Diary of Alice Keyte
June 4, 1915
Things here are just too awful for words ... we found only a bare piece of ground with wounded men in pain, still in filthy, bloodstained clothes, lying next to stones. As we lacked tents, beds or medicines, we could do little for most of our patients.
June 5, 1915
We’re forced to treat patients in the open, as wounded men lay on the rocky ground begging for water. Their tents and other supplies have not arrived after several weeks. Our patients are suffering and so are we, I cannot wait till this war is over but I am glad to do this for my country.
June 6, 1915
We can hear guns rumbling in the distance as ship after ship loaded wounded soldiers discharging their bloodied cargoes. O how much pain they may be in for they have suffered a lot. We have very little water for bathing. Someone here has had poor sanitation which led to outbreak of dysentery, since the outbreak we have had a devastating for us on the island.
June 7, 1915
This winter has brought soldiers suffering gangrene and frostbite. Most of our tents have been blown to the ground from the icy winds and rains.
June 8, 1915
Other than on hospital ships, Lemnos Island is the closest the women are only 60 kilometers away from Gallipoli. This island is swarming with flies and so little water we get just about none for ourselves but the soldiers need it more for they are the people battling and we are only the nurses, We are no more special than they are.
June 9, 1915
Half of our patient have come to disease causing a few of the nurses to fall back and hide away as they cannot put up with the lives being lost. I've been told that the end of it will come at last but from what I have been seeing I am not sure if it is true. Living on bully-beef and hard-tack is much to hard for us, if only we could have something else.
June 10, 1915People have been saying there are have said their are Turkish snipers on the other side of the island waiting for the right time to attack, people have become awfully afraid; some of the nurses have started hiding away and taking more food than usual for hiding. I know they would not be there for our soldiers would have taken them out.
By Joanne with help from my sister Tina.