Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Nursing Sister

There are a number of War Memorial sculptures in ANZAC Square. This one is a World War II memorial to the spirit and tradition of nursing sisters. Located on the Adelaide Street side of the park, it is placed on one of the main side walkways through the park. About 3,500 Australian Army nurses served either overseas or in Australia during World War II. Those who served close to the battlefield experienced at first hand not only the discomforts of makeshift field hospitals, including mud, dust, bad food, and lack of normal amenities, but also the risks and horrors of war.

The memorial depicts a wounded Australian soldier being assisted by a nursing sister. The associated plaque outlines that it is a scene typical of all theatres of war and exemplifies the involvement of all Australian servicemen and women in World War II. Unfortunately, although there are at least two references to the politician who unveiled the sculpture, details of the sculptor aren't readily revealed. The memorial also has a number of newspaper articles etched into the base, outlining nursing involvement throughout the war.

What hope it must have been if you were wounded in battle, and a nurse was able to come to your aid. I imagine that in most war, particularly on the battleground, you would be left for dead. And yet, here, depicted, is a woman just as heroic as any soldier offering her service not to kill but to save life. If only nurses ran the wars, then we could all go home.

Cheers, I Love Brisbane, Wes.

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