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A nurse's war

Brenda McBryde

Cath Comley, Area Business Manager

Reason you chose this book

Inspirational book about the authors training at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle and subsequent war time service with the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Services (QAs). This book showed me the importance of care and compassion whoever you nursing. It also demonstrated that improvisation when the ideal isn't available has always happened in nursing.


After having to restart her training due to illness the author realised what nursing meant-high quality care, simple things like a cool, smooth pillow, a kind word. After training she joined the QAs as the Second World War was in full swing. There she learnt the art of military nursing-layout of a field hospital, which forms got you what etc. Not only that lifetime friendships were formed. Service took her in the first wave of nurses that went over to Europe following D Day. She then nursed in field hospitals across Europe. Her patients included concentration camp survivors, German prisoners of war as well as allied troops. This book shows that wherever you are nursing-tented field hospital, a converted factory patients need the same high standards of care. She also shows the importance of being non-judgemental particularly when dealing with people whose experiences you cannot begin to understand.

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Page last updated - 03/08/2019