Alsace and Lorraine - 1875
When hostilities commenced, hospitals were packed with the wounded. Nuns and professional nurses set to work supporting doctors and cleaning wounds. Their roles were not yet clearly defined and were both domestic and therapeutic.
Sidonie Pocquet was one of the nurses of the Great War. Her services for the Société Française de Secours aux Blessés Militaires (the first Red Cross in France) earned her the Commemorative Medal and the medal of the Union des Femmes de France de la Croix-Rouge française in 1919.
The professional uniform was like that of the nuns, but more practical. It included a white coat, petticoat, collar and belt, a blue skirt, and, when she was providing medical care, a white apron with the Red Cross symbol embroidered on the chest. Nurses wore a cap and white veil, embroidered with the same symbol. When not providing treatment, they wore a long dark blue cape with a crest embroidered with the letters SBM above a red cross.