it was quite a happy life, really. We were a happy family. But education was a bit hard. We were mostly educated by correspondence. Then for a while, we had a school. Dad built a school, a
one teacher school. And we had about four years….We had to get other children in to make enough. You had to have so many. My cousin, uncle Charlie’s daughter, she taught us. I think about 1915, she was born.
She was older than we were. They actually sent her to school in Albany. But my parents couldn’t afford that for all of us. Then after the school closed, we went back on correspondence for a while, then.
My eldest two sisters and my brother had all left school by this time. Because at 14, we went out to work. The last three of us, four of us, we were sent away the last year of our schooling.
that was after the war, there used to be dances and things. We had a vehicle, but my eldest brother got a licence. He had a little utility we used to go around in. Well, early in the days it used to be in the [horsedrawn] buggy.
Then the neighbours got trucks and things and they used to pick me up. Picnics were a great thing. We used to catch marrons [freshwater crayfish] in the river, swim in the river. A lot to do, really.
But Elsie, she was the eldest one, when the war came, she joined the Land Army. She got married at the end of the war. And Eva, she started nursing at Manjimup Hospital, as a nursing aid. And then she went up to…an old people’s home.
Then she married to, at the end of the war.
Before it started, we didn’t have a wireless or anything at our place, and Beth and I would have to go down to our auntie’s to get the news. They got the papers, twice a week, but they were always out of date. But they had a wireless down there, so we could go down there. My cousin would write out what was happening and take it back to Mum and Dad, so they would know what was going on.
I can remember quite a bit. I can remember the first time I saw the airplanes flying in.
How did your life change because war had broken out?
Not a great deal. It didn’t really change for us, too much. I had three cousins who had joined up. One was killed on the
I think it was the Canberra. He was in the navy. I had two cousins in the navy and one was in the army, a commando. I was going to say, it didn’t sort of affect
us the same as people living in Perth. I think the biggest thing was the worry from my parents about what was happening back in Brisbane.
And then when I was seventeen, I went into the Manjimup Hospital and got a job as a nursing assistant there. The matron that was there to go and continue my training. But as I didn’t have a leaving certificate or anything, I had to do the entrance examination they used to have. The qualification in those days was you had to have your Leaving. [certificate]
So then I had to go back and study English and Math. Then I took an exam and when I passed that I applied to go on with my training.
What they called the Nightingale wards. Beds all down the sides. And there were two balconies on each side, with verandas. But they were filled up with beds, too. On a shift there would be a senior and a junior for each side of the inside ward.
And on the veranda, there was one who was probably a second year nurse or something. They used to do duties on those. So for first six months or twelve months, you worked with a senior nurse. Then you graduated and had your own patients.
When I’d been there about eighteen months, we got quite a big rise in pay. We were all getting two pounds, then, I think. Which is quite a big rise.
But we used to have to go to lectures as well. That was in our own time, normally.
Were you staying in part of the hospital?
They had their own quarters, too. In those days, the hospitals all had their own quarters. But when we first went over there, they didn’t have enough room, and we stayed in this retired nurses’ home. There was a lot of old ladies there. We were there for about six weeks or so.
What sort of things did you have to learn as part of midwifery. I mean, you don’t just sort of wait for the baby to pop out.
No, no, no. You’ve got to learn how they’re developing, and how to deliver them,
So in other words, you took up your mum’s role, really?
Yes, after he has his stroke. But he never fully recovered after that. He didn’t want to live after Mum died. I think that was the trouble. Because he was getting on towards 80 at this stage. When he died,
I said to Beth, “We can’t stay here. Those boys will never get married if we do.” So we went to Perth. I was looking for a job. We were going to take any work, but we wanted to be together. So for a start, we worked at
Gloucester Lodge, which was a holiday. We worked out there for a while, as waitresses cum general duties. Then my youngest brother got married first, so we went home for his wedding.
After John was married, David got engaged at that stage, too. We went to the
employment agency, and they suggested that I go back to nursing. They arranged for me to go to Three Springs and Bet could go up there and work, too. So we went up there for twelve months, then came back and Dave got married.
Yeah, it was the Prospector in those days to Kalgoolie. Then we changed onto the Trans Continental to Adelaide.
It used to go as far as Port Pirie. Then we changed onto the Port Pirie to Adelaide train. Then from there we had to change trains again in Adelaide, because all the gauges are different. Adelaide to Melbourne. Then from Melbourne to Sydney.
