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Brand: Ruth Cowen

A Nurse At The Front

by Ruth Cowen

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A Nurse At The Front : The First World War Diaries of Sister Edith Appleton

This book, the second in a series of four unique War Diaries produced in conjunction with the Imperial War Museum, tells a story that is rarely heard: the experiences of a nurse working close to the Western Front in the First World War. Incredibly, Edith Appleton served in France for the whole of the conflict. Her bravery and dedication won her the Military OBE, the Royal Red Cross and the Belgian Queen Elizabeth medal among others.

Her diary details with compassion all the horrors of the 'war to end wars', including the first use of poison gas and the terrible cost of battles such as Ypres, but she also records what life was like for nurses and how she spent her time off-duty. There are moments of humour amongst the tragedy, and even lyrical accounts of the natural beauty that still existed amidst all the destruction.

Customer Reviews

Average rating: 5 stars

5 stars title= A Nurse at the Front, 20th May 2016

Reviewer: Deborah McQuiston

I have just finished this book and it is fascinating and deeply moving testament to all people of WW1 but from the eyes of a nurse. Edie describes all manner of injuries, deaths, recoveries, her long walks with staff members and some of the beauty of where she was stationed, all in a down to earth but caring manner.
I had tears in my eyes and some smiles too along the way with Edie and I love the descriptions of her swimming gown. there is so much in this book to take in and yet it is an easy-read book. There are a few b/w photographs included and an appendix of Military Nurses of WW1 explaining the different services.
There is also a website on page 15 of the introduction which also has another link within it to all sorts of WW1 information and how to access some of it from TNA. Well worth a look and a wonderful book.

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