Kitbag : Sister A B Jeffrey, Australian Army Nursing Service

Accession Number REL28955
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Personal Equipment
Physical description Canvas
Maker Unknown
Date made c 1945
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

White canvas duffle bag with circular base and drawstring top. Inside the opening is a flap which is used to secure the contents when the bag is drawn shut. The side of the bag is stamped in black 'VFX53059 SR. A.B. JEFFREY.'

History / Summary

Kitbag used by Sister Agnes Betty Jeffrey. Jeffrey, known to her colleagues as 'Jeff', was born in Hobart on 14 May 1908. She graduated from her nursing studies in 1940 and enlisted in the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) on 9 April 1941. She was assigned to 2/10 General Hospital and sent to Singapore before the Japanese invasion of the island. In February 1942 she was one of 65 AANS sisters evacuated on the Vyner Brooke. On 14 February the ship was attacked and sunk by Japanese aircraft. Jeffrey spent several days swimming and made it to Banka Island. There she was captured and interred with the surviving nurses and civilians from the ship. Jeffrey spent the next three years in Prisoner of War camps in Sumatra and was liberated in September 1945. This kitbag was issued to her in Singapore before her repatriation to Australia.