I think we had to change the trains there, at Albury. Then from Albury to Sydney, then changed again from Sydney to Brisbane, then from Brisbane to Cairns, we had to get another train. So we changed all those trains because of the difference in the rail-hopping.
So we got up to Cairns, and we’d booked into a boarding house up there.
Did you find it distressing?
Yeah, it was a bit. Most of them seemed, to me, they had too much money and not enough to do. But that was just my opinion, they probably were. And Beth was quite happy in her job, but I said, “Look, you’re no better off then you were on the farm.
It was in the days when they had the three months national service. We must have gone down there the day to the recruiting office they had all these National Service boys in for their medical. We’d wondered what we’d struck, because there they were running around half-dressed, in toilets with the doors open. So we backed out, and went down the street and rang up and asked where we should have been.
They said, “That’s the recruiting office.” So we left it that day, and we went back about a week later. She was applying for the WRAAC [Women’s Royal Australian Army Corps] , and I thought, ‘I’ll do that, too, just for something different.’ Soon as I got in there and they knew that I was an Australian nurse, they said, “No, the nursing corps needs you more than we do.’ So anyway, that’s how
we came to join the army.
huts, wooden huts. They were all from the war-time, what was built for the war-time. And the wards were similar. They didn’t have that many patients. So, there was about four or five Sisters there who were reasonably
new in the army. The Matron there, had served in the Middle East. She taught us about what was expected of us, as an officer in the army.
They took them in at fourteen, and gave them an apprenticeship. They also continued doing their schoolwork. So we had to look after them. But mainly, we an RAP, a Regimental Aid Post. Which is like a nursing post, and they used to come up there with all their troubles.
If they needed hospitalization, they went either up to Heidelberg, or into the little local hospital at Mornington. But we treated them as out-patients.
This is following the main emergency?
Yes. This was just after the emergency was over. Singapore and Malaya joined together there for a while. But it didn’t work out. They were going to become one nation, but it didn’t work out. That’s when Malaya became Malaysia, after that.
I think it was all over Borneo. They were both claiming it. I wasn’t really up on what it was all about, but it was a confrontation between Malaya and Indonesia. There was a bit of a worry there that a war might start. We put down at
Jakarta to refuel and we were herded off the plane and along between wire, into the airport. We weren’t allowed to take cameras off, we weren’t allowed to do anything. The Indonesian soldiers were marching up and down with their rifles. It was a bit scary.
That was the summer dress. The winter dress was a jacket and skirt. Buttons and buckles and all the bits. I can’t remember whether I was in uniform or not, or whether we had to travel in civvies. We might have had to travel in civvies. [civilian clothes]
And then we landed in Singapore we were met by the army Personnel there. We travelled from train from Singapore up to Taiping, where I was posted, with the British Hospital. The
BMH, as they called it. The British Military Hospitals. We were posted to that, and that’s where I went for the first time.
house, lots of servants. Beautiful gardens. That’s sort of what I can
remember more than anything, the beautiful gardens. But I don’t really remember what the house was, but I remember it was nice and cool and airy, with the big fans going around.
So the families then, moved down there. I wasn’t down there very long. They hadn’t a hospital there at that stage, but they were building one. I think the concentration of troops at that stage was going to be down, rather than up. Because
I was working on Penang at the time, with the families, I just moved down when they moved down. But then I was posted back to BMH, a village just outside Kuala Lumpur.
It was all up in the hills, if you know what I mean, but the hospital was up on a higher hill than the rest. They still had the services. The nuns used to keep an eternal flame,
which floated on a little basin of water. They always tried to post a Catholic Sister up there, so that she could keep an eye on the chapel for them. I was up there once, and there were no Catholic Sisters up there, and these dear old nuns asked if I would just let them know if their
eternal flame went out. And I found it was always going out, because the breeze would blow and tip it over. So I used to re-light it. One of them said to me one day “That flame doesn’t go out very often, does it?” I said “No, it doesn’t.”
She knew what I was doing, but she was very grateful.
when I was up there, there was a landslide, a mudslide, and a school was buried. And we had to take some of the casualties from that. That was quite a thing. They had to clear out a ward and set it up
to take all these casualties from this landslide. Eventually, I think we only had them for a couple of days, and they cleared the road down to Ipoh, and they took them all down there. There were adults and children.
but not to remember. You know them while they’re there, but you don’t become friends with them as such. We used to go and play golf with them. A lot of the time they had a golf course up there, and that was one of their activities, they used to out to the
golf course and play golf. Sometimes we used to go along with them.
Sounds like it was fairly relaxed nursing?
