‘I shall never forget the awful climb on hands & feet out of that hole about 5 ft deep greasy clay & blood tho[ugh] I did not then know that it was blood…’ Diary entry, 22 July 1917, courtesy of Australian War Memorial (AWM), PR02082
Often forgotten are the women who volunteered at the front line during the First World War. These women have now been the focus of ANZAC Girls, an Australian TV mini series which recently aired in the UK on Channel 4.
The series is partly based on the book Anzac Girls by Peter Rees, and incorporates the personal diaries and letters of those featured. It follows the lives of a number of Australian and New Zealand nurses during the First World War. One of the women featured with an inspirational story is Nursing Sister Alice Ross-King.
On the night of the 22 July 1917 the 2 Australian Casualty Clearing Station in Trois Arbres, France, where Alice was based at the time, was directly bombed by the Germans.
‘…I flew through the chest & abdo wards & called out “Are you alright boys?” don’t bother about us was the general cry from there – I raced along the duckboards towards Gilmores tent… I remember one [bomb] hitting a board right in front of me…’ Diary entry, 22 July 1917 courtesy of AWM, PR02082