Friday, 30 April 2010

The Men in Blue

Autumn 1915

When Nurse is pleased, and I've been good,
And not sat playing with my food,
Or smeared the nursery window pane,
Or put coal in my luggage train,
The thing she always lets me do
Is go to see the men in blue.

I used to look in thro' the gate,
But that's been boarded up of late;
But this I do not really mind,
For from the railway bank I find
That I can get a splendid view
Of lots and lots of men in blue.

When I fall down and cut my knees,
Or give my finger such a squeeze,
I shut my eyes and think about
The wounded I've seen sitting out.
Nurse says if I don't cry, it's true
I'm being like the men in blue.

And once we saw a funeral go -
There was a band - it went so slow -
It made me feel all queer inside;
But oh, I wish, when I have died,
That they would only give me, too,
A funeral like the men in blue!

Sometimes my daddy talks to me
Of battles fought on land and sea
By gallant men in days of old;
But yet, he says, when all is told,
No men our history ever knew
Were braver than our men in blue.

He tries to make me understand -
A torch goes on from hand to hand;
The men of old kept it alight,
And passed it down, still burning bright.
And I, when my own turn comes due,
Must take it from the men in blue.

H. M. NIGHTINGALE

The Light that Failed

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Some Hospital Statistics

Autumn 1915

Each of the departments, in an institution with so many ramifications as has the 3rd L.G.H., naturally enough claims to be the least indispensable and the hardest worked. Myself, I am inclined to award the latter distinction to the main kitchen. Its labours seem never to cease. But the sergeant who presides here was able to divert his attention, for a space, from the cares of his establishment, to tell me something of its workings. "Plenty of people," said he, "ask questions about how this kitchen is run; and will even criticise, sometimes. Well, we have to get in our 'Diets' every day, and these consist of meat (such as roast beef, mutton, boiled beef, and stewed steak). These are issued to patients who are on what is called Ordinary Diet. In addition to this we have to prepare Special Diets, which consist of roast and boiled chickens, fish (fried and boiled), stewed mutton and chops; also beef tea and chicken or mutton broths. Then there are the puddings. When we have roast meat we make suet pudding, commonly called Duff; but those patients who are on special diet receive milk pudding or custard.

"As to quantities: here are some of our daily figures. There are issued to me on average 700 lb. of meat per day for ordinary diets, 100 lb. of fish, 100 chickens, 600 lb. of potatoes, 350 lb. of cabbages, and, when mixed vegetables are being used - 100lb. of turnips, 50lb. of onions, and 100 lb. of carrots. These latter are served with boiled beef. The milk used in my kitchen averages 50 gallons daily. You must remember, by the way, that this is not the only kitchen in the hospital; there are also the officers' wards kitchen, and infirmary kitchen, the nurses' kitchen, and that of the orderlies; and sergeants' messes. All the cooking in the hospital is done by gas ovens and gas rings. In my kitchen a boiler is used to make steam for the potatoes, and for fish, when steamed fish is specially ordered by the M.O. The potatoes, I may say, are peeled by a machine."

From the main kitchen I went to the Stewards' Store, whose staff, as we all know, have to rise and be on parade with the rest of the orderlies, but only go to bed when they can (and on some nights, I was told, not at all). They certainly deal in an amazing number of commodities. During September, for instance, they issued 25,000 eggs for use in the hospital - and this was a falling off from August's record. They distribute 400 syphons of soda water and lemonade weekly, 2 tons of potatoes, one and a half tons of cabbages, and 4 cwt. of jam. 1,000lb. of bread pass through their hands, not weekly, but daily; and other daily figures are: 1 cwt. of butter, 2 cwt. of sugar, 1 cwt. of ice, 25 lb. of salt, 23 lb. of tea, 15 lb. of cocoa, 100 lb. of oatmeal, 40 to 50 lb. of cereals for puddings, and 220 gallons of milk. In the Dry Store section 3,000 lb. of soap per month ensures the cleanliness of the hospital, 7 cwt. of soda, and 2 cwt. of powdered soap, while its floors demand fifty gallons of polish, to which are added twenty-five gallons of turpentine. At the Linen Stores - where the Staff Sergeant is generally seen with his coat off, a phenomenon symptomatic of the department's incessant busy-ness - I was told that there is a turnover - through the laundry - of no less than 150,000 articles a month. The stock consists of approximately 100,000 articles, amongst which are 6,000 sheets, 6,000 blankets, 3,000 cotton shirts, 3,000 flannel shirts, 5,000 pairs of socks, and 2,000 blue kit suits. To keep track of all this vast collection - only a few items of which have been indicated - is no light task, to which must be added the equipment of new wards with bedsteads, lockers, kitchen hardware, chairs, tables, mattresses, bedding etc. The staff justifiably prides itself on being able thoroughly to equip a thirty-two-bed ward in the short space of one hour.

As a relief from these more serious aspects of the hospital I finally turned my steps to the old-building Recreation room to enquire into the consumption of tobacco. After spending an hour wrestling with innumerable chits collected by the Recreation Room orderly-in-charge, I performed a grandiose sum in addition, which gave, as its result, a total sufficient to make a Wills's, Players's or Salmon and Gluckstein's mouth water. It was only an average morning that I examined, yet here was documentary evidence that 5,500 cigarettes had been given out for patients' use, and 92 oz. of pipe tobacco. 'Some' smoke, to be sure! Mathematical readers can multiply by seven to arrive at a week's burnt-offering at the shrine of My Lady Nicotine, and perhaps some good-natured calculator, with nothing better to do, will let us know that if a month's cigarettes at the L.G.H. were rolled into one fabulous fag it would stretch from here to the trenches at the Front, or conceivably even to Berlin, which would, maybe, be more appropriate. for myself, this tour of the hospital has given me sufficient statistics to provide nightmares enough for the rest of my life; and what the figures will be like if the 3rd L.G.H. grows any bigger I shudder to think.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Visit of the King and Queen

Autumn 1915

Two long lines of chairs were arranged upon the lawn, beside the drive. Upon these were seated our folk in blue - first the exchanged prisoners from Germany, then the men from France and Flanders, then the Australasians, and finally the soldiers who have returned from the Dardanelles. The ranks of colour were vivid; whoever invented hospital blues, and added the finishing touch of the bright red scarf, must have planned for such a day of sunshine as this, and must have foreseen emerald green turf as a setting, with a foil of fine grey stone towering skyward.

