[Photo Album]: English Nurse after Dunkirk and in India. World War II

India: 1940.

Price: $1,500.00

Oblong quarto measuring 9" x 12.5". String-tied green leather over paper boards. Contains 175 black and white or sepia toned gelatin silver photographs measuring between 1.5" x 1.5 and 6" x 10" with captions. Worn edges, tears, and rubbing else very good with near fine photographs.A photo album kept by a British nurse in England and India from 1940-1944. The first page shows photos from the grounds of a hospital in Leatherhead, England. Known as Leatherhead Emergency Hospital it was actually the Royal Blind School which had been requisitioned by King's College Hospital as a "national emergency hospital" for the duration of the war. Here the nurse poses with colleagues and wounded survivors of Dunkirk who sit smiling while in wheel chairs, on crutches, and with some covered in bandages. The weeks of fighting in France lead to the evacuation of the British and sent thousands home to England to be treated for wounds. One photo shows the queen exiting a building of the hospital with a nurse and getting into her car. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, was known for visiting wounded soldiers throughout the country to boost morale as part for the war effort.In 1941 she was sent to India where she started her time at the Western Ghats. These photos show the splendor of the mountain ranges and jungle and include some hand colored snapshots. She continued to explore the country over the next three years attending the Poona Races, visiting the Bombay museum, and taking a trip to Meerut. Throughout the album it is clear she was interested in honing her photography skills and had a good eye for the art. She captured the locals of the cities she visits while they work and interact with each other. One photo shows a snake charmer performing at the Hotel Cecil in Dehli, another captioned, "New Camel, New Wife" shows a recently married couple atop a camel. Women in Kashmir are seen in colorful clothing holding their babies, another photo shows a young man making papier-mache bowels, another shows a group captioned as "prisoners" being marched away. In Meerut she took numerous photos of the wild life and included a photo of a graveyard built for monkeys. She attended local events including the Hindu, Durga Poojah, and Tibetan festivals and took pictures of the gatherings. One of the most striking images is of a man lounging on a bed of nails in Sadhu. She worked at the Poona (Pune) Barrack Hospital which can be seen towards the end of the album. Here she poses with soldiers from the China-Burma-India Theater recovering from their wounds. There are photos captioned "staff" and "patients" that capture the life at the hospital with smiling men goofing off with the nurses. She also attended a military wedding for an officer in Meerut which included uniformed men holding swords for the new couple to walk through. The final photos show a grave site with a large angel statue and a hand colored photo of a meditating statue of Buddha.An interesting account of a British nurse's time serving on both the home front and in India with the medical corps during World War II, especially interesting for the immediacy of the Dunkirk images.

Item #402354

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