First Anywhere: The Story of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry 1909 – 1919
First Anywhere: The Story of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry 1909 - 1919
During the First World War a British soldier serving in France was asked what the initials 'F A N Y', printed on the side of an ambulance, stood for. He thought for a while and rpelied 'Firsy Anywhere'. The soldier was referring to the ladies of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry who swapped their horses for motorcars and, in October 1914, went to war.
They drove ambulances to the front line and tucking up their skirts, tromped through mud to deliver medical supplies to the staff in the first aid posts and woolly socks and scarves to the men in the trenches. They joined forces with other volunteer organisations and helped to evacuate military casualties from the battlefields of Belgium and France to the ports of Boulogne and Calais. During those journeys many of them came under enemy fire, and some were arrested on suspicion of being German spies. They ran two hospitals, a convalescent home, a mobile kitchen and a mobile bath unit. They were the first women to drive for the British Army and worked alongside the French and Belgian authorities.
Hoever, whilst they won the respect of those military men around them, others criticised them. Nevertheless, they overcame challenges, adapted to situations and laid the foundation of their volunteer corps - now called the Princess Royal's Volunteer Corps. In 2021 the Corps received the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service for their work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hardback, 312 Pages