Their Majesties' visit was as nearly a 'surprise' one as can be reasonably practicable. Except for the lining-up of the wearers-of-blue, no preparations had been made. Everywhere, in corridors and wards, the sisters, nurses, and orderlies went about their duties as usual. Only in the foreground of the Hospital were there any signs of expectation. "They are coming at eleven"; this was all we had been told. And sure enough, exactly at the hour, the great gates swung open, and a dark maroon-coloured car came gliding silently up the drive. The proverbial punctuality of Royalty was never better illustrated. As the King and Queen alighted, the school clock was striking. We, of the onlookers, saw the Royal party enter the building. There were introductions. Then they emerged and came down the drive to the extreme end of the blue ranks. And now began that always wonderful exhibition of the pains which royalty take over the task of personal interviewing. Slowly, very slowly, the King and Queen, accompanied by our C.O., the Matrons, and Sir Alfred Pearce Gould, advanced along the line, stopping to chat with the men who had fought and suffered capture and imprisonment. "Where were you wounded?" "What camp were you taken to?" "How did the Germans treat you?" "What is your regiment?" One heard the stream of questions, the shy replies, the pleasant encouragement; one noticed, too, the shrewd rapidity with which both the King and the Queen fastened on any point of unusual interest or understood some halting or obscure explanation.

One speaks of the King and Queen taking pains, on such an occasion. To a sympathetic onlooker it seems an obvious phrase, inasmuch as it is evident that Their Majesties must have many such functions to attend, and might justifiably tire of them. Yet the closest observer could not detect any artificiality, anything merely mechanical, in that lingering promenade down the Hospital front. The King and Queen did not hurry; they always had time for a talk and a jest. One watched their easy, good-natured progress, and the adjective 'painstaking' began to appear ungracious and unfair. For, indeed, the scene had its poignant undercurrent of emotion. The King and Queen stood for what those men in blue had defended; they were living symbols of the cause and country for which countless agonies had been endured and countless un-named deeds of gallantry performed. Scattered throughout the throng were men on crutches, men who will never walk again without aid; others had only one arm or only one eye; not Britishers only, but men from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, even dark-skinned men from India - all wounded for the sake of the mysterious something embodied in this lady and gentleman who, today, had come to converse with them; the something which we call the homeland and the Empire.

'Painstaking'? No, it was not quite the right adjective. Noblesse oblige. The King and Queen had come down to Wandsworth, really, to say just two words to each of those blue-clad men. And the words are, "Thank you."

Monday, 26 April 2010

Freedom and Discipline: The Hospital's Ideal

Autumn 1915

A new patient asked us the other day to tell him what were the 'rules' of the hospital. It was a temptation to reply off-hand that there are no rules. Indeed, this would only have been an almost excusable exaggeration of the actual state of affairs, for at the 3rd L.G.H. the manufacture of rules has been wisely reduced to a minimum. Those of our patients who have experienced the rigid restrictions of the conventional Military Hospital have more than once expressed surprise at the ease and comfort which obtain here, and which seem mysteriously to be secured without any visible disciplinarianism.

There is no real mystery about the matter. It is an open secret that upon this subject our C.O. holds the broadest views. There would probably be no rules here whatever if he had his way, for he pins his faith on the theory that to trust this community to obey the unwritten laws of commonsense and good form is a sounder policy than to assume that any actual printed code ought to be framed. It is an axiom with him that only when an unwritten law is infringed need a written one be devised; and patients who mistake the freedom of the 3rd L.G.H. for laxness, and who take advantage of it improperly, are acting with wanton unfairness to those who come after them, inasmuch as they may leave a legacy of new limitations which by rights need never have come into existence.

The Hospital is sometimes referred to, in the press and elsewhere, as an Institution. In a complimentary sense the word is true; the 3rd L.G.H. is, in fact, a great institution, one of the most remarkable brought forth by the war. Nevertheless, 'Institution' is a noun which sounds oddly inappropriate to those who dwell within these walls, for here there is no atmosphere of institutionalism. Throughout the whole small but complex world of patients, sisters, nurses, officers, orderlies, and miscellaneous staff there is a bond of friendship, co-operation and mutual comradeship which make for the pleasantest sense of discipline without stringency. With no impropriety it may be expressed by saying that the man who manages the swill-tub is tacitly recognised as being as essential to this big machine's successful running as are the celebrated surgeons who labour in the operating theatres, or the C.O. and the Matron at their desks. Each, in the popular phrase of the hour - a phrase which will become historic - is 'doing his bit'; doing it not because of the fear of any iron regulations, but because loyalty to the hospital, and through the hospital to Britain and the Empire, has evoked from every man and woman concerned the spirit of willing service.

Patients and staff alike will therefore do well to combine with the C.O. in the agreeable task of minimising the necessity for formal legislation. No one can tell how long the European conflict is going to continue, but whether its duration be extended for years or only for a few months, its close we are confident, should see the 3rd L.G.H. still enjoying the benefits of the happy rule based on a firm belief in the practicability of rulelessness.

The Gramophone in B4

Sunday, 25 April 2010

The Regiment Goes On

Autumn 1915

This war has demonstrated what 'the Regiment' really is: it is the something intangible which lives, even though the men themselves are replaced time after time - as has occurred and is even now occurring in the present conflict. We saw, in a tea-party held here, a very pretty example of the truth. The children - orphan daughters of soldiers and sailors - who are the normal dwellers in these buildings, are now accommodated in the houses outside, and when the holiday season arrives go to their relatives; some, unfortunately, have none, and these must perforce remain. Friends of the school are very good, and by a series of treats try to compensate the little ones. It was thus our privilege here to entertain those left behind.

In the hospital we had patients from almost all the regiments to which the fathers of those children had belonged; and only those who are of soldier stock can appreciate the call of the blood and the strength of the unseen ties of affection which link soldiers and soldiers' children. The concert room was packed with an audience the like of which could only be gathered together in the present crisis of the Empire. Here were men representing regiments which have made our Empire what it is - and on whose colours may almost be read that Empire's history. These men's task it is to keep alive the Spirit of the Regiment; not only the defined regimental customs, but also the subtle soul which always persists and re-creates itself throughout the years, however great the changes in the ranks. Here, too, were present men from Australian and New Zealand and Canadian regiments - men whose proud position it is to create the Spirit of the Regiment and whose pluck will become their regiment's tradition.

