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Augusta Nurses Memorial Service
8 February 2020 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 amFree
On Saturday February 8 we will gather at the Nurses Memorial on York Street in Augusta at 10am to remember the Nurses who lost their lives in World War II. Augusta Hospital Clinical Nurse Lisa Sims will give an address.
In February 1942 Japanese Forces were on the outskirts of Singapore. Of the 65 nurses who were evacuated on SS Vyner Brooke, only 24 returned to Australia after the war. Twelve perished following the sinking of the Vyner Brooke on February 14. Twenty one were shot on Banka beach, four died in the Banka prisoner of war (POW) camp and four at the Sumatra POW camp.
The average weight of the nurses on release from captivity was 30 kilograms. They had endured harsh conditions with limited resources as their possessions were lost when the ship sunk. The very limited diet plus lack of mediation caused the demise of some of their colleagues. Surviving nurses wore their uniform for each funeral in the camp and sang two verses from the Hymn “Jerusalem The Golden “.
After being rescued by Allied troops the nurses were treated like movie stars and fed a high protein diet in hospital before they returned to Australia. There was concern how appalled the people would be if they arrived as they were on release.
Prisoner Margaret Dryburgh (a missionary not a nurse) wrote “The Captives Hymn” which was sung every Sunday at the Church service in the camp. The words of this hymn will be read out during the service.
All welcome to attend.