See all my books!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

American Nurses in WWI trained in Army camps and marched in parades!

   Women recruited for Army Nurse Corps and for American Red Cross all had field training by the American Expeditionary Forces. Army Nurse Corps recruits were all registered nurses, or the equivalent, having had two to three years professional nurses training. American Red Cross recruits, on average, had only a few months training (and as a result took on lesser responsibility in the wards). But all of them went through medical training specific to the care and treatment of those with wounds, or suffering from trench foot, trench fever, dysentery and Spanish flu.

   Army Nurse Corps recruits went to Army posts for training and many of them had French and British instructors. All were considered contract labor, without rank and yet were expected to act like regular Army recruits, "falling into line."

  They were housed in separate barracks, ate in mess halls separate from officers. When ready to ship out, they were housed in hotels near their embarkation points. A few of these were in Hoboken, New Jersey and others in Manhattan. Sometimes depending on the Navy's warnings of U-boat activities, nurses waited for more than 2 months in these hotels ready to leave at a moment's notice. And what could they take with them? One steamer truck (no larger than 36" wide), one small suitcase and a blanket roll!

   Many were also expected to march in parades. Here is a unit from Houston, Texas, marching together before they ship out!
Accession number1999.20
DescriptionBlack and white photograph of a Red Cross parade in Houston, TX.

From the service of Rose Baker (?), American Red Cross Nurse - Army Nurses Corps.
 
And here, in dress uniforms, a group of Army Nurse Corps recruits march in France!

A group outside their barracks.

No comments:

Post a Comment