Deeds are being done daily in this great world war which, any one of them, would have filled columns of the press during any previous campaign - and which now pass unnoticed. The men who recover in this hospital will go back, or are going back to the Front to fight again; and the serious thought often arises, when watching the patients enjoying themselves in the recreation room, that these men's children may in the future, when the building is restored to its former use, play here - as orphans. Who can tell? All we know is that, though we speak of this or that regiment being thinned to vanishing point and then incessantly replenished with its reserves, the Spirit of the Regiment, like all fine loyalties, is immortal. Its men may die, but 'the Regiment goes on.'

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Some Notes ...

Autumn 1915

... by Malcolm Savage Treacher, Sergt., H.A.C.

A Visiting Day Dialogue
"You're looking ever so much better than I though you would."
"I'm glad you think so Marthy. I'm feeling fit enough. It's only my arm."
"Does it hurt very much?"
"Only when it's dressed. Bobbie's grown a big chap, hasn't he? Come to your daddy, Bobbie!"
"Bo! Bo!"
"He doesn't know you. He was only six months old when you went. ... Kiss your daddy, Bobbie."
"Ha, ha, ha! He's kissed your locket, Marthy. He thinks that's daddy."
"So it is. It's your photograph, anyhow. I've wondered sometimes whether that's all he would see of his daddy."
"But it wasn't, was it, Marthy?"
"No, thank God."

Why Did You Join?
To this one gets so many different answers around the hospital. And this more especially amongst the Australians. They are notoriously crafty in concealing their true feelings.
"Oh," says one, "I came in for the 'fun' of the thing. All the boys joined. I followed suit."
"I wanted to be a 'six-bob-a-day-tourist,' " says another. "Plenty of sport and a trip round the world in the bargain."
Yet few of these fine fellows would open their hearts and explain the real and underlying reason - that the Motherland was in danger; that England should never feel she called vainly to her sons Overseas. Patriotism, pure and simple, this noble response of theirs.

Why did you join? Was it the cry of the distressed Belgians? Was it the thought of a crushed and beaten France? Probably. Or was it the thought of our cathedral cities and smiling villages suffering a like fate to that of Belgium; of our women-folk falling victim to the barbarians? Aye, that is the genuine reply in everybody's heart, springing readily to the lips.
Why did I join? I ask myself. A selfish enough reason, doubtless. Were my thoughts of England? I believe they were. Did I feel my own personal obligation as a Briton towards leaving France in the lurch? Yes; didn't everybody else? Did I think of my wife? By the Lord Harry I did, emphatically. And didn't you all think of your own best-beloved before you joined? After all this is the war of our own hearths and fireplaces. The pride and glory, the whole magnificent panoply of war, had their day years ago. Did any of you feel eloquent in the mud and dirt out yonder?

Visitor's Day
Isn't it splendid to see some rough old fellow kiss his son? Probably they haven't seen each other for a year. Sitting up in bed, smiling bravely, the son is putting on a good face. And the mother; a stout old dame in her Sunday best of satin. What of her? She can't trust herself to speak. Tears are rolling down her wrinkled face. God bless my soul! It sets the blood racing through your veins to see her. Among these good folk there is no question of concealing one's emotions. They hate, they love, with all their being. For a long time, I say, the old mother doesn't speak. She cannot. It's as much as she can do to choke her sobs.
"Mother's been peeling onions," suggests Mars.
The tension is snapped. Mother smiles. She dries her tears. She laughs. They all laugh uproariously. Thereupon you would never think three people could be so happy. but then, I say, there is no fine art of deportment among such folk. And neither should there be, don't you agree?

Friday, 23 April 2010

The Two Matrons


Matron Edith Holden with Principal Matron Eleanor Barton

A Letter from the Principal Matron

[In addition to the hospital matron (in this case Edith Holden) each Territorial Force hospital had a Principal Matron, a senior nurse who went about her usual duties in one of the local large civil hospitals, but who, at the same time, had overall administrative control of the TF unit.]

Autumn 1915

Miss Barton, Principal Matron, Chelsea Infirmary, S.W.

In wishing success to this new literary venture at the 3rd London General, I thought that a few words at to the early history of the Hospital might be of interest.
It must have been some time in 1908 that, in company with many other matrons, I was invited to a meeting at the War Office, presided over by Lord Haldane. At this meeting the scheme of the Territorial Force Nursing Service was discussed. The idea was explained that there should be twenty-three Territorial Hospitals for England, Scotland and Wales, each with an Organising (called afterwards a Principal) Matron, working under the Matron-in-Chief. Subsequently, at a meeting at the Mansion House, the details of the scheme as regards London were arranged and the Organising Matrons chosen for the four London Hospitals. I had the honour of being appointed to the 3rd London. We were instructed to keep a register of 120 trained nurses, including two matrons, 30 sisters and 88 nurses, who would be ready to be called up in case of invasion or of imminent national danger. The list would allow of a reserve, as only ninety-two would be required at first. The address of each member was to be kept up to date and their reference verified every year. It may be of interest to mention that for the first year the names in the register are in Miss Holden's writing, as she was not only one of the prospective matrons from the commencement, but also helped me as a most efficient Honorary Secretary. I owe much gratitude, too, to the members of our Standing Committee, who were always ready to meet and assist in any way they could. It was not always easy to keep together a phantom army of nurses, and, as the years went on and there was no sign of national danger, some few resigned, but on the whole the nurses were wonderfully faithful. The greater proportion of those at present in the hospital were on the roll from the commencement.

In 1910 Queen Alexandra summoned us all to Buckingham Palace to receive the badges which she had designed, and which all our members wear. From time to time entertainments were given to which the members of the four London Hospitals were invited, and there was a concert every year at the Mansion House. One year Lord Haldane gave an evening party; on another occasions afforded an opportunity for the different members to meet, and helped to keep up the esprit de corps of the Service. It was while undergoing a course of training at the Netley Military Hospital that I had the pleasure of meeting Colonel Bruce Porter, our commanding officer. He was anxious to get into personal touch with the nursing staff of his hospital, and to impress on them that the 3rd London was to be the best possible thing in hospitals. He subsequently came to a meeting at Chelsea, where as many of his staff as possible were gathered together, and where he was introduced to our Matron-in-Chief, Miss Sidney Browne.