Well, yes. Fairly relaxed. Then when the next lot of National Service, that was when the Vietnam War was on. That was when they started building up for there. We had to give them all their injections.
That was another thing we had to do. The initial injections. And all the various injections What did we used to give them injections for? I’m trying to think what we had.
Tetanus was one. If they were going overseas they had others.
There was one out west of Sydney, a bit beyond Ingleburn. I went on one out there. That was a three week one, I think. You wore your jungle greens instead of your ward uniform.
These were both when I was posted to Seven Camp Hospital at Kapooka. There was another one at Rockhampton. We were camped out on these flats, and we had a big rain storm
and it flooded us all out.
Can you tell me about them at all?
The sisters and doctors and medical assistants. They were all nice. In the army, as well as your Sisters on the ward, you had your assistants and your medical assistants. They were trained up to a certain standard. In the theatre,
we had some very good medical assistants, theatre technicians.
What was your reaction to that?
Unsure, probably, was the first reaction. It was an unknown. Except I had been on exercises, but it wasn’t quite like that, because the hospital was set up. It was a field ambulance, but they had built it into the hospital.
It wasn’t like going up there and setting up tents and stuff, like we did on the exercises.
Were you in uniform, or were you in civilian clothes?
No, we were in uniform. That’s right, we were in uniform. I’ve some photos of us taken in Brisbane, on the way through. But then when we got the hotel in Manila, where we were to stay, we got into civvies to walk around the
we started. It was built in amongst the sand hills. The hospital itself was Lysaght [metal sheets] buildings. I suppose it’s a type of aluminium, and all louvered windows right round it. Our quarters were wooden
quarters which had been built. A long hut divided into five bedrooms, with a little sitting room on the end. Then we had a wash-house, come shower room, sort of another just built off it. The boys all were in tents. All the men were in tents.
The mess itself was a tent. That was the officer’s mess. The OR [Other Ranks] mess, they were all tents. It was only the hospital that was Lysaght.
We got taken into Vung Tau, There was a bit like a corridor , with the bedrooms going off, so we decided we needed something. So we got those beaded curtains to hang up on our doors.
And bought things to make it a bit better. There was a bed and a chest of drawers. Yeah, we had a wardrobe, that’s what the furniture consisted of. And a chair each. So we just wanted to make it a bit more homely. So we went into Vung Tau and brought stuff….The sitting room on the end had cane lounge and
chairs in it. We also bought stuff to decorate that up a bit and make it look a bit nice.
I decided I would take the medical ward over myself. And the other sister, the surgical ward. Because two of them were theatre trained, so they could take it in turns to be in the theatre. They used to do a fortnight each. So it was a
field ambulance and not a hospital at that stage. So I really didn’t have a lot of say in what I could have as far as staff went. They were allocated to me from the adjutant’s office.
Before this, the sergeants up there, the boys had been running it on their own, the medical assistants, and the doctors. The sergeants had been in charge, and the CO said we didn’t want to upset them. But I did find out they resented us coming up.
So it was a bit of a situation that I had to be very careful.
they had these great big tables, what they called SF tables. There were two at the top, which was the ward administration area, then one down the bottom, that held the linen. Then another one out on the veranda where the cutlery and crockery was kept.
And the washing up was done out there. So all this was higgledy-piggledy mixed up together. There were drugs and lotions, all mixed up together. I don’t know. All the books and their charts…Anyway,
I thought the first thing that’s got to be done that this is all sorted out. We can’t have this. We asked about cupboards for the linen: “Oh, no, we haven’t got anything like that. You’re in a war-zone.” Anyway, we found we had
a carpenter amongst our staff, so we went scrounging around various units. We got boxes and crates, and we got him building cupboards out of all this. This is one of all this…Anyway,
when this quarter master found out we had a carpenter there, he took him off us and they never got finished. He was better off. Also I got the pharmacist up, so we sorted out of all these….I think everything they got for a patient just stayed there, it didn’t go back. So he sorted it out, and we were left with just
what was needed on the ward at the time. And all our bookwork .They had a report book, and another book for when the doctors did their rounds, they put down the orders that they had given then. And it was all mixed up with temperatures and things, with all their observations, they were all written in this book.
And how they ever worked it out, I don’t know. So we drew up charts so they could do things properly, and gave them lists of the medicines and mixtures and treatments. Treatment lists and medicine lists so they knew exactly what each one had to have. So that took a couple of days to get that all sorted out.
