Barbara Tuchman, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of the WWI classic, “The Guns of August,” once observed, “The unrecorded past is none other than our old friend, the tree in the primeval forest which fell without being heard.” Not only must history be recorded, it must also be examined and retold. For most of us, who are not professional historians, we approach history through the curation and re-telling of the past, mainly via books and documentaries. Perhaps we are not so different from our ancestors, and their oral traditions. History may be written by the victors, but it’s kept alive through the story tellers.
Today we are heading to London to meet with journalist and author, Wendy Moore. Like Tuchman, Wendy was also drawn to the period of “The Great War,” but in search of story many of you have likely never heard of. In a time when women in the UK, the US and most democratic nations were not even allowed to vote, there was a hospital called Endell Street. A hospital with women surgeons, women nurses, women administrators, and women staff. A hospital almost completely run by and run with women! A 573 bed hospital that performed over 7000 surgical operations and treated some 26,000 wounded soldiers, many with unprecedented battlefield trauma. A hospital led by two active suffragette doctors, one with a criminal record, having been sentenced to six weeks in prison for her protests. A hospital that also treated Spanish Flu patients before being shut down and nearly lost to history…until now.Continue reading