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Experiences of the Great War

Chaos in Belgium

Dr Munro had obtained permission from the Belgian Army to base his Flying Ambulance Corps at their Front, and within a matter of days Mairi Chisholm found herself in Belgium along with the rest of the Corps.

As well as about six men, the Corps consisted of four women:

  • Mairi Chisholm
  • An American called Helen Gleason
  • Lady Dorothy Fielding
  • Elsie Knocker, who was to become Mairi's close friend and working partner.

In her 1976 interview Mairi describes the chaotic situation in which they found themselves:

'Of course, the Belgians had not expected a war, and their medical arrangements were mixed … and their men were in a terrible state, they hadn't got hospital equipments or anything. And so it was really a rescue affair and a great emergency.'

— Extract quoted by permission of the Imperial War Museum.