Brittain, Vera, Diary, 14 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 July 1915
McMaster University Libraries
Vera Brittain estate; McMaster University has a non-exclusive licence to publish this document.


i wrote to Edward this afternoon. This evening I had an extremely vigorous time. Eleven new patients suddenly arrived; Nurse Robson & Nurse Cornell had to look after & arrange about xx & it was Nurse Bailey's afternoon off, so Miss Windsor & I were left to deal with the evening patients in the Laboratory. We got through them somehow & of course as were shorthanded there was an unusually large number. Beside the incidental & continual occupations of fetching basins, clearing away cups & filling hot water bottles, I had to rub a new patient's chest, rub Hxx'x back & bandage it, paint & bandage Hubbert's foot, paint & bandage Hill's ankle & legs, put Johnson to bed & bandage him to his splint, collect & wash the cups, & rub the chest of the man I always go to last thing at night. He is a very interesting man & has been in the South African War, where he was under Lord Roberts. One of the R.A.A.C. orderlies who brought the patients to-night was put for the night on the same ward. He was a very good-looking xx man of about 30. He also was in the South African war right at the beginning of his military career, then was in the Mexican rebellion & has lately been at the front. He & the man I was rubbing who was a servant? at Newnham & knows all about Oxford & Cambridge began exchanging reminiscences. The orderly man was under Lieut. Roberts at Colenso. The orderly began telling me about his hospital at Frensham in Surrey. It is a military hospital where they get the wounded straight from the trenches. I got him to give me the address as one never knows when such chance information may come in useful. He was very much taken by this hospital & interested in its size which he could scarcely believe in. He said "Get on!" when I told him it was xxx mile around the dome. It is delightful getting to know these people which I never should if I had always remained Miss Brittain & never "nurse." They look upon me here