As can easiliy be understood, during the early days in August, 1914, there was a general flutter of excitement among the ranks of our Territorial nurses. I shall never forget my feelings when our C.O. rang me up one evening and said the cryptic words, 'Miss Barton, war is declared. Mobilise.' The telephone was shut off - as these were times for deeds, not words - but it gave one somewhat to think about and do. Other writers, I feel sure, will describe the early days in the hospital, when sisters and nurses arrived in batches from different parts of the country, animated with the keenest patriotic spirit, and ready to turn their hands to anything they were called upon to do. It was most interesting to watch the work being carried on under these auspices.

I should like to say in conclusion, that my most optimistic hopes for the success of the Hospital - which had so long existed as a castle in the air - have been far more than realised. Not only the ability and skill, but also the zeal and loyalty shown by the nursing staff have been beyond praise. From the highest to the lowest each in their different ways have brought an enthusiasm and a spirit of personal service into their work which have made the Hospital the great success that it undoubtedly is. I feel extremely proud to be a member of its nursing staff.

ELEANOR C. BARTON

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

V.A.D. Helpers - A Note by the Matron

Autumn 1915

Nearly four months ago we took in our first lot of V.A.D. helpers. I must confess that, on my part, it was with very mixed feelings. I hoped they would 'fit in' all right, but I 'hae'd ma doots.'
They arrived one very hot afternoon in June; they poured in - eighty of them; it felt like an invasion. We had had a very busy time getting ready the houses for them, and I owe more than I can say to Captain Dodson, and also to Sister Hovenden's Sisters, for their great help. I think perhaps the V.A.D.'s felt as I did, and wondered too, how they would 'fit in.' We did our best to welcome them, and I hope conveyed to them that we really did welcome them, and did not look on them as outsiders. The C.O., I thought, made a very happy remark in his little address to them when he said this was 'our hospital,' and he hoped they would now look on it as 'our hospital' too.

With very few exceptions, the V.A.D.'s have 'settled in' very well - and I trust happily. They have done their work well, and have become 'one of us.' The Sisters and Nurses, I know, appreciate their work and are very glad to have their help. There are times when we are all tired and sometimes we speak sharply - perhaps more sharply that we should otherwise do. I should like the V.A.D.'s to remember that they are quite fresh and that the routine of a hospital is practically a novelty to them; and because someone speaks sharply it isn't always meant to be unkind. If, at the end of the war, any of the V.A.D.'s decide to train as nurses, they will then realise that it is very hard indeed, at the close of a trying day, to be exactly as one would be in private life, where cares and worries are very few and far between. I hope that the V.A.D.'s will go on as they have begun, and there is no reason why it should not be Our Hospital (of which we are all proud) at the end of the war.

EDITH HOLDEN, Matron

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Hospital Notice Board

Autumn 1915

CONCERTS are held at frequent intervals in the Recreation Room; they begin at 4.30 p.m., unless otherwise announced. The dates of forthcoming concerts are posted on the door of the Recreation Room and on the notice boards in the Sisters' and Nurses' Rooms. Ward orderlies should note that on concert afternoons the tea is given out from the kitchen at 3.30 p.m.
It is essential that chair and stretcher cases for the concerts should arrive not later than 4.15, as the orderlies in charge of the Recreation Room find considerable difficulty in arranging the reserved floor space, and when chairs and stretchers come in late the opening of the entertainment is delayed. The vacant floor space and gangway have to be kept clear for the disposal of the chairs and stretchers, and if these attempt to enter late it is often unfortunately necessary to refuse them admission because a further re-arrangement of the audience is impracticable.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

A Nursing Orderly's Day ...

... Continued

Noon comes like a flash, and we're in the whirl of fetching and serving dinner, after which the big dinner-tin (a most unwieldy brute of a thing to handle) must be washed - ugh! - and returned, speckless, whence it came, pudding dishes - ugh! ugh! - likewise. Thereafter I help some of my crippled patients to dress, and wheel them out into the grounds or on to the verandah. At 1.15 (I'm often unavoidably later) I sneak off for my own meal, feeling I've earned it even if I'm rather too tired to eat it.

Two o'clock prompt: Parade again, and back to the ward. The afternoon spell is supposed to be somewhat slacker, but, personally, I generally find plenty to do. Perhaps there are patients to take to the baths, there is the lawn to mow, and the vicinity of the hut to tidy, there are repeated trips to the dispensary, or the fumigator, or the clerical departments, or the X-ray room, or goodness knows what other portion of this labyrinthine machine of ours. Tea must be made ready, then some patient conveyed to the Recreation Room concert in a bath-chair or on a stretcher. By 4.45 or 5 my own tea is not unwelcome; it is often the case that by this time I haven't sat down - haven't ceased to be on my feet and generally on the run - for more than, at the outside, half an hour in all since dawn. On alternate days I have the afternoons off and go on duty from 5 p.m. to 8. The programme is much the same, except that for supper I have to fetch cocoa from the kitchen.

Is that all? No, Dick, it isn't all. There are hosts of things I've forgotten to mention. But what I've chiefly left out, I see, is the human element - the patients, sisters, nurses, and my fellow orderlies, and the doctors. I've told you merely what I've been doing - but not what they've been doing. Some day, perhaps, I'll try; meanwhile, you must endeavour to imagine lots of other folk as busy as I am, or busier, all the time, simultaneously. Not too busy though, thank goodness, for growth of camaraderie. It's the sense of that camaraderie - the social side - which I've left out. Which means that I've left out what's most important. Of course I'm very fatigued and footsore, but the reason I'm happy in spite of that is not because I have discovered a sudden fondness for the rôle of super-housemaid; perhaps not even because I'm helping the helpless. No, it's chiefly because of the intangible and indescribable something-or-other which I've egregiously omitted from this letter - the hospital's atmosphere of sociability. I used, once, to pick and choose my friends. It's odd, but I don't think I shall ever trouble to do so again. Here I'm plumped down in the middle of a certain crowd; I didn't pick and choose them - I couldn't if I would. And lo, I find that there's no need. Everybody is a friend when you only know him. It's a discovery, Dick. And with it I'll wind up this screed.

Yours ever, C.

Friday, 16 April 2010

A Nursing Orderly's Day

Autumn 1915
'This letter was written to an invalid friend by one of our 3rd L.G.H. staff shortly after enlistment, and, of course, before the arrival of the 'orderlettes.'

