Source 4

Extract from a booklet for new nurses going to the Crimea called ‘Rules and Regulations for the Nurses Attached to the Military Hospitals in the East’. This listed the uniform to be provided by the government, other clothes to bring, and the duties of a nurse. Catalogue ref: WO 43/963


Clothing. I


Uniform upper clothing will be provided by Government comprising, in the first year, the following articles:
1 cloak with hood
1 Derry wrapper [A type of dressing gown]
1 pair of Indian-rubber goloshes. [Over-shoes worn over shoes to keep feet dry]
6 check aprons.
6 collars,
4 caps,
2 best caps,
2 badges,
1 white straw bonnet.
1 dark straw bonnet.
3 print gowns.
2 linsey-woolsey gowns [A rough fabric made from linen or cotton and wool]
1 cape or light shawl.
1 woollen jacket.
2 pairs of sleeves.
1 alpaca gown. [Black dress made of wool and cotton fabric]
1 flannel wrapper.


The above articles will not be supplied all at once, but in such manner as may be deemed expedient [necessary] with reference to the season of the year. A box for these articles will also be furnished [given] to each Nurse. Each Nurse may take with her as much under-clothing as her box will hold.


She is expected to have in good condition the following articles:


1 dark stuff [fabric] or cotton gown,
2 flannel petticoats [these were made from warm, thick cotton fabric]
2 upper petticoats,
2 pairs of stays, [under garment stiffened with whale bone to shape the body under clothes]
6 shifts, [loose-fitting straight cotton dress or slip]
6 pairs of stockings,
2 night shifts [nightdresses]
4 pocket handkerchiefs,
3 night caps,
3 pairs of boots or shoes,
and all other necessary articles;
1 brush and comb,
1 small-tooth comb,
1 tooth brush,
1 umbrella;


Also a carpet bag, to contain all that is wanted for the voyage. After one year’s service, 2/- [Two shillings] worth of regulation clothing will be provided every six months.


No Nurse is to expect any gift of clothing beyond this.


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  • Why do you think these nurses needed so many different clothes?
  • How easy do you think it would have been to move around and work wearing these clothes?
  • Why do you think that the nurses were not given all their clothes at once?
  • How were they expected store their clothes?
  • Name any FOUR things nurses were expected to supply themselves (not including extra clothing)?
  • What kind of uniforms do nurses wear today?
  • Why are these uniforms more comfortable and easier to wear?