Brittain, Vera, Diary, 14-15 July 1915

Diary of Vera Brittain


Case Study: 
From Youth to Experience: Vera Brittain’s Work for Peace in Two World Wars
Brittain, Vera
14-15 July 1915

Brittain, Vera

McMaster University Libraries
Vera Brittain estate; McMaster University has a non-exclusive licence to publish this document.


from quite a different point of view. I get nearer to" the people" & find them to be immensely interesting & intelligent. And I couldn't be treated more thoroughly as a nurse if I had been nursing for years. Of course the patients see very little difference between a V.A. nurse & an auxiliary hospital nurse.
As I was going at 9.0 to-night Miss Hyland standing by her door beckoned me. I had not a guilty conscience & wondered what I could have done. But she said to me "Come through this way, I'll let you through the Manchester Road, it is nearer for you isn't it? You've been running round all evening." Then she asked me if I got very tired, mentioned my work a little & unlocked the gate specially for me. It was very kind of her, & I don't know what Mrs. Ellinger can mean by calling her a slave-driver; she is always tell [sic] me to work less not more hard. But I think in her queer reserved way that she likes me rather.
I am coming to the conclusion that practical ability is of much less importance in a nurse than psychological fitness. Adaptability, sympathy & magnetism of temperament count for more than the ability to bandage or make foods.
I have had a very aching heart on Roland's behalf all day; no sense of elation at having plenty to do & being able to do it can assuage the sadness? of the thought of him now. I have heard nothing since the letter written on July 4th, & to-day the "Times" reported "heavy fighting" between Arras [?] & Armentières" during the last few days. Oh! if only he could get wounded -- badly so as to take a long time to get well -- but not dangerously how greatly inutterably thankful I should be.
Thursday July 15th
I came home to-night more weary & footsore than I have been since I started nursing. This is all the fault of one charming Sister who this morning had me on the run & besides my ordinary work made me follow her round cutting people's toe-nails & washing their hands & feet. this afternoon besides my ordinary work she gave me a whole....