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Association Events


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Today I was fortunately given the opportunity to attend the Army Reserve Professionally Qualified Officers course 172 final parade.

It was a glorious day with a lovely breeze the sun shining and barely a cloud in the sky.

Brigadier David McArthur OBE TD QHN VR Head of Army Medical Services Reserves was the inspecting Officer

I was very excited to see that a QA was the recipient of the sword of honor

Lt Samantha Gardiner QARANC

How lovely it was that the inspecting Officer, late QARANC, was there to present the sword to a fellow QA.  Fellow QA’s who passed out on this course of 25 were Capt L Jones  and Lt AA Owusu

The MacRobert sword is awarded to the Officer Cadet considered by the directing staff to be the best on the course. It is donated by the MacRobert Trust and crafted by Poole Sword Limited the first sword was presented in April 2016. The MacRobert  Trust motto is “Not for Self but for Country”

Good luck and all the very best for their future with the Reserves and the Corps.

Lt Col Pat Gibson MBE QARANC

Be part of this national cause to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice

The bodies of 72,396 British servicemen who died at the Somme were never recovered.  Somerset artist, Rob Heard is hand-stitching a shrouded figure to remember each one.  he began with the 19,240 killed on the first day of the battle - 1 July 1916.  These were displayed in Exeter last year.

He is now working on making tens of thousands more to 'bring the boys home' for the centenary of Armistice Day in 2018.  They are looking at raising £150,000 to deliver this extraordinary installation in London.

You can be part of it by signing up to the kickstarter crowding funding campaign which launched on the 10 May 2017.

Kickstarter page:   

Help make this happen -   





The Commonwealth War Graves Commission ensures that 1.7 million Commonwealth Forces who died in the two world wars will never be forgotten. They care for cemeteries and memorials at 23,000 locations, in 154 countries. The values and aims, laid out in 1917, are as relevant now as they were a 100 years ago.

On the 21st May this year the Commission celebrates its Centenary and to honour this remarkable anniversary BFPS has produced a commemorative cover.

I've been here for almost two weeks now, and I've only heard the phone ring twice.

That may have something to do with the fact that there is a total of 53 nurses in the Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps (RNZNC), 43 of these are Regular, 10 are reservists. There are no Healthcare Assistants. The Regular Force breakdown is roughly 11 in ED, 4 in ITU, 5 in Theatres, 4 in PACU, 2 in Primary Healthcare, 2 preceptors and 10 in the ‘other’ category. About 18 months ago all the Defence Health New Zealand became Tri-Service, even prior to this, nurses were only employed within the Army, fulfilling all Navy and RAF nursing capabilities. 

Tuesday, 09 May 2017 20:21

QARANC Corps Day Service

Being the 70th Anniversary of the QARANC, we felt it fitting to hold a celebratory service and supper for our Corps Day celebration. 

It was a combined event with the Newcastle Branch of the QARANC Association and 201 (Northern) Field Hospital.  Both the Officers and SNCO Messes, as well as the RAMC Association provided support. 

The opportunity for engagement between serving and retired members within and out with 201 Fd Hosp was too good to pass up.  During the service, Padre Pyke lead the celebration which included readings from the diary of Helen Octavia Driver, Aug 1914.  Thanks go to  Jackie Hall, Fiona Mitford, Karen Race and Alexandra Cairns for their readings.  

The CO delivered a leaving speech for Lt Col Laverick-Stovin and presented her 1st VRSM bar and Col Coles TD QHN presented WO2 Race with her Warrant.   

Afterwards we all gathered in the Officers’ Mess for food, refreshments and a celebratory anniversary cake.   There was a QARANC and 201 Fd Hosp history display for Unit members and guests to peruse.  It was an excellent opportunity for both serving and retired QARANC officers and soldiers to get together and celebrate such an important point in our history. 

Some of our younger members were surprised when they realised how recently the grey dresses were in service.  Also, Cath Waller shared some of her experience of how core belts were utilised before manual handling aids were formally introduced.

The Chief Nursing Officer (Army) Colonel Karen Irvine QHN L/QARANC held her 2 day symposium over the 4-5 May 2017, in the fabulous grounds of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

With a full and comprehensive programme of events and presentations the Churchill theatre was packed with QARANC personnel, from HCA's, ECT's, Registered personnel from all over the UK eager to learn and network in a relaxed atmosphere.

It has been a fantastic event with presentations from numerous areas of work from Veterans care to Occupational health, each presenter offering something more about their role and experiences within Nursing in Defence.  Lots of exciting opportunities coming up and lots of important changes to the NMC codes and how nurses are trained.

