Blitz Hospital

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As the German Luftwaffe subjected Britain’s major cities and ports to unremitting waves of aerial bombardment, doctors, nurses, and first aiders constantly risked their lives to give urgent treatment to the severely wounded. Over 80,000 casualties were sustained during this period and city hospitals, especially in London, were working under extreme conditions. The diaries of London nurses reveal that they were confronted by a vast array of appalling injuries on a daily and nightly basis. This book follows the fortunes of three major London hospitals as they struggled to cope with mounting casualties: The Royal London Hospital, St Thomas’s Hospital, and Great Ormond Street Hospital. Together, through previously unpublished wartime diaries, letters, and reports of medical and nursing staff, they highlight the many human stories of tremendous courage and hope that lived and breathed within the corridors, theaters, and wards of London’s hospitals during the Blitz.


Penny Starns has a PhD in the history of medicine from the University of Bristol and is an established historian and writer who has written about many of the female heroines of the 20th century. She is the author of Odette: World War Two’s Darling Spy, Surviving Tenko: The True Story of Margot Turner, and Blitz Families: The Children who Stayed Behind.