Far from Home? Perceptions and Experiences of First World War Nurses and Their Patients

  • Alison S. Fell


For wounded soldiers to be treated by someone coming from home was a comfort and confirmation of the purpose of fighting. It was also important to nurses, who often saw themselves as fulfilling an implicit social contract of connection between soldiers and the homeland. Among both Allied and German nurses away from home, in particular, ambiguities of tending the enemy wounded made for moral tensions and pressed the need for dispassionate behavior—or created a psychological journey from treating the “enemy” to simply confronting a shattered human body. Whether viewed as a proxy for a homeland domestic space or a militarized theater of care, the tension between nurses as “neutral caregivers” and “mobilized non-combatants” could never be fully resolved.


Medicine World War I Nurses World War I Women World War I 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alison S. Fell
    • 1
  1. 1.Leeds Arts and Humanities Research InstituteUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK

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