Anyway, the first day that I was on duty, I said to the lad that had been working on the ward, “You always wrote the report, didn’t you?” And he said “Yes.” I said, “You can write it again today.” Anyway, after he’d gone I had a look and he’d written ‘Sister took over the wards today. And
changed all the mixtures, treatments and CPRs [cardio-pulminary resuscitation] .” That was his report. Unless you were a nurse you wouldn’t know quite what all that meant, but…”
Anyway, they weren’t happy about it, and I think it had all been passed down from the NCOs [ non-commissioned officers] .
And it took quite a number of weeks to get them to realise that things had improved. They were being organised now, instead of going their own way. Most of the ones that worked in the wards weren’t trained beyond First Aid. So they didn’t really know about nursing as such.
I’ve got nothing against them. They were excellent First Aiders. If there was a gaping wound or something, they know how to…But when it came to looking after the sick boys, they didn’t really have much idea how to go about it.
a helicopter came in, they were there, they were out there, they brought them in. The triage area where they were sorted out. Things like that. They were done very, very well. The surgeon who was up there was in charge of the theatre.
The Sister, when she got up there, they sorted out all that. That was very well run.
So I know the staff used to bring their cutlery with them, because it would get pinched. But it was easy to lose in the sand. The same with the wards. I think sometimes they took the cutlery to replace what they’d lost. I don’t know. But it used to disappear.
One day, at one of the meetings, I asked about the cutlery, said we needed cutlery. “Oh yes, okay.” Waited and waited, didn’t get any. At the next meeting I said, “We haven’t got the cutlery yet.” The adjutant stood up and he said “Amy, I’m sick of you talking about cutlery. I never want to hear that again.”
And the CO never said a word. Never said a word.
then, there were no screens in the wards. The beds were all lined up there. That was another thing. I didn’t think that was right. They used to strip them off to shave them if they had to go for an operation. I said “They should have a bit of privacy. They shouldn’t have to have everybody seeing them.” Or if they had to have any treatments done. Dressings or
anything like that. “They should be screened off.” But they couldn’t do it. Anyhow, the CO happened to be away one week, when the senior medical officer from the headquarters in Saigon called and he said was there anything I wanted?. I said I wanted screens on the ward. He said, “Why haven’t you got them?” I said “Because they won’t give me any.”
So he went to the quarter master and said he wanted screens to be in the ward by his next visit, or he would want to know why. So anyway, we got a screen for each ward. They make them so big and heavy, it took two men to shift them.
What other kinds of complaints did you raise?
Well, you see, that was okay, but then I got called in to the CO when he came back from his leave, and I was told that I complained to the SMO [Senior Medical Officer] while
he was away. A laundry unit was sent up to Vietnam when the field ambulance first went up there. Instead of using that, they detached that to the American hospital, and our linen was sent to the American hospital for washing.
And it was a disgrace, the hospital linen. They did not remove blood stains. They came back and they had been boiled into it, more or less, it looked like. The linen was absolutely atrocious. So I said to the CO about that. He said, “There’s nothing we can do.”
I said “But the sheets and things that come to us aren’t like this.” I said “They come back quite clean.” He said “Yeah, but we send them to the civilian laundry.”
nothing better could have happened for that hospital when he arrived. I wasn’t there very long with him, but I was there when they changed from being a
field ambulance, they turned it into a field hospital, over that period. It was so much different. We did have an interim CO, but they didn’t sort of changeover at the same time. So we had an ‘Acting’ for a while.
With the boys it was seven to three. And then there was the night shift. With us, we used go on at seven, work through till about ten, then have a break and then go back then until about six until the night staff came on.
The boys had three shifts, but they worked straight on. The medical assistants. For a start we didn't have a Sister on night duty. But I had to go especially, one night,
in the intensive care. About two o’ clock in the morning, I thought I’d go out and get some air. I left the orderly in there and I thought I would go around the wards. And I didn’t find any staff in any of the wards. I found them all out, sitting on the veranda of the skin ward, asleep in chairs.
I sent them all back. I said to the CO “I’m going to have a Sister on duty or a senior sergeant or staff sergeant. I said “I’m not leaving them with any sergeant. They’re going to have someone to see to them. And if they have a sleep, if there’s nothing doing,
they have it in the ward. Not miles from where their patients are.” So he agreed with that. Then we always had a senior staff sergeant or someone like that on night duty. I used to take a turn myself.
and through the various wards?
