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 Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.

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littlehand

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PostSubject: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:29 pm

In 1866 a requirement was made for the engagement of nurses to all Military General Hospitals, it was not until 1881 that an Army Nursing Service was formed. In 1879-80 several sisters were sent to the Zulu War. Sister Janet was one, anyone know who the others were . ?
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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:23 pm

Mrs Deeble, was the widow of an Army medical officer was appointed Superintendent of Nurses at Nedley. She and six nurses from Nedley were employed in South Africa during the campaign against the Zulus in 1879.

Sister Sarah Anne Terrot
Miss Loch
Janet Wells (Sister Janet)

Still looking for the others. scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:46 pm

Hi littehand
I have the following listed in my database listed as serving during the Zulu War of 1879

Superintendent of Nurses
Mrs Jane Cecilia Deeble

Nurses

Mary Jane Armfield
Anne Crisp
Emma Durham
Joan A Gray
Alice Hawkey
Edith Ann Horner
Mary Clementine Jerrard
Edith King
Alice Ray
Margaret Selby
Mary Ann Stricklen
Janet Helen Wells
Harriet W Williams

and old historian2 lists two others which I did nor know about
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:41 pm

Thanks for your replies. OldH. Do we have another mystery.
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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:04 pm

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Jane Cecilia Deeble

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Mrs Deeble and her Nurses during the Zulu War


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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:16 pm

Hi littlehand & old historian2

I have found the following info
Early Royal Red Cross medal recipients include Mrs Jane Deeble, Sister Sarah Anne Terrot and Miss Loch.

I now know that Sister Sarah Anne Terrot served during the Crimean War and not the Zulu War.

Miss Loch
As the British ruling in India continued the India Office paid more attention to the medical and nursing needs of soldiers. Miss Ada Hind who had experience as a Sister in Charge at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Suez, Egypt was asked to form the Indian Army Nursing Service but declined because of her own ill health. Instead two nursing sisters Miss Loch and Miss Oxley were chosen by the India Office to supervise and train nurses in the military hospitals in India and to work with the men of the Army Hospital Corps.
Miss Loch and Miss Oxley became Nursing Superintendents, or more correctly their title being Lady Superintendent, and took eight nursing sisters from Britain to India in 1888 to form the Indian Army Nursing Service (IANS).
In the same year Miss loch and four of the sisters saw field service at the Black mountain Expedition in North West India. This may have been the first time that army nurses were armed for they carried revolvers to ward off enemy and robbers.
Miss Loch later became the Senior Lady Superintendent of the Queen Alexandra's Military Nursing Service for India (QAMNSI).
The title of Lady Superintendent was replaced when the QAMNS (India) were amalgamated to the QAIMNS. Instead the title became Principal Matron and then Chief Principal Matron.
During these British Raj years the medical needs of the British Army and their families were then met by the QAMNS (Queen Alexandra's Military Nursing Service) for India (known as the QAIMN[I]) until they were amalgamated to the QAIMNS in 1926 by the War Office.

Her full name was Catharine Grace Loch and she started her nursing career in December 1879 at the Royal County Hospital, Winchester. So she too did not serve in the Zulu War.
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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:22 pm

Hi Littlehand

I found what I was looking for, the complete list from the RCN Archive

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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:16 pm

Did Mrs Deeble receive the Royal Red Cross decoration. scratch


Mrs Jane Deeble, the widow of an army surgeon who died at Abyssinia. Six more nurses were employed at the same time and these were Ann Clark, Lucy Emm, Jane Kennedy, Jessie Lenox, Rebecca Strong and Lucy Wheldon.

Before 1869 nurses would wear a uniform of a starched apron worn over a brown dress. Mrs Deeble introduced the grey ward dress with short scarlet cape that are now worn by QA officers.

