La photo représente deux omnibus des chemins de fer d’Orléans à l’arrêt devant la façade principale du lycée Pasteur, boulevard d’Inkermann, à Neuilly-sur-Seine. Un homme en uniforme, sur le toit de la deuxième voiture, le bras ceint d’un brassard de la Croix-Rouge, décharge des bagages. Une dizaine de personnes assistent à l’arrivée des voyageurs : trois infirmières aux fenêtres du pavillon central, un groupe d’hommes depuis la terrasse du gymnase. Un drapeau français est accroché au balcon d’honneur. On aperçoit des matériaux de construction au premier plan.
La photo est forcément postérieure à la construction du lycée Pasteur, comme à la transformation du bâtiment en ambulance américaine, après la déclaration de guerre allemande. Commencée le 6 juillet 1912 par la pose d’une première pierre, la construction du lycée s’achève à l’été 1914. Sa transformation en ambulance, par la colonie américaine de Paris, date de la seconde quinzaine d’août. Les infirmières sont des volontaires américaines. Les hommes rassemblés sur la terrasse sont sans doute des blessés de guerre convalescents.
La photo est vraisemblablement antérieure à la clôture de l’ambulance des volontaires, cédée au gouvernement américain, après l’entrée en guerre des États-Unis, le 6 avril 1917. L’homme qui décharge des bagages porte l’uniforme des conducteurs volontaires américains qui transportaient les blessés en automobile depuis le front ou les gares de débarquement. Les matériaux de construction entreposés dans la cour laissent penser que les travaux d’aménagement restent inachevés. Postérieure au 1er septembre 1914, la photo peut être datée de la première année de guerre.
Une photo conservée dans l’album-souvenir d’une infirmière américaine
Publiée par le Centre d’histoire de la médecine de Boston, la photo est extraite d’un album-souvenir composé par une infirmière états-unienne, Geraldine K. Martin (1887-1937). Diplômée de l’école d’infirmière de l’université Johns Hopkins de Baltimore, elle rejoint la France au printemps 1915 avec une équipe médicale de l’université Harvard. Selon la légende qui l’accompagne, la photo représente l’arrivée de la délégation au lycée Pasteur.
Geraldine Kemmis Martin (1887-1937), Photographic Scrapbook of the American Ambulance Service, Assembled by Nurse Geraldine K. Martin, 1915
Légende de la photo :
The Harvard University Service arrives at the hospital
Deux récits de l’arrivée de l’équipe médicale d’Harvard au lycée Pasteur
Il existe deux récits de l’arrivée de l’équipe médicale au lycée Pasteur, rédigés par deux de ses membres, les chirurgiens Robert B. Greenough (1871-1937) et Harvey Cushing (1869-1939), le premier publié par The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal du 11 novembre 1915, le second dans un journal autobiographique tenu pendant la guerre et publié à Boston en 1936. Ils permettent de dater précisément la photo et donnent des indications sur le voyage. Partie de Boston le 17 mars 1915, la délégation débarque à Gibraltar le 28, renouvelle ses passeports à Madrid le 30 et franchit la frontière française à Hendaye le 31. Elle arrive à Paris au matin du 1er avril et rejoint Neuilly, depuis la gare d’Orléans, par les Champs-Élysées, à bord de trois omnibus.
REPORT OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY SERVICE AT THE AMERICAN AMBULANCE, LYCÉE PASTEUR, NEUILLY SUR-SEINE, FRANCE.
APRIL 1 TO JULY 1, 1915.
BY ROBERT B. GREENOUGH, M.D., Boston.
AT the request of the Medical Board of the American Ambulance at Neuilly-sur-Seine, a surgical contingent was organized by the Harvard Medical School, and sent to France to take charge of the so-called University Service of that hospital from April 1st to July 1st, 1915.
The funds needed for the equipment and transportation of this contingent, commonly known as the “Harvard Unit,” were generously provided by Mr. William Lindsey of Boston, and the group of seventeen surgeons and nurses arrived in Paris on the morning of April 1st, 1915, and proceeded at once to take charge of the service which had been from January 1st to April 1st, under the care of Dr. G. W. Crile of Cleveland, and the members of the Western Reserve “Unit.”
The American Ambulance was established as a military hospital for wounded soldiers, by the staff of the American Hospital of Paris, in September, 1914, and has been generously supported by Americans in Paris and at home. It is directly under the control of the Service de Santé of the French War Department, and is independent of the French, English or American Red Cross Societies.
The Lycée Pasteur, a high school building, still under construction, but nearly completed, in Neuilly, a suburb of Paris, was secured by the War Office and converted into a most excellent war hospital. Mr. Carroll Greenough, as representative of the firm of architects who built the Lycée, was in charge of these and subsequent alterations and improvements.
