Somewhere in France

Somewhere in France

Monday, November 21, 2011

Nurses Missing in Action

This is Remembrance month, when we remember the fallen of previous wars. This blog is dedicated to the forgotten fallen--the women who gave their lives during the First World War. Since starting the blog, I have discovered I am not alone in this task of reclamation. People from all over the world--men and women--have shared their stories and desire to remember these women. Recently, I received a few emails from a colleague in Australia, librarian and fellow researcher, Maggie White. She sent me an article entitled "Australian World War I Nurses: Missing in Action." The author, Ruth Rae, argues that we have a particular blind spot when it comes to remembering the fallen nurses of the First World War. She says that this blind spot isn't new--in fact, nurses were lamenting it during the war itself. She quotes Australian nursing sister, Haynes in a letter home. Haynes wrote that she had sent poetry to the local paper because "They are always so keen on ‘our boys’ – no one ever hears of ‘our girls’, and it would be a good chance to mention that we are here. One bit in the paper said that the Sisters had arrived and…without a comma even, said the horses were in good condition." This month, I hope that more people around the world have celebrated the sacrifice of "our girls" alongside "our boys."

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