Wednesday 8 October 2014

Not quite the finale!

To everyone who has contacted me about the closure of the blog, thank you, but ...  it's not going to be deleted, just put into hibernation. The content will stay.  I'll continue to concentrate on my two websites which will carry on as usual and grow.  So information about British Military Nurses can still be found on:

Scarletfinders - for a whole range of information and transcriptions of original documents including the complete war diary of the Matron-in-Chief in France and Flanders and advice on how to start your own research.

The Fairest Force - for nuts and bolts information about British military nurses, concentrating on France and Flanders, but applicable to other areas as well. Basic details of pay, conditions, living arrangements, joining, leaving, relaxing ...

But no myth or fantasy, only firm facts and common sense!


Sunday 5 October 2014


After seven and a half years and two hundred and forty-four posts, this is the last. Ten years ago I decided to try and seek out accurate information and details about military nurses during the Great War in an effort to cut through the myth and fantasy which abounds, both on the web and in written works.  Along the way I’ve done a lot, produced a lot and learnt a great deal. The last year has given me my most important lesson so far. It’s taught me that I’ve failed, or more precisely been very naive and stupid to think that I could ever have made a difference. The mass of books, articles, television programmes and social media sites generated by the centenary of the Great War show that accuracy is not high up on most people’s list when it comes to the nursing services of the Great War. Fantasy, drama and a good story far outweigh any need to get facts right and the professional nurse remains all but ignored, except when held up as a miserable harridan set on her chastisement of the heroine VAD. While there’s an insistence on getting things right for the British military forces in general - i.e. the men - for nurses it seems that anything goes. To criticise or complain is to dig your own grave and I would like to avoid that for a little bit longer.  

Of course there are some wonderful oases scattered throughout the desert for which I’m truly grateful, but the desert seems to be getting bigger and the oases rather wider apart. Let’s hope for a wet winter.  After seven years the Intrepid Band have finally surrendered.