Mrs Deeble was later promoted to Matron and in 1879 she went to the Zulu War with 14 nurses to care for the wounded at Pietermaritzburg and Addington in Natal. They went aboard the ship the Dublin Castle from London to Cape Town along with reinforcements to the Anglo Zulu War. The Dublin Castle would then return to Britain with wounded and sick who would then be taken to Netley Hospital
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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:42 pm

Mrs. Deeble and her six nurses made themselves ready for Zulu Land, in less than a week's notice. In a week's time substitutes to take their place at Netley were found, and all their own preparations were made; stores, drugs, appliances were all got together and packed; but no finery, no toys, no useless encumbrances of any kind were included. All was strict, business-like, and purposeful; and the work that they did was as satisfactory as were the workers. They were away for eleven months, working cheerfully and well all the time.

The pay of these nurses is small beginning at £30 per annum and ending at the maximum of £50 by a rise of £2 yearly. Besides this, they have food and washing found, and are given £4.7s yearly for uniform. After twenty years' service they are pensioned off; but they receive a pension if they have been disabled in the service after 5 years' work. There are some among them who think their pay should be increased by £5 a year; and certainly the greater the reward held out the better would be the class of woman secured to the service. But the just scale of class payment is one of those " burning questions " which generally scorch the fingers of those who handle them; and too many considerations are involved in the fit remuneration of military nurses to be settled offhand in a couple Of sentences.
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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:55 pm

Hi Dave

In July 1883, Mrs Jane Cecilia Deeble was decorated by Her Majesty the Queen with the Royal Red Cross.
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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:45 pm

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Not sure if this is Zulu War. I'm just going by the fact it states Intombi.
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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:51 pm

Janet Helen Wells 1854-1911 Received the Royal Red Cross by Her Majesty Queen Victoria... and Awarded Imperial Order of the Red Cross of Russia,, by the Russian Government.

Janet Helen Wells was born Mar qtr 1854 Kensington, London, Middlesex, one of 10 children born to her Parents Benjamin Wells and Elizabeth Robertson.. Janet's Father Bennjamin Wells was a renound Musician and Professor ~ Benjamin Wells A.R.A.M.. He was born on 1 June 1826 Holy Sepulchre, Cambridgeshire, Cambridgeshire.Later studied at The Royal Academy of Music, taught by Joseph Richardson, then later by John Clinton.. By 1856 Benjamin was the Private Flute Tutor to the Royal Consort, Prince Albert (who died in 1862).. As a young child, Janet Helen Wells was inspired by Florence Nightingale and wanted to start a vocation in Nursing. When Janet was just 18 years old she was posted to Zululand to command a medical post. She earned the nickname Angel of Mercy.

In 1879 Sister Janet - Nurse & Heroine of the Anglo Zulu War ~ Janet was awarded Imperial Order of the Red Cross of Russia,, by the Russian Government for assisting the Russian army in the Balkans
On 11 Sept 1879

Janet attended the parade for the presentation by Sir Garnet Wolseley of Victoria Crosses to Major Bromhead and Pte. Jones of the 24th Regmt....Janet was the second ever the first being Florence Nightingale to be awarded the decoration of the Royal Red Cross
In 1880 she met Mr George King,, later they were to wed.

1881 census

Janet was at home with her parents at 99 St Stephen Ave, Hammersmith Janet Wed George King on 6th May 1882 at St Stephen's Church, in the Parish of St Stephen, Shepherd's Bush, Hammersmith, Middx They had 2 daughters, Elsie and Daisy...George King, a London journalist London, become the distinguished editor of the Globe magazine and founder of Tatler.

By 1891 census

Janet with husband George King, a Newspaper Publisher of 42 Pandora St, St Johns Hampstead By Dec qtr 1893 they had a daughter, Daisy Helen King born West Ham
By 1901 Helen was living in Islington with Husband George and dau Daisy In the Same Year Queen Victoria passed away and Janet King,, nee Wells was invited to attend the state funeral. Janet King..nee Wells died at the family home on 6 June 1911 at Woodend, Furze Hill, Purley, Surrey..Janet died of cancer at the age 53 and Buried 10 Jun 1911 Brandon Hill Cemetery, Purley, Surrey.. Service held at St Marks Church, Purley Janet Helen Wells, Awarded Royal Red Cross by Queen Victoria.the citation read "for special devotion & competency displayed in nursing duties with Her Majesty's troops".. She was the 2nd person to receive such an award, the first was Florence Nightingale! At this time the Royal Red Cross was regarded as the nursing equivalent of the military and naval Victoria Cross Her medals are on display at the Tenterden and District Museum in Kent, England.

