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Improvements in the hospital—The medical and pur
veying departments-Difficulties and impossibilities -Our wants and the manner in which they were supplied— Mr. Robertson—The results of his exertions-Charcoal brasiers-Etnas-Construction of the ladies' ward-rooms-Ripe fruit for the sick-A box from England-Pictures of the past-The "Fresh Arrivals”—Soldiers' letters and their directions—The conduct of the hired nurses -The ladies lay aside the government costume-Necessity of some distinction between the hired nurses and the ladiesFresh arrivals and fresh troubles—A mancuvre for a free passage-Sad scandals— Misbehaviour of the hired nurses—Mrs. Woodward an exception.
Up to this period the improvements in the hospital had been slow and unsatisfactory,
PROGRESS OF IMPROVEMENT.
and were owing more to the merciful cessation of death and suffering than to any exertions on the part of the authorities; to this we must except the medical staff, who, as far as our knowledge went, exerted themselves to provide all the remedies and create all the improvements they could consistently with the routine of their work; but this routine was so rigid that many necessary improvements fell short of its scope.
The two departments of the army who have most concern with its hospitals are the medical and the purveying ones, the commissariat belonging only to the army
in the field. Up to May, 1854, the purveying department continued in a most inefficient state. Requisitions on the stores for necessary articles were constantly dishonoured, while anything out of the common routine was never to be thought of.
Of course in Turkey there were all sorts of difficulties in the way of procuring the
DIFFICULTIES AND IMPOSSIBILITIES.
usual comforts for the sick, and up to this time every one, excepting the “Times” commissioner, looked upon a difficulty as an impossibility. It was difficult to get wood, therefore it was impossible to have tables or benches. It was difficult to get iron bedsteads, therefore the men must lie on wooden tressels. It was difficult to get good washing done, so it was left to go on as it best could. Cooking utensils were scarce and dear, so the food must be cooked without: the ladies' hands were crippled by being wholly restricted to the use of the articles furnished by the diet-roll, and all deficiencies were to be supplied by our free gift store, which was small and uncertain.
We continued to buy many things ourselves, kind friends sent us presents also; but we felt the painful uncertainty of this, and we also felt this was not the way in which the army of England should be relieved. Private charity had flowed forth in our emergency, but it should not be overtaxed. The govern