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Grey and Scarlet #1

The Grey Lady Ghost: Of The Cambridge Military Hospital

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Scott Grey is a military nurse in the Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps and member of the Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. His fiancee, Naomi Scarlet, a Royal Army Medical Corps Combat Medical Technician is out on patrol with The Royal Regiment of Scotland on a mission to secure and destroy a Taliban arms cache. Both are trying to put behind them the horrors they witnessed in Iraq, on this their second tour of Afghanistan. Naomi's patrol comes under attack from a Taliban sniper, one soldier dies and another is injured before he can be suppressed. The wounded soldier requires immediate evacuation by helicopter with the trauma team of surgeon, nurse and two medics on-board to work on him before surgery at Camp Bastion Hospital. Whilst they are scrambled Naomi keeps him alive with battlefield first aid, unaware that Scott is on-board the Chinook rushing to their aid. Their presence is felt by the Grey Lady ghost of the Cambridge Military Hospital which closed in 1996 and is being refurbished into flats. In life and now death she was a Nursing Sister of the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service during the First World War. For decades she helped dying patients find comfort and brought them to their loved ones on the other side, often felt and occasionally seen by living nurses. She now waits for her new patient, Scott, a fellow QA, though now they are named the QARANC. After their traumatic experiences in Afghanistan Scott buys a flat in Aldershot, on the site of the former CMH and tries to settle down to work at the Ministry of Defence Hospital Unit Frimley Park. However he has health issues after a head injury sustained during a MERT evacuation that still affects him emotionally and physically. He starts to see visions of the Grey Lady ghost who takes him to a Casualty Clearing Station in France during the Great War and to the trenches as the Battle of Loos commences. Here the Grey Lady's fiance, Hugh, goes over the top with his regiment, The Gordon Highlanders. Though he survives, he is badly injured and becomes a patient at the CMH, where he has to keep his love for the Nursing Sister secret because her Matron will discharge her from the army: nurses in those days could not commit to their vocation and a husband. Scott and Naomi fear that the Grey Lady will part them and need to lay her to rest by letting her tell her story through Scott to its tragic end. Only then, they hope, will her haunting cease."

246 pages, Paperback

First published September 6, 2015

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About the author

C.G. Buswell

15 books9 followers
Chris Buswell has a disturbed mind. Sometimes, well, most times, this overspills into his horror and suspenseful novels. They are not for the faint-hearted. If you like character-rich books with a twist, then check below for some suggestions.

The Fence is the first in a new series of post-apocalyptic military survival thrillers from his torturous mind.

Group has a tantalising, ‘Will they, or won’t they?’ storyline. Or buy One Last War at your peril! Surely, no one's neighbour could be that crazy!

C.G. Buswell is a former army Combat Medical Technician and Staff Nurse. During a posting to the Cambridge Military Hospital in Aldershot, he began hearing tales of the Grey Lady ghost. He worked on paediatric, intensive care, casualty, and medical wards there, but never saw her. He’d have broken the basic fitness tests running records if he had! He did, however, store this information away in his troubled mind, and wrote a series of books, in the Scarlet and Grey novels and short stories series, about military ghosts. The first of which was The Grey Lady Ghost of the Cambridge Military Hospital. If you love reading about the Napoleonic Wars, then you’ll love book two, The Drummer Boy, part set in Tidworth.

Chris has cared for many military heroes and the traumas he witnessed during his nursing and emergency care of them in life and death led him to develop military Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He writes about this too in his books. This form of mindfulness helps keep his demons at bay by inserting them into your Kindle!

Other postings in his career included the Field Surgical team in Belize, Akrotiri in Cyprus, and Haslar Hospital in Gosport.

Chris developed a love for writing during his 10-year service career and has had many articles published in journals like Professional Nurse, Nursing Standard, and the Nursing Times.

C.G. Buswell now writes full-time and lives in Boddam, Aberdeenshire with his Bravehound PTSD assistance dog Lyn, wife, fantails white doves, pigeons, and a tortoise.





Reviews for his book:

★★★★★One Last War is a great read, particularly for a veteran or forces family member. For those with an interest in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the role of Assistance dogs, it should be required reading." Fiona MacDonald Founder and Director of military charity BRAVEHOUND.

