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Nellie Spindler

Servicenumber :  
Rank : Staff Nurse
Regiment : Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service
Unit : 44th Casualty Clearing Station
Date of Death : 21-08-1917
Age : 26
Grave : Plot XVI. Row A. Grave 3.
Nellie Spindler was a daughter of George and Elizabeth Spindler, of Wakefield. She was born in 1891. Her father was a police sergeant and later inspector. She entered nursing in 1911 at the City Fever Hospital, Wakefield, and trained at Leeds Township Infirmary from 1912 to 1915. She joined the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS) in October 1915. To join the QAIMNS it was necessary to be over 25 years old. Spindler was only 24 at the time she signed up. On her application form, she said her year of birth was 1889 rather than 1891. It is possible this was a mistake, but she may have concealed her true age so she would appear to be old enough to serve.4
From 10 november 1915 until 24 April 1917 Spindler worked at Whittington Military Hospital, Lichfield. Whilst there she declared fir for service overseas. In May 1917 she travelled to France and worked in No. 2 General Hospital at Le Havre in the Somme before being transferred to No. 44 Casualty Clearing Station (CCS) which moved to Brandhoek, Belgium, in July 1917. This CCS specialised in abdominal, chest and thigh wound which needed urgent treatment ans so was stationed relatively close to the front line. Though about seven miles from the frontlines, Brandhoek was within range of the larger German guns, and with its railway sidings and munitions dumps was the target of frequent shelling.
On 21 August 1917 the CCS was bombarded all day and at 11.10 am Nellie Spindler was hit along with four other nurses by an exploding shell. She died 20 minutes later in the arms of a fellow nurse. Nurse Kate Luard recalled in a letter home: "A group of stricken MOs were standing about and in one tent the sister was dying. The piece went through her from back to front near her hart. She was only conscious for a few minutes and only lived 20 minutes. She was in bed asleep."
Nellie Spindler was given a full military funeral the next day. The 'Last Post' was sounded and in attendance were General Hubert Gough, C.o. of Fifth Army, three other generals, the Director of Medical Services of the Army, the Surgeon General and over 100 other officers.
 Picture: 02-08-2017
A noble type of
Good heroic womanhood
Sources: Website CWGC and wikipedia


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