3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, S.W., August, 1915
My Dear Dick, - Yes, it's rather a change from one's ordinary life, but you're wrong in surmising that I find my new career sad and painful. I wouldn't minimise the suffering which the mere existence of this hospital implies; the fact remains that I have enjoyed more jokes in the few weeks since I became a Nursing Orderly than in many a long month of peacetime civilianism.
You ask what I do all day long. When I came here to enlist I put the same question to a fellow who paused to chat with me. He said, "Well, sometimes I cut bread and butter, and sometimes I cut patients' toenails." It was an incomplete statement. He might have added that, engaged on either task or both, he cut his own fingers. At any rate, most of them seemed to have been treated with iodine ... But cutting bread and butter (and other things) is hardly the whole of a Nursing Orderly's raison d'être; he is not only parlour-maid and waitress, he is charwoman and messenger boy, bath-chairman, barber, bootblack, window cleaner, bath attendant, gardener, valet, washer-up, and odd man all rolled into one. Here is my day:

I rise at 5.15 (perhaps), and bath and shave, returning to my hut in time to roll up my bedding, placing it, together with my boots and other possessions, on top of my bedstead so that our 'hut keeper' sweeping the floor, may the more easily push his broom below. At 6 o'clock I am on parade with my 200 comrades, mostly in a somewhat yawnsome and shivery state. The orders for the day are read, and our Sergeant-Major, if in the mood, indulges in some entertainingly sarcastic reproaches on one or other of his favourite themes. Those members of his audience who have clear consciences enjoy his jests; the culprits remain glum. Presently we are dismissed to our duties; some to the clerical departments of the hospital, some to the stores, kitchens, dispensary and laboratory, some to dustbins and pails, some to the never-ending labour of keeping the gardens in trim, some to make ready the operating theatres, and some - I am one - to their wards.

My ward, when I enter it, is in déshabillé. The night nurse and the night orderly are cleaning up, making beds, washing patients; the more active patients are out of bed, dressing, or already dressed, shaving themselves, or tidying generally. In a ward with twenty patients it is a busy scene, but - except for a moment's pause for "Good morning" greetings - I have no minutes to waste. I must needs hasten to the kitchen (there is a small kitchen attached to each ward), inspect our stock of bread or eggs or what not, and then rush off to the steward's store for the first of the day's provisions - milk, butter, and bread. (No light weight, by the by, ten loaves and a big can of milk; I'm not sorry when I can commandeer one of my patients to help me.) Back at the ward I cut bread and butter, lay the table, put out trays for patients in bed, boil eggs, and go to the central kitchen to procure a huge canful of tea. By the time the meal is served, and all my family are happily munching, I am ready to flee to the orderlies' canteen for my own breakfast, at 7.45. This must be snatched, for at 8.30 we have another parade, previous to which I must clean my buttons, polish my boots, straighten up my portion of the hut, and - on Saturday, that day of anxious hustle - put on puttees and belt for inspection by our C.O.

Immediately after parade I race back to the ward and proceed to tackle the problem of the sheets, towels, etc., for the laundry. Not having been born an expert in differentiating teacloths from dusters and fomentation-wringers, I must needs keep my wits about me; but I assure you I am becoming quite a connoisseur in the matter of in the matter of distinguishing between pillow and bolster cases and a shirt with a pleat at the back of the neck as compared with one lacking the same. Behold me then, staggering beneath a tumid white bundle, and shortly returning with the clean duplicate articles received in exchange. Then off for additional stores - eggs, more milk, soda water, jam, sugar, and on Mondays (from the 'Dry Store') floor polish, metal polish, cleaning rags, matches, blacklead, soap, and soda. Then to the dispensary for lint, bandages, carbolic lotion, methylated spirit, or what not. Then to the knife-cleaner with knives. And in between each errand, a score of odd jobs in the ward itself, ending perhaps, with excursions to the operating theatre.

[Such a long day - this will be continued in part two!]

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Lightning Sketches, by a Night Nurse

Autumn 1915
The Australians

In they came, tall and loose-limbed,wondering greatly what it was all going to be like. They had practically travelled from one end of the world to the other, but what was distance to them? In spite of all their curiosity of England they were still haunted by a kind of nostalgia for those far-away vast places they had left behind. You could see them dreaming of huge expanses of sky and land here in the huts where there was a well-proportioned roof between them and the stars. A cheery lot, talking eagerly of Australia with warm boyish pride - speaking the name like a challenge and an inspiration in one; very susceptible to their Colonial independence, and independence which by looking at them one knew had been earned by sheer hard work - the sort of work that an all-wise God first assigned to man so that he might live closer to nature and learn to love her. Such kindly hearts, such helping hands - if I could re-christen Australia I should call it 'The Country of Lend-a-hand" - English enough to be modest about themselves, but Australian enough to be proud of their native land and eager in praising it.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Our New Orderlies

Autumn 1915

The introduction of women orderlies is an experiment which has been long talked of, and which - like all innovations - met with a certain amount of criticism and even covert hostility in certain quarters. At the moment of writing, the women orderlies have only been installed in their respective wards for a day or two, but already they are proving themselves to be a most valuable feature of our hospital. We are confident that they will have 'made good' ere these lines are in print, and any opposition which may have based itself on the theory that this special field of service was a permanently masculine preserve and could never be feminised will have been overcome by the force of facts.

There is every reason why the 3rd London General Hospital should be proud to make a success of this novel scheme, and why its staff should extend a particularly hearty welcome - as we all have indeed done - to our new orderlies. The management of this T.F. hospital was the first body to foresee the inevitable shortage not alone of R.A.M.C. men, but - what was less obvious - of experienced women nurses, and, consequently (in the face of Official doubts), persistently encouraged admission to our ranks of 'V.A.D.s' at a period when they were being rather coldly looked upon at other institutions. This enlightened policy has now borne fruit - an order that none but fully trained nurses should be employed in military hospitals has been rescinded; every war hospital in the country has taken advantage of this relaxation of the old rule; and the V.A.D. is at last recognised in every quarter at her true worth. Her training in peace-time - undergone without much apparent prospect of its subsequent use - has turned out to be of priceless value in the nation's hour of need. Admittedly, a slight training, it has, nevertheless, sufficed to set free the more advanced nurses and sisters, whose skill is urgently in demand for application elsewhere; and now before us we have the spectacle not only of women experts being thus released by the self-sacrificing V.A.D., but men orderlies also. In our own hospital it has been practicable to permit some of the 'youngsters' to join the staff of hospital ships; the men, that is to say, who, when first enlisted, were below nineteen, but who have since then passed the necessary birthday, and qualified both in age and experience for the more trying - but coveted - posts afloat.

