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Artificial turf laid at Brookwood Military Cemetery nurses plot

24 October 2012

Among the many headstones at Brookwood Cemetery sit 12 that belong to nurses who lost their lives during the First World War.

Their plot lies underneath a large pine tree which drains the soil of water and nutrients. During the summer months the site is also covered in heavy bracken growth.

Due to these circumstances, it has proved extremely difficult to establish turf that conforms to the Commission's high standards.

As a result, the decision was made to install artificial turf in the plot. The turf is both attractive and practical. It requires very little maintenance and will remain bright and thick all year round.

The casualties in the nursing plot are made up of the three nursing units that supported the British military during the First World War.

Eight were members of Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS), established in 1902 by Royal Warrant under the Presidency of Queen Alexandra. The QAIMNS replaced the Army Nursing Service and Indian Nursing Service.

Three were part of the Territorial Force Nursing Service (TFNS), established in 1909 as a sister organisation to QAIMNS with the aim of supplementing the regular service in times of emergency. All members of TFNS worked as nurses in civilian life.

One casualty was part of the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD), also founded in 1909 and this provided non-professional field nursing services.