“We Were All So Young”

“We were all so young” Irene said, and continued in her raspy voice, “It was before I got married that I joined the Nurse Corps, there were maybe 30 of us in my unit. I was just 23 but still the oldest and so they made me head nurse. We flew into London one day, and the next day they put us to work in the hospital.” She paused for a moment, remembering, “They brought in tens, hundreds of soldiers every day. Fractured skulls, broken limbs, missing limbs… We worked maybe 18-hour days, always on our feet. We never had a day off.” She paused again, “But you know,” she said, “the girls and I still loved it. Yes, it was terrible, we saw so much suffering and so much death. But we loved it because we were doing something that had to be done,” smiling up at me, she continued, “And we had each other. I could never have done it if hadn’t been for the other girls. We were everything to each other”. There was another long pause, “I’ve never experienced anything like that again. I almost miss it.” Read more