Incidents and case studies at sea 1 - Positivity of service patients

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Julia Massey 1968Julia Massey

Service: 1968 - 1996

Rate: Captain

Julia joined the QARNNS (Queen Alexandra Royal Naval Nursing Service) in 1968 and worked at Royal Naval Hospital Haslar, a number of medical facilities in Malta, RNH Plymouth, HMS Pembroke and RNH Hong Kong. In 1982, she was part of the nursing team embarked on SS Uganda for the Falklands War and during the Gulf War she was responsible for allocating nurses to RFA Argus. In 1994 she was involved with the Defence Cost Studies Report which led to the closure of the RN Hospitals, the establishment of tri-service training and the reduction of the QARNNS by nearly a half.


Here Julia recalls why servicemen injured during the Falklands War were so positive.


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Extract Text (Duration 1.45)

... being a limited age group and they're fit and they all wanted to get better, and it was amazing how cheerful they were and how they... they just got on with things. I think a lot of them were probably quite relieved to have got to the ship, ‘cause they must have had a pretty uncomfortable 24 hours since being injured; you know, to be in a bed and between clean sheets and to have hot food provided for them, and I suppose to have female nurses around, and I suppose they felt safe. And they would go to x-ray, they would go to theatre. And then the next morning they'd be sitting up there in bed washing and really so cheerful and positive about it. And of course servicemen... the great difference between nursing servicemen than civilians, in that servicemen are so used to living with the other chaps that they're not embarrassed or coy about the other chaps, and of course they have this buddy-buddy care, so they do help each other, and not that in the area that I was in did we have many of them mobile, because as soon as they were fit enough or... we had to send them to the dormitories, so every morning we had a clear out of probably a dozen of these patients down to the dorm rooms to make beds for more casualties which came on every day.

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