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Princess Mary's RAF Nursing Service

The nurses of the Royal Air Force have cared for the sick and wounded of the three Armed Forces since the creation of the RAF Nursing Service in 1918. In 1923 Princess Mary, daughter of King George V, gave the RAFNS her royal patronage and the Service was renamed Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service. Initially nurses from the PMRAFNS cared for patients in station medical centres and rehabilitation hospitals, and in RAF and Military hospitals both in Britain and abroad.

Their war role was to nurse patients prior to evacuation from the battle zone. During the Cold War this role evolved to include in-flight nursing.

Many of the original duties have not changed; the PMRAFNS continues to care for Air Force personnel and their families in station medical centres, and also aids in the rehabilitation of the wounded.

As a consequence of the closure of all military hospitals the "PM's" now nurse in Military District Hospital Units (MDHUs) and at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine in Birmingham, based within the NHS. Moreover, they continue to remain scattered around the globe in areas of conflict caring not only for our wounded Servicemen and women, but also for foreign nationals.

Learn more about Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service by visiting the exhibition which is currently on display in the Bomber Hall at RAF Museum London.