Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Nursing Sister Agnes Davies

"The London Advertiser, June 16, 1916"
Although the majority of the casualties of the First World War were suffered by the infantry other services suffered as well. The nursing sisters did not go unscathed. In this article in the “London Advertiser, June 16, 1916” outlines some of the pressures on the nursing sisters.

Agnes Balfour Davis was born on February 9, 1875 in Milton, Ontario. “The London Advertiser” considered her a London girl.

Library and Archives Canada.

“ That it is almost beyond human conception to appreciate the wonderful fortitude and patience with which wounded soldiers bear up under the strain while in the hospitals near the front, was the idea conveyed by Miss Agnes Davis of 472 English street, a nursing sister who returned to this city yesterday.

Miss Davis went with the first contingent, and spent the first winter at Bulford, Salisbury Plain in England, where her work was principally with convalescent soldiers.

In February, 1915, she was transferred to Taplow, Buckinghamshire, to the Canadian Red Cross Hospital, the matron in charge being Miss Edith Campbell of Ottawa.

Miss Davis was one of five who organized the Duchess of Connaught Canadian Red Cross Hospital.

Remaining at Taplow until May, 1915, their own unit, No.2 Canadian General Hospital, in charge of Col. Brydes was ordered to France, the hospital being located at La Traporte, on the French coast, near Dieppe.

This town Miss Davis described as being a beautiful situation for a hospital, situated on the white chalk cliffs 300 feet above the sea level.

The hospital had a capacity of 1,060 beds, all of which were constantly in use.

During her stay at La Traporte, to which hospital the soldiers are taken direct from the trenches, Miss Davis witnessed many heartrending scenes, in addition to the wonderful exhibitions of bravery of the wounded men under such trying circumstances.

Owing to the excessive strain connected with her work, Miss Davis suffered a complete nervous breakdown, and in December, 1915, she was invalided to England, where she had since remained prior to leaving for Canada a week ago.

Miss Davis was accompanied by Nursing Sister F. M. Nichols (1) of Paris, Ontario, who has returned to her home on sick leave of absence.

Miss Davis will remain at the home of her brother, Mr. James Davis, of 472 English street for a time.”

(1)Florence Nichols born 1875 in Paris, Ontario.

Library and Archives Canada.

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