To accompany the BBC series The Crimson Field, we’re sharing some of the best First World War stories, letters and diaries from our archives. This week: sheep-brain soup, ‘egg flip’ and what happens when your cook can’t cook…
It reads like an extract from a TV script: “Clickety—click. Clickety—click. Clickety—click. In the circle of light a VAD [Red Cross volunteer] is frothing the white of an egg. Behind, in the ward, men badly gassed are panting away their lives. Over all the moon shines.”
It was actually written in 1918 by staff from a hospital in Etaples, France.
Sarah Phelps, the writer of The Crimson Field, said that this “tiny little description… went like a knife into my heart”. She loved it so much that she included the scene in episode two. More