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Archiver > FARMBOROUGH > 2003-10 > 1066859838


From: "Christopher Edwards" <>
Subject: Re: Fw: Florence FARMBOROUGH
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2003 21:57:21 +0000


It is on the web, I did a google search on the names & found those two
articles, there was a few other for the same people...

I didn't know about your connection!

Nice to hear from you still wading through the info you provided - Thanks
again about that...

Cheers - Chris


>From: "Pat Benham" <>
>Reply-To:
>To:
>Subject: Fw: Florence FARMBOROUGH
>Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2003 22:37:22 +0100
>
>
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Pat Benham" <>
>To: "Christopher Edwards" <>
>Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2003 10:35 PM
>Subject: Re: Florence FARMBOROUGH
>
>
> > Interesting, Chris, that you have copied the Spanish memoirs of
>Florence.
>I
> > am familiar with the Russian books but not the Spanish one. She shares a
> > common ancestor with my wife in Stephen Farmborough (1685-1762).
> >
> > Last Sunday (19 October) the UK TV Channel 4 series "The First World
>War"
> > featured the Eastern (Russian) Front. Photos of Florence were shown
>during
> > this episode and an actor read from her accounts over footage of war
>action.
> > The series is based on a book by Hew Strachan.
> >
> > There was a BBC TV programme about Florence in September 1974 together
>with
> > an article in the Radio Times. A full page colour photo showed her aged
>87
> > with some of her trophies from the Russian years laid out on a table in
> > front of her. The text below was as follows:
> >
> > "Miss Farmborough now, with some of her souvenirs of pre-revolutionary
> > Russia - among them her nurse's uniform and diaries, peasant costume, an
> > icon ('I bought it in 1910 to send home to my parents') and (centre,
> > foreground) her keys to the strongroom of Moscow's Volkov Bank. She has
> > never been able to recover the valuables she deposited there before
>leaving
> > for the front."
> >
> > Pat Benham
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Christopher Edwards" <>
> > To: <>
> > Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2003 4:14 AM
> > Subject: Florence FARMBOROUGH
> >
> >
> > > Florence Farmborough was born in 1887. Florence moved to Russia in
>1908
> > > where she found work as an English teacher. On the outbreak of the
>First
> > > World War, Farmborough immediately offered her services as a nursing
> > sister
> > > at the hospital established by Princess Golitsin in Moscow. Later she
> > > accompanied Russian troops in Poland, Austria and Rumania.
> > >
> > > Forced to retreat with the Russian Army, Farmborough witnessed the
>Russian
> > > Revolution in 1917. Farmborough fled to Siberia where with Maria
> > Bochkareva,
> > > the head of the Women's Death Battalion, she managed to get a ship to
>the
> > > United States. All through the First World War, Farmborough kept a
>diary
>a
> > nd
> > > by 1918 it contained over 400,000 words.
> > >
> > > In 1926 Farmborough became a university lecturer in Valencia and
>remained
> > in
> > > the country for the next ten years. A supporter of General Francisco
> > Franco,
> > > Farmborough moved to Salamanca after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil
> > War.
> > > During the war Farmbrough made radio propaganda broadcasts to English
> > > speaking-countries. Her book, Life and People of Spain, was published
>in
> > > 1938.
> > >
> > > Farmborough returned to Britain in 1940. Her book of war memoirs,
>based
>on
> > > her war diaries, entitled Nurse at the Russian Front, was published in
> > 1974.
> > > Florence Farmborough died in 1980.
> > >
> > >
> > > (1) In January, 1915, Florence Farmborough attended a special church
> > service
> > > in Moscow to mark her promotion to a qualified Red Cross nurse.
> > >
> > > The golden-robed priest stood before me. "Your name?" "Florence," I
> > > answered. The priest paused and whispered to his deacon-acolyte. A
>book
> > was
> > > brought and consulted, then he consulted me: "Of the Pravoslavny
> > (Orthodox)
> > > Church?" "No," I said, "of the Church of England." Again the whispered
> > > consultation, again the book was referred to. I felt myself growing
>cold
> > > with fear. But he was back again and resumed the prescribed ritual,
>the
> > > tongue slightly twisting at the pronunciation of the foreign name.
