Today, Healthcare HQ pays tribute to the thousands of Australian nurses who fought to save the ANZACs.
The Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) was formed in 1903. 2139 nurses served abroad in WW1, and sadly 25 of them died. They attended to all wounded Australians in all major campaigns, including Lemnos Island (off Gallipoli), Egypt, Salonika (Greece), England, France and Belgium.
Not only did these incredibly resilient and brave nurses work in in hospitals, they also served in casualty clearing stations near the front line and also on hospital ships and trains. It is tough to imagine the working conditions that these nurses were faced with – all while attending to hundreds of battered and bleeding men on the decks and in the confined wards of a hospital ship or train carriage.
Our ANZAC nurses suffered all too often from severe infections, especially to their hands (from the festering and discharging wounds they treated), measles, mumps, typhus, influenza and dysentery. Some nurses were also caught in the firing line and were wounded from shrapnel – particularly those who served at the front line casualty clearing stations.
Let’s also not forget the Australian civilian nurses who courageously volunteered for service. We thank you and we will remember you.