An excellent event

After a long and tedious journey myself (Pte Woods) and Cpl Louise Arthur finally arrived in Nairobi, Kenya. Before we had left our Unit Defence medical Group South East (DMG SE) many people had told us their experiences of Kenya so we were prepared! We arrived in Nairobi in the evening, very tired and not fully aware of our surroundings. Once morning came the heat hit us as did the surroundings and culture which we experienced on the 200km coach ride north to Nanyuki, our home for the next 6 weeks.

The reason behind our deployment to Kenya was to be research assistants at British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) carrying out the Trial Evaluating Ambulatory Treatment of Travellers’ Diarrhoea (TrEAT TD). The Doctor leading this research in Kenya was Sqn Ldr J Rimmer. This research was carried out both in the medical centre at LAB (E) Camp and in field conditions involving individuals on EXERCISE ASKARI STORM. This study involved individuals submitting 3 stool samples over the period of the exercise to be analysed and tested at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI).

Student Nurses based at Birmingham’s DHE have a period of time at the end of their academic studies called ‘Consolidation and Preparation’ (CAP). CAP is designed to allow Student Nurses to consolidate their learning from the previous academic year and to take part in extracurricular activities that will develop their nursing practice. Last August, during our CAP period, Pte Kirtley and I were fortunate enough to be able to take part in a medical volunteer programme in Fort Dauphin, Madagascar.

Upon arrival in Madagascar’s capital city, Antananarivo, we were instantly struck by the obvious economic instability of the country. The lack of general infrastructure was quite shocking, roads comprised of nothing more than a dirt track and it was routine to see young children without clothing begging in the streets. After a couple of nights in the capital we took a flight down to the South East. Fort Dauphin seemed a world away from the hustle and bustle of Antananarivo. The tropical seaside town of Fort Dauphin is built up around a central market where farmers walk for hours every day to sell their home grown produce for little more than a few pounds. After meeting our local Malagasy guide and packing our geriatric 4WD with enough food to feed the entire British Army, we were off to the ‘Spiny Forest’ where we would spend 10 days working within a rural medical centre.

A group of 22 personnel from DMGSE embarked on a four day tour of Normandy, France on Operation Cantina Overlord. With the objective to enhance knowledge about the D-Day landings (Operation Overlord) which took place on the 6th June 1944 and the military precision planning it involved. The first stop was Memorial de Caen. The memorial provided the students with an overall understanding of the D-Day landings and countries involved with the operation.

The second day started with a visit to Pegasus Bridge, perhaps one of the most famous landmarks in Normandy. For the British it was crucial that Pegasus Bridge was liberated to ensure the success of Operation Tonga, the codename for airborne operations takeing place over the 5 – 6 June 1944. The mission to take Pegasus Bridge was led by Major John Howard and the men of 'D' Company, 2nd (Airborne) Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. After looking around the Pegasus Bridge museum the students then departed to the Merville Battery.

Florence Nightingale Shore was born in Stamford, Lincolnshire on 10th January 18651,2,3. Florence Nightingale was one of her Godparents4. She was brought up in Mickleover, Derbyshire2. In 1891 she travelled to China to work as a nursery nurse4. In 1893 she returned to the UK and started her nurse training at The Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, Scotland (aged 28)2, 5. In 1897 she completed her midwifery training at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin6. Towards the end of 1897 she enrolled at the Queen Victoria Jubilee Institute for Nurses in London and became a Queen’s Nurse7. She completed district nurse training later working in Reading and Sunderland.

She joined the Princess Christian's Army Nursing Service (Reserve) on May 18th 19008, and served with the Imperial Yeomanry Hospital at Deelfontein, South Africa during the Boer War9, 10, then returned to district nursing in Sunderland.


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A Career in Army Nursing


The QARANC employs Officers and Soldiers in both the Regular and Reserve Army, as Registered Nurses, Student Nurses, and Health Care Assistants, and we are always looking for people. If you are interested in a career as a Nurse or Health Care Assistant which also offers other great opportunities then you are just the person we are looking for. A career in the QARANC is more than a job, you will have access to extensive training and development opportunities, not just related to your job, but personal development too. You will have the opportunity to use your skills in diverse settings – wherever the Army is employed health care professionals from the QARANC are there. Right now there are QARANC personnel working around the world, including Sierra Leone, Canada, Mali, Afghanistan, Germany, and Cyprus. Being in the QARANC you will have access to, and be expected to undertake adventurous training, and you will have access to free medical and dental care, as well as robust annual leave and pension package. For information contact a member of the QARANC recruiting team on: 01276 412741, 01276 412742 or 01276 412740 or visit

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