Hilda Walters Goes To War

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Information about Hilda Walters Goes To War

Published on November 11, 2008

Author: mdahl

Source: authorstream.com

Slide 1: Hilda Walters Goes to War Slide 2: Hilda (Walters) Campbell (1888 – 1989) “I have had a very long and happy life.” We didn’t really know how hard it had been. Slide 3: Hilda Hilda Walters was born in 1888. Slide 4: She had a happy childhood. Hilda Slide 5: Hilda Slide 6: Her family lived at Crinnis Manor… Slide 7: …in Cornwall, England. Slide 8: Hilda had lots of nice relatives. Hilda Slide 9:  “When I was 16, there was a horrible turnover in our lives…” “All of our carefree happiness now gone, along with Father’s chequebook.” Slide 10: Hilda’s family had to sell all of their possessions and take a boat to the U.S. Because her father had lost his money, Slide 11: “As we passed the Needles, off the English coast, I said, “I’ll be back!” Little did Hilda know how she would return. Slide 12: Hilda’s new life in Florida was hard. “There was poverty for us all.” Slide 13: But Hilda had a dream… “From age seven, when I had discovered how much fun it was to make poultices, I had longed to be a nurse.” Slide 14: “Life was very restricted in those days – worst for daughters. Get married! Be a governess, or perhaps a companion for some wealthy widow.” Slide 15: In England, Hilda’s cousins and aunts were marrying army officers, baronets, and Marquises… The Lady Douglas of Harwich Slide 16: …and being presented at Court. Slide 17: But, in 1913, Hilda became a nurse. (It broke her mother’s heart.) Slide 18: The next year, war broke out in Europe. Slide 19: The world needed nurses. Slide 20: “I was desperately trying to get to the war.” Hilda rushed around the eastern U.S. and Canada looking for someone who would send her overseas to nurse the soldiers. Slide 21: “At last these nice people in New York got me off on the next steamer… …with my new passport and six months’ pay.” Slide 22: Hilda was bound for a French war hospital near Paris with a suitcase full of antiseptic. Slide 23: “I was very happy in France.” Hilda “They called me ‘La bonne mees’ and said I had ‘Les mains legere’”. Slide 24: The French soldiers drew pictures of themselves in Hilda’s album. Slide 25: Some painted medals and flowers for her. Slide 26: In 1917, Hilda transferred to Wharncliffe War Hospital in England. “But my ambition was to serve Tommies.” Slide 27: “I had been distressed at seeing my first French wounded. I was now filled with rage at seeing our English boys - legs, arms, eyes left in France.” Slide 28: “One told me that when the war was over, he was going back to France to look for his chin! So cheery!!” Slide 29: Hilda kept photos of her patients. Slide 30: They wrote in her autograph book. Slide 31: From across the ‘Pond’ came a maid so cute, She was young and chic, and nice, to boot, Her pretty eyes, her lovely face , Just drove me mad, when she murmured, “Shoot!” Every ailment, from a gum boil To a dislocated spine, Can be cured in a moment With Sister Walters – yo’ mine! When months and years have glided by Then on this page, you cast your eye Think of Tommy in hospital blue Who will always be grateful, Dear Sister, to you. Slide 32: Frederick McNess, V.C., offered her his Victoria Cross if she would take him with it! Slide 33: But Hilda had no interest in marriage - she had personal tragedies. Her beloved uncles and cousins were dying. Slide 34: Herbert Walters (1863 – 1916) Edward Walters (1890 – 1918) Herbert Aidan Walters (1892 – 1918) John Walters (1873 – 1919) Eldred Bower (1894 – 1917) Colonel Herbert Walters Colonel Herbert Walters Slide 35: “The last time I saw Eldred, he walked me to the train and bought my ticket – looking so jolly I wished everybody could see me with him!” Slide 36: Eldred was shot down and marked ‘missing in action’ March 1917, age 22. Slide 37: Two months later, Eldred’s father found a grave marked “unknown British airman”. “Uncle Tom got permission to open this grave, and found his son.” Slide 38: “I was beginning to feel like an officer of the law instead of a nurse…” At Wharncliffe War Hospital, some of the patients were getting restless. Slide 39: “Sometimes the ward prankster would tip a bed until the occupant landed on the floor!” Slide 40: “Once there was a fist fight - all the bed patients cheering them on, and me shouting, ‘Stop it! This is a hospital ward!’ I stepped between them!” Slide 41: The war had been raging for four years, and everyone was exhausted. And then… “The orderly came flying into the operating room, his face simply shining, and said to the Major, “The Armistice has been signed, Sir!” November 11, 1918 Slide 42: “I was changing the dressing on one man with about half his side blown away as the Matron came through. ‘No more holes in backs, Sister Walters!!’” Slide 43: Hilda Walters “I was already sensing the tragedies of war’s aftermath.” Slide 44: While nursing at Wharncliffe, Hilda had fallen in love with one of her patients. “I saw a very young Scot with both legs in plaster after the Battle of the Somme. He’d already been wounded three times!” George Campbell Slide 45: At the end of the war, Hilda had to rush off to Florida to nurse her father. “I was leaving my beloved troops and my jolly-faced Scot, the latter waving his glengarry from the dock.” Slide 46: Five years later, Hilda Walters married her young Scot in Victoria. They had fifteen years of happy family life… And then came World War II. Slide 47: Hilda’s husband went to war. Hilda’s son went to war. Slide 48: And Hilda went to nurse the soldiers once more. Slide 49: “I hope I have lived a useful life.”

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