> > >
> > > "To thee, Florenz, child of God, servant of the Most High, is given
>this
> > > token of faith, of hope, of charity. With faith shalt they follow
>Christ
> > the
> > > Master, with hope shalt thou look towards Christ for thy salvation,
>with
> > > charity shalt thou fulfill thy duties. Thou shalt tend the sick, the
> > > wounded, the needy: with words of comfort shalt thou cheer them." I
>held
> > the
> > > red cross to my breast and pressed my lips to the crucifix with a
>heart
> > full
> > > of gratitude to God, for he had accepted me.
> > >
> > > One by one, we moved back to our appointed places. On our breasts the
>Red
> > > Cross gleamed. I looked at my Russian sisters. We exchanged happy,
> > > congratulatory smiles. As for me, I stood there with great contentment
>in
> > > mind and spirit. A dream had been fulfilled: I was now an official
>member
> > of
> > > the great Sisterhood of the Red Cross. What the future held in store I
> > could
> > > not say, but, please God, my work must lie among those of our
>suffering
> > > brothers who most needed medical aid and human sympathy - among those
>who
> > > were dying for their country on the battlefields of war-stricken
>Russia.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > (2) In 1916 Florence Farmborough witnessed an explosion on the Eastern
> > Front
> > > (28th May, 1916)
> > >
> > > About a dozen men perished on the spot; others crawled out, but
>collapsed
> > > and died soon afterwards. Only two of them were able to stand and they
> > were
> > > brought to us. They came, both of them, walking: two naked red
>figures!
> > > Their clothes had been burnt off their bodies. They stood side by side
>in
> > > the large barn which we had converted into a dressing-station, raw
>from
> > head
> > > to foot. Injections were immediately ordered, but we could find no
>skin
> > and
> > > had to put the needle straight into the flesh.
> > >
> > > We laid them down upon straw in an adjoining shed. In an hour or two,
>the
> > > cotton wool was completely saturated, but we could help them no
>further,
> > > save with oft-repeated injections of morphia which, we prayed, would
> > deaden
> > > their sufferings. They died, both of them, before morning. And neither
>of
> > > them had spoken a single word! I don't think that anything which I had
> > ever
> > > seen touched me so keenly.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > (3) In the summer of 1916, Florence Farmborough accompanied the
>Russian
> > Army
> > > to Poland (31st July, 1916)
> > >
> > > As we continued our journey, we passed more than one battlefield. The
>dead
> > > were still lying around, in strange, unnatural postures - remaining
>where
> > > they had fallen: crouching, doubled up, stretched out, prostrate,
>prone,
> > > Austrians and Russians lying side by side. And there were lacerated,
> > crushed
> > > bodies lying on darkly stained patches of earth. There was one
>Austrian
> > > without a leg and with a blackened, swollen face; another with a
>smashed
> > > face, terrible to look at; a Russian soldier, with legs doubled under
>him,
> > > leaning against the barbed wire. And on more than one open wound flies
> > were
> > > crawling and there were other moving, thread-like things.
> > >
> > > I was glad Anna and Ekaterina were with me; they, too, were silent;
>they,
> > > too, were sorely shaken. Those "heaps" were once human beings: men who
> > were
> > > young, strong and vigorous; now they lay lifeless and inert; shapeless
> > forms
> > > of what had been living flesh and bone. What a frail and fragile thing
>is
> > > human life! A bullet passes through the living flesh and it ceases to
> > live.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > (4) In her diary, Florence Farmborough described the change of mood of
>the
> > > Russian soldiers on the Eastern Front during the summer of 1917.
> > >
> > > 11th May: Today we left Strusuv for Podgaytsy. Our division is back at
>the
> > > front and two of its regiments are already in the trenches. Now and
>then
> > > unexpected skirmishes take place - the initiative always with the
> > Austrians
> > > - and a few wounded are brought to us. We notice a strange apathy
>about
> > > them; they lack the spark of loyalty, of devotion to God and their
> > > mother-country which has so distinguished the fighting-men in the
>previous
> > > two years. It worries us; we do not need to be told that the Russian
> > soldier
