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The Ypres Salient saw some of the bitterest fighting of the First World War. Many of those involved were severely wounded and emotionally damaged. In casualty clearing stations, on ambulance trains and barges, and at base hospitals near the French and Belgian coasts, nurses of many nations cared for these traumatised men. Drawing on letters, diaries and personal accounts from archives all over the world, Nurses of Passchendaele tells their stories – faithfully recounting their experiences behind the Ypres Salient in one of the most intense and prolonged casualty evacuation processes in the history of modern warfare. Nurses themselves came under shellfire and were vulnerable to aerial bombardment, and some were killed or injured while on active service. Alongside an analysis of the intricacies of their practice, the talk traces the personal stories of some of these extraordinary women, revealing the courage, resilience and compassion with which they did their work.
Christine Hallett is Professor of Nursing History at the University of Manchester, UK. She is Chair of the UK Association for the History of Nursing and President of the European Association for the History of Nursing, and holds Fellowships of the Royal Society of Medicine and the Royal Society for the Arts. She is a trained nurse, and has PhDs in both Nursing and History. She practised as a nurse in the North of England from 1985 to 1989, before moving into teaching and research. Her most recent work has focussed on the nurses of the First World War, and among her many publications are three single-authored books: Containing Trauma: Nursing Work in the First World War (Manchester University Press, 2009); I (Oxford University Press, 2014); and Nurse Writers of the Great War (Manchester University Press, 2016).
The John Ash Annual Lecture 2017, James Partridge OBE, Founder, Changing Faces: Reflections on Surviving Burns: Personal, Professional and Political