"I had my right arm under a leg, which I thought was [the patient's], but when I
lifted it I found to my horror that it was a loose leg with a boot and a puttee
on it. It was one of the orderly's legs which had landed on the patient's bed.
The next day they found the trunk about 20 yards away ..."
By the end of the Great War forty-five Australian and New Zealand nurses had
died on overseas service and over two hundred had been decorated. These were
women who left for war on an adventure, but were soon confronted with remarkable
challenged for which their civilian lives could never have prepared them.
They were there for the horrors of Gallipoli and they were there for the
savagery of the Western Front. Within twelve hours of the slaughter at Anzac Cove
they have over 500 horrifically injured patients to tend to on one crammed
hospital ship, and scores of deaths on each of the harrowing days that followed.
Every night was a nightmare. Their strength and humanity were remarkable.
Using diaries and letters, Peter Rees take us into the hospital camps and the
wards and the tent surgeries on the edge of some of the most horrific
battlefronts of human history. But he also allows the friendships and loves of
these courageous and compassionate women to enrich their experiences and ours.
This is a very human story from a different era, when women had not long begun
their quest for equality and won the vote. They were on the frontline of social
change as well as war, and the hurdles they had to overcome and the price they
paid, personally and professionally, make them unique group in Anzac
Profoundly moving, "The Other Anzacs" is a story of extraordinary compassion and
courage shown by a group of Australian and New Zealand women whose contribution
to the Anzac legend had barely been recognised in our history. Peter Rees has
changed our understanding of that history forever.
1. The big adventure
2. Relative relations
3. Different rules
4. The prelude
7. Not much comfort to a mother
8. Heartily sick of it
9. The Kiwis arrive
10. None of the old smallness in it
11. Broken bodies
12. Tears in the dark
13. The shabby sisters
14. Alone in the Aegean
15. 'We though they would let us die!'
16. No time for mock modesty
17. The price of sacrifice
The Western Front
18. The first Anzac service
19. Waiting for Harry
20. Harry's letter
21. Grasping for hope
22. The chill of war
23. No place to hide
24. Bombs and basins
27. Gifts for France
29. It's something big, Sister
30. The struggle ends
31. The fifth New Year
32. The aftermath
Australian World War I nurses honour roll
New Zealand World War I nurses honour roll