09 January 2019

9th Januray 1919 - Death of V.A.D Nurse


On this day 100 years ago.

In the Leeds Mercury of the 9th January 1919 there is the report of the tragic death of  Miss Mary Boshill, aged 22, a V.A.D (Voluntary Aid Detachment) nurse.

It was reported at the inquest that her fiancee was killed at the front. She became a V.A.D. nurse and returned to England, suffering from shell shock and internal strain, a doctor stating that she had worked herself to death on the battlefield. While working in Belgium she had been advised by a doctor to inject herself with morphia to keep herself going as she was suffering severe abdominal pains. She also had been taking Veronal ( the first commercially available barbiturate) out there, and since returning home. The jury decided that she had died from Veronal poisoning. 

Wikipedia says of Veronal, prolonged usage resulted in tolerance, requiring higher doses. Fatal overdoses were not uncommon. 

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