> > > has changed; we see the change with our own eyes.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > (5) In May 1917 Florence Farmborough met Dr. Elsie Inglis and her
>nurses
> > at
> > > a hospital in Podgaytsy.
> > >
> > > There is an English hospital in Podgaytsy, run by a group of English
> > nurses,
> > > under the leadership of an English lady-doctor (Dr. Elsie Inglis). I
>was
> > > very glad to chat with them in my mother-tongue and above all to learn
>the
> > > latest news of the allied front in France.
> > >
> > > They are very nice women, those English and Scottish nurses. They all
>have
> > > several years of training behind them. I feel distinctly raw in
> > comparison,
> > > knowing that a mere six-months' course as a VAD in a military hospital
> > > would, in England, never have been considered sufficient to graduate
>to
>a
> > > Front Line Red Cross Unit. They could not believe that I had
>experienced
> > all
> > > those nightmare months of the Great Retreat of 1915, as well as the
> > > Offensive of 1916. "You don't look strong enough to have gone through
>all
> > > that, said the lady-doctor, "and too young," she added, "I don't think
>I
> > > should have chosen you for my team." I secretly rejoiced that I had my
> > > training in Russia!"
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > (6) Florence Farmborough disapproved of some methods used by the VAD
> > nurses
> > > in Russia.
> > >
> > > I was surprised and not a little perturbed when I saw that tiny bags,
> > > containing pure salt, are sometimes deposited into the open wound and
> > > bandaged tightly into place. It is probably a new method; I wonder if
>it
> > has
> > > been tried out on the Allied Front.
> > >
> > > These bags of salt - small though they are - must inflict excruciating
> > pain;
> > > no wonder the soldiers kick and yell; the salt must burn fiercely into
>the
> > > lacerated flesh. It is certainly a purifier, but surely a very harsh
>one!
> > >
> > > At an operation, performed by the lady-doctor, at which I was called
>upon
> > to
> > > help, the man had a large open wound in his left thigh. All went well
> > until
> > > two tiny bags of salt was placed within it, and then the uproar began.
>I
> > > thought the man's cries would lift the roof off; even the lady doctor
> > looked
> > > discomforted. "Silly fellow," she ejaculated. "It's only a momentary
>pain.
> > > Foolish fellow! He doesn't know what is good for him."
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > (7) In her diary, Florence Farmborough records hearing about Yasha
> > > Bachkarova, the founder of the Women's Death Battalion.
> > >
> > > 26th July, 1917: Yasha Bachkarova, a Siberian woman soldier had served
>in
> > > the Russian Army since 1915 side by side with her husband; when he had
> > been
> > > killed, she continued to fight. She had been wounded twice and three
>times
> > > decorated for valour. When she knew the soldiers were deserting in
>large
> > > numbers, she made her way to Moscow and Petrograd to start recruiting
>for
> > a
> > > Woman's Battalion. It is reported that she had said, "If the men
>refuse
>to
> > > fight for their country, we will show them what the women can do!" So
>this
> > > woman warrior, Yasha Bachkarova, began her campaign; it was said that
>it
> > had
> > > met with singular success. Young women, some of aristocratic families,
> > > rallied to her side; they were given rifles and uniforms and drilled
>and
> > > marched vigorously. We Sisters were of course thrilled to the core.
> > >
> > > 9th August, 1917: Last Monday, an ambulance-van drove up with three
> > wounded
> > > women soldiers. We were told that they belonged to the Bachkarova
>Women's
> > > Death Battalion. We had not heard the full name before, but we
>instantly
> > > guessed that it was the small army of women recruited in Russia by the
> > > Siberian women soldier, Yasha Bachkarova. Naturally we were all very
> > > impatient to have news of this remarkable battalion, but the women
>were
> > > sadly shocked and we refrained from questioning them until they had
> > rested.
> > > The van driver was not very helpful but he did know that the battalion
>had
> > > been cut up by the enemy and had retreated.
> > >
> > > 13th August, 1917: At dinner we heard more of the Women's Death
>Battalion.
> > > It was true; Bachkarova had brought her small battalion down south of
>the
> > > Austrian Front, and they had manned part of the trenches which had