Well, the ones that came in, straight off the battlefield. They used to ring a bell, when they knew they were coming. They used to get a wireless message to say they were coming. Immediately there was a couple of orderlies down there and one of the doctors to meet them. They brought them up into the triage area and
there they were….Depending on how many were in it. Because you didn’t always know what was coming, whether it was medical or surgical or what. But you always prepared for the worst. Everybody that was around….Everybody that was off duty anywhere, they went down, ready to help if need be. If it turned out to be nothing
much, they went off. But when they rang that alarm to say that there’s casualties coming in, they went down there. And then they were taken in, if you had two or three, and they were sorted out. If they needed drips, they were put in. All that was done. And then
the worst cases went first. They sorted out the priorities, who was first. They could only do two surgical cases in the theatre at a time, because we didn’t have the staff to do more that. If there was more than that, they went to the Americans. Generally, they had it sorted out that if they thought it was too many for us, they took them to 36 Evac, which was the American hospital.
Or if they were up country somewhere, they went to the nearest American hospital. So the theatre staff were in there and did what surgery was required. We had a little intensive care ward, which I think was six beds. They went from theatre to there.
We always had a Sister in that ward, too. One was always in theatre, one was in the intensive care. The other one, she and I would do the outside.
They were treated in the intensive care until it was medivac [medical evacuation] time. Then they’d decide who was to fly….Because they took them from Vung Tau to Butterworth, for a start. And then they used to rest up a few days at Butterworth. That was the air force hospital. Then fly on to either Sydney or Brisbane.
And another one was this lad. His sergeant had been killed. He was wounded. He wasn’t too badly wounded. Anyway, I was there when he was coming out of the anaesthetic.
He was going “The bastards! The bastards!” He was carrying on. A couple of days later, they brought in this Vietcong. They had actually wounded him, and he was quite badly hurt. And I said to this boy, sitting there, because they put him in intensive care with this lad.
And he said, “Oh, the poor bastard.” I thought ‘Isn’t that typical?’ He was calling them “the bastards.” Then when the enemy comes in, he says, “The poor bastard.’
A field ambulance really only does emergencies and minor cases. They’re either sent back to their units or…It was too big, it wasn’t a field ambulance, really. From the time it was set-up, it should have been a hospital right from the start. Then the field ambulance was then
up at Nui Dat, where the troops were. Although they always had a detachment at Nui Dat, the field ambulance was there then. They treat minor sick and wounded, or emergencies, then send them on to the nearest surgical unit, or medical unit,
depending on what their requirements are. They still had a field ambulance up there, but it was with the battalions where it should have been.
And what went on as part of the farewell?
It was just drinks in the mess and we had a dinner. That invitation’s still here. And when we went up there the first time, we saw the boys going out.
When they were going out to do operations. The helicopters would come in and they would get aboard, and he’d go off, then the next one would come in and pick them up. They went off like that, wherever they were going to be deployed.
What did you think of the New Zealand girls?
They were quite good. Well, Margaret was a very good nurse. She took over the surgical ward. She used to disappear sometimes. There was New Zealand Air Force, and she was really air force, I think. The New Zealand Regiment,
And instead of our ward dresses, we had to wear jungle greens all the time. So we were in the pants and jackets and boots and gaiters and things like that. We used to wear that on night duty, after five o’ clock, because of the mosquito problem. That was quite amusing, too,
because they let you wear sleeveless frocks when you were off duty, but you had to wear….So….
At one stage we had a medical ward full of….I think that was 7th Battalion. They had been out on patrol, and I had a ward full of them. I know because the CO came down and said he was going to make
me one of his platoon commanders, because there was so many in the ward. They weren’t all malaria. Most of them I don’t think were ever diagnosed what their problem was. They use to call them PUOs. Which was ‘Pyrexia of Unknown Origin.’ They never actually diagnosed them. They would run a temperature.
Some of them were quite sick. I remember one boy he was quite ill, and we had to take him over to 36 Evac. We didn’t have air-conditioning in
our medical ward. The only air-conditioning in the area at that stage was the theatre and the little intensive care. And it was hard to get the medical cases into intensive care. But afterwards the whole hospital was air-conditioned, all the wards. That was after I was gone. But at that stage we used to have to sponge them down, to try and get the temperatures down.
I’ll tell you about our shower, too. We had cold showers. Cold showers are nice, but they don’t get you clean, do they? If you’re hot and sweaty, a little bit of hot water makes the big difference.
To have hot water, you had to have these bucket showers. All the men had them, but I think they were being kind to us, and they just gave us the shower with the water. So we used to have cold showers. But I think eventually they managed to get some sort of heating system for that. But not in my time.
Weren’t they supposed to be drinking on the hospital premises?
They were allowed to have so much, but they would go down and get a carton of it, you see. They were allowed to have so much beer. Depending on how sick they were. On the whole they were allowed to have a beer, in the evening. But not get themselves…
And get them things. They had a vehicle they used to run around in. They would take them into Vung Tau and things like that.
What do you call these people? They’re not nurses. They don’t do the nursing.
Yeah, Red Cross Girls, that’s what they are. During the World War II they had Red Cross nurses. They actually helped nurse. But these girls didn’t. They did welfare work.
Did you ever feel that there was present danger around the base?
The only time was probably during that Tet Offensive they had. But not that I ever felt…But that was when they were worried. Even the medical officers carried their pistols, on duty. I can’t say I ever felt….
It wasn’t like there was any bombing or anything. Not as far as the Vietcong went. They were…insurgents.
I was just wondering what kind of things you missed from home that maybe people would send you?
I don’t know, but I’ll tell you what we did get. We got a sewing machine. A fellow in Brisbane wrote to me. I forgot what he belonged to. Some Liberal organisation. He wrote up to me and said they would like to send something up that we required.
So I said that we would like a sewing machine. A treadle one if he could get one, because the electricity wasn’t always reliable. So they sent us one up and it was very, very handy, too.
They had one on each ward, who washed up and swept the floor and things like that. We had a Mamasan as we called her, in our place, who swept out and did our washing, washed our sheet sand things like that. But we had a washing machine. She used to wash our grey frocks, our ward frocks.
She wanted us to bring her baby home.
Sydney, yes. We were about an hour in Sydney, then we went on to Melbourne. I was the only woman on the plane. The rest were mostly national servicemen, on their way home. And a few other regular troops, going home.
So we weren’t long in Melbourne, then we flew to Adelaide. We got into Adelaide about six o’ clock in the morning. And then we were met by the army transport personnel, the movement personnel. We got into a bus and went into the barracks. And we were
given breakfast. I was given a bed to get into. The ones that had to go on to Perth. I had a sleep till about ten o’ clock. I think the boys sat around in chairs and had a sleep. It must have been about eleven o’ clock we then flew onto Perth.
Got in there about two o’ clock, and there wasn’t a soul from the army to meet us there. Everywhere else there had been someone. An officer from headquarters. Not a soul. It was Wednesday afternoon, sports afternoon. My sister and brother in law were there to meet me.
The boys, some of them had their relations and what not. Anyway, I went back to Kennington, where my sister and brother in law lived. I rang up to find out what I was supposed to report to. They said “Go out to the duty officer in the barracks. The personnel depot in the morning.”
It was the middle of winter and I didn’t have any winter uniform. So I put my nephew’s uniform underneath, and something over the top of me and went out there. Anyway, whoever I saw out there said “You’re very good, coming out here.” I said “Yes. But nobody
met us. There was no-one there.” He said “That’s right. The boys have all taken off. We don’t know where they are.” I said “Is it any wonder? There was not a soul there to tell them where to go or what to do.” I said “Most of them are national servicemen about to discharge, and you do not even have the decency to have someone go out to meet them.” He was most apologetic about it all, but
it didn’t help. So that was our arrival home in Perth. And of course, we weren’t very popular anywhere at that stage.
go and work as a Ward Sister. In exchange, and they send one out to Australia. But because I was administration, I worked in the administration. They didn’t quite know what to do with me when I first got went there. And the girl they sent wasn’t administration.
So it took a little while. I went up to their training unit for a start. Where they trained all their staff.. But they also
trained nurses in their army. They trained them as registered nurses. And their administered from that place, although they work in the various hospitals. They also have their own staff.
We have medical orderlies, or medical personnel in the administration side of the army, but the nurses didn’t. They were administered by the medical corps. They do it all themselves. The British Nursing Corps.
I was nine months in England. I was at Woolwich Hospital and be like a nursing administrator there. I helped….
the administration. I wasn’t nursing as such there, either. I was there for eight months, I think, then I went to Germany for the BMH Wintell.
That was when the British Army in the Rhine was there. That’s all gone now. But at that stage they still had troops in West Germany. I did get a trip to Berlin. In the days when
you had to fly in. This wall was still up. That was quite an interesting weekend I had there. That was off duty.
You missed the patients, did you?
Yes, I missed the hospitals. Once I got out of the hospitals, it wasn’t the same. I had to have a hysterectomy, because I had cancer, and I think that was what decided me. I was feeling alright, but that was part of it.