Nurse Writers of the Great War

By Christine Hallett

Nurse Writers of the Great War

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-7849-9252-1
  • Pages: 296
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: February 2016
  • BIC Category: Humanities / First World War, History of Medicine, History, Nursing research & theory, HISTORY / Military / World War I, MEDICAL / Nursing / Research & Theory, Medicine / Nursing research & theory
  • Series: Nursing History and Humanities


The First World War was the first 'total war'. Its industrial weaponry damaged millions of men and drove whole armies underground into dangerously unhealthy trenches. Many were killed. Many more suffered terrible, life-threatening injuries: wound infections such as gas gangrene and tetanus, exposure to extremes of temperature, emotional trauma and systemic disease. In an effort to alleviate this suffering, tens of thousands of women volunteered to serve as nurses. Of these, some were experienced professionals, while others had undergone only minimal training. But regardless of their preparation, they would all gain a unique understanding of the conditions of industrial warfare. Until recently their contributions, both to the saving of lives and to our understanding of warfare, have remained largely hidden from view. By combining biographical research with textual analysis, Nurse writers of the great war opens a window onto their insights into the nature of nursing and the impact of warfare.


Part I: Independent ladies
1. Heroines in Belgium and Serbia
2. Le petit paradis des blessés
3. The hell at the heart of paradise
Part II: Professional women
4. In France with the British Expeditionary Force
5. American nurses in Europe
6. The war-nurse as free agent
Part III: Volunteer-girls
7. American young women at war
8. The British 'VAD'
9. Epic romance on Western and Eastern Fronts


Christine E. Hallett is a Professor of Nursing History at the University of Manchester

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