Roses of no man’s land: daily existence in france and belgium

Following a brief stint at Camp Merritt, Nj, the primary training base for medical personnel within the U . s . States, the nurses traveled to New You are able to harbor, where they boarded ships for France. Bulovsky showed up in France on June 22, 1918. She transferred from Base Hospital 22 to Evacuation Hospital 5 per month later. This move put her as near to the front like a nurse might get.

Before the war, thought had been administered towards the medical needs of units in combat. Standard Army organization deliver to 2 evacuation hospitals per division. Each hospital ended up being to have 432 beds. It was a short resided standard however. Applying training from the French and British military, the brand new organization needed no less than 1,000 beds per evacuation. The Military never met this standard. Of 42 divisions (29 in combat), there have been only 37 Evacuation Hospitals (22 in combat), well underneath the approved strength.2 This resulted in Evacuation Hospitals were under tremendous strain, frequently operating at or over their listed capacity. Bulovsky’s Evacuation Hospital No. 5 handled 15,195 patients between September 15, 1918 and also the finish from the fight against November 11, 1918.

Pictures of pages from Helen Bulovsky's diary
Records from Bulovsky's diary. She notes 3 patients died in her own ward on This summer 24, and 5 more about This summer 25.

In the Base Hospitals, conditions weren't far better. There is one Base Hospital per division, that was sufficient based on business charts. These Base Hospitals were mostly Red Mix units, quite simply city hospitals that have been activated throughout the war. For example, Base Hospital 22 was made up of staff from Knowlton Hospital in Milwaukee, and Aimee O’Keefe’s unit, Base Hospital 50, was organized in San antonio, with the College of Washington. From 42 total Base Hospitals, 36 were created in this manner. Base Hospital 22 handled over 17,000 patients between This summer 25, 1918 and The month of january 25, 1919.

Nurses had many daily tasks. The wards needed to be cleaned, dressings altered, soldiers given medicine, and instruments sterilized, simply to name the greater apparent tasks. Individual hygiene seemed to be essential in such an atmosphere. Lice and fleas could spread illnesses like yellow fever, and were a continuing threat.


A page from the Base Hospital 22 scrapbook illustrates some of the daily tasks of the nurses
A webpage in the Base Hospital 22 scrapbook illustrates a few of the daily tasks from the nurses. At upper left, a nurse is the doorway from the contagious ward, that is most likely a Bessonneau tent. At upper right, a nurse looks more than a patient within the permanent wards, probably the femur ward. At lower left, three nurses support a practical table within the surgical ward. At lower right, several nurses is getting a "Scrubbing Party" within the permanent wards.



A page from the Base Hospital 22 scrapbook showing the nurses
A webpage in the Base Hospital 22 scrapbook showing the nurses" lives. In the upper left, nurses enjoy some sweets. At upper right, two nurses pose within the nurses office, in which the scheduling and administration ended. At lower left, Nurse Hoyt assists Dr. Senn within the wards. At lower right, nurses result in the daily models, altering patients" dressings.




The winter and fall in France and Belgium are very wet, and dirt would be a constant annoyance. In Boluvsky’s situation, the nurses were housed in camping tents which lacked floorboards. In Base Hospitals the problem would be a little better. All structures and camping tents had floors, usually of wood, however, the walk from one’s quarters towards the mess or even the wards would be a troublesome trudge.

“We are lacking food here. The final I considered 94 lbs. but it"ll be 84 before lengthy. Among the women at our base died.”

Red Cross Nurse – The Roses of No Man's Land