« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
WASHING DONE BY GREEKS.
The washing was sent across to Bebek, where it was contracted for by the Protestant Armenian Minister there. It was executed by Greeks, who sometimes thought fit to work and sometimes not, so that often the washing was in arrear. A great quantity of linen always had to be returned to be washed again—a momentary dip in the water evidently having been the extent of labour bestowed upon it.
When the washing came over it was taken to the sergeants, who had charge of the soiled linen (this department being of course under sergeant and orderlies), clean linen was then sent to the linen stores upon requisition. The ladies and Sisters who worked at the linen stores spent their whole daytime there, only leaving it for meals and evening recreations. Twice a-week they received the clean linen, and after sending back the badly washed they proceeded to sort the articles, then followed the folding, and lastly the mending.
ARDUOUS NATURE OF THE WORK.
Twice a-week the ladies and Sisters of the respective wards sent in their requisitions, the ladies at the linen store served these, put the different articles in bundles for the wards, and then the orderlies fetched them. The Sisters and ladies had in their wards linen cupboards (under lock and key), where they kept a small quantity of linen ready in case of sudden illness or fresh cases coming in.
It took a long time before the linen stores were arranged in a satisfactory manner, but we at length succeeded, and had now the pleasure of knowing that there was no comfort required in sickness which was not supplied to the British soldier. He had the best medical skill and suitable attention, food as good as could be had in Turkey, and linen in as great a quantity as in the hospitals at home.
The work in the linen stores was so very arduous that the other ladies, when their work in the wards was lighter than usual, often dropped in to lend their assistance towards reducing the interminable mending.
The Free Gift Store—Uselessness of a large portion of
what was sent out-Small-tooth combs-Formation of a separate establishment for the Free Gift StoreUnpacking of the boxes—Their contents—The principal use of the free gifts-Departure of invalids for England-Farewells—Kits for the convalescentsA soldier's petition-Soldiers' wives-An unfortunate accident.
THE Free Gift Store has often been referred to; it was the store supplied by the gifts of the people of England, who generously and promptly sent them out to their suffering army; and although much disappointment has, I know, been experienced by many on hearing that numbers of these packages never reached their destination, yet it will be a satisfaction to many to learn the benefit given by that portion which did arrive.
The free gifts had to be carefully sorted, for often a good many useless things were sent out. Some portion of the free gifts sent to Scutari was forwarded to Koulali. Others were sent straight to us, and some we purchased with money sent out from England. Small-tooth combs we bought in great numbers when the hospital was crowded, for they were much needed. An old Turk used to sit at the hospital gate with a stall of trifles, and had some small-tooth combs—he looked so surprised when we broke his stall of them.
At first we had no separate store to keep our free gifts in, but they were kept in one of the government stores, and under charge of the sergeant who had charge of the first. He was an amusing individual, very unlike the soldiers in general, and so very grand that he thought it rather a condescension on his part to attend to us.
After a time a shed in the barrack yard, that had been a canteen, was given up to our
use, and was by the engineer officer made into a nice little building in three compartments :—First, the superintendent's room; second, the Free Gift Store; third, for packing cases, &c. As soon as we could carry our free gifts into this store, the superintendent arranged them all in order on the shelves, with which the room was furnished. Sometimes it looked quite full, but never remained so for long together; a party of invalids ordered home soon made a hole in it. This store was under the Lady superintendent's charge. She saw the things unpacked and arranged, and received the requisitions signed by the ladies and Sisters for what they considered their men needed before going to England or to the camp.
When Miss Stanley was lady superintendent she divided the gifts among the ladies in charge of the wards, who distributed them according to their own judgment, and this plan was followed out after