Dorothy Maud Chandler was born in Epsom on 2nd January 18861,2. She contracted Rheumatic Fever as a child which damaged her heart2. She trained as a nurse at the Epsom Union Workhouse Infirmary2,3, 1910-1914. She was accepted into the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (Reserve) on the 14th January 19152.

Nursing Service in WW1

Dorothy Maud Chandler

Most of her military service was at the Queen Alexandra Military Hospital, Millbank, London2. In April -May of 1917 she was sent on temporary duty to France. First to 26 General Hospital and then to 1 BRC Hospital to learn about a new way of dealing with wounds, the Carrel-Dakin method. On 15th November 1917 she died of a cerebral embolism at the Hospital for QAIMNS Sisters, Vincent Square, London2. Her death was linked to a damaged mitral valve caused by Rheumatic Fever she had as a child2.


  1. England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
  2. The National Archives, War Office 399 Chandler, Dorothy
  3. 1911 England Census, RG14; Piece: 2965, Epsom Surrey

Note: A prominent French surgeon, Dr. Alexis Carrel, was working in a temporary field hospital and lab near the forest of Compiegne in France, just six and a half miles from the front. Carrel realized that the greatest surgical need was a better method of sterilising wounds, so he and English chemist Henry D. Dakin developed a system that would irrigate wounds with a sterilising solution – saving soldiers’ lives and limbs. Dakin developed the solution, while Carrel developed an apparatus to deliver it.