The Ambulance (the French word for a military hospital) was gradually enlarged until in June, 1915, it contained beds for over 750 patients. Of this number the University Service (Service D) had 190 beds, the rest being divided between three other services as follows: Service A, Dr. C. W. DuBouchet, Surgeon-in-chief; Service B, Dr. Joseph A. Blake; Service C, Dr. Mignon. In addition to these general surgical services special departments were also in operation, as follows: Dental Department, Drs. Hays and Davenport; Throat and Nose Department, Dr. Koenig; Eye Department, Dr. Scarlett; Genito-Urinary Department, Dr. Heitz Boyer; X-ray Department, Dr. Jougeas; Path ological Department, Dr. Kenneth Taylor.
All of the administrative departments of a modern hospital have been established, such as kitchen, laundry, supply room, apothecary, diet kitchen, and departments for statistics and surgical dressings and apparatus. There is a competent corps of trained nurses under the Superintendent, Miss Willingale. Many of the nurses have had their training in American or English hospitals, and there is a sufficient force to supply one nurse to every ten patients by day, and one for every forty patients by night. In addition to the trained nurses, and acting as assistants to them, there has been organized a corps of volunteer or auxiliary nurses and orderlies. These volunteers have given most devoted and competent service, and have contributed greatly to the comfort and well-being of the wounded. It is fair to say that without this efficient group of volunteers a much greater number of trained nurses would have been required, and the cost of maintenance of the hospital would have been that much increased.
The University Service was composed of eighteen wards, containing ten or eleven beds, on the third floor of the building. A special operating room and laboratory was arranged for this service on the fourth floor of the north wing, giving excellent light and ample and satisfactory equipment. No surgeon could reasonably ask for more favorable conditions under which to work.
The members of the Harvard University Service which took charge on April 1st, were as follows: Dr. Harvey Cushing, surgeon; Dr. Robert B. Greenough, surgeon and executive officer; Dr. Richard P. Strong, bacteriologist; Dr. Robert B. Osgood, orthopedic surgeon; Dr. Beth Vincent, assistant surgeon; Dr. William M. Boothby, anesthetist; Drs. Fred A. Coller and Elliot C. Cutler, resident surgeons. Drs. Philip D. Wilson, M. N. Smith-Petersen and Lyman G. Barton, Jr., house-officers; Dr. Orville F. Rogers, Jr., medical assistant; Dr. George Benet, laboratory assistant; Misses Edith I. Cox, Geraldine K. Martin, Helen A. Parks and Marion Wilson, operating-room nurses.
“Report of Harvard University Service at the American Ambulance, Lycée Pasteur, Neuilly Sur-Seine, France.” The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, 11 novembre 1915, VOL. CLXXIII, NO. 20, p. 735.
THE HARVARD UNIT AT THE AMBULANCE AMERICAINE
In August 1914, a group of Americans resident in Paris, under the leadership of Ambassador Herrick and his predecessor, Mr. Robert Bacon, undertook the organization of a military hospital and motor-ambulance service in connection with the existent American Hospital at Neuilly-sur-Seine of which Dr. G. W. du Bouchet and Dr. E. L. Gros were the well-known surgical attendants. For the purpose of this “Ambulance” —the usual name for a French military hospital— the French Government put at their disposal the Lycée Pasteur, a school building in process of erection at Neuilly which was altered and equipped to provide beds for some five or six hundred patients.
A staff of auxiliaires, orderlies and helpers who volunteered their services, was soon recruited, and on September 7 the first wounded were received. The expenses of this American Ambulance were met by voluntary subscriptions, and a subsidiary 200-bed hospital at Juilly, northwest of Meaux and nearer the line, was later established through the generosity of Mrs. Harry Payne Whitney. It had a rotating professional staff supplied chiefly by the College of Physicians, New York.
Certain universities in the States were subsequently asked to participate in the project by successively supplying the professional personnel capable of caring for a certain number of wards in this Ambulance Americaine at Neuilly for a three-months period. The first of these units, from Western Reserve University, under the direction of Dr. G. W. Crile and financed by Mr. Samuel Mather of Cleveland, began its three-months term of service in January of 1915. A Harvard unit organized by Drs. Cushing and R. B. Greenough and financed by Mr. William Lindsey of Boston followed in April 1915. [THE EDITOR]
THE JOURNEY TO PARIS
Thursday, March 18, 1915
She seemed very low in the water—the Canopic—when we found her hidden behind the new Commonwealth Pier yesterday afternoon, with two interned Hamburg-American ships on the opposite side. Strange company! And when, after our false start at 4.15 we returned again at eight for the sailing, she was still lower. Ammunition for the Allies, it is said. What a temptation it must have been to die Leute across the dock! A stowaway with a bomb would do it—and there seemed to be no precautions such as one would perhaps expect on an English ship under existing circumstances.
