VR 76 - Johnstone-Reckitt Military Hospital

VR 76 - Johnstone-Reckitt Military Hospital

This community comes from a book about the hospital, written by co-founder Harold Reckitt in 1921, with the help of a woman named Margaret Storrs Turner. A letter from Turner in the opening pages captures the book eloquently, and offers a picture of Mr. Reckitt himself: "Dear Mr. Reckitt, When you put the material for this book into my hands, you left me great freedom in the matter of editing it. You yourself, you averred, were no penman, and the contributors with one voice refused to contribute till you had exercised all your powers of persuasion. You, who made Ris Hospital, all appeared to think that any one was better qualified than yourselves to write its history. As I read the manuscript, I soon decided to confine my editorial duties to arranging the narrative in chapters and cutting out repetitions. When one writes about a war hospital it seems to me that simplicity and candour are the essentials, and these I found in the sheets you gave me as well as in the papers collected from many sources. We have Ris and its work presented here from many points of view. We see it through the eyes of the matron, hiding the tender heart of a mother behind the cool dignity of her office; the scientist, to whom the horrors of the operating-room mean precious opportunity; of the man of affairs and the man who thinks in terms of gears and cylinders; of Martha, gay amidst her much serving in kitchen and linen-room, and Mary crying at night over the stumps of a poor little mutilé in the dimly lit ward. The purpose of your book is to recall and perpetuate for your fellow-workers, inside the hospital and out, the memory of three years of service for the wounded soldiers of France. In offering the story to a wider public, you court the criticism of strangers, but the strangers who came to Ris between 1915 and 1918, from west, east, north and south, always left as friends, and I think that your unknown readers will, as they turn the pages of V.R. 76, become your friends too.”

Created by: Kristen1288

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