Josephine H: A film about World War I nurse Josephine Heffernan.


Josephine Heffernan

A film and an exhibition trace the story of Irish immigrant Josephine E. Heffernan (ca. 1880–1962), who trained as a nurse at Blackwell’s Island and served as chief nurse at U.S. Base Hospital No. 59 in Rimaucourt, France, from September to December 1918 (coping with an average of 1,060 patients per week and only 50 nurses to care for them; see History of Base Hospital No. 59 [1919]). A naturalized American citizen, she remained in the Army Nurse Corps after the war—serving in posts in the United States, the Philippines, and China—and returned to Ireland in the 1950s. A child found her lost identity bracelet in a Rimaucourt garden in 2002, and the film provides a moving account of its journey back to her grateful Irish family.

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