Comentarios de Annie Murray (Enfermera británica en el Hospital)

We had a lot of casualties even in the little hospital at Huete, very serious ones, terribly serious ones. Young, young men calling for their mothers. It was very sad, terrifically sad. Many of the wounds were very serious – open holes, stomachs opened up, legs off, arms off, oh, terrible, terrible. I never saw anybody shell-shocked. It was a different kind of war from the First World War. We didn’t have any cases of shell-shock in the hospital. We had lots of cases of frozen feet, and that was a terrible thing because when their feet were coming round to get their blood flowing again it was a terrible painful thing. We had an awful job with that, and of course we hadn’t really got the equipment to treat that sort of thing very easily. So there was a terrible lot of suffering from frozen feet. It was terribly cold in the winter, very cold up in the hills in the winter where we were, extremely cold.

Most of the casualties in our hospital of course were our own. At least eighty per cent I should think were Spaniards, the remaining were Internationals from all the countries. I met masses of Internationals. Lots of Americans, Germans, Italians, Russians and, oh, every country you could think about that sent volunteers – French, Yugoslavs. I think every country almost you could mention there were volunteers from to the anti-Fascist side.

Comentarios de Isobel Dodds sobre Huete

(Traducción del libro WOMEN´S VOICES FROM THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR, página 122)

[….] la gente que vive en el centro de España llevaba una vida muy dura, una vida triste; el campo allí es muy improductivo. Se solía decir que tenían las formas más primitivas de conservar la vida y los medios más actualizados de destruirla. La agricultura se llevaba como en los tiempos de Jesucristo, diría yo. En el lugar donde estábamos[1] se cultivaba esencialmente grano, el paisaje es muy pobre, es muy seco y muy triste. Los lugareños que cultivan la tierra son muy pobres. Llegas al pueblos y ves allá en la distancia este majestuoso y enorme edificio que es la iglesia que parece como una gran gallina cacareando y a su alrededor las pequeñas chozas donde vive la gente. Es del mismo color que el paisaje, hecho a base de piedra y roca que se ha sacado de la misma zona. De tal manera que miras desde la distancia y percibes que todo parece formar parte del paisaje exceptuando ese gran edificio que es la iglesia y los pequeños edificios de alrededor. Pero la gente es muy, muy pobre

Extract from “A Chronicle of Small Beer” by Nan Green.pp 72 to 77.  Trent Editions, 2004. ISBN9 781842 331057.

Nevertheless, tremendously devoted work was done and the Spanish people (patients – mostly peasants, staff and the villagers of Huete) were a glorious example and lesson to all. The training of village girls as nurses and wardmaids was speeded by their eagerness to learn and their devotion to the work, far out-running the expectations of our nurses. Like Cromwell’s men, they knew what they were fighting for, and loved what they knew.

I have never forgotten an old grandmother to whose cave­house (half of Huete’s houses consisted of caves hollowed out of the hillside in the village) I went, trying to recruit women for the hospital laundry and linen room. Her daughter; for whom I was searching, was out and she was surrounded by several grandchildren, one or two of whom were of school age. On the whitewashed wall of the cave were stuck some children’s drawings, done in coloured crayons. ‘Look,’ she said pointing proudly to there, ‘before the Republic there wasn’t a pencil in this village, and now  all the children go to school. YES, My daughter will come and help! Those wounded men are fighting so that our children can learn.’

[1] Huete