NURSE ALCE HILDA LANCASTER
TERRITORIAL FORCE NURSING SERVICE
3RD JUNE 1918 AGE 35
BURIED: WIMEREUX COMMUNAL CEMETERY, FRANCE
Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.
Song of Solomon 8:6-7
This vehement assertion of the power of love was chosen for Alice Lancaster by her father, Thomas Lancaster JP of The Cliffe, Monk Bretton, Barnsley, Yorkshire. Alice went to France as a Special Military Probationer Nurse attached to the Territorial Nursing Service at the end of May 1918. A week later her father received this letter:
6 June 1918
It is with deep regret that a report has been received in this Office stating that Miss Alice Hilda Lancaster, Special Military Probationer, was drowned while bathing on the 3rd of June, 1918.
I beg that you will accept this expression of my sincere sympathy.
I am, Sir,
Your obedient servant.
Sir Alfred Keogh
Army Medical Services
According to a Court of Enquiry, both Alice and the friend she went swimming with were caught by a strong current. The friend managed to get ashore but Alice was drowned.
There is more information about Alice Lancaster and her family on the Barnsley Historian Blogspot.