Autograph book of Mary Anne 'Bessie' Pocock, 1900 - June 1919

Accession Number RCDIG0001529
Collection number PR05050
Collection type Digitised Collection
Record type File
Item count 1
Object type Souvenir
Physical description 62 Image/s captured
Maker Pocock, Mary Anne 'Bessie'
Place made At sea, Egypt, France, South Africa: Transvaal
Date made 1900-1919
Conflict South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)
First World War, 1914-1918
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Autograph book relating to the First World War service of Mary Anne ‘Bessie’ Pocock, Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS). The entries in this autograph book are from various periods, both before and during the First World War. The most prominent of these periods relate to her service at the 17th Stationary Hospital at Middelburg during the Boer War, her service aboard the Hospital Ship Assaye in 1915, her service with the 2nd Australian General Hospital (2AGH) at Mena in 1916, her service with the 2AGH and the 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station (2ACCS) in France in 1916-1917, her service at the convalescent home at Cobham Hall in Kent in 1917-1918, her sightseeing after the war in England in early 1919, and her return to Australia aboard the SS Zealandia in June 1919. The book contains autographs from English, Australian and New Zealand soldiers (one entry is the Maori Haka), as well as messages of support. It also contains poems on themes such as birds, flowers, convalescence, and the British Prime Minister David Lloyd George. The book also contains numerous watercolours and paintings such as those depicting a country road in England and Australia in December 1917, ships at night with their search lights, and ships at Southampton at sunset. Also included are numerous sketches, including those of dugouts, staff generals, stretcher bearers, ships, nurses, soldiers, Sir David Beatty, a ward at 2AGH,and a soldier in the Boer War from 1902. Some of these are humorous cartoons, such as those depicting the 2ACCS at Trois Arbres near Steenwercke, and a nurse treating soldier. As part of their autograph, many contributors included verses from prominent authors and poets such as Ruskin and Kipling.