Other achievements Janet was appointed Superintendent of the hospital at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and was selected by the Stafford House Committee for service with Surgeon General Ross in the Zulu War.

Newspaper Publisher of 42 Pandora St, St Johns Hampstead with wife Janet nee Wells (Sister Wells) and children 1901 Census Living Islington Died 12 July 1933


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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:03 pm

Hi Littlehand

There is a book about Janet Helen Wells
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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:07 pm

Janet Helen Wells died at Purley in June 1911 and was buried at the nearby Brandon Hill cemetery; her passing was reported throughout the land in both the national and regional newspapers.

Please See: Pictorial catalogue of AZW graves for grave details


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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:19 pm

1879Graves you should post her grave in the Pictorial catalogue of AZW graves. After all she was there and received the medal.
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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:12 am

Does anyone have information about Sister Mary Jane Armfield? She was also awarded the Royal Red Cross and although she was part of a British nursing unit I believe she considered herself Australian. Her RRC is held by the Australian War Memorial and we are considering featuring her in a future exhibition on nurses, but we know very little about her. Any information welcome.
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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:05 pm

Hi LibbyS. Welcome to the forum.

Armfield, Mary Jane West Correspondence dated 27/5/1884 and copy of Royal Warrant under which the award of the Royal Red Cross (RRC) was conferred to Sister Mary Armfield, the first Australian to receive such an award in 1883 for services rendered during the Zulu war of 1879. Sister Armfield was one of the Stafford House sisters in South Africa during the Zulu war.

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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:25 pm

Well Ladies and Gentleman It appears we have another mystery to solve.

Admins post states that "(RRC) was conferred to Sister Mary Armfield, the first Australian to receive such an award in 1883 for services rendered during the Zulu war of 1879."

Then I found this.


Alice Alanna Cashin

The first Australian nurse to be awarded the Royal Red Cross was Alice Alanna Cashin. She was nursing at the General Hospital in Calais, France at the outbreak of the Great War and then became a member of the QAIMNS(R) on the 19 July 1915. She became the Sister at the General Hospital at Ras-el-din in Egypt on the surgical ward. Sister Cashin had a distinguished career in the QAs and was mentioned in dispatches twice. This included a mention by Sir Archibald Murray who was the Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force.

In June 1916 Sister Cashin became the Matron of the hospital ship Gloucester Castle. Sister Cashin was awarded the Royal Red Cross medal in January 1917. On the 30 March 1917 the HS Gloucester Castle was torpedoed by a German U-Boat in the English Channel. For ensuring the safety of her wounded patients and her nursing staff before leaving for the lifeboat she was awarded a bar to her RRC. Her commendation read that Matron Cashin ...showed an example of coolness and devotion to duty, and rendered invaluable service.It is said that she only took her cape given to her by Her Majesty Queen Alexandra, her prayer book and her crucifix. The Croix de Guerre award was also received by Matron Cashin from the French.

Matron Alice Cashin then took charge of the 400 bed military hospital at Whittington Barracks, Lichfield in England on the 7 May 1917 until July 1919. After World War One she returned to Australia on the 18 October aboard the Morea. Miss Cashin nursed her father and later worked in sales.

Alice Alanna Cashin was born on 26 March 1870 in Melbourne, Australia. Alice Alanna Cashin trained at St Vincent's Hospital in Darlinghurst from October 1893 and remained there after qualifying until January 1897. She then became a private nurse and joined the Australasian Trained Nurses' Association on 30 July 1901.

