A selection of books we recommend to further your knowledge and interest in Australian Women at War
Second edition 2021
From the trenches of the Western Front to the ricefields and jungles of South-east Asia, Australian women have served as doctors and medical specialists from World War I until the present day. This book tells their stories of adventure, courage, sacrifice and determination as they fought to serve their country… and won.
Praise for Not for Glory
“In a remarkable book spanning a century of service, Susan Neuhaus and Sharon Mascall-Dare capture the lives of women too long forgotten to history. Detailed archival research, searching oral history, and vibrant participant observation shape a narrative that is bound to captivate the reader and throw new light on women’s experience of war.”
Professor Bruce Scates, Chair of the Military and Cultural History Panel, Anzac Centenary Advisory Board
“Not for Glory’ has done a magnificent job in reminding us that bravery, skill and compassion exist not only in the history books, but also in the current generation of female medical professionals who serve Australia here at home and wherever our soldiers deploy”
Lieutenant-General David Morrison, Chief of Army 2014
In this inspiring book Susanna profiles the selfless service of eleven outstanding Australian women. Among them, Olive King, Dr Lilian Cooper and Dr Agnes Bennett who served on the Serbian front in World War 1. Their extraordinary bravery and courage amongst the chaos of war highlights what women are capable of, and their heroism at times of national peril.
This is a meticulously researched book that documents Australia’s significant contribution to defeating one of our most powerful enemies during World War II – malaria. The contribution of Major Josephine Mackerras and her pioneering work to establish a breeding colony of mosquitos and infect soldier volunteers with malaria helped turn the tide of the war.
An outstanding read about one of the first women to graduate in Medicine from Melbourne University. Her pioneering spirit saw her serve in Serbia under incredibly harsh battlefield conditions. On her return she settled in Geelong and became a much-loved obstetrician. Lee captures the courage, resilience and leadership of this remarkable and fascinating woman.
This book covers the life of the first woman elected to Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, from her time as a pioneering doctor in Queensland to her time on the Serbian battlefield and then her battle with the profession. A truly remarkable woman.
This thoroughly researched book provides a heartbreaking account of the ill-fated last voyage of the Vyner Brooke and the fate of the Australian Army nurses onboard. When Japanese bombers sank the vessel off the coast of Sumatra, the survivors faced a harrowing journey to land three days later.
On Radji Beach, a Japanese patrol ordered the twenty-two surviving nurses into the sea. As they walked abreast into the ocean, twenty-one of them died in a hail of bullets. The only survivor, Vivian Bullwinkle eventually went on to give evidence in war crimes tribunals after her release