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The American Red Cross “Mercy Ship” in the First World War: A Pivotal Experiment in Nursing-Centered Clinical Humanitarianism

The American Red Cross “Mercy Ship” in the First World War: A Pivotal Experiment in... TheAmericanRedCross“MercyShip”inthe FirstWorldWar:APivotalExperimentin Nursing-CenteredClinicalHumanitarianism Marian Moser Jones University of Maryland Introduction On September 12, 1914, a group of American Red Cross (ARC) nurses stood in their red-lined navy blue capes along the rails of an Atlantic Ocean liner as it steamed out of New York Harbor toward the Great War in Europe. “The white caps, the gray uniforms, the line of scarlet as the fresh sea wind blew back the active service capes, proclaimed their identity,” wrote an ARC nursing leader who witnessed their departure.¹ These 126 nurses in their Red Cross uniforms, along with 30 physicians, made up the surgical teams aboard the ARC’s “Mercy Ship,” which provided aid to combatants on both sides of the conflict between 1914 and 1916. These teams established ARC war hospitals in Paignton, England; Pau, France; Kiev, Russia; Kosel and Gleiwitz, Germany; Budapest and Vienna, Austria-Hungary.² The ARC later sent additional teams of nurses and surgeons, whose activities lie beyond the scope of this article, to war hospi- tals in Belgrade and Gevgeli, Serbia, Yvetot, France, and La Panne, Belgium.³ The hospital units focused on care of wounded combatants, in keeping with the Red Cross’ mission to carry out its obligations under the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nursing History Review Springer Publishing

The American Red Cross “Mercy Ship” in the First World War: A Pivotal Experiment in Nursing-Centered Clinical Humanitarianism

Nursing History Review , Volume 28 (1): 32 – Sep 19, 2019

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Publisher
Springer Publishing
Copyright
© 2020 Springer Publishing Company
ISSN
1062-8061
eISSN
1938-1913
DOI
10.1891/1062-8061.28.31
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

TheAmericanRedCross“MercyShip”inthe FirstWorldWar:APivotalExperimentin Nursing-CenteredClinicalHumanitarianism Marian Moser Jones University of Maryland Introduction On September 12, 1914, a group of American Red Cross (ARC) nurses stood in their red-lined navy blue capes along the rails of an Atlantic Ocean liner as it steamed out of New York Harbor toward the Great War in Europe. “The white caps, the gray uniforms, the line of scarlet as the fresh sea wind blew back the active service capes, proclaimed their identity,” wrote an ARC nursing leader who witnessed their departure.¹ These 126 nurses in their Red Cross uniforms, along with 30 physicians, made up the surgical teams aboard the ARC’s “Mercy Ship,” which provided aid to combatants on both sides of the conflict between 1914 and 1916. These teams established ARC war hospitals in Paignton, England; Pau, France; Kiev, Russia; Kosel and Gleiwitz, Germany; Budapest and Vienna, Austria-Hungary.² The ARC later sent additional teams of nurses and surgeons, whose activities lie beyond the scope of this article, to war hospi- tals in Belgrade and Gevgeli, Serbia, Yvetot, France, and La Panne, Belgium.³ The hospital units focused on care of wounded combatants, in keeping with the Red Cross’ mission to carry out its obligations under the

Journal

Nursing History ReviewSpringer Publishing

Published: Sep 19, 2019

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