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 AHS  Vol.6 No.2 , June 2017
Australian Military Nursing from ANZAC to Now: Embracing the Ghosts of Our Nursing Ancestors
Abstract: Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914. The following day, Australia was also formally at war. Australian nurses were quick to volunteer to support Australia’s war effort, and what was to follow for these women was unprecedented up until that time-professionally and personally. War and nursing are historically linked; where there is war, there is death, injury and illness, and where there is suffering, there are nurses and carers determined to alleviate that suffering. The fact that there are Australian military nurses serving overseas right now validates this. The purpose of this paper is to explore Australian military nursing from the contexts of World War 1 and contemporary military operations. At this time when commemorations to mark the centenary of Australia’s involvement in World War 1 are ever most present around the nation, encouraging us to reflect upon and learn more about Australia’s military history, it is important that this comparison occurs as a means of reinforcing the significance of the contribution made by our nursing ancestors and acknowledge their influence on the practice of military nurses today. An analysis of practice between the two eras highlights that whilst there are obvious differences, there are some important parallels that have implications for both the military and civilian nursing profession.
Cite this paper: Biedermann, N. (2017) Australian Military Nursing from ANZAC to Now: Embracing the Ghosts of Our Nursing Ancestors. Advances in Historical Studies, 6, 65-77. doi: 10.4236/ahs.2017.62005.
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