|Oceania: Australia, New South Wales, Sydney
|Framed: 96 cm x 80.5 cm x 9 cm; Unframed: 76.8 cm x 61.1 cm
|oil on canvas
|Main Bld: World War 2 Gallery: Gallery 3: Aust 43-44
|Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Second World War, 1939-1945
Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain
This item is in the Public Domain
Sister Ellen Savage
Australian Army Nursing Service; NFX76584 Sister Ellen Savage, GM, AANS. Sister Ellen Savage was the only nurse to survive the sinking of the hospital ship Centaur when it was torpedoed by the Japanese off Stradbroke Island. Although badly hurt, Savage concealed her injuries and helped the other survivors. When morale flagged as sharks circled, and ships and planes passed by without seeing the survivors' raft, Savage organised a sing-a-long.
Seaman Martin Pash recalled that Centaur "just went straight down. There was no noise or anything - a lot of people calling out, the nurses and all & The deck boy brought Sister Savage on. She had a fractured jaw. You wouldn't think there was anything wrong with her but she suffered very badly. She had broken ribs and [was] bruised and one of the fellas gave her his overcoat to put over her."
Sister Savage was awarded the George Medal for her courage during this ordeal.