On 30 July 1901 Alice Cashin travelled to London to study for the Diploma of the International School of Therapeutic Massage.

Alice Alanna Cashin died on 4 November 1939 in Marrickville and was buried in Woronora cemetery.


So who was the first to receive the award.
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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:42 pm

25th December 1879

25, 26th, 27th December 1879 Was very ill on these days, and don’t know much about them. There were no hospital diets to be had, only the ordinary ration of ‘trek’ ox, and my soldier servant could in no way make this into an acceptable broth, nor was there anything to be bought in place. Marter sunk very low, and when so weak he could hardly speak in an audible whisper, a ‘’Stafford House’’ Sister arrived and borrowed one of his horses, and rode around Kaffir Kraals and returned with an egg which she beat up with some whiskey and gave it to him. This was the turning point the Sister was equal even to trek ox beef, and produced soup and other things, which enabled him to gain his strength. There were several doctors in the camp, each about as inefficient and indifferent to the welfare of his patients as the other. The real or imaginary grievances of the of their Department seemed to be the only matters they could fully attend to, and they were never weary of discussing them. Marter found they had plenty of Champagne amongst the ‘’medical comforts’’, but although he needed it badly enough, they refused to allow him any until he threatened to report them to the Secretary of State for War. They had made their own minds up that the case was hopeless, and demurred at wasting the wine

Extract from: Lt Colonel R J C Marter - 1st Kings Dragoon Guards Personal Diaries
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PostSubject: several sisters to the zulu war.   Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:46 pm

hi littlehand.
My take on the matter is , Cashin wasnt born till 1870 , Obviously Armfield recieved her"s first. Armfield may
have seen herself as Australian but possibly wasnt Australian born , That could be the reason that states Cashin
as the first Australian to earn the award as she was born in Melbourne . Idea .
hope this makes sense .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:37 am

Photo of Nurses during the Boer War. I wonder if any Nurses stayed in SA After the Zulu War and went on to serve in the Boer War. (Great Photo anyway)
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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:52 am

"Many of the early military nurses who served at Netley did their civilian training at St Thomas's and other London hospitals. The first Army nurses to serve overseas left Netley in 1879, led by Mrs Deeble the Lady Superintendent (matron), to serve in the Zulu war.

Queen Victoria, before her death in 1901, visited Netley many times, either from Windsor by train or across the Solent by boat from her home, Osborne House, on the Isle of Wight. During these visits she awarded three Victoria Crosses to patients at Netley. One was received by Private Hitch (24th Regt) in recognition of his bravery at Rorke's Drift in 1879, while Piper Findlater (Gordon Highlanders) and Private Vickery (Dorset Regt) both received theirs for actions in the Tirah Campaign on the North West Frontier of India.
From 1863 to 1902 Netley was also the home of the Army Medical School which trained civilian doctors for service in the Army. As many of the hospital's casualties were suffering from tropical diseases rather than gunshot wounds, the school was also used for medical research. Sir Almoth Wright, a professor of pathology, spent ten years at Netley. Much of his time was involved in research into the prevention of these diseases. He is most famous for his discovery of a vaccine against typhoid."
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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:15 pm

Two of the nurses that took part in the Zulu War

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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:45 pm

Hi all,
The S H C on the armband stands for Stafford House Committee, it was the committee who sent out this group of nurses, Another group went out under Matron Jane Deeble from the Military Hospital at Netley..
Rai
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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:05 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:11 pm

R.R.C., London Gazette, 25 May 1883: ‘for Zululand’; presented by the Queen at Windsor.

