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Lives of Girls Who Became Famous Sarah Knowles Bolton

Lady Brassey

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While all this travelling was being enjoyed, and made most useful as well, to hundreds of thousands of readers, Lady Brassey was not forgetting her works of philanthropy. For years she has been a leading spirit in the St. John's Ambulance Association. Last October she gave a valuable address to the members of the "Workingmen's Club and Institute Union," composed of several hundred societies of workingmen. Her desire was that each society take up the work of teaching its members how to care for the body in case of accidents. The association, now numbering over one hundred thousand persons, is an offshoot of the ancient order of St. John of Jerusalem, founded eight hundred years ago, to maintain a hospital for Christian pilgrims. She says: "The method of arresting bleeding from an artery is so easy that a child may learn it; yet thousands of lives have been lost through ignorance, the life-blood ebbing away in the presence of sorrowing spectators, perfectly helpless, because none among them had been taught one of the first rudiments of instruction of an ambulance pupil,--the application of an extemporized tourniquet. Again, how frequent is the loss of life by drowning; yet how few persons, comparatively, understand the way to treat properly the apparently drowned." Lectures are given by this association on, first, aid to the injured; also on the general management of the sick-room.

Lady Brassey, with the assistance of medical men, has held classes in all the outlying villages about her home, and has arranged that simple but useful medical appliances, like plasters, bandages, and the like, be kept at some convenient centres.

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At Trindad, and Bahamas, and Bermudas, when they stayed there in their travels, she caused to be held large meetings among the most influential residents; also at Madeira and in the Azores. A class was organized on board the Sunbeam, and lectures were delivered by a physician. In the Shetland Islands she has also organized these societies, and thus many lives have been saved. When the soldiers went to the Soudan, she arranged for these helpful lectures to them on their voyage East, and among much other reading-matter which she obtained for them, sent them books and papers on this essential medical knowledge.

She carries on correspondence with India, Australia, and New Zealand, where ambulance associations have been formed. For her valued services she was elected in 1881 a Dame Chevaliere of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.

Her work among the poor in the East End of London is admirable. Too much of this cannot be done by those who are blessed with wealth and culture. She is also interested in all that helps to educate the people, as is shown by her Museum of Natural History and Ethnological Specimens, open for inspection in the School of Fine Art at Hastings. How valuable is such a life compared with one that uses its time and money for personal gratification alone.

In August, 1885, Sir Thomas and Lady Brassey took Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone, and a few other friends, in the Sunbeam, up the coast of Norway. When they landed at Stavanger, a quaint, clean little town, she says, in the October Contemporary Review: "The reception which we met in this comparatively out-of-the-way place, where our visit had been totally unexpected, was very striking. From early morning little groups of townspeople had been hovering about the quays, trying to get a distant glimpse of the world-renowned statesman who was among our passengers." When they walked through the town, "every window and doorway was filled with on-lookers, several flags had been hoisted in honor of the occasion, and the church bells were set ringing. It was interesting and touching to see the ex-minister walking up the narrow street, his hat almost constantly raised in response to the salutations of the townspeople."

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Lives of Girls Who Became Famous
Sarah Knowles Bolton

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