Transcript of diary of Mary Ann 'Bessie' Pocock, 1899-1902

Accession Number RCDIG0001388
Collection number PR05050
Collection type Digitised Collection
Record type File
Item count 1
Object type Diary
Physical description 119 Image/s captured
Maker Pocock, Mary Anne 'Bessie'
Place made South Africa
Date made 1899-1902; 2006
Conflict South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)
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Transcript of the Boer War diary of Mary Ann (Bessie) Pocock, New South Wales Army Nursing Service Reserve (NSWANSR). The transcript was compiled by members of Pocock’s family and produced in 2006. This transcript covers the period between 17 January 1900 and 10 April 1903, detailing her nursing service in East London, Johannesburg and Middleburg throughout the war. The entries begin with her departure from Australia on S.S. Moravian on 17 January 1900, bound for South Africa. Once there she describes the daily routine and activities she and her fellow nurses were engaged in. As a nursing sister at the 2nd and 17th Stationary Hospitals, Pocock describes her treatment of wounded and ill patients and records such details as their temperature, the specificity of their ailments, and the medical procedures that took place. She details how she would tend to the graves of the soldiers who died and how she would cut flowers from her garden to place on their graves or send back home to their mothers. Pocock also remarks on significant events, such as the visit by Lord Kitchener to the hospital wards, Coronation Day, and her voyage to England on the hospital ship S.S. Nubia in 1902. The entries are interspersed with a variety of photographs, including those of other nurses, hospital staff and patients.