Charlotte Joanne Thompson-Edgar
Words by Philip Barnett
A letter to Wing Commander Charlotte Joanne Thompson-Edgar
Born in Bedfordshire you spent about 4 years as an air cadet before starting your nursing training at Addenbroke’s Hospital in Cambridge. You specialised in emergency nursing which was ideal preparation for the day you joined the RAF, aged 27.
From 2007 until 2014 you served as the United Kingdom’s Officer Commanding Medical Emergency Response Teams in Afghanistan.
These teams, flying in a Chinook helicopter fitted out like an accident and emergency ward, were credited with saving countless lives.
In 2015, while holding the rank of Squadron Leader, you were awarded an Associate of the Royal Red Cross medal for your work evacuating and treating battlefield casualties in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.
This medal is given for exceptional services and devotion to duty.
It has been estimated that over the 7 years you were in Afghanistan you helped more than 600 wounded personnel and took part in more helicopter evacuations than any other British nurse.
Speaking about your experiences you said that previously you had never done any pre-hospital care. You were used to working in an emergency room in a safe environment with equipment and medical personnel on standby.
Suddenly you were in a Chinook helicopter, unable to hear yourself think, treating guys with horrific injuries and being shot at.
Exceptional bravery that is clear for all to see.
We thank you for your contribution and example of service to our nation.
Wing Commander Charlotte Thompson-Edgar