Dulcie Thompson as a member of the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS), the Royal Australian Army Nursing Service (RAANS) and the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps (RAANC), 1940-1966, interviewed by Jan Bassett

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Accession Number S01811
Collection type Sound
Measurement 1 hr 34 min
Object type Oral history
Physical description 1/4 inch sound tape reel; BASF LP 35; 3 3/4 ips/9.5 cm.s; stereo; 5 inch
Maker Bassett, Jan
Thompson, Dulcie Vera
Bassett, Jan
Date made 16 July 1987
Access Open
Conflict Period 1950-1959
Period 1960-1969
Second World War, 1939-1945
British Commonwealth Occupation Force, 1946-1952 (Japan)
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use
Source credit to AWM Special Project Fellowship Award
Description

Early life; began nursing at the age of 19 in Adelaide; joined army reserve in 1937; after declaration of war in 1939 carried out part-time nursing duties for the army on days off from civilian nursing job; enlisted into Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) in December 1940; embarked on SS Queen Mary with Australian troops for Middle East in July 1941; nursing duties during voyage; arrival in Gaza; posted to 2/3rd CCS in Beirut; nursing casualties from Syrian campaign; describes hospital and food shortages; support from Americans in Beirut; moved to Tripoli and Gaza Ridge attached to the 6th Australian General Hospital (AGH); uniform; recreation; returned to Australia; posted to Atherton Tablands where the 6th Division was training; describes injuries and ailments suffered by troops; sent to Port Moresby and attached to the 1st AGH then moved to Finschafen; describes illnesses suffered by troops; coping with the tropical climate; describes food; contact with American units; nursing Japanese prisoners of war (POW); returned to Australia to Royal Australian Army Medical Corps (RAAMC) training battalion; demobilised and returned to civilian nursing; awarded Florence Nightingale scholarship and travelled to London in 1947; rejoined army in the newly formed Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps (RAANC) and appointed Matron with the rank of Major at Puckapunyal camp hospital; sent to British Commonwealth General Hospital at Kure in Japan; relations with British and Canadian nurses; attitude to nurses been given weapons training; types of injuries sustained by wounded troops from Korean War; facilities and equipment; returned to Australia, first to Yeronga in Brisbane then Ingleburn in Sydney then to Puckapunyal in Victoria and from there to Headquarters Eastern Command at Victoria Barracks in Sydney as Deputy Assistant Director; posted to Southern Command in Melbourne as Assistant Director for one year and then returned to Victoria Barracks, Sydney until retirement in 1966; discusses effect of army career on her life; effects of war on promoting advances in medical treatments; effect of First World War nurses on the nursing profession between the wars; recounts Battle of El Alamein; describes wounds and injuries of battle casualties; other ailments treated by the hospitals; talks about how the nurses always tried to improve their living conditions wherever they were. END OF INTERVIEW
A transcript of this recording may be available. For further information please contact the Sound section.

  • Listen to Dulcie Thompson as a member of the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS), the Royal Australian Army Nursing Service (RAANS) and the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps (RAANC), 1940-1966, interviewed by Jan Bassett
  • Listen to Part 2 of Dulcie Thompson as a member of the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS), the Royal Australian Army Nursing Service (RAANS) and the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps (RAANC), 1940-1966, interviewed by Jan Bassett