Student project marks Wakefield war nurse's centenary
students gathered yesterday to commemorate a Wakefield nurse who died 100 years ago at Passchendaele.
Pupils from Wakefield Girls’ High School, Ossett Academy and Richmond School visited the Thackray Medical Museum to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the death of Nurse Nellie Spindler.
Nellie, a staff nurse in the British Army, Queen Alexandra’s Nursing Service, was hit by shrapnel and killed at the casualty clearing station just behind the British front line during the Battle of Passchendaele in Belgium.
The 120 students perfomred poems, songs and raps they had written for the two-hour event.
Folk group Harp and a Monkey also performed songs about the First World War, including one about Nellie, specially penned for the occasion using the students’ writings.
The project was put together by Wakefield resident Christine Hallett, Professor of Nursing History at Manchester University.
Her latest book, Nurses of Passchendaele includes Nellie’s story and that of Sister Minnie Wood, also from Wakefield, who held Nellie as she died.
Christine’s husband, Keith Brindle said: “It was absolutely brilliant, better than we could ever have imagined, the kids were brilliant.
“The students have been working with my wife, who is the centre of all this really.
“She went into schools and gave them talks about the First World War and nursing, then they produced their own work.
“The work that the students produced was very impressive.”
Nellie died on August 21, 1917, aged 26, and is buried in Belgium.