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Monday, May 4, 2015

Identity Papers and Paperwork for Norene Royer at her Death

The last post noted that Base Hospital 46 Chief Nurse Grace Phelps sought guidance about how to deal with the possessions of nurse Norene Royer at her death in September 1918. Materials in the Grace Phelps Papers at the Historical Collections & Archives at the Oregon Health & Science University help us learn more about that process and also provide information about the effects of one woman in service with the Army Nurse Corps in World War I.

Phelps had to turn over Royer's military and employment papers and what were considered her valuables to Quartermaster Malcolm S. Black of Base Hospital 46. Royer, and presumably all base hospital nurses in France, had three separate papers or cards that they were required to have with them. One was her Appointment Card, the second was her Certificate of Identity, and the third was her Workers' Permit. She also had a purse with her watch and 285 francs inside it. Phelps described the purse as a "pocketbook with [Royer's] name on it." (Memorandum - Special, Base Hospital 46, Office of Chief Nurse, September 20, 1918, Box 1, Folder 7, Grace Phelps Papers, Historical Collections & Archives at the Oregon Health & Science University.)

A look at the personnel of the Quartermaster Department at Base Hospital 46 suggests varied duties for the staff in this department that related directly to keeping the unit running.

Wight et al. On Active Service with Base Hospital 46, 39.
 In addition to those who worked at headquarters processing staff paperwork and working with supplies, four men were detailed to deal with patients' clothing, two were plumbers, and eight were carpenters.

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