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224   DAYS OF PREPARATION

ment was formed immediately after the Second Battle of Ypres, early in May, 1915, at the special request of the Commissioner, Colonel Hodgetts, to deal with the needs of our prisoners of war. Lady Drummond was fortunate in getting Mrs. Rivers Bulkeley to take charge of it, with Miss Stikeman (for some time) to supervise the sending out of parcels. In December, 1916, this Department, coming under the Central Prisoners of War Committee, was separated from the Information Bureau and constituted a distinct department of the Society.

The Enquiry Department, under the management of Miss Erika Bovey, was the first and is the largest of the departments. It covers a wide field of work and is divided into eight sections, each under a competent head. Information for answering enquiries and for reporting to families on the condition and progress of their relatives in hospital, is obtained from four sources.

  1. Lists of casualties are sent daily to this department from the Canadian Record Office.

  2. Wounded men, on their arrival at Southampton and Dover, are given "blue cards," stamped and addressed to this office for them to fill in on arrival in hospital, with their name, regimental number, battalion, the name of the hospital, and the name 'and address of their next-of-kin.

  3. There are nine hundred hospitals in the United Kingdom where authorized representatives of the Society visit the men and report weekly on their progress.

  4. A letter is written to the medical officer when fuller information is required than the visitor can give.

An important section of this department is the recording of casualties. A card is made out for every man in hospital from the information obtained through the Record Office lists and the "blue cards" the men send in. The visitors are depended on for further information, and their weekly reports are entered on the back of the cards. When an enquiry is made about a man, his card


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