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Tears on my Pillow: Australian Nurses in Vietnam

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Product Description

Media: BOOK - paperback, 304 pages
Author: N. Biedermann
Year: 2004
ISBN: 9781740511995
Other: b&w photos, nominal roll, index
Publisher: Random House Australia

With little more than this sage advice, a total of 43 Australian Army nursing sisters were sent to Vietnam between April 1967 and November 1971, undertaking tours of up to 12 months. The nurses were assigned to a military hospital in a war zone with no advance preparation of what they'd encounter: caring for horrifically injured soldiers straight off the battlefield, understaffed, using basic equipment and often in difficult working conditions.


Book about the involvement of Australians in the Vietnam War rarely refer to the role of nurses. but war and nursing are closely linked, and the contribution of these women undoubtedly affected many soldiers in profound ways. In 'Tears on my Pillow', author Narelle Biedermann explores the experiences of nursing in the Vietnam War through the words, voices and photographs of these servicewomen.

The veterans share their tales of living and working in a war zone with emotion and humour. Their stories reveal trauma, tears and grief that went on for many years, but also moments of fun and laughter when they were able to forget the harsh realities of their lives for a short time.


Part 1: Background to the Stories
1. Nurses in war
2. Background to the Vietnam War
3. Australian nurses in the Vietnam War
4. The 8th Field Ambulance in Vietnam
5. The 1st Australian Field Hospital in Vietnam

Part 2: The Stories
6. An honorary platoon commander (Amy Pittendreigh
7. We had been going non-stop for 36 hours (Margaret Hopcraft, nee Ahern)
8. Oh dear, this is it (Terrie Ross, nee Roche)
9. When it was busy, it was bedlam (Colonel Janice McCarthy, Retired)
10. Please don't let it be somebody I know (Pamela Kelly, nee West)
11. Go, it will be in the history books one day (Ann Healey, nee Hall)
12. Dear Daughter, Happy soldiering, Love Father (Diane Badcock, nee Lawrence)
13. Some of them you could not save (Norma Dickson)
14. Don't forget your cotton underwear (Fayette Lewis)
15. Two came in and they only had one leg betwwen them (Maureen Patch, nee Healy)
Nominal Roll, RAANC, Vietman 1967-1971

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