Nurse revisits trenches for debut novel
It’s a book which combines the past and present and examines the differences for medical staff in times of war or peace.
And The Nurse Who Found Herself in 1916 represents a labour of love for Sally Lawton, one of the most travelled figures in north-east medicine during the last 35 years.
Mrs Lawton, 59, who has published her first novel, moved to Aberdeen shortly after qualifying in 1980.
She worked as a staff nurse at Woodend, before training as a district nurse and then as a clinical teacher.
That led to her being involved in nurse education for both city universities and the NHS in Aberdeen for the rest of her career.
She also travelled to all corners of Grampian, Highlands, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles teaching staff about district nursing and palliative care. Now she has retired from her vocation she has turned her hand to writing.
Mrs Lawton told the Press and Journal: “I have always had an interest in the First World War, especially about the work of nurses on the Western Front.
“About eight years ago, I began to read diaries and books from the time and wondered what it must have been like for the nurses who were caring for badly and fatally injured soldiers.
“It was while I was reading a diary entry about a soldier’s self-inflicted injury that I questioned what I would have done in a similar situation and then I had the idea to write the novel.
“The story of The Nurse who found herself in 1916 grew from reading original material and my own nursing experience.
“I spent many hours in the Wellcome Library in London, acquired a small library of old nursing and medical textbooks, and then I visited the battlefields of Northern France.
“I also undertook online research to ensure that the factual elements in the story are as accurate as possible.”
The book, which is cinematic in scope, is available in paperback or on Kindle.
“I spent hours in the Wellcome Library, acquiring a library of old medical textbooks”
Sally Lawton, an experienced nurse, decided to write about what she knew but took her inspiration from the theatre of the First Wold War