Australia's Boer War Nurses
More than sixty Australian nurses went to the Boer war. These nurses served to aid the sick and wounded under very harsh conditions.
Prior to this time there was no Military nursing division but there was a real need for nurses to care for the casualties in the field so each of the colonies governments (Australia was at that stage six independent colonies) organised some to go, some were sent with privately raised funds, while others chose independently to go and went at their own expense.
There is very little historical information about the Australian nurses experience in the Boer War, with only snippets of information from journals, letters and some news reports of the time, but it is clear that conditions were harsh to say the least. Nurses were left at sole posts, isolated and poorly equipped. Three were awarded Royal Red Cross medals.
One nurse, Fanny Hines, died from pneumonia after treating up to 26 patients at one time on her own, having no one to relieve her and no time for proper meals she really had no chance.
Ellen Julia (Nellie) Gould was one of the nurses who received the Royal red cross medal, one of only ten medals known to have been awarded. Here is her story
Courageous Boer War Nurses
Nellie Gould -Australia's first Boer War Nurse
Ellen Julia (Nellie) Gould was one of the first nurses to be sent for military service during the Boer war and later in World War I.
Read more about Nellie Gould - a pioneering nurse
Read more about Lucy Osburn
Go to the History of Nursing
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