowledge of what went on in the Crimea can be written on a stamp (large letter). But as I worked my way through preparing the talk and the presentation, I found it going pretty well, although I was also asked for 'lots of images, preferably coloured' which is a bit of a BIG ask for the period. So the time has arrived, and next Thursday sees the first outing of the new talk. I hope that there won't be too many people with glazed expressions, or too high a percentage fast asleep. I have a feeling though that my biggest problem might be Southern's snow-bound trains getting me there on time. Time will tell.

Florence Nightingale receiving wounded at Scutari (Jerry Barrett)

1 comment:

  1. I've listened to one of your talks, Sue, and it was brilliant. I am available with a sharp stick and a Sgt Major's bark - to stand at the back and keep the blighters awake. Not that they really need it, I'm sure! Now, the trains, that's a different matter.

    Hope it goes well on Thursday.