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Life as a WW1 Nurse in France

60 second histories

This short history video comes from a WW1 nurse who describes her uniform and her desire to still be fashionable even among the horrors of war.  Watch over 300 EPIC 60 second history videos at Supporting teachers and educators with film and lesson ideas.

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The dress code for nurses is very strict and our Matron keeps a very stern eye on us. She’s like a battleship sailing down the corridors from ward to ward. Every morning we report to her for uniform inspection and orders, and a reminder of how to behave on the wards. Black shoes and stocking, no showing of ankles, white aprons, spotless, collars, cuffs and cap. But the uniform dresses are awkward to work in because they’re full length and reach the ground, despite the fact that as the war has gone skirts have got shorter. Well even here, we want to be fashionable of course and wear the shorter length like they do back home, so we hitch our skirts up around our belts to make them calf length but we we’re always told off and have to unroll them to make them longer again. Last night, the sister came on duty and looked at me disapprovingly. She said, ”Nurse lengthen your dress by at least two inches.” The patients asked “What was that she told you?” So I said “She told me to shorten my dress by at least two inches”
20th Century
Medicine & Health
Medicine & health
WW1 nurse
Key words: 
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