Molly Evans's nursing scrapbook covers the period 1914 to 1920. This includes a large number of photos, maps and newspaper articles of the period. It also contains letters, poems and testimonials of patients - British, Canadian and Belgian.

Nurses outside No2 General Hospital Le Havre in 1915

Only a small number of the most interesting items have been scanned for this site. Please follow the links as they appear on this page to see items.

The first section covers a time at Studley Court Hospital, Stourbridge, Sep 1914 to Jan 1915. This was also where Mary Downing, her neighbour, started out in her wartime nursing career. Whilst Mary moved to other hospitals in the UK and ended up in Ilkeston in Derbyshire, Molly decided to go France with the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD).

The scrapbook next records her time at No.2 hospital at Le Havre in 1915-1916. There is a fine sketch of the hospital in which Molly worked. The building is actually the 'Palais' built for the Sailing Regatta at the Olympics of 1900. It was reused for the Olympics in 1924 but destroyed by fire in 1942.

In late 1916 Molly resigned her post to attend to her ailing mother back in The Lawn, Hagley. Her brother, Wilmot Evans had been killed, missing in action, on 1 July 1916 and Florence Evans, already in poor health, never seems to have recovered from the loss. 

The Friends Ambulance Unit Nurses

Things at home in Hagley seem to have improved enough by the autumn of 1917 and Molly returned to France. Everything would indicate that she had burnt her boats with the VAD who had intitally refused her resignation back in November 1916 - so on her second tour of duty she joined the Friends' Ambulance Unit, based in Malo-les-Bains in Dunkirk. Here she worked in the Queen Alexanandra Hospital alongside, amongst others, Rachel Wilson, who later married Peter Cadbury, head of the famous Quaker chocolate maker's family. 

The Dunkirk section is perhaps the most interesting. Here she was close to the front line and the town was regularly shelled. There are newspaper reports about the sinking of battleship in the harbour during the Zeebrugge Raid of April 1918 and a long narrative account written by Molly in Dec 1918, shortly after the armistice, of her trip to Ypres, 'No-mans-land', where she saw for herself the front lines.

From January to Mar 1919 she would appear to have been in Rouen. 

 

 

 

See also letter from Noel Downing 11 Nov 1916

See also letters sent to Mary Downing

See also Phyllis Evans Diaries