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Nursing in the First World War

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The 4 August marked the centenary of Britain entering the First World War and served to commemorate the millions who sacrificed themselves for the war effort. Among those were the nurses who provided vital care and services to treat the soldiers who fought so bravely. Politicians and the public took notice of the contribution that nurses made during the war and this contributed to nursing becoming a regulated profession.

At the start of the war, nursing was unregulated meaning that anybody could call themselves a nurse, and many women offered their services. This changed in 1919. Women, who had no vote at the time, were initally not allowed on the frontline. However, this slowly changed as doctors realised that nurses were key to coping with the volume of soldiers with complex care. Year by year their roles developed and they worked in many different scenarios from base hospitals to casualty clearing stations, hospital trains, barges and hospital ships and across all the different war fronts including the Western front, the Eastern front and the Western Mediterranean.


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My grand Aunt nurse Jane Burke worked as a srn nurse in the casualty clearing stations at Flanders from 1915 to 1919. Mary Burke 11q
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