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Lady Commandant of the Initial Aid Nursing Yeomanry

Image by National Library of Scotland
According to this photographs original caption, the woman shown right here watching the mechanic fixing an ambulance, is a Commandant in the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY). The metal nameplate at the leading of the ambulances radiator shows the business name, Napier. At this time, the Napier Engineering Company (formed from D. Napier &amp Son) was a major British manufacturer of automobile and aircraft engines.

Established by Kitchener in 1907, the Initial Aid Nursing Yeomanry performed a wide variety of front line duties including driving, nursing and cooking. The original goal in setting up this organisation was to improve the care of wounded soldiers as they were moved from the front line to the military field hospitals. As they had to serve in forward areas, a number of ladies who worked for this organisation for the duration of the conflict lost their lives.

It is intriguing to note just how a lot of famous authors worked as ambulance drivers throughout Planet War I. The roll of honour contains such renowned writers as Ernest Hemingway, Somerset Maugham, E.E. Cummings, John Masefield and Charles Nordhoff. Hemingway surely employed his war experiences when writing the novel, ‘A Farewell to Arms.’ Gertrude Stein and E.M. Forster also performed voluntary medical duties in the course of the conflict.

[Original reads: ‘SCENES ON THE WESTERN FRONT. The Lady Commandant of the 1st Aid Nursing Yeomanry.’]

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