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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

Letter from Glory Hancock, 1918

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Object ID: WV0181.4.010

Description: Glory Hancock describes the horrific aftermath of a recent offensive. She says that the mud has become unbearable and is an impediment to patient care. She also visited Ypres and observed the ruins and debris of battle. She describes an advance to Poelcappelle, Belgium.

Creator: Glory Hancock

Biographical Info: Glory Hancock, a nurse during WWI, worked in a hospital in Belgium from July 1918 to February 1919.

Collection: Glory Hancock Letters

Rights: It is responsibility of the user to follow the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Materials are not to be reproduced in published works without written consent, and any use should credit Jackson Library, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Full Text: Z 93, Front Belge, Oct 7

Don't worry if you don't hear from me Darlings - This offensive is taking up all our time. I've never seen any thing like it since the beginning of the war.

Ambulances for miles almost touching each other. a continual stream. Hundreds come in and are operated on & are sent on every hour. I've never seen such wounds & so many deaths. Dying on the stretchers before they can be attended to. The mud is so impossible. Food had to be gotten to the troops by airmen & some of the wounded lay on their [sic] 4 or 5 days before an ambulance could get to them. Sometimes the men get stuck waist deep in the mud & it is impossible to get them out food has to be taken to them for a day or two if they haven't died from exposure in the mean time & then sometimes they are shot to get them our of their misery. It seems incredible but this mud is almost like quicksand - it clings & sucks down so. Went (?) in Ypres yesterday the first time I've been outside the sheds & operating room for 3 weeks. So beautiful & so sad - full of soldiers & [illegible] very picturesque there lovely old ruins - but breaks your heart. Had tea on the ramparts where so much blood has been shed. Only an occasional shell going over as a reminder the war was still on. The ramparts look rather like the palisades up the Hudson. Went to the top of Mt. Kimmel too - it was clear enough to see miles- Lille- and lots of places.

The end prob nearer but not too soon as they seem to think I'm afraid -

We are advancing to Poelcappell at present - man and mud and blackened tree trunks it still gets shelled heavily so a gay life is ahead of us. I wish I'd been at your dinner party. Vinton wrote me about it. Tell her to please send me some records she got them but found that they had to be sent via Red X. Send them to me c/o

Major Paget; Headquarters; British Red Cross; Bolongne sur Mer; France

Sir Arthur Lawly came to see me last night.