That the advent of 'the orderlettes' (as someone tried to nickname them) has had its humorous side we do not deny. Even a war hospital may be permitted to enjoy its small jokes and allow itself the relaxation of a little genial banter - sometimes at its own expense. But behind the jests and the chaff there is something solid and very admirable. We can enjoy our chuckle over this or that minor misunderstanding or the trifling mistakes inevitable in such a readjustment of the hospital's machinery; but the main thing, after all, is that a vast amount of necessary work is getting done, and done well - done, we may add, by ladies who have, in many cases, abandoned a life of ease for fatigues previously undreamt of, and whose sole reward, in weariness, is the knowledge that the menial tasks which they accept would otherwise have occupied the time and strength of workers required in other spheres of activity.

Before they Donned Khaki

The R.A.M.C. (T.) Unit of the 3rd L.G.H. has been recruited from what must surely be a unique variety of professions and trades. The patients whose comfort depends so considerably upon the services of their ward orderlies and - less visibly but none the less essentially - upon the work of the staff employ and general duty orderlies, may legitimately be curious to enquire the walk in life which was formerly followed by these quondam civilians. It would be impossible to answer the question exhaustively, but a few examples may be cited.

Amongst our orderlies, there are several schoolmasters, two actors, a lexicographer, two dentists, a cinema pianist, a piano tuner, a fireman, a novelist, a retired professional boxer, a racehorse trainer, a barrister, a mining engineer, a member of the Stock Exchange, a character vocalist, a stage carpenter, a tube liftman, and several sculptors and painters, including an A.R.A., an A.R.S.A., and members of such distinguished bodies as the International Society of Painters, Sculptors and Engravers, the Royal Portrait Society, the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, and the Société Nationale des Beaux Arts. The unit, of course, is only recruited from men who have either been rejected (or certified unfit) for active combatant service, or who are under or over the age of enlistment.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

In Hospital

When the war is done we'll recall the fun -
The fun that conquered the pain -
For we'll owe a debt (and we'll not forget)
To the jokes that kept us sane:
How the wounded could laugh and bandy their chaff
And kick up a deuce of a row!
... It may be in peace, when the sufferings cease,
We'll be sadder, aye sadder, than now.

A 3rd L.G.H. orderly

Friday, 9 April 2010

The Matron


Edith Holden, Matron of the Third London General Hospital, Wandsworth

My First Day at the 3rd

By The Matron

It was very hot, and I was just starting for a holiday (which I considered I needed very badly) when I was summoned to come to the 3rd London General Hospital. Where that was I didn't know. But I hoped it might be 'Somewhere in France.' The taxi, after many wrong turnings, swerved in at a lodge and drew up at a grey-looking building which is now the 3rd London, at Wandsworth. I had often seen that building from the train, but never imagined it would be to me what it now is. I was shown into a long room on the right-hand side of the door, where a few sisters were sitting - waiting, I suppose, to see what I was like. To my relief I knew one or two of them, and we talked of the possibilities of war and our own future outlook on life.

Then came lunch. I can see now, a more than kind orderly in a very dirty suit of white overalls - tied up with string - bringing in that lunch. First he brought a loaf in his hand, which he planted at one end of the table (there were no tablecloths in those days.) Then he went out, and I held my breath and watched for his return. He came - carrying a few, very few, knives and plates. These he put round, finally returning with a huge piece of cheese which was placed at the opposite end of the table to the bread. Then he went. We looked at each other in silence. Then someone suggested it wouldn't be a bad plan to eat. So we sat round the table. And some of us ate. Suddenly a voice from the other end of the table said: "I wonder what time is dinner?" To which a chorus replied: "This is dinner!" There wasn't any comment from the owner of the voice, but I noticed that she made a fresh start on the bread and cheese. In the meanwhile I was struggling with my knife. Never shall I forget that knife. It looked quite harmless, but the minute I tried to cut with it, it swung round on a swivel and jeered at me - blade upwards. I tried again and again, but it beat me every time, and with blade up refused to cut, so I quietly passed it on to my next door neighbour and watched her battling with it - with great joy.

Then we wanted tea - as I have never wanted it before or since. One sister went in search of it and returned after a long time with the good orderly in attendance. He was carrying a tray with an enormous teapot on it, surrounded by patriotic mugs which looked like goblets. The orderly solemnly poured out for each of us a mug of tea, and then departed - with the teapot. Never have I had such hot tea. There were no handles to the mugs, and eventually in despair I wrapped my handkerchief round mine and drank in comfort. There was only one very large spoon which was handed round. We never solved the etiquette of that spoon. Was it correct for the last person who used it to leave it in her mug, and drink round it, or ought she to have put it on the table when finished with it? I wonder.

At last my first meal at the 3rd was finished, and I was taken to be introduced to the Commanding Officer, who had just arrived. After a little while we went to see the building. My impression was rows and rows of beds, endless small, low beds; one room leading out of another till I was bewildered. I thought of the poor nurses who would have to stoop over those beds, and my back ached in sympathy. It was a great relief to hear that proper beds were coming, and that all those small ones were to be cleared out. It seemed hours to me before we got back to the room from which we started, and I saw, to my great joy, tea and bread and jam waiting. One kind sister took pity on me, and cut slice after slice of bread and jam for me - and having learned the way to hold my mug I made an excellent tea in the lap of luxury.

After tea we sat under some beautiful trees on the lawn and discussed the possibilities of making a hospital. I confess my heart sank when, in my mind's eye, I saw those beds, and the windows which didn't open, and I almost wished I could just slip off back to my own comfortable hospital, where the beds were a decent height and the windows did open and the knives were not on swivels!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

The Captives' Homecoming

The crowd at the station gates is generally awed and silent when the Red Cross cars and ambulances emerge, carrying their sad load towards the hospital, but on this night - the night of Thursday, October 7th - the silence was not maintained. Cheer upon cheer arose as each car glided out into the street; shrill, rather shaky cheers, inasmuch as many throats were husky and eyes were dim. For our new arrivals were exchanged British prisoners, straight from Germany - our countrymen who had been captives, some for many months, some for as long as a year, in circumstances of the utmost bodily suffering and sometimes of wretched squalor as well.

