Tribute is paid to the Portsmouth nurses who served in the Great War

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NURSES who risked their lives to save others in the midst of battle 100 years ago have been remembered at a church service.

The Holy Spirit Church in Southsea held a service in honour of Portsmouth members of the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) nurses from the First World War.

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust director of nursing Cathy Stone said the nurses did an important job which should never be forgotten.

Ms Stone said: ‘The VAD nurses provided care and compassion in circumstances few of us could comprehend and the debt we all owe to them is immeasurable.

‘Their memories should always live with us, and this memorial service was a fitting time for us all to remember their personal and nursing contribution.

‘The setting of such a lovely church, supported by the excellent choristers, provided a fitting and sensitive memorial service.’

Among the guests at the service were Portsmouth Lord Mayor Frank Jonas, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust chief executive Ursula Ward, as well as members of the armed forces.

Also there was nine-year-old Sophie Ibbotson, whose great-great-uncle, John Frederick White, was a stretcher bearer during the war and was one of those being remembered at the service.

Her grandmother, Lynda Ibbotson, spoke at the service and later said: ‘I think it’s really important that we remember those who risked their lives for us. I’m glad that Sophie has had the opportunity to take part and hopefully it has given her a connection to her great-great-uncle.’

Cllr Jonas read out the names of the VAD nurses at the service.

He said: ‘These nurses were local women and men who died looking after our troops in the First World War.

‘It is only right that we remember them.’

The VAD was organised by the Red Cross and the Order of Saint John and provided nursing assistance to those serving abroad during the First World War.

As well as remembering the VAD nurses, the service also raised £162 for the Cavell Nurses’ Trust.