Helen Fairchild

British aristocratic nurse with a craving for adventure

Description:

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Bio:

Helen Fairchild is the privileged daughter of a British aristocratic family, however as a child she was more likely to be found running around in the woods on her family’s estate than practicing her needlepoint. Growing up, she dreamed of having thrilling adventures in strange places. She read Jules Verne, Rudyard Kipling, HG Wells, and Joseph Conrad. As she approached adulthood, her desire for an adventurous life brought her into direct conflict with her parents who expected her to get married and stay home. Fortunately for Helen, she was blessed with an outspoken grandmother who encouraged Helen’s independent and adventurous nature. When war broke out, Helen decided that she wanted to be a nurse on the front lines, and her grandmother helped arrange to get her into a nursing school. Once she was trained, Helen took the first passage she could get to France, and wrote her parents a letter informing them of her location after she was there.

The reality of the war—the gruesome injuries up close and the constant proximity to very real danger—quickly dispelled any romantic ideas that Helen might have had about her adventure. But she also discovered that she could handle it. Even as people were screaming around her and the ground was vibrating with explosions, she could keep her hands calm, pull out her catgut, and sew a person back together. It made her feel like she had some measure of control over the madness. Even though it was bloody and often hopeless work, it was calming.

During the war, she reconnected with her school friend, Father John Yang, who was on the front lines serving the spiritual needs of the soldiers. In their discussions about peace and bringing an end to the war, he began to share his ideas about social equality with her. Having always felt imprisoned by her station in life, the idea of a society built on equality and fraternity resonated with her, and she began working with him to further the socialist cause, through whatever means necessary.

At the end of the war, she decided not to return home to Norlane Park, instead continuing to travel and look for further adventures, spreading her political message along the way.

Helen Fairchild

Trail of Nyarlathotep camapuri