by Lyn MacDonald - £9.99 Penguin Books Ltd (2013)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780241952405 | ISBN 10: 0241952409
'On the face of it,' writes Lyn Macdonald, 'no one could have been less equipped for the job than these gently nurtured girls who walked straight out of Edwardian drawing rooms into the manifest horrors of the First World War . . . '
Yet the volunteer nurses rose magnificently to the occasion; in this book they get a chance to tell their own stories. In leaking tents and draughty huts they fought another war, a war against agony and death, as men lay suffering from the pain of unimaginable wounds or diseases we can now cure almost instantly.
It was here that young doctors frantically forged new medical techniques - of blood transfusion, dentistry, psychiatry and plastic surgery - in the attempt to save soldiers shattered in body or spirit. And it was here that women achieved a quiet but permanent revolution, by proving beyond question they could do anything.
All this is superbly captured in The Roses of No Man's Land, a panorama of hardship, disillusion and despair, yet also of endurance and supreme courage.
(Price & availability last checked: November 2019)