"Mrs. Deeble's R. R. C. was the tenth to be awarded following the inception of this award in 1883. Of the previous nine issues, eight had been bestowed on ladies of royal or similar connections and the other on Florence Nightingale. Therefore, Mrs. Deeble's R. R. C must be considered the second to be awarded to a lady for nursing services. Approximately 15 medals to nurses for the Zulu war. Jane Cecilia Deeble, widow of Surgeon-Major William Deeble, who had met his death in the Abyssinian Campaign of 1867, entered the Military Establishment on 1 November 1869, having previously been a Probationer in Florence Nightingale's training school at St. Thomas' Hospital. On taking up this appointment, she became Superintendent of the Staff of Nursing Sisters at the Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley and in 1870 Lady Superintendent of the Army Nursing Service, a post she continued to occupy until 1889, a record span of office. Apart from gaining immense popularity as a 'homely' type of woman, Mrs. Deeble has been credited with saving the Army Nursing Service from early extinction, more so following the damage done by her rather bossy and aristocratic predecessor, Jane Shaw Stewart. Her initial appointment had sprung from an interview with Florence Nightingale in November 1869 but from the tone oft he latter's report to one Dr. Sutherland, it seems surprising her military nursing career ever got off the ground:

'She is brave, sincere, courageous-but she has no observation-she is quite incapable of understanding far less of making a Regulation or an organisation... Any officer may turn her round his finger. She will be engaged in planning a nice tea for the Nurses, while she lets the Nursing go to ruin... I have not approached the subject of the Regulations yet with Mrs. Deeble. I doubt whether she has seen them. I doubt whether she is able to understand them. I doubt whether she has a glimmer of the fact that she is to have a personal relation with and report to the War Office.'

Despite the inglorious nature of her first interview, Mrs. Deeble was duly accepted. This change of definition or direction within the Service - namely a more humane and less stuffy approach to nursing - d id much to preserve the future of the profession, particularly within military circles. Nonetheless, Mrs. Deeble held strong views on the type of woman suitable for such employment. As late as 1887 she was busy observing that many nurses were not ladies but rather offspring from 'the shop girl class.' She was also anxious that her girls should prove themselves tough enough for military campaigning. To that end she fought rigorously for their employment in South Africa during the Zulu War and at length won approval to depart with a small team of six Netley nurses, albeit in the wake of seven women from the Stafford House Committee. Her enthusiasm to prove that the 'Netleys' were made of sterner stuff became rapidly evident. On their first night in South Africa, Mrs. Deeble declined the use of canvas, insisting her team would sleep rough. It was unfortunate that a rather heavy rainstorm ensued, thus compelling them to retreat to the cover of the opposition's lodging! Far from being downhearted, the redoubtable Mrs. Deeble set about her duties admirably, and was duly commended for 'conspicuously good service. ' Highly praised for her 'administrative capacity, ' her activities were specially acknowledged by command of Queen Victoria. Some while later Her Majesty had the opportunity to personally decorate her at Windsor Castle. Mrs. Deeble finally retired in 1890. Much of the above detail has been taken from Anne Summers' 1988 publication, 'Angels and Citizens, British Women as Military Nurses, 1854-1914".

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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:54 pm

Some Interesting observations, by a Nurse on British Solders and her thinking that the Zulu War was Just!!! More Nurse than we thought!!!

"THE ZULU WAR
In the late1870s, British imperial ambition included desire to control
the mineral wealth of southern Africa, and therefore its labour
resources. The British High Commissioner, Sir Bartle Frere, saw the
independent Zulu kingdom as an obstacle to this, and presented an
ultimatum to the Zulu king Cetshwayo, demanding that he dismantle
the Zulu military system, a demand impossible for the Zulu king to
meet. War was declared but the British and colonial forces that
invaded Zululand were halted at Isandlwana in January 1879, where
the British were initially defeated (Guy 1979).

In early April 1879, the principal medical officer of British troops
in Natal requested that sisters be sent from the Community of St
Michael and All Angels to nurse sick and wounded soldiers in the
military hospital at Ladysmith. Limited numbers in the community
made assistance difficult, but Mother Emma, Sister Louisa and two
associates, the Misses Potts and Langlands, left Bloemfontein for
Natal later that month (Quarterly Paper 1879, 46:13-28).

