An interview with Lady Jane

Lady Jane Grey in her VAD nurses uniform at Stamford Military Hospital (Dunham Massey), Cheshire

In the 1980s we recorded two interviews with Lady Jane Grey, of Dunham Massey in Cheshire, who recalls the First World War breaking out.

‘Everybody was thrilled. It’s always unbelievable to think of it now…we had won the Boer War and we were going to mince up the Germans before Christmas. The whole country…cheered in front of Buckingham Palace.’
In 1917 Dunham Massey became Stamford Hospital and Lady Jane nursed the soldiers. She worked alongside Sister Catherine Bennett, who wrote: ‘I have never had a keener nurse than Lady Jane.’
The house was a convalescent home but, when necessary, surgery was performed there. Lady Jane attended one operation.
‘[The soldier] had a bullet in his brain and this had to be got out. I was given the job of shining a torch into the hole…in the brain…I saw the brain sort of pulsating and it was grey…You know you always wonder if you’re going to be a bit squeamy…but having being given the job to do one forgets oneself.’