Women In The War Zone
Hospital Services in the First World War
Date of publication: April 2009
Publisher: The History Press
In our collective memory, the First World War is dominated by men. The sailors, soldiers, airmen and politicians about whom histories are written were male, and the first half of the twentieth century was still a time when a woman's place was thought to be in the home. It was not until the Second World War that women would start to play a major role both in the armed forces and in the factories and the fields. Yet there were some women who were able to contribute to the war effort between 1914 and 1918, mostly as doctors and nurses. In Women in the War Zone, Anne Powell has selected extracts from first-hand accounts of the experiences of those female medical personnel who served abroad during the First World War. Covering both the Western and the Eastern Fronts, from Petrograd to Basra and from Antwerp to the Dardanelles, they include nursing casualties from the Battle of Ypres, a young doctor put in charge of a remote hospital in Serbia and a nurse who survived a torpedo attack, albeit with serious injuries. Filled with stories of bravery and kindliness, it is a book that honours the often unsung contribution made by the female doctors and nurses who helped to alleviate some of the suffering of the First World War.