Étaples Weekly Reports

Étaples Weekly Reports – 16th February, 1916

Museum of the Order of St John

For an introduction to this project, follow the link.

In this report, the Director of the St John Ambulance hospital in Etaples raises the question of how much pay the Sisters at the hospital should receive when on leave, citing arguments for and against and appealing to the Finances and General Purposes Committee for a final ruling. He also reports that a strong wind had removed a portion of the garage roof and dropped it onto the roof of the Nursing Sisters quarters, causing a great amount of damage but no injuries. Having received a telegram requesting his presence at Headquarters, the Director says he will come once other senior members of staff have returned to relieve him.

Also enclosed is a letter from Nora Fletcher to a Miss Todd, responding to an enquiry about giving Sisters leaving the hospital travel tickets for their entire journey home, rather than just to London, as is the case with Medical Officers.


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Army Post Office. S. 11,

British Expeditionary Force,




Dear Lord,

A question has arisen as to the pay the Sisters are

to receive when on leave, pay for the whole time or for seven

days only.

Mr. Robertson states they are to receive seven days

pay only when on ten days leave and quotes as his authority Miss

Fletcher of Boulogne, a representative of the Joint Committee I

believe, but I think he has misunderstood her as may be seen by

a letter from her which I enclose in which she says “seven days

or whatever is stated on their form”.

As these Sisters are on contract with the Order and in

the payment of the Order from the funds of the Hospital and not in

any way under the Joint Committee I shall be glad if the Finance

and General Purposes Committee will give a ruling on this matter.

I have to report that in a very strong gale yesterday

morning, I might almost say hurricane, a portion of the roof of

the garage was blown off and carried on to the quarters of the


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Nursing Sisters breaking through the roof of two of the cubicles,

fortunately no one was in them at the time and no one was injured:

the damage done is considerable. It will be necessary I am afraid

when the damage has been made good to have doors affixed to the

garage so as to prevent the full force of the wind from getting

under the roof.

I received a telegram yesterday morning (Tuesday)

asking me to go home to discuss certain matters in connection with

the Order, and marked urgent. I am sorry I cannot comply with this

at once, but Captain Gordon and the Secretary is on leave until Monday

and as I am taking his work it is impossible for me to leave before

Tuesday, but I will apply for leave to go home on that day unless

I hear from you to the contrary, and I shall be able to be present

at the Gate anytime on Wednesday or Thursday.

I presume this will cancel General Mead coming out here.

I have the honour to be,

Your Lordships

Obedient servant,

James Clark


The Director,

The Ambulance Department,

The Order of St. John

of Jerusalem in England.



Page 3








Boulogne. Feb. 11th. 1916.


Dear Miss Todd,

In answer to your letter of Feb.9th, asking

whether it is possible to give your Sisters tickets direct

to their home town. Up to the present your staff has been put

on the basis of Sisters serving under the Joint War

Committee in France. When on leave they receive a return ticket

to London and 7 days pay (or whatever is stated on their form),

and a half fare voucher to their destination.

On termination of their contract, the Sisters report at

Headquarters, London, and get a ticket to their home destination.

They sign a contract to this effect. If you wish to have these

regulations altered, I would suggest your applying to

Headquarters, St Johns Gate. With regard to your Medical Officers

getting tickets further than London, it is because they hold

I note what you say about the transporting of the Sisters

and will see that a conveyance is sent. It will be at your Hospital

as usual at 9am on Monday, the boats still being very uncertain.

We should be glad of their passports and leave papers in

the meantime please.

Yours sincerely,

Nora K. Fletcher



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