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Caring contribution in atrocious conditions

on 2018年7月25日

FRONT: Sister M J Hubbard prepares a patient for an operation at the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station, France, in 1917. Picture: Australian Official Photograph Collection CONGRATULATIONS to theHeraldfor its coverage of our valiant forefathers over the past 12 months and in particular the current weeks. A total of61,000 Australian soldiers sailors and airmen lost their lives in fouryears, 100 years ago. Half of them in 1917on the Western Front, exactly 100 years ago.
Nanjing Night Net

We all know of the pompous and irresponsible stuff ups of the British High Command of the early years of the war but almost nothing has been said of the wonderful contribution, despite unbelievable hardship, deprivation and pompous disregard again by the British, of the Australian matrons and nurses in particular, and doctors who volunteered and worked under atrocious conditions and saved thousands of lives, in many cases under shellfire and with casualties themselves.

I have recently read a book by Susanna De Vries which chronicles the lot of the Australian nurses from the Siege of Antwerp through Gallipoli, the Island of Lemnos (hell hole), in the front line and hospitals of the Western Front, including nurses being trained as anesthetists–doing 25-30 operations a day without loss and being the only nation at the end of the war to exclude them from practicing in Australia by the Australian medical fraternity.

The book is titledAustralian Heroines of World War Oneand is based on actual diaries kept by a series of nurses throughout the war. The stuff ups by British hierarchy are monumental and from Gallipoli and Lemnos are unbelievably horrendous and contributed to the very high loss of Australian lives.

Paul Atkinson,BelmontRemembering AnzacsTHE 25thof April isAnzacDay.Our government failed, and the Diggers made to pay.

On that day the beaches of Gallipoli ran red.Covered by wounded soldiers, and their dead.

Cape Tepe is where they should have landed.But an unknown bay is where they were stranded.

A dreadful mistake, and a massacre known.So a legend started, and that name has grown.

At dawn we assemble, around Cenotaphs in droves.Or we gather at that bay, renamedAnzacCove.

We honour the memory of those that fell.And too make sure, their story we must tell.

John Matthews,Belmont NorthNo concern for coal jobsTHE Australia Institute seriously expect people to believe they are concerned about the jobs of Hunter miners, as part of their campaign against a proposed Queensland coal mine (‘Black hole’,Herald,24/4).

The Australia Institute is a known public opponent of the Hunter coal industry, constantly lodging submissions against coal projects proposed through the NSW planning system.

We will take the Australia Institute’s concern for the local coal industry seriously when they stop lodging their submissions opposing Hunter coal projects and the thousands of jobs they provide.

If the Australia Institute had its way, every coal miner would be out of a job, regardless of where their mine was located.

Stephen Galilee, chief executive,NSW Minerals CouncilMateship will endureTHE enduring ANZAC legacy and the ideal of mateship are more important than ever before.Mateship is an integral part of the Australian identity. It’s an ideal that defines our nation’scharacter – this idea of looking out for each other, through the good and the bad. The Salvos have served alongside Australian troops in both World Wars and supportedthem on deployments in Korea and Vietnam. Today, we are present in military bases across thecountry.

We’ve been there providing support to our troops – giving them a hand upand a listening ear. We recognise why mateship is a vital part of the Australian spirit. Mateship is thecommon thread that unites us and something that will always endure.

As we enter these uncertain times, I encourage all Australians to reflect on the Anzac spiritand the strength and hope it brings, and remember why mateship is an ideal still worth fightingfor.

Lieutenant Colonel Kelvin Pethybridge,chief secretary in charge, The Salvation ArmyBlokes like BillWEleft when we were young and free,brave young men like you and me, gave a gun and told to kill.

Every war has been the same,scared young men who kill and maim.

They say we fight for freedom, but I am yet to see,how the murder and the carnage will help to make us free.

Today I lost my best mate,I just want to scream and cry, he lost his life for this country,but what about his wife?

Will the killing ever end?

I guess it never will, and when the war is over, I will remember Bill.

He’s like so many otherswho paid the price of war. There are no easy answers, for all the blood and gore.

How do I escape this hell, I just want to run away, from the shells that buzz around my head all through night and day.

And now the war is over and everything is still, we’ve put away our guns now but what of blokes like Bill.

I still see Bill lying there,his eyes so open wide, they say he was a hero but what about his bride?

I’ll never forget you Bill old mate, you know I never will, and I hope there are no more wars because of blokes like Bill.

Nev Lavender,WindaleBasic vision for allNOTHING Alan Squire writes (‘Council in box seat to keep light rail in the corridor’, Herald,21/4) explains why Newcastle has been cut fromthe exploding economic Sydney universe rail system. Arealigned corridor, dropped, or raised on single stanchions, for services worthy ofthe nation’s leading distance passenger trunk corridor, would have meant the best of all worlds. Bedrock for a truly “smart city”.

Tony Brown’s letter (Letters, 20/4)points allthis out. How silly, to change to travel the route trains once did. Light rail is never part of an inter-city rail transport system. So, why swap inter-city for local transport, especially with the two cities involved. Displacement of the inter-city rail corridor asset weakens the foundation for the best deal for all travelers and livability. Like light rail, wireless trains for short distances cannot be far off. It is about not snookering yourself for the future. Simple matter of basic vision for all.

Graeme Tychsen,Rankin Park


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