Louisa Olden, already trained as a nurse in Ireland, travelled to
South Africa as an associate of the community, intending to explore
her vocation to the religious life, and arrived in Bloemfontein in
February 1876. She was clothed as a novice in November 1876, and
made her final vows as a sister of the community in July 1880.19 She
took charge of the hospital in Kimberley in 1876, and remained there
until March 1879, while the more famous Sister Henrietta, associated
with the hospital as “lady visitor”, was training as a midwife. Sister
Louisa was a very capable manager (Searle 1965:42), and a woman
of indomitably cheerful disposition. Miss Langlands came out as a
“lady worker” offering three years service to the community and was
sent to Kimberley in 1877, where she and Miss Potts were among the
six women first trained as nurses under the scheme set up by Sister
Henrietta (Searle 1965:42).

The sisters found that the military hospital in Ladysmith had
been set up in the Dutch Reformed Church, augmented by four large
tents. It was occupied by 80 soldiers suffering from fever and
dysentery and was staffed by a sergeant, four orderlies and a doctor,
“all overworked”. The beds were made of three planks raised 15 cm
above the floor, and each soldier had his kit, bread rations and
medicine next to his bed. The sisters’ first step was to reorganise the
sick room so that the kit was stored in the pulpit and medicine was
dispensed by the nurses instead of the sick being responsible for
taking their own (Quarterly Paper 1879, 46:13-28).

Ladysmith was sofar from the front that the sisters were never really in danger,
although there was one alarm in May, when intelligence suggested
that the town might be attacked by a large Zulu force, but the report
came to nothing. The sisters’ accounts of this alarm describe them
getting ready for bed and going to sleep without fear, although they
had been warned that they might be called into a laager at short
notice. Their only concern was for really sick patients who should not
be moved (Quarterly Paper 1879, 45:21)


Clearly they were aware of complaints that war nursing was unsuitable
for women, and were
determined not to give any ammunition to those who thought women
would be a liability. Sister Louisa knew several of the doctors who
served at Ladysmith through family connections (Loots & Vermaak
1975:67) and this helped the sisters to find acceptance. They also
took care to report on the excellent relationships they developed with
military orderlies. Mother Emma recorded:

“time and paper would fail
me if I tried to write all the little attentions and kindnesses of these
goodhearted orderlies. Best of all, six or seven of them may now be
seen every Sunday night at Church” (Loots & Vermaak 1975:70).
This is significant, because the relationship between orderlies and
military nurses was a bone of contention in the South African war,
when orderlies often refused to recognise the authority of military
nurses (Marks 2002:162, 167). The sisters reported that there were
hospital sergeants and hospital orderlies trained in the military
hospitals in England, “so the work is not hard” and “they all work
under us” (Quarterly Paper 1879, 45:21).


There may be various reasons for this harmonious state of affairs.
It is clear from the tenor
of these accounts that the orderlies responded to the sisters with
deference, following the attitude of their senior officers. The fact that
they were religious might have heightened this respect. Possibly also
the fact that the number of nurses was relatively small and that they
were obviously only working in a temporary capacity may have made
the presence of the sisters less threatening.

At Ladysmith, their patients were mostly cases of dysentery and
enteric fever, with relatively few injuries until July, when the wounded
from the battle of Ulundi reached the hospital. At the end of August,
military nurses from the Royal Military Hospital at Netley in England
arrived, the party from the community felt “less wanted” and left early
in September (Quarterly Paper 1879, 46). Their relationship with the
army was tenuous, and the sisters felt insecure about official
attitudes towards their efforts. This was underlined by a letter from
the medical officer at the Base Field Hospital in May 1879, which told
Bishop Webb that the doctors and patients valued “the kind and
thoughtful services of the ladies”20 − a condescending tone towards
trained women. The sisters may have been somewhat reassured by
another letter from a senior medical officer:

Having heard that you were informed that the Sisters
attending on the sick and wounded at the Base Hospital,
Ladismith, were of little use, and not appreciated either by
the patients, or the authorities there, … I consider they were
most useful in carrying out the orders of the Medical
Officers, more especially in giving the patients their food
and medicine regularly, looking after the cleanliness of the
sick and wounded … and preparing for them many little
articles of diet … Altogether I am of opinion they are not
only most useful, but skilful nurses, and were of
considerable assistance to me.


