“Mens hearts failing them for fear and for looking for these things that are coming upon the earth”.
We are asked to suggest remedies, as “Air Raid Precautions.” . . War to go upon.
One remembers well the brave little nurses in the darkened Wards: how they would come forward to whisper how frightened they were: Ign. seemed to help. Brave little Britons ! None of the patients were allowed to have any idea that their hearts were also quailing. Some Sisters would draw the beds into the centre of the Ward, and tell the patients they were safe that way ! As a matter of fact, as one discovered by going about and seeing the result of bombs, the greatest safety was to get a wall behind you.
Plate glass, in jagged fragments was one of terrible dangers in London. One victim in our mortuary had her head cleft in twain, the uninjured face being a mere mask; and plate glass, in sharp spikiness, was in all the wounds in that raid. One remembers a woman patient, frantic with fear after one of the raids: “Where could she go ? They might come again ! If she went into the country, they might come there !” She was almost off here head. But she got a dose of Ars. and subsided promptly into the usual calm of the rest.
We were set in the midst of the raids: a big bomb, one of the very first, left its crater to this day in Queens Square, tearing all the windows out of that side of the Hospital. The off-duty nurses flocked out to see, and to climb down into the hole: one confessed that she could not tread on her nightgown ! On another night, eight minor bombs tell in Ormond Yard, just across the street: some duds, some incendiary bombs which set two houses on fire.
And the little children who were brought to out-patients from those slums! One mite of a girl announced proudly, ” I saved four!” Her mother had been too frightened to move, but she had got the little ones out safety. Another wee girl came weeping; her tiny brother was hurt. She had been carrying him out, and (nearly down stairs) had jumped with him, and fallen.
But to the terrified children one whispered, ” Afraid ? Why, you can flight the Germans ! You can pray that the bombs may fall in places where they hurt no one !” which happened so often that an idea actually got about, that open spaces between the houses “drew the bombs!”.
We had wards full of damaged sailors in those days” and what they did was to take their pillows and leaving their mattresses on the beds above, retire to sleep under them. Had the ceilings come down they had shelter. One heard of little families saved by sheltering under a kitchen table.
Then, as to gas masks. Before these came into being, or were obtainable at the front, the soldiers would soak their thick socks in urine, and lightly wringing them out, cover mouth and nose. The urine neutralize the gas, and saved them. But one is told that they paid the penalty of unsterilized socks with Sycosis barbae.
Those air raid warnings ! late in the day, when one was just going home to dinner we did not have too much to eat ! and were hungry! One would suddenly feel a little chilly; glad to get into a coat, and eat a bit of chocolate: which put matters right till the “All Clear!” sounded, joyfully, and one could go home.
As for our drugs:-.
ARS. Terrible fears with restlessness. Driven from place to place. Knows he is going to die and cannot be alone.
ARG. NIT. In his fear, often a fantastic fear, must hurry and walk fast. Diarrhoea from fear. (GELS).
GELS. Extreme lack of courage. Fear with trembling. Fear with diarrhoea (Arg. nit), ” The trembling remedy”.
But, FEAR, abject FEAR, with extreme restlessness is ACON. Rather like Ars., but a more transient storm.
URTICA URENS O for burns: for any burns. A few drops in half a tumbler of water, to saturate a bit of rag or lint and apply, covering with wool. Takes away the pain; allays inflammation; promotes rapid healing.
HYPERICUM O, used in the same way for wounds and cuts.
And always, and everywhere, “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” We British, with our part history behind us, with our many almost miraculous deliverances, can surely afford to hold up our heads and smile; breathing cheerfulness and confidence around us. And one remembers Martin Luther in his hour of trial and deadly peril, as the childrens distant voices were raised in evening prayer, “Hark! All is well. The giants are praying for us.