1 August 1914

It gives me much pleasure, from a personal acquaintance of a good many years, to be able to speak with confidence and very favourably indeed of the capacity of Mrs Calderon to undertake almost any or all of the duties usually performed by a General Nurse.

It has fallen to her lot to an unusual degree, to be intimately mixed up with cases of illness, both surgical and medical, often for long periods of time at a stretch. To name but one instance that I know of personally, that of her mother, chronically ill for 4 or 5 years…

She has also nursed and helped to nurse several important surgical cases, and has undergone at least one operation herself, which in my opinion is a most important adjunct and experience in the training of any nurse.

I can confidently state therefore that most of the duties and manoeuvres which fall to the lot of a nurse to perform and carry out are perfectly familiar to Mrs Calderon.

Finally, and most important of all, she possesses all the best of the mental qualities which go towards, and are absolutely necessary for, the making of an efficient nurse, viz. careful observation, watchful intelligence, tact, and strict obedience to instructions, together with the ability to form a judgment in the absence of them, and to act promptly on it.

She is very bright and cheerful, and very kind – and usually enjoys good health.

Albert Tebb
M.D. & B.Sc. (Lond.)
M.R.C.S, L.R.C.P.

Whilst George Calderon was sailing, swimming, and possibly writing a chapter of his travel book Tahiti, at Bembridge on the Isle of Wight, back in London Kittie was evidently planning to volunteer as a nurse in the Red Cross’s VAD organisation, founded in 1909. Above is Dr Albert Tebb’s reference for her, written on Saturday 1 August 1914. Tebb had been the Calderons’ G.P. since 1901. He was also doctor to their Hampstead friends William Rothenstein and Joseph Conrad, as well as to Ford Maddox Ford. He specialised in treating ‘nervous prostration’ in artistic people.

Next Entry: 2 August 1914


About Patrick Miles

I am a writer who specialises in Anton Chekhov and is writing a biography of George Calderon.
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