Down on the station platform, in the dim illumination of the cowled lamps, one saw a Lancashire and Yorkshire train. Its brown coaches, themselves oddly unfamiliar so far south, were made only too natural here by the great red crosses which had been painted on their sides. From the train had alighted a strange company of travellers in all sorts of garb; men in tattered khaki, men in grey uniforms unrecognisable in England, men in blue or drab overcoats splashed with startling hues, which had been sewn upon them for identification purposes at their concentration camps. Ushering them up the stairs, carrying their nondescript baggage of brown-paper parcels, cardboard boxes tied with string, old handbags and the like, our trim orderlies were a poignant contrast. Many of the travellers hd to be assisted by a friendly arm; some had to be carried; but all were cheerful. And each - it was a graceful thought - received a little gift; a rose to put in buttonhole or hat.

Batch by batch the pathetic yet happy arrivals were helped into automobiles more luxurious, perhaps, than thy had ever ridden in before. The unkempt and the ragged costumes often looked incongruous enough against the rich cushions of those sumptuously-upholstered interiors. But the thought which must have occurred to everybody's mind was that nothing was too good for these lost sons of England who had been regained. We want to give them of our best; a Royal welcome would not have been too much.
Up at the hospital the Receiving Ward was crammed and busy. Some day a great author or poet must come and see our Receiving Ward when wounded arrive, and must describe that scene fitly. We, who know it well, need to have it shown to us afresh, lest we cease to comprehend it significance. And on this particular night, when, as it seemed, every member of the staff was concentrated here to lend a hand, and when the word Welcome seemed to be the keynote of the place even more definitely than usual, the sight was one which even the weariest toiler could not fail to appreciate. Official distinctions - never very noticeable at the 3rd L.G.H.! - had utterly vanished. Officers and orderlies mingled everywhere, some questioning the returned prisoners, others serving them with cocoa, others helping them to undress or to make ready their kits for the pack-store. Presently a procession of wheeled chairs and stretchers began to make its way down the corridors and distribute its human freight amongst the wards - where again a welcome was met with, this time a tangible (and edible) one; for the kitchen staff, labouring late, had cooked countless chops. English chops and English greens therewith, and English potatoes; it was a fine feast for folk fresh from the dubious prison diet of the Boche.

And so to bed, between clean sheets, with a soft pillow and a spring mattress. No wonder there were sighs of contentment; and we can understand even the cryptic allusion of one who, snuggling down and closing his eyes, was heard to murmur fervently; "Home again; NOT 'ARF!"

Monday, 5 April 2010

East meets West

Two Canadians' Experiences

Back from the Grave

A striking reunion took place in the hospital on the day after the arrival of the exchanged prisoners sent home from Germany. It was one of those dramatic episodes which in fiction would seem to stretch the long arm of coincidence unduly far, but which the war has made not uncommon. The occurrence is described at first hand in the following paragraph, which all who have met him here will recognise as characteristic of its writer:

Always together through Canada, England, France, Belgium, and only separated on the night of April 22nd (when we went into action); both wounded in practically the same spot; he managed to get away, and landed safely in England; I was taken a prisoner and confined in the Prison Camp at Ohrdruf, Germany, for four months; each thinking the other dead, then meeting in the corridor here.
This is the rather unique experience of Sergt. J. O'Reilly and myself. My pleasure at meeting my old pal again is beyond expression. And although he has a badly shattered right hand and I have lost my left arm, when we both look back and think of that Hades of shell fire and bloody Ypres, we can express our feelings in the following seven words:
"Gee, but it's good to be alive."

Sergt. Fred F. Wells, 1st B.C. Regiment

Sunday, 4 April 2010

The Staff

It may be of interest to our readers if we give, in brief, some figures as to the number of officers, N.C.O.'s and men, sisters, nurses, and other employees on the pay list of the Hospital.
There are 42 officers and 204 N.C.O.'s and men. Of the latter, 80 additional have been sanctioned. There are 114 Territorial Force sisters and nurses. Of T.F. Nursing Association probationers - which is the title accorded to our friends the V.A.D.'s as soon as they enter the hospital - there are 134.

These figures (which may have altered - but only slightly - since The Gazette went to press) will be increased as the hospital extension is completed. Other employees, in addition to the above are: Engineer's staff, 9; laundry, 1; tailoresses, 2; secretary, 1; officers' servants, male 6, female 2; nurses' servants (for hospital and houses) 31; lady helpers (from Red Cross Society and Labour Exchange) 25.
October 1915

[Strikes me that that poor laundry worker must have been run off her/his feet]

Saturday, 3 April 2010

The Former Occupants

Where are the Former Occupants of the Hospital?
A Question Answered by our Chaplain

Inmates of the Hospital have several times asked me what has happened to the three hundred orphans, who, before the war, occupied the main building. I now propose briefly to answer the question.
Fortunately, at the time of the conversion of the Royal Victoria Patriotic School into the 3rd London General Hospital, the children were away on their holiday. The Committee of Management, after careful and anxious thought, resolved that the interests of the orphans should suffer as little as possible. It was, therefore, decided to take a number of large vacant houses in Spencer Park, Wandsworth Common. Here the children are now comfortably located, well cared for, and as happy as the changed conditions will allow - longing, however, for the end of the war and their return to the old home with its beautiful park-like grounds.

The Royal Victoria Patriotic School was established and endowed for the maintenance and education of fatherless daughters of Sailors, Soldiers, and Marines from the Patriotic Fund which was raised at the time of the Crimean War. Her late Majesty Queen Victoria laid the first stone, and the institution was opened on July 1st, 1859. Its object is to give a sound elementary and religious education, with a practical training for domestic service, and to maintain the orphan daughters - in such numbers as the Committee from time to time may determine - until the age of sixteen, free of all expense to the mother or guardian.

This article would not be complete without a reference to the handsome chapel, which all should see, and where Divine services are now held. The scarlet-clothed three hundred orphans assembled to worship God in this chapel was a striking picture, and appealed profoundly to all who have witnessed it. Through the kindness of Colonel and Mrs. Bruce Porter and others, generous donations have been given towards the Chapel Fund for providing Prayer and Hymn Books and appointments, and for the improvement of the kneeling accommodation. Donations and thank-offerings to the Chapel Fund will be gratefully received and acknowledged by the Chaplain of the Hospital. All who give have the satisfaction of knowing that the money expended will not only assist the reverential worship of God for the occupants of the Hospital, but also for the orphans of Sailors, Soldiers and Marines who, after the war, will again offer their prayers, praises, and thanksgivings to Almighty God in the chapel as of yore.

J. Thompson Phipps, Chaplain.

Friday, 2 April 2010

First Impressions

By Malcolm Savage Treacher (A Battery, H.A.C.)

"We want to go to London," shouted those of us in the ambulance train capable of vocal exertion; others less fortunate, among which I include myself, were content to express mute disapproval according to our several physical disabilities.
"We want to go to London," reiterated the malcontents, thereupon expressing a pleasing ignorance of the city's boundaries by adding, "and Clapham Junction ain't London."
Anyhow, we all had to quit; I was borne by two Red Cross stretcher bearers boasting legs of equal attenuation to my own, comparable only to pea sticks; others struggling on crutches, walking, or, like myself, flattened on litters.
Now I object to such places as Brixton and Clapham with genuine prejudice. Yet it was a lucky shuffle of Dame Fortune's cards that guided my footsteps to Clapham, for thereby I made early acquaintance with the 3rd London General Hospital. Thither I was transported in a remarkably easy-going motor ambulance, and here I would express my utmost satisfaction and approval of the powers that be in ordaining low speed for the car and consequent high comfort for the patient. In Egypt, whence I had come, a frenzy of hurry and bustle seems to pervade the transport staff of the hospitals at Cairo and Alexandria, greatly to the detriment of their charges.

What were my first impressions of the Hospital? They were favourable in the highest and most emphatic definition of the word. Organisation here seemed tuned to high perfection, studied as an art, brought to an exact science. An N.C.O. demanded the nature of my injuries. Six men thereupon laid me gently from stretcher to bed. Mark you, my masters, six men for a stomach case (me) means gentle handling indeed. Then somebody brought me steaming cocoa boiled with milk, while more N.C.O.'s gathered like vultures around my bed to fill fat-bellied books concerning me. Others, this time orderlies, examined my kit, brought me clothes to wear in hospital, patted my pillows. Meanwhile, I discovered I was laid to rest in a large, well-aired hall, boasting stained-glass windows and as severe in its scheme of decoration as a Nonconformist chapel. I closed my eyes blissfully. I was at peace with the world. For some time at least both my travels and my troubles were at an end. I dreamed day-dreams; I saw visions. I was in England again, that rich land of my birth, the land of orchards and ripe fruits, of yellow cornfields and full granaries. I repeat, I was at peace with the whole world.

But the rude awakening was to come. Scarcely had I made myself full-comfortable when somebody touched my elbow.
"Don't go to sleep, Sergeant," said the orderly who had taken my name. "Why not, pray?" demanded I with asperity. "You're off to your Ward," replied he. "You're only in the Receiving Ward now."
Thereupon they hoisted me into a stretcher and bore me off. Through miles of corridor we seemed to go; along passages that seemed without end; around corners; up inclines; down steep gradients. Finally two doors opened, two nurses bore me tenderly to Bed 22, two hands dropped, two eyes closed again. But joyful was their opening a few minutes later, epicurean in their glance, glad their expression. for the good sisters of C6 had prepared already for the wanderers a meal of eggs and toast, of steaming tea, of wafer-like bread and butter. It was all like some dream, when temporarily one lived again in the piping old days of peace.

Some plump little body with merry eyes and a happy boyish laugh bore down upon me. Her rank as Ward sister give her two stripes on the sleeve.
"Are you comfortable, laddie?" she asked in a motherly tone. "Very," I responded, "but I'm pretty cold. I've only three blankets on, and a quilt."
Then we both laughed, for by the calendar in England it was August and by the temperature nigh on Michelmas. A sweet-faced sister wearing pince-nez brought me another blanket; then a hot water bottle; and even suggested another blanket, at which we both laughed. An air cushion for my back was the next item for my comfort. And when I hinted that my very thin backbone would puncture the cushion we both laughed again. I was sure we were a very happy family in the Hospital. Such are my first impressions of the Hospital, but one day I am devoting a whole article to that sister of the sweet face, for she throughout will be the real and lasting impression.

A Slight Misunderstanding


A benevolent old gentleman stopped opposite the bed of the orderly - no need to mention names - bitten on the cheek by the Wandsworth mosquito. By the doctor's orders he had gone into a ward for a couple of days' rest, and his genial countenance, as big as a football, was swathed in bandages which would not have seemed excessive on the average V.C.
"Poor man! Was it a shrapnel wound?"
"No, only a mosquito," came the modest mumble from behind the bandages.
The compassionate visitor missed the mumble's drift. "I hope it didn't knock any of your teeth out," he remarked, as he passed on to continue his tour.
And those of us who have encountered the Wandsworth mosquito don't think this is so funny after all.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Hospital Notice Board

Concerning Visitors' Passes

A problem has arisen in connection with visitors' passes which requires only a word of explanation to be appreciated by the patients, who, we are sure, are sincerely anxious to assist the hospital authorities in the maintenance of that Discipline without Institutionalism which is so characteristically the keynote of life within the walls of the 3rd L.G.H.
The matter may be stated thus: Pte. Smith, in Ward 25, sends a Pass to Miss Jones, of Clapham, and is duly visited by that lady. While paying her Sunday afternoon call on Pte. Smith she is introduced to Ptes. Jones and Robinson, who are in the next beds in Ward 25; perhaps she even makes the acquaintance of Ptes. Black and White, who have dropped in from Wards 24 and 26. By the time Pte. Smith leaves the hospital Miss Jones has quite a circle of acquaintances therein, whom she continues to visit on the now departed Smith's pass.

Imagine this happening over and over again, with hosts of fresh arrivals, and it will be seen that we eventually create an ever-increasing band of regular visitors to the hospital who have, strictly speaking, no business to be within its walls, and who thus - quite innocently no doubt - cause a good deal of confusion. Patients who have friends in the immediate neighbourhood are therefore very earnestly requested to exercise discretion in the granting of Passes. We all have every desire to be sociable, and to make the visiting days as pleasant as possible for all concerned; we appreciate, too, the kindliness which induces our neighbours to come into the wards to cheer their wounded defenders. But the 'snowball' effect of Passes being used after the patients who granted them have left threatens to become serious, and if not remedied by the goodwill of the individuals concerned will have to be dealt with by the exercise of a far greater, and therefore more irksome strictness by the sentries and ward orderlies.