The story of a group of heroic and caring North Tyrone nurses, who helped the French wounded during the First World War, has been chronicled in a comprehensive new book.
Compiled following extensive research by Omagh author, Claire McElhinney, ‘Tell them of Us’ follows the wartime work of her grandmother, the late Edith Harkness, and some of 20 other north Tyrone medical volunteers, who served with the Ulster Volunteer Medical and Nursing Corps at the Ulster Volunteer Hospital in Pau and Leon, France, from 1914 to 1918.
The story of the group, which has not been told in much detail before, includes a series of unseen photographs, detailed family records and an extraordinary set of diary entries and sketches from a nurse at the Pau Hospital, Daphne Strong.
A special event to mark the launch of the book was held at the Silverbirch Hotel, Omagh last Thursday, which saw a host of Edith’s descendants in attendance, an appearance from Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for Co Tyrone, Robert Scott, and musical perfomances from the Omagh Protestant Boys and the Strule River String Band, of which Claire McElhinney is a member.
Funding for the printing and publishing of the book was provided by the Ulster Scots Agency, represented by chief executive Ian Crozier.
Full story in this week's Tyrone Constitution.