During our WWI research in Autumn 2014, we were made aware of an Absent Voters List for Christleton for 1919, and the name Amy Dobie a Nursing Sister of Stamford Heath appears on the list together with many absent serving soldiers from the villages. With the help of fellow researcher Nigel Meyrick we have found the following information about her war service. Amy seems to have made waves by applying for a promotion without the knowledge of her Matron and appears on an internet site for Nurses in WWI called Scarlet Finders. Thanks to this action we now know about her story. She survives the War and is later recorded in the Parish Marriage Registers as marrying a Widower Gentleman, Arthur Steel at St James’ Christleton in 1941.
Sister Amy Dobie Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve (AIM NRS) Stamford Heath 2, No.6 General Hospital
No.6 General Hospital was sited in Rouen, France from November 1915 – April 1919
The ancient French city of Rouen on the Seine has played a significant role in the two World Wars. In 1940 its capture gave the invading German forces a bridgehead across the Seine and consequently areas near the river were bombed and shelled. In the spring of 1944 Allied aircraft completed the destruction that eventually left 45% of the city in ruins.
In the First World War the city was safely behind the lines and became a major logistics centre with numerous base hospitals. Commonwealth camps and hospitals were stationed on the southern outskirts of Rouen. A base supply depot and the 3rd Echelon of General Headquarters were also established in the city.
Almost all of the hospitals at Rouen remained there for the duration of the war.
On the champ de courses on the outskirts of Rouen, the British established Nos.5, 6, 9, 10, and 12 General Hospitals, Nos.1, 3, 8, 11, and 12 Stationary Hospitals, No.12 Stat. only worked for a short time there, and then remained, parked, until it moved prior to the Somme in 1916.The Convalescent Depot
No.8 General Hospital was to the south of the town, and was, for most of the war, the largest of the Rouen hospitals, but its isolated position away from all other units caused some unrest among the nursing staff, who often felt rather cut off. No.2 British Red Cross Hospital was more central to the town. Two other hospitals were operated within the racetrack. One was a British hospital for wounded PoWs and British prisoners who had self-inflicted wounds and the third was a British colonial hospital. No. 1 Australian General Hospital at also at Rouen
There are two Commonwealth War Grave Cemeteries on the outskirts where burials from the hospitals took place. St. Sever Cemetery, 3081 burials and St. Sever Cemetery Extension, 8656 burials. There are two other CWGC plots in Bois-Guillaume cemetery in the North of the city on the road to Neufchatel with about 300 burials in each
No.6 General Hospital, together with No.5 and No.9, were south of the racecourse (which is still there) and to the east of the current Avenue des Canadiens, but now completely under modern development. So no trace of the hospital which was tented/hutted, and unfortunately there are no
surviving records for the hospital.
The National Archives at Kew list: Lines of Communication Troops: 6 General Hospital WO 95/4077 which is the War Diary for this hospital from Aug 1914 to Dec 1919.
From Scarlet Finders dated
10th Jan 1915 - Rouen
After lunch I went to No. 5, 6 and 9 General Hospitals, all under canvas until the huts are completed, many of which will soon be ready for occupation. These hospitals are in a good position near pine woods and some of the tents have been struck in the middle of an apple orchard, which will be particularly beautiful in Spring. They are all boarded – heated by stoves and lighted by lamps. They are all well managed and everything going smoothly, No.6 being particularly good, having excellent arrangements for the comfort of the men and the Nursing Sisters. Everywhere the Matrons are well supplied with Red Cross things for the benefit of the patients.
11th April 1916 - Abbeville
Wired DMS 3rd Army asking if ready for completion of Nursing Staff for 43 Casualty Clearing Station – replied yes. Orders sent for remaining 3. Staff supplied for 3 Casualty Clearing Station. Sister Cockshott TFNS leave arranged. Circulars re leave – 2 trained and 2 untrained, instead of 3 as before to all areas. Circular re supplying discs to all new arrivals circulated. Circulars re instructions sent to Sisters in Charge of new Casualty Clearing Stations. Staff Nurse Robertson returned from sick leave, sent to 18 General Hospital, Camiers. Miss Morris TFNS, 14 General Hospital, called at office.
Letter from WO re Miss Dobie QAIMNSR, who applied to Matron-in-Chief, War Office about her promotion without any reference either to her Matron or this office. DMS saw me with reference to office expansion, in consequence of the increased work, and is considering moving my office to where the others, Miss Barbier and the VADs are working. I pointed out that we too would be very cramped, but that of course I would arrange whatever he wished. The matter is to be considered before anything final is set