Nursing through Shot and Shell: Medical Women at the Front - A One-hour Lecture on 25 May

When War was declared in August 1914, many British women demanded the right to serve their nation.  Had Kitchener’s sister called for a million women, recruitment would have been as easy as for her as for her brother.  Many women assumed that Red Cross First Aid and other Proficiency certificates would provide an entrée into the charmed circle of military nursing.  Others believed the War Office would welcome their professional skills as doctors and surgeons and send them on Active Service overseas.  Still others imagined that their birth, breeding and total confidence in their own usefulness to the Allied cause would be as self-evident to the military authorities as to themselves.  However, in 1914 the War Office believed that, apart from the small exclusive corps of professional military nurses, in wartime, women should quite simply ‘go home and sit still’. 

Using private and public sources of record, this talk brings to life some of the many remarkable women who, by Standing up to the War Office, demonstrated skill, compassion and ingenuity and, through their service on many Fronts, pushed back the boundaries of acceptable female behaviour. 

A one-hour lecture on Wednesday, 25 May 12:00 (pm) with Dr Viv Newman. Cost  £8.00/£6.40 SoG Members. Places should be pre-booked, through our website or by telephone: 020 7553 3290. Do you have A question? email the events department.

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