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Russian Nurses

A nurse of WWII time

Speaking about Russian women nurses, we often refer to Dasha Sevastopolskaya (Darja Lavrentjevna Mikhailova), who became popular due to her courageous service during the Crimean war and Defence of Sevastopol. Her arrival at the Battle of Alma to take care of the wounded soldiers was the 1st work experience when the woman helped medics in the field of war. Dasha was the first volunteer nurse in Russia, who attended the injured straight from the battlefield and in the filed on battle. During the war a 17-year old girl, showed the example of courage to the famous commanders. Dressed in male clothes she also took part on the battle, collected cannon balls and handed then to the gunners.

Crimean war (1853 - 1856) was the time when the first community of the sisters of mercy crreated. Short after the Battle of Alma, the Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna issued the call for women to join the Order of Exaltation of the Cross (Krestodvizhenskaya obshchina) for the year of service in the military hospitals. Soon the 1st section of 28 nurses headed to Sevastopol under the supervision of Nikolay Pirogov, a famous Russian military surgeon.

The women who volunteered were from different social groups ranging from the illiterates of humble background to members of upper nobility. In total 120 sisters of mercy took part in the Crimean war. Being not only a brilliant surgeon but a talented manager Pirogov allocated the duties among the women so that all of them could act professionally and out of fuss. Some worked at the pharmaceutics, others gave first aid to soldiers in the field hospital, some helped during the surgery.

Here are just some beautiful faces of Russian sisters of mercy: Ekaterina Bakunina, Elizaveta Kartseva, Elena Hitrovo, Varvara Shchedrina, Yulia Vrevskaya, baroness Eugenia Tol, the Duchess Natalia Shakhovskaya. Nowadays their portraits are fond in Russian history and art museums During the Russian-Turkish was, Russian-Japanese war, WWI and WWII Russian nurses shared the hardship of war, made the members of the Red Cross and took care of the wounded in hospitals at the immediate battle area and up-front.

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