The letter nevertheless tends to emphasise traditionally-defined
womanly skills rather than to recognise the sisters as professional
nurses: the army was still finding its way towards a role for women in
warfare. Another important aspect of the sisters’ accounts of the war is
the discussion of their political views. The community tended to be
reserved in public affairs and frankness about the war suggests that
they saw the British cause as allied to their religious vocation. British
propaganda created the image of the Zulu king Cetshwayo as a
warmonger disrupting the subcontinent, and responsible for the
outbreak of war here, there and everywhere. The sisters absorbed
this view uncritically. Mother Emma wrote in May 1879:

I hope you do not believe what the papers are saying
about this being an unjust war. If ever there was a just war,
this is one. Until Cetewayo’s power is broken, there will be
no peace in South Africa. He has been at the bottom of all
the disturbances of last year, and every colonist out here
knows that his own life and the lives of those dear to him
are not safe, [as long] as Cetewayo is a free king
(Quarterly Paper 1879, 45:20)

.
The sisters gave credence to rumours of the superhuman ferocity
of the Zulu: and among the British sick were “many cases of heart
disease brought on by excitement, and there have been cases of
men losing their minds and their speech” (Quarterly Paper 1879,
45:22). Nor were the sisters ardent advocates of peace; war was
an imperial duty, and Mother Emma wrote:

We fear so much that the Government will make peace too
easily, the result of which would be that directly the troops
are withdrawn, the Zulus will break out again. It would be
the easiest thing in the world for them to devastate and lay
waste to this colony from end to end … I fear that our
soldiers are rather afraid of the Zulus; one of the hospital
orderlies said last Tuesday evening, “You see, it is not as if
they were ordinary men, but it seems as if they had ten
lives” (Quarterly Paper 1879, 45:21).


When it came to nursing individual Zulu patients, however, the sisters
escaped the political myth and the alarming stereotype. Two Zulu
prisoners were brought to the hospital after Ulundi:

“Pashongo” had his leg amputated but died soon
afterwards, though not before he had taught our soldiers
many lessons in patience. One never heard a cross word
pass his lips, and he was so grateful to his nurse for her
kindness. The other, “Dick” (I never could pronounce his
Zulu name), was very sulky at first, but kindness was in his
heart. One night that “Pashongo” was very wakeful, and
asking for water, he crawled out of bed to hand the drink,
so as to save the orderly, who awoke, and so discovered
his thoughtful conduct (Quarterly Paper 1879, 46).


But the general tenor of opinion among the sisters was that the
British cause was just and that Cetshwayo ought to be punished. A
letter from the community published for English consumption in
August 1879 summed up their views:

I do hope there will be no nonsense about a patched up
peace. It will only make Cetewayo believe himself
invincible or rather confirm him in that opinion and make
Natal unsafe, wasting utterly all those streams of brave
and noble blood which have flowed through South Africa
during the last eighteen months (Quarterly Paper 1879,
46:44-5).

It is instructive to compare the attitude of the sisters to the Zulu with
their attitude to the boers which is reflected in their writings and
activities during the Transvaal war and the South African war, when
sisters again served as nurses of soldiers and the civilian population.
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shackleton



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PostSubject: Sisters   Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:20 pm

Hi Littlehand
great reading, when it say's that sisters took part, could you confirm that the sisters where also nun's carrying out nursing duties at the time of the war ??
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:04 pm

Quote :
could you confirm that the sisters where also nun's carrying out nursing duties at the time of the war

Going by that newpaper cutting, i would say there was a mixture of Nuns and Nurse's but all did a good job, but it does seem they wasn't appricated in some respects!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.   

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Several sisters were sent to the Zulu War.
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