Interview with world war two nurse

Essay by 0 January 2005

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1.) How did you feel knowing that you were fighting for your country?

As an army nurse we were not required to fight for our country, however, to be in uniform and part of the wartime effort was of enormous importance to me.

2.) What effect did your going off to war have on your family?

My mother was very pleased that I joined the RAAFNS. My brother was a Doctor in the Army and she helped in a Service Canteen and was always knitting for Service People. She enjoyed getting our letters. Maybe she missed us but I think she was proud of us and very happy when we returned safely. I felt sorry for people who were in Reserved Occupations and had to stay at home, it was much easier to be where the action was.

3.) Was there anyone in your Unit who you most admired?

I admired our Matron in Chief - Miss Margaret Lang.

She had served in WW1 and later was Matron of the Police Hospital. She was asked to form the RAAFNS in 1940 and had to choose suitable people and post them to various places, overseas or in Australia. She would have enjoyed being where the action was but instead she was behind a desk sending 'her girls' to do all the interesting things. I did admire her.

4.) What were the living conditions like? Good? Bad?

Living conditions were different according to where you were posted i.e. Base Hospitals had Nurses' Homes where we all lived, and where our laundry was done for us and we were fed well. Up North we had huts with 6-8 nurses to the hut. No windows, just push out openings. Iron stretchers, one long locker, one chair and mozzie nets. We did our own...