Wartime nurses to be remembered at service in Portsmouth

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NURSES from Portsmouth who served in the First World War will be remembered at a church service.

The Church of the Holy Spirit in Fawcett Road, Southsea, is holding the service on Saturday at 2pm.

The service is being organised by the Rev Emma D’Aeth, who has been tracking down families of nurses who went to serve in field hospitals on the battlefield during the war 100 years ago.

Among them was John Frederick White, from Buckland, who was just 18 when he enlisted into the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1915.

He served first in France and then in Flanders, where he died in 1917 while working as a stretcher bearer.

His niece Lynda Ibbotson, from Drayton, will speak about the uncle she never got to meet.

She said: ‘I was never interested in history as a child but researching my family background and finding out more about John Frederick has really captured my imagination and got me more interested.

‘I think it’s really important for my grandaughter to know about her great-great uncle and the sacrifice that he and others made for the freedom that we enjoy today.

‘He was a pacifist, which is probably why he enlisted as a stretcher bearer, but this role was just as dangerous because he was carrying people away when the battle was raging.’

For more information call Rev D’Aeth on (023) 9286 2108 or e-mail emmadaeth@yahoo.co.uk.