>been
> > > abandoned by the Russian Infantry. The size of the Battalion had
> > > considerably decreased since the first weeks of recruitment, when some
> > 2000
> > > women and girls had rallied to the call of their leader. Many of them,
> > > painted and powdered, had joined the Battalion as an exciting and
>romantic
> > > adventure; she loudly condemned their behaviour and demanded iron
> > > discipline. Gradually the patriotic enthusiasm had spent itself; the
>2000
> > > slowly dwindled to 250. In honour to those women volunteers, it was
> > recorded
> > > that they did go into the attack; they did go "over the top". But not
>all
> > of
> > > them. Some remained in the trenches, fainting and hysterical; others
>ran
> > or
> > > crawled back to the rear.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > (8) Florence Farmborough, Life and People of Spain (1938)
> > >
> > > The youth of Spain turn towards their Leader, Generalissimo Franco, as
> > > towards a shining light; he is the beacon that guides them to their
> > highest
> > > goal. In all people this great faith in the Caudillo is to be found;
>in
> > the
> > > highest and lowest, in the richest and poorest, in the oldest and
> > youngest,
> > > for even the very small children are taught to play their role of
>loyal
> > > subject to National Spain. And that reminds me of an incident which I
> > > witnessed the other day, an incident which amused me and yet seemed to
> > touch
> > > a deeper chord. I was walking through the Arcade of the Plaza Mayor in
> > this
> > > city of Salamanca (one of the most beautiful old squares in Europe,
> > > surrounded by a columned promenade, lined on one side by shops), when
>I
> > saw
> > > in front of me a woman of humble station in life, holding a small boy
>of
> > > some three years by the hand. Suddenly the child stopped, turned
>towards
>a
> > > shop-window and, relinquishing his mother's hand, drew
> > > himself up to his full height, clicked his tiny heels together and,
> > standing
> > > to attention, was about to raise his arm in the Phalangist salute. His
> > > mother, unconscious of his action, grasped his hand and dragged him
>along
> > > with her - none too gently! The wee boy's face was a study in
>expressions
> > of
> > > anger and disappointment. But, with sudden determination, he turned,
> > > manfully resisting his mother's display of force, and, nearly toppling
> > over
> > > himself in his anxiety that his heels should touch each other, he
> > stiffened
> > > his small round body and saluted, solemnly and ceremoniously, in
> > Phalangist
> > > manner! His unheeding mother, sensing rebellion, seized him so
>vigorously
> > > that the child stumbled and nearly fell - but he was docile now, he
>had
> > done
> > > his duty. He had saluted a large portrait of Generalissimo Franco in
>the
> > > shop-window!
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > (8) Florence Farmborough, Life and People of Spain (1938)
> > >
> > > And what of the woman's role in the great Movement of Liberation in
> > National
> > > Spain? The answer comes readily: the woman of Spain is not found
>wanting.
> > > Her place is in her home, miles away, perhaps, from the front line,
>but
> > her
> > > heart is in the trenches. How could it be otherwise? Is not every
>soldier
> > a
> > > mother's son? And has not every soldier a mother, sister, or
>sweetheart,
> > who
> > > are daily, hourly, experiencing anxious thought for his welfare? 'Men
>must
> > > work and women must weep.' And though it may be true that the women of
> > > Spain, by reason of the greatness of their heart's pain, have, and
>still
> > do,
> > > shed tears for their absent ones, it is also true that this pain is
> > > mitigated by pride, a pride born of self-sacrifice and patriotic
> > abnegation
> > > in the heart of every woman who gives her best-beloved to her country
>that
> > > he may defend it in its evil hour.
> > >
> > > _________________________________________________________________
> > > Chat via SMS. Simply send 'CHAT' to 1889918. More info at
> > > http://ninemsn.com.au/mobilemania/MoChat.asp?blipid=6800
> > >
> >
>
>
>==== FARMBOROUGH Mailing List ====
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>
>==============================
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>go to:
>http://www.ancestry.com/rd/redir.asp?targetid=571&sourceid=1237
>

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