Nurses were desperately needed around the U.S. when the epidemic struck. Trained nurses were preferred, but it was quickly realized that there were not nearly enough professional nurses. Many were serving overseas in Army camps. The demand was so critical that restrictions were quickly loosened so that most women in good standing and willing to provide nursing services were accepted.
Frances Poole, of Evanston, Illinois, was one such nurse. She was a wealthy woman and did not seek to serve as a nurse in the army for the money. Rather, she volunteered to help the soldiers. She was sent to Camp Ontario in New York. Unfortunately, all too soon she contracted the flu and died from the resulting pneumonia.
One of her colleagues wrote: “During the terrible epidemic which was very severe in Camp Ontario, Miss Poole did not spare herself and, though she had a severe cold and was urged not to go on duty, she saw the extreme need of the boys, and, like a brave soldier, fought the fight until she fell—a victim of pneumonia. Her mother reached her two hours before her death.”
Read more about Frances and the search for her story here
Photo and story courtesy of Barbara Poole