SPINDLER, Staff Nurse, NELLIE, 44th Casualty Clearing Station. Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. Killed in action 21st August 1917. Age 26. Daughter of George and Elizabeth Spindler, of Wakefield. One of only two female casualties of the Great War buried in Belgium. XVI. A. 3.
From Characters from the Great War on http://www.inflandersfields.be :
Nellie Spindler is born in Wakefield in 1891, a daughter of George and Elizabeth Spindler. Her father is an inspector in the local police force. When the war breaks out in 1914, not only men are mobilised. The British army also needs graduate nurses. Nellie Spindler is such a nurse. She joins Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service and goes to work in the field hospitals or Casualty Clearing Stations (CCS) on the Western Front.
The Casualty Clearing Stations are generally located a safe distance from the front. But the 44th CCS in Brandhoek, where Nellie Spindler is working in the summer of 1917, is closer to the front. Its speciality is abdominal wounds, which have to be cared for as quickly as possible because infection sets in immediately. On 31 July 1917, the first day of the Battle of Passendale, Nellie's CCS is flooded with the wounded. But she does her work well, and the senior nurse is full of praise.
Casualty Clearing Station 44, where Nellie Spindler is working, is next to a railway and a munitions dump and so is often shelled. On 21 August 1917, too, a shell lands. Nellie is critically wounded. The senior nurse comes running but it's too late. In two minutes, Nellie loses consciousness; in twenty minutes she is dead. On the same day, the 44th CCS is evacuated to Lijssenthoek near Poperinge. There, Nellie is buried a day later. She still lies there, the only woman among 10,800 men.