When you are researching a subject, in my case Netley hospital, you invariably start with Google, and take it from there. Quite often you have a person’s name to search for but end up going down a rabbit hole looking for somebody or something that you hadn’t intended looking for.
So, after looking for “Netley” for the umpteenth time, a book title popped up “Triumph Over Pain” by Elizabeth Braithwaite Turner Buckle (1865 – 1949), published in 1923. I was intrigued by this little book and bought it and so glad I did.
Elizabeth helped look after the wounded in the hospital in 1916 -17. She was married to Christopher Reginald Buckle (1862 – 1952) who was an Officer and was being posted to France. Elizabeth wanted to go with him, but he persuaded her to go and help at Netley instead.
In her book she writes about how she helps the patients and describes what hospital life was like at the time. At first, I was a bit sceptical about her information, was it true or was it just a made-up story? Did she really work there, did she write this like a novel?
Well, she was a real person, and she did help in the hospital although some of the patient’s names I am having trouble finding out about.
Here are the first pages detailing her first few days at Netley.
A news clipping from the Bendigo Independant 14th November 1916.
Mrs Buckle writes to Mrs Francis describing the last hours of her husband who she nursed in hospital until he died.