Series 01: Anne Donnell circular letters, 25 May 1915 - 8 July 1918 - Page 245
they went they were lying on stretchers in these cold dim marquees where the daylight didn't penetrate and it was difficult to give them warmth. Haemorrhage was a thing we had to keep a sharp look out for, so the first thing my head nursing orderly and I did was to start each morning and see to the dressings, make them as comfy as we could, and prepare them for evac., and for that we had full and plenty of Red Cross woollens, beautiful things, socks, caps, mufflers and pyjama suits. One thing, I was free to use my own discretion in giving morphia or stimulants, and you may be sure I was ever ready with either when I thought it the least bit necessary. I soon found there was no stint in anything that the patients might benefit by having and the Sisters could order ad. Lib. Every morning the Padre came in with a pillow-case over his shoulder and would have a plentiful supply of cigarettes and matches for the day and night.
I can scarcely remember those first days there, only that they were bending day, unsatisfactory too for I always went off duty with the feeling that was "it seemed to me necessary" had been left undone – to do it all one needed several pairs of hands.
Do you remember the 30th of November? The day the Germans broke through in their counter attack. It's horrid of me to recall the memories of it, yet you are persuasive in asking for my experience, but that day to me will forever stand out. It is rather hard to describe it, to depict that anxious day of cruel war as I saw and hear it. I remember thinking as I was dressing at 7.1.m. that a fiercer barrage than usual was going on, but I was too busy and absorbed later with my work inside the tents to make enquiries, only I kept thinking "Isn't this killing ever going to stop", then at 10a.m. Matron hurries in and asks if I have my gas respirator and helmet (no I had forgotten both, so was sent tante-te-suite to the quarter for them). On going outside I notice that there is great excitement going on, men are standing about in groups, and a voice calls out "lock sister". Two of our observation balloons were up and Fritz has just sent the 2nd one into a streak of smoke, the observers