In World War II, thirty-eight members of the Australian Army Nursing Service were taken prisoner by the Japanese Imperial Forces. This article focuses on nurse prisoners of war as women whose wartime experiences confounded symbolic understandings about appropriate gender roles in wartime.
How many Australian nurses became prisoners of war?
Thirty-two of these nurses became prisoners of war, held with civilian internees in camps on and around Palembang, in Sumatra. Conditions were grim, and over three and a half years of captivity the women suffered from tropical disease and the effects of malnutrition. Eight nursing sisters died in captivity.
How many Australians were captured by the Japanese?
Over 22,000 Australian servicemen and almost forty nurses were captured by the Japanese. Most were captured early in 1942 when Japanese forces captured Malaya, Singapore, New Britain, and the Netherlands East Indies. Hundreds of Australian civilians were also interned.
What happened to nurses captured by Japanese?
In those critically undersupplied camps, they were able to provide vital professional care to all of the Allied POWs held there. Miraculously, the nurses all survived the long imprisonment from May 1942 to February 1945, but after liberation, received little recognition as military prisoners of war.
How many nurses went to Gallipoli?
Two days later, Matron Grace Wilson and 80 nurses arrived, closely followed by more than 150 patients from Gallipoli. Sister Pratt described the scene in her diary: Things were in rather a state of chaos when the wounded began to arrive.
How old were Australian nurses in ww2?
The air force and naval nursing services
Two other nursing services were created out of wartime necessity. The RAAFNS was set up in July 1940 in response to the huge wartime increase in RAAF personnel. Applicants for the RAAFNS had to be single, female, registered as an Australian citizen, and aged between 21 and 40.
Did any nurses died in ww1?
An estimated 1,500 nurses from a number of countries lost their lives during World War I. Some died from disease or accidents, and some from enemy action.
How many Australian POWs were killed by the Japanese?
Of the 22,376 Australian prisoners of war captured by the Japanese, some 8,031 died while in captivity. After the end of the war, War Crimes Trials were held to investigate reports of atrocities, massacres and other causes of death.
How many Australian POWs were taken by the Japanese in the Pacific during the Second World War?
During the Pacific war, the Japanese captured 22,000 Australians: soldiers, sailors, airmen and members of the army nursing service, as well as some civilians.
Why did the Japanese treat POWs so badly?
Many of the Japanese captors were cruel toward the POWs because they were viewed as contemptible for the very act of surrendering. … But the high death toll was also due to the POWs’ susceptibility to tropical diseases due to malnutrition and immune systems adapted to temperate climates.
How many nurses died in WWII?
During World War II (1939-45) nearly sixty thousand American nurses served in the Army Nurse Corps (ANC).
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Who was the sole survivor of the 1942 Banka Island massacre?
The SS Vyner Brooke was sunk by Japanese aircraft. Bullwinkel and many others made it to shore. Bullwinkel was the only female survivor of the massacre at Banka Island where 21 members of the Australian Army Nursing Service and other survivors of the sinking of the SS Vyner Brooke were murdered by the Japanese.
What happened to the nurses on Bataan?
When Bataan and Corregidor fell, 11 navy nurses, 66 army nurses, and 1 nurse-anesthetist were captured and imprisoned in and around Manila. They continued to serve as a nursing unit while prisoners of war. After years of hardship, they were finally liberated in February 1945.
How many Australian nurses served in the Second World war?
About 3,500 Australian Army nurses served either overseas or in Australia during World War II.
Where did the Australian nurses serve in ww1?
During the First World War Australian nurses served in 192 locations overseas, in Egypt, Lemnos, England, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Salonika, Palestine, Mesopotamia and India, as well as on 39 ships.