The Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nursing Service
Women have long nursed wounded soldiers on the battlefield and in 1902, the army formed a specialist unit of military nurses – the Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nursing Service. The women who joined the army as nurses were nicknamed the QA’s. They served in the Boer War and World War I, but it was during the second World War that the army decided they need to be closer to the front lines, in Casualty Clearing Stations and field hospitals. Nicola Tyra has told the story of the QA’s in her new book, Sisters in Arms. Jennifer Chevalier spoke to her, and to two of the women who served in World War Two. Irish-born Mary English started nursing in 1942 in North Africa and during the Italian campaign. Dorothea Davies went over to France just after the D-Day landings.
Sister’s in Arms: British Army Nurses Tell Their Story by Nicola Tyrer Published by Weidenfeld & Nicholson ISBN: 978 0 297 846581