Correspondence

Correspondence

On 12th February, 1915, the Annandale Observer  published a letter to her sister, Mrs Bell, Whinnyrigg Cottage, Annan, from Mrs Rannoch, of the Red Cross Society, who was attached to a London hospital. She described the bombardment of Antwerp in graphic terms.

It was the forenoon of the first day of the bombardment before the doctors and nurses could get the wounded removed across the Schedlt by a small pontoon bridge. The soldiers crossed first to guard the bridge, and the Red Cross ambulances followed. The shelling commenced at 5.30 in the morning, and the flames bursting from oil tanks gave you the impression that they were reaching the sky. The carnage and slaughter were dreadful. We managed to get all our patients safely to Ostend, but the anxiety was dreadful, as we had to take them over seventy miles before stopping. The hospital where the wounded and nurses were in before leaving Antwerp was burned down, but luckily we all escaped, only one of our patients dying on the journey. I hope never again to witness such havoc wrought by an enemy, but we had a most wonderful escape from those awful shells bursting around us.

Nurse's experiences at Antwerp
Mrs Rannoch's Letter.