Brittain, Vera, Diary, 27 June 1915

Diary of Vera Brittain


Case Study: 
From Youth to Experience: Vera Brittain’s Work for Peace in Two World Wars
Brittain, Vera
27 June 1915
McMaster University Libraries
Vera Brittain estate; McMaster University has a non-exclusive licence to publish this document.


been out about 3 months before getting wounded. The third man was younger than the other two, dark & good looking. He was very quiet and read, or pretended to read, a magazine while I was talking to the other two. He speaks in a perfectly refined voice & when I afterwards cleared up the table by his bed, he apologized for making such a mess. I rather suspect he is a gentleman ranker. There were three men in ward 5 & four in ward 6. These latter were singing "Killarney" in harmony. None of them interested me quite so much as those in Ward 7, but these were all dears too & asked Nurse Vaughan where she got the new nurse from! One, in ward 5 was pretty ill, though very cheerful, & could not get up. I straightened his bed for him; I did not have to make the others' beds until they were up. This man asked me if I had come on here from another Hospital, which I thought one of the nicest compliments I had ever been paid! It is very nice to be addressed as 'Nurse" and "Sister." It appeals to me very much. After breakfast & beds I had to dust the wards, wash the doctors' tables, and put hot water in the jugs. One man told me it hadn't had such a dusting for weeks! All this means a considerable amount of running about, as the Hospital is a huge place. I managed to find out where were the kitchen, the sink, & the rubbish baskets, which are the things chiefly used in my work. The military nurses are all quite young & very kind, and showed me everything. At 10:30 one of them took me round to give me instructions in how to hand out the milk to those that have it -- a job I have to do every day. Afterwards I collected the mugs, put them back in the day room & put one or two things ready for dinner. This was all very strenuous, & after it I had nothing particularly to do until dinnertime. On ordinary days the slack interval is not so long as dinner as at 12.0 but on Sundays it is at a quarter to 1.0. I sat for about 1/2 an hour in the Laboratory, which is where nurses go when they haven't much to do, &