It has been a busy November for us, lots of miles covered and some fantastic events attended. Sue Robinson, Founder of Wenches In Trenches writes for us an account of her travels:
November 11th, Wakefield
On 11th November I drove from Cornwall up to Wakefield, my host for the weekend was the eminent Professor Christine Hallett, Professor Hallett is a world leading authority on WW1 nurses and medical practices, she is published author and well respected historian.
That night we attended Wakefield Cathedral to hear Requiem for the Armed man by Carl Jenkins performed by the Yorkshire Philharmonic Orchestra, it was astounding I have never heard anything so powerful we left the cathedral feeling rather stunned by what we had heard.
On Remembrance Sunday we once again went to the cathedral for evensong with dedications to Nurse Nellie Spindler. readings by Christine Hallett and others, Surprise of the day for me was Nellies Nieces and a Nephew who attended. I spent some time talking with Margaret Truelove and Julia Corbett (nieces) as well as George Spindler, a man of few words, they were obviously bursting with price and rightly so.
For me the highlight of the weekend was to be handed Nellies last letter home to her mother before she was killed. I read it in silence and felt truly humbled and to be honest didnt want to hand it back. Julia also was wearing a silver medallion that nellie had sent to her mother as a present.
That day was worth a kings ransom, as we all remembered the lovely,deeply religious 26 year old staff nurse who gave her life for our country in 1917.
Thank you Nellie you will never be forgotten
November 16th York Army Museum
Myself and Richie Parsons of Parsons Period Presentations gave a presentation at the York Army Museum on medics in ww1, Richie did his thing and I was at the opposite end of the big room doing wounds for the school children and letting them pour water onto Spaggi moss to see it swell and grow before their eyes. One child commented “wait till I tell my mam I went to a magic show at the museum”. Maybe not the reaction I expected. We left the splendid Museum and lovely Allison Freeman the curator with good memories and hope we will be invited back sometime soon.
November 17th, Wound Innovation Conference Leeds University
I must admit I was very nervous about this event but it turned out that I did not need to be worried. We were given lovely accommodation and royaly looked after by everyone we met. I did this event with Audrey our Wench in Wales. We had the best of times, met with some amazing people from all fields of medicine and science, made many new friends but most of all I learned so much. There were fabulous speakers including Professor Alison Fell and Professor Christine Hallett. A wonderful presentation of a VAD by Dr Kate Vigurs and much much more. Plus a great lunch served on tin plates such as the nurses would have had. Then in the afternoon a typical nurses Edwardian afternoon tea with cakes and sandwiches.
We were sorry to say goodbye to Leeds and its amazing people. A huge thank you to Dr Mary Madden and Professor Alison Fell and everyone involved.