What a wonderful book. I was gripped from beginning to end and must admit to a feeling of YES at the end. I loved all the characters but must admit to a soft spot for Carl, then Brodie & Lee. I really do recommend it and I am keeping it to read again at some point. Superbly written. Very well done Chris, and more please.

Great read and well recommended to any veteran or serving member.

I rushed back to read this book. Enjoyed every chapter.

Another fantastic book by Chris Buswell. An amazing and gripping read from start to finish. Couldn't put it down! Highly recommended.

Read it in a oner! Really enjoyed it and was rooting the whole way through for poor Millie. I was very satisfied with the ending!

Read more about Chris at his website www.cgbuswell.com

Photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/LaurenNorris...

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews
Profile Image for Jackie O'sullivan.
211 reviews9 followers
January 8, 2016
Loved this book. Some quite creepy chilling bits. A really interesting blend of modern medical care in warfare with historical aspects of the great military hospital in Aldershot currently mouldering away waiting for developers to turn it into the flats that are part of this story. Evoked some great memories of my time as a QARANC nurse and of working at this very hospital in the 1980s/90s
Profile Image for Angela Paull.
29 reviews
April 21, 2018
This book is not so much a ghost story but an exploration of nursing techniques in World War I and the modern day. Clearly written by someone who has first hand experience, there are no punches pulled in the descriptions of warfare and the carnage it creates.
In the current day, Scott is a medic and returning to work after convalescence. He has just moved into a flat with his fiancé Naomi. These flats are a conversion of an ex-military hospital and the titular Grey Lady Ghost roams the building.
There was a point where I thought the book was going to walk down the horror route but thankfully it didn't. The Grey Lady only gets seriously spooky when angered - her aim is to show Scott the truth of her death, the horrors of World War I and to help him deal with his loss.
This would undoubtedly interest anyone with an interest in the military and warfare but there is also a poignant pair of love stories within it's pages. This gives it a broad appeal.
If I'm honest the cover is a little unappealing but as the adage goes "Never Judge a Book by It's Cover" as there's a cracker of a tale within these pages.
344 reviews4 followers
October 10, 2018
Having started my nurse training at the Cambridge Military Hospital as a QA in 1973, and finishing my military service there in 1983 I have extremely happy memories of this hospital and the friends I made there.
We'd all heard of the Grey Lady Ghost, a few claimed to have seen her but ever the sceptic I was a non believer. That said this was an extremely well written and engrossing read and at times hard hitting and rather creepy. An interesting blend of the historical aspects of medical care in the military as compared to today's modern warfare, interspersed with a wonderful story of two army medics.
Iraq and Afghanistan were after my time in service so this was fascinating to read about, the graphic descriptions were breathtakingly real.
A really good engrossing tale which I found thoroughly enjoyable and immensely readable and, perhaps now I believe in ghosts!
My grateful thanks to Chris Buswell for gifting me a copy of his book for an honest review.
116 reviews
May 16, 2018
This isn't a book for the faint-hearted.
It contains very graphic details of the courage and work entailed in being a military nurse during the various wars. It also contains many facts concerning this which are very interesting.
I think the author has written this well and the story line at the end was unexpected.
It's not a book I would read in bed before going to sleep, I have been reading it before getting up.
Profile Image for Tracy.
487 reviews4 followers
October 23, 2021
A weird book

What a weird book this was to read. Creepy too especially the more you read. While I loved the use of Doric in the book…the fact the next sentence had la translation” really negated using it. Equally it left like a history lesson too, which for a lot of times really wasn’t necessary.
5 reviews2 followers
February 2, 2023
Not a Grey story.

An amazing story. As a veteran of 25 years in the army, and having spent time in both the CMH and Headley Court, I actually felt a part of the story. I truly look forward to reading The Drummer Boy. Thank you for your writing.
March 2, 2023

Superb story. Kept me interested in learning what would come next, right til the very end. Has given me a taste to read more from the author. Well written. Thank you for a great tale. 👍
1 review
February 27, 2022

Having known many of the locations in the books it is very real at times. Superb books, well worth reading.
November 26, 2016
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I came across it while browsing on Amazon, what a lucky find! I myself are from Aberdeen the "Doric" references and local places I could relate to, also my 2 sons are in the army - both been in Afghanistan on operation Herrick, one son was based in Aldershot, I'm going to pass it on to my son to read. Great story looking forward to the next book.
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews

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