Friday, 12 September 2014

Faces from the past Friday

Yesterday I was thinking about my 'cousins' who had died in the Great War - the war to end all wars - WWI, and decided to research the four 'cousins' that I know perished in that war. 

Then I thought about what were they like these four young men? Were they full of hope? Ready to undertake the biggest adventure of their lives? Were they afraid?

Professional portrait - Flickr
I decided to look at some images online for Australian soldiers in WWI and came across these among the many.
From the professional portrait taken before they left for the front to this rather more informal photo that I think shows some of the spirit of the Australians.

Then I began to think of the Australian nurses that served in WWI. As I served for a short period in the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps (RAANC) in the late 1960s I wondered what their faces looked like. Did we wear the same style and colour of uniform in the 1960s? I cannot begin to images what conditions were like for those brave young women who left the comfort of home to go to the unknown. Brave indeed. 2,139 Australian nurses are reported to have served in WWI. 

Australian Nurses in Uniform from Egypt in World War 1 
I wonder if people have been watching the ABC1 program ANZAC Girls on a Sunday night about the nurses. I have noted that the uniform we wore in the 60s was a modern version of their uniform. Grey dress, red cape, while collar and of course the ubiquitous white veil, we didn't have the white apron thank goodness. While this is obvious fictional I think it has given people an idea of what the nurses experienced during the war.

I will write more in the future about the four 'cousins' who gave their lives in the Great War.

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