Friday, 27 February 2015

At A Mobile Army Hospital

From the Halifax Courier, 27th February 1915. 



Sister Fox (daughter of Mr. C.J. Fox, Trimmingham Villas), who is in Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Servicer, is home on six days’, leave from “somewhere in France.”  She left Halifax on August 20 for mobilisation in Dublin, and shortly afterwards went to France.  She left duty on Monday, arriving home on Tuesday, and she returns on Sunday.  During winter the weather, similar to here, has been awfully wet, but happily Sister Fox has had good health all the time.  She has been on duty in a mobile British Army hospital, and the nurses here are all British.  All wounded who have passed through the hospital where she is located have been British, including contingents of Indians.  The men stay at the mobile hospitals two or three days, where their injuries receive attention, and then they are entrained either for the base hospital or for the boats to be brought to England.

 Sister Fox speaks in terms of the highest praise of the soldiers.  “They are,” she says, “simply wonderful in their cheerfulness, and are splendid to nurse.  You never hear them grumble, but all are anxious to be quickly better are to resume their duties.  They never seem to tire of the old cry, ‘Are we down-hearted?’ and then through the hospital comes the response ‘No.’  In the early stages of the war the men were in a bad condition, through lack of clothing and they came in fearfully tired thorough long duty in the trenches.  These things have now been improved, and everything is much better.  With the reduced hours in the trenches the men are not as tired when they come in, and you couldn’t have anyone better to nurse.  The British Tommies are a happy and contented lot.”

Though convoys from the trenches arrive every two or three days, Sister Fox, strangely, has not in all the months come across a Halifax man, though she has made inquiries from every contingent.  When the men are not seriously injured, instead of being sent to the base hospital or to England, they go to convalescent camps in France.

Sister Fox desires, through us, to express thanks to many friends who have kindly forwarded gifts to her for the soldiers.  Every gift thus received has been promptly given by her to men in need – usually to those who have been going to convalescent camps and have thus had no chance of coming home for comforts.  The recipients have been glad to have them, and have expressed appreciation of the kindness of their unknown friends.  During the severe winter, woollen goods have been particularly welcome, and indeed, all the things sent have been extremely useful.  “I don’t know what we should have done, if we had not had all these gifts sent,” added Sister Fox, who was kind enough to suggest that the majority were due to the publicity given by the “Courier,” which some months ago quoted extracts from a letter sent home by her, in which she stated the need of the men, little expecting there would be such a quick and splendid response.

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