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Nurse A. B. Smith, Army Nursing Reserve 2 years 3 weeks ago #78298

  • BereniceUK
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....The Rev. W. Kerr-Smith, rector of Middleham, formerly vicar of Emmanuel Church, Leeds, sends an interesting letter from his sister, Nurse A. B. Smith, who is in the Army Nursing Reserve, and is at present engaged at the Wynberg Hospital at the Cape. Writing on January 8, Miss Smith says :—We were sent here as soon as possible, as Lord Methuen's wounded were just coming down from the Modder River. They came down in hundreds, and so for this last fortnight there has scarcely been breathing space; but now we are clearing out and getting ready for the next battle, which I hope will be over long before you get this letter. I have a great many Highlanders among my patients; some that were left of the Black Watch and some Gordons and Seaforths. You would be amazed at the way some of the way some of these men are riddled with shots and get well. On the whole, the bullet wounds do remarkably well. I think I am most sorry for the men that come down sick with dysentery and typhoid fever; they feel it frightfully, and would much rather be wounded; they look on it as a disgrace to be ill and not wounded. I am at present nursing "Tommy," not the "officer," with one Boer patient - such a nice man, who comes from Johannesburg. The men are all very interesting to talk to. They tell me the most awful part of it all is lying on the field after being wounded, and fearing they won't be found at all. Sometimes it is as long as forty-eight hours before they are discovered. The majority of them are only anxious to get well and go to the front again. The reserve men knock up most, but so many are unfit for the work; it's a great mistake they are taken without a proper medical examination. I had sixty patients to look after, but now some have gone away, so you may imagine there is plenty to do. The situation is perfect for a hospital. There are lovely woods all round and the climate is charming. The people in the neighbourhood are most generous in sending good things for the men, and every day I get fresh milk, eggs, jellies, custards, &c. We have a nephew of General Wauchope's here very severely wounded, but he is going to get well. We have also a Boer officer named Fretorius, who has been obliged to have his leg amputated. He says he is very sorry for us, but we are to be beaten!
Dumfries and Galloway Standard, Wednesday 7th February 1900
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