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New book/radio interview: “Edith Blake’s War” Australian nurse QAIMNS


MaureenE
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New book 

Edith Blake’s War: The only Australian nurse killed in action during the First World War 
by Krista Vane-Tempest

https://www.newsouthbooks.com.au/books/edith-blakes-war-118495/

Listen to a radio interview of the author by Cassie McCullagh, ABC Radio program Focus 1 October 2021, https://www.abc.net.au/radio/sydney/programs/focus/focus/13557674   commencing at 32.28 minutes.

Publisher's description  of the book

In the early hours of 26 February 1918, the British hospital ship Glenart Castle steamed into the Bristol Channel, heading for France to pick up wounded men from the killing fields of the Western Front. On board was 32-year-old Australian nurse, Edith Blake. Unbeknown to the ship’s company, a German U-boat lurked in the waters below. 

When Edith Blake missed out on joining the Australian Army, she was one of 130 Australian nurses allotted to the British Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service in early 1915. Her first posting was in Cairo where she nursed soldiers wounded at Gallipoli. In Edith’s remarkable letters to her family back home, she shares her homesickness and frustration with military rules, along with the savagery of the injuries she witnessed in the operating theatre. Later, at Belmont War Hospital in Surrey, she writes of her conflicted feelings about nursing German prisoners of war even as battles on the Western Front raged and German aircraft bombed England.

In Edith Blake’s War, her great niece, Krista Vane-Tempest, traces Edith’s gripping story, from training in Sydney to her war service in the Middle East, England and the Mediterranean, and her tragic death in waters where Germany had promised the safe passage of hospital ships."

Maureen

 

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thanks for this, Maureen... definitely a book I need to read!!! 

M.

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Thank you for the notification Maureen, I too shall look out for this book.  I thought that the Australian TV drama ‘ANZAC Girls’ that covered the activities of the Australian Army Nursing Service in WW1 was excellent and much better (even in its accuracy of uniform, etc.) than the British TV counterpart, ‘The Crimson Field’.

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just went into research mode... I was wondering for a moment why I did not have her on my list... but she's remembered in Southampton. 

Which just triggered the question (certainly answered somewhere within the realms of this forum...) : The victims of the Salta, Galeka and Normandy are remembered in Le Havre, all the others in Southampton. Why?? Is there a pratical reason for that?? Or simply a matter of place and opportunity? 

M.

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17 hours ago, Marilyne said:

just went into research mode... I was wondering for a moment why I did not have her on my list... but she's remembered in Southampton. 

Which just triggered the question (certainly answered somewhere within the realms of this forum...) : The victims of the Salta, Galeka and Normandy are remembered in Le Havre, all the others in Southampton. Why?? Is there a pratical reason for that?? Or simply a matter of place and opportunity? 

M.

Marilyne - my guess would be that the reason had to do with where the ships were when sunk. 

If you want to know a little more about Edith (without reading the book), you'll find some more detail here: https://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/browse/person/902192

 

Cheers, Frev

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