Saturday 25 May 2013

Amy Frances Turner

I included a photograph with my last post of Amy Frances Turner, so I thought it would be worth writing a little about her wartime service - a little bit is all I have of course. She was born in York in 1883/84, the daughter of a printer's compositor, and trained as a nurse at Northampton General Hospital between 1906 and 1909.

Amy Turner became a member of the Territorial Force Nursing Service shortly after the outbreak of war and in December 1914 she was sent to the No.3 Southern General Hospital (TF), Oxford, to work as a Staff Nurse.  I was sent a wonderful set of images taken at the hospital, by Judy Burge who lives in Australia and whose grandmother Isobel Wace also worked at the same hospital and was the owner of the photos - they give a remarkable and varied view of life at the hospital during the first half of the Great War. Amy was promoted to the rank of Nursing Sister on 13th July 1917, and in September,1918, she went to France to join the staff of No.54 General Hospital, Wimereux. In February,1919, she was invalided back to the UK for some surgery, and after her convalescence was demobilised on the 6th May,1919. Her next-of-kin is given throughout her file as her married sister, a Mrs. Cawley who lived at 21 Harlech Avenue, Leeds.

After the war, like many other nurses, Amy Turner remained a demobilised member of the Territorial Army Nursing Service, prepared to re-join in the event of further hostilities. But for her that time didn't come, as a letter in her service file shows that she resigned the service just after the outbreak of the Second World War on 12th September, 1939. Surprisingly, her reason was her forthcoming marriage and subsequent move to Canada. Unfortunately there is no note in her file giving her married name or a later address, but it does show that it's never too late to start a new life! The caption on the photo from Judy reads 'Don't know this lady but someone may.' Hopefully someone will.

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