Ethel Lane - nurse serving abroad | Second World War

Running time
1 min 30 sec
Date made
Place made

Ethel Lane was a Second World War nurse stationed in the Pacific. Ethel recalls memories that remain seared in her mind.


LIZ HAYES: I'm Liz Hayes. For International Women's Day 2019, we recognise the role of women in wartime. Women like Ethel Lane, a Second World War nurse stationed in the Pacific. When news of war's end came, the nurses started receiving Australian Prisoners-Of-War, an experience that remained seared in Ethel's memory.

ETHEL LANE: It was pretty distressing - they were so thin, but they were so grateful, whatever you did for them, they just thanked you so much. Some of them were just lying there they couldn't move - others could move around. And then the most dreadful thing happened. They got their first lot of mail that they had received from home. And a lot of them - their home conditions had changed; families had split up and all sorts of things. And one little boy, used to follow me round and say, "Sis, you read this - you read this and tell me what it means." And I don't know how many times I had to try and explain to him about the break up of his family back here. And for so many years he had his mind that was home, on that corner, and this was where he was coming back. But it wasn't going to work out that way. We couldn't do enough for them. I never forget some of those boys.

LIZ HAYES: This International Women's Day we pay homage to our women in wartime and recognise their role during war and peacekeeping efforts.

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