It was a cold blowy March night by the time our pilot was dropped outside of Boston Light, and though the merrymakers, Benet and Barton, marched the decks with tin flutes tuned to “Tipperary,” blue noses soon drove us in and to bed. There are only fifty first-cabin passengers, seventeen of them constituting our immediate party, to which three or four others are c’est a dire allied. So there’s plenty of room, though no place to go but out, and no place to stay but in—with one’s overcoat on in either case.
Sunday, March 28
6 p.m. Such a gloomy landing! In a perfect downpour we had a hazy glimpse of the African shore, were bespoken by a destroyer and told to go ahead, and then were carried down far beyond Gibraltar so that when it came dimly into view it was off the star-board bow, which was very confusing. But after all, the rock of which so much is said and written was mantled by a heavy cloud. Damp, cold, forlorn, and huddled together on deck, we finally, about ten o’clock, steamed into the Bay of Algeciras and came to anchor. In a wretched little boat we were then put ashore on the north mole—our luggage likewise.
After fiddling about for some time and learning that we must wait for a 2.20 boat to Algeciras, we clambered into strange little fiacres holding four on a pinch, and with flapping wet curtains and such individual protection as each of us had—’t was not much — we started to see Gibraltar. There was a long delay at the end of the wharf while our passports were viséed, and in return we were presented with a water-port pass. Meanwhile a fine Welsh bobby who stood in the downpour told us, as did others, that there had been nothing but rain—fifty-two inches for the season instead of the usual fourteen, according to his calculation. We could see up on the Rock only as far as the old Moorish castle.
The converted Cunarder Carmania, in her gray war paint, was lying alongside the south mole in the British harbor. It was she who sank the Cap Trafalgar. On the whole, there seemed fewer men-of-war than one would expect, even in times of peace. We rode along Church and Southport streets, rubbering at what we could see of the Rock in the rain and mist—enough to assure us of its fascination and interest in better weather—past the sad and dripping little Trafalgar cemetery as far as the Alameda, a park laid out a century ago. At its far end is a flight of steps surmounted by a bronze bust of General (or was it Admiral?) Elliot — hero of the great siege of 1780 or thereabouts.
Our later arrival at Algeciras, across the Bay, was the worst of all—simply drenched, we were landed on a long pier without cover and walked into the customhouse, our soaking baggage following after us. The jabbering officials finally satisfied, Strong, Boothby, and I, being about the only ones with overshoes, started out bravely for a promenade in the town. We were soon joined by a fascinating boy named Diego who attached himself to us for the rest of the afternoon. He took us first to a high point from which we had a lovely view of the distant hills—the Sierra de los Gazules—with the winding Miel between us and the town itself. The clouds were breaking, and the light on the roofs of the houses crowning the opposite hill made a stunning picture. It was good to see and feel the sun again. Next—and most important to Diego—was the bull ring, where there was to have been a fight this afternoon, postponed owing to the rain, for the seats are without shelter. As we were strolling through the narrow cobbled streets lined by little, close-packed, unpretentious Spanish houses with their barred windows, there was an approaching sound of an excited rabble. Soon a crowd of small boys appeared, then a carriage, and then a mob of people shouting, “Belmonte! Belmonte!” It was the local hero—the bullfighter.
Tuesday, March 30. Madrid
6.30 p.m. Impressions of Madrid consist largely of trips to and from Cook’s central office and this Hotel with an occasional sidestep to the local hospital, the American Ambassador, the Prado, the French Consul, and an antiquariat. But Cook’s and the Consul were the most time-consuming.
We got in about 9 a.m. and had the usual palaver with officials at the station—Strong coming in as usual most handily and politely for he has the gracious manners as well as the tongue, cultivated by his long stay in the Philippines and Spanish America…. At the American Embassy, which did not open till 10, we were informed that a new order was issued two days ago by the French Government—to wit, that no one may cross the border without a new passport issued by the French Consul here; and this required newly made duplicate photographs—all to-day!! Our Washington papers from Jusserand, etc., mean nothing, as some official at the border will have to pass on our things, not the Foreign Office itself….
After lunch Strong and I managed to look in at the Prado for a short hour and I rather liked the Antonio Moros the best. Then at 3 to the Consul’s where he made out a blanket passport for us—a formidable document with all our signatures and photos, with seals and stamps on a single sheet.
8.30 p.m. At the station—an hour ahead of time to make sure of our large collection of baggage. We’ve had a horrid time with bad infectious colds—apparently the Canopic was infected for the Captain and the Doctor had had influenzal colds on their west—ward crossing. One after another of the party has come down and the amount of barking is distressing. Only a few so far have escaped. Strong is filling himself up with aspirin to-night.
Wednesday. March 31st
The Basque provinces. Cold and rainy—but early spring betrayed by fruit trees in blossom. Rugged, semi-mountainous country for we are in the foothills of the Cantabrian range of the Pyrenees. From Vitoria, founded in 581 by the King of the Visigoths, on to Irún-Hendaye. Prosperous country—good roads—cultivated hillsides, covered in spots with brilliant yellow gorse. Orchards, beech groves, great ivy-colored walls, deep valleys with terraced sides, trim gardens, stone walls, rows of poplars in their yellow spring dress, dwarfed buttonwoods, limestone cliffs, deep rocky gorges, white stucco or square-built stone houses with red tiled roofs.
Irún and Hendaye. Our elaborate passport four tout ensemble obtained at Madrid let us through not only without scrutiny but with bows of welcome. A telegram from the Paris Government also helped some. Luncheon at the Restaurant de la Gare heartily enjoyed in view of our scanty breakfast.
4 p.m. After luncheon, despite the cold lowering weather and our various degrees of bronchitis and coughs, we started off in parties to see the little border town of Hendaye—the objective point of some being a Sanatorium pour les Enfants (550 of them) off on the northern shore of the Bidassoa looking out on the Bay of Biscay, where we saw the smoke of what we took to be a row of some 30-odd battleships on the horizon.
It was an interesting though muddy walk of 3 or 4 kilometres but the Sanatorium at the end made it well worth while—a place of convalescence for the children, boys and girls, up to 13, from the various Paris hospitals. Clean pavilions with neat gardens, vines, trained buttonwoods for shade, hedges, etc., and a lovely view over the bay. Also a superb beach. No wonder the children looked ruddy and well. M. le Directeur, when he learned who we were, had us shown through many of the playrooms, the kitchen, etc. The children were really too cunning—a much better-looking lot than one could easily find in a children’s convalescent hospital at home where our mongrel make-up shows itself plainly. All with their heads closely cropped except the girls old enough to braid their own—their little shoes lined up under the wall benches, their napkins in individual boxes, etc. The girls wore red and white circular caps and one roomful of them we took into the garden, to their great glee, for a chance photo, but it was dark and overcast. Such big, yellow, clean omelettes were being made for them in the neat kitchen as one rarely sees—boxes of eggs by the hundreds. The place itself looked like a regular incubator for a new French race—post bellum.
7 p.m., Bayonne. Encampments for the convalescent wounded and soldiers returning to the line begin to appear. At every station are girls with tricolor buttons and money boxes “pour les blessés.” We are going into France by the military back door. The men are still in their blue and red uniforms.
11.30 p.m., Bordeaux. Here they are—soldiers by the number. They look just like the pictures of our old Civil War veterans with their long blue coats and visored képis. Zouaves also, and occasionally a man in a blue-gray uniform, but all with red caps and trousers. They have put on many more cars, and the forward ones are packed with soldiers. They look very small and forlorn—not much élan here. We have wangled a few pillows and rugs and will try to sleep.
April 1, Paris
It was a poor night, and a most bedraggled group of people made some tea in one of our baskets about 6 a.m. But despite the cold, our first bright clear day brought us cheer; and we finally slid into the Gare d’Orléans, where was breakfast, and a chance to pull ourselves together. Very exciting to look out on the streets of war-time Paris—officers speeding by in motor cars—an armored car with machine guns—ambulances and all else—all in gray war paint except for the red crosses and the red splashes of the old French uniforms.
Greenough commandeered three big buses into which we clambered, bag and baggage, and set out across the river, through the Place de la Concorde, where Alsace and Lorraine are still draped in black, out along the Elysees, under the Arc to the Porte Maillot, and through it into Neuilly. A very interesting ride on a crisp, clear, spring morning. But the streets seemed very empty for Paris — children playing whip top on the Elysees paths as usual, showing that it was really not Sunday, though it looked it. Everyone not in uniform seems to be garbed in black.
The converted Lycée Pasteur, now the Ambulance Américaine, is not far from the Porte Maillot, and as we approached it along the Boulevard d’Inkermann it was immediately recognizable: the handsome school building with its courtyard full of Ford motor ambulances, over which a bevy of uniformed drivers—youngsters from home, for the most part—were tinkering, some freshly arrived châssis being newly assembled. A row of patients and nurses; Blake and others of the permanent staff, most of them in khaki, greeted us below.
Harvey Cushing, From a Surgeon’s Journal, 1915-1918, pp. 3-12.
Les dix-sept membres de l’équipe médicale d’Harvard à l’ambulance américaine
Harvey Cushing, From a Surgeon’s Journal, 1915-1918, n.p.
La même photo, extraite de l’album-souvenir de Geraldine K. Martin, est reproduite sur le site du Centre d’histoire de la médecine de Boston :