The photographs of Leila and Constance Armytage, Red Cross volunteers in La Havre, France
Leila Christina Armytage (1875-1965) joined the Volunteer Aid Detachment (VAD) of the Australian Red Cross at the start of WWI. She was placed at the No.52 Stationary Hospital at Le Havre, in the Haute-Normandy region of north-west France.
VAD volunteers performed the duties of a nursing orderly, assisting with general hospital maintenance and basic patient care. Stationary Hospitals such as No.52 were often small and were primarily used for clearing casualties and the care of convalescing soldiers.
Leila’s older sister Constance Caroline Fitzpatrick (Armytage) (1871-1969) joined her at Le Havre in 1916. Constance worked as an ambulance driver, transporting casualties from the battlefields. In the midst of it all, they were taking photographs, possibly encouraged by their older sister Ada Armytage (1859-1939), an avid amateur photographer. Hundreds of the Armytage family photographs are available on the University of Melbourne Archives’ online image catalogue.