|Nurses at War - Women on the Frontline 1939-45|
They were bombed, tortured, imprisoned, and more than 3,000 of their number died as a result of the 'frontline policy'. Through this controversial policy nurses hoped to achieve recognition for their professionalism and commissioned officer status. The debate raged between those officers who saw nurses on the frontline as a bonus, which boosted the moral of the troops, and those who believed that females should not have been working near the frontline. Despite the controversy, nurses continued to work in operational areas throughout the war.
Combining a range of vivid oral and written testimonies with the author's linking narrative, Nurses at War examines the personal experiences of nurses at the war front. By offering them the opportunity to tell their own stories in their own words, and placing them in the broader context of the different theatres of war, the author shows how the war provided nurses with a dramatic and profound way of growing up. They also felt that their frontline dedication was never fully appreciated by a male-dominated medical profession.
This book covers a wide geographical area in order to provide insights into the medical problems associated with the different theatres of war: the Home Front, Africa, Italy, India and the Far East. It also shows how nurses played their part in assisting displaced persons and providing medical care for victims of the Holocaust.
Based on a wealth of original research, which has already produced a BBC Radio 4 series (Frontline Females), Nurses at War provides a fascinating insight into the lives of women nurses, military and civilian. It highlights their struggles - before, during and after the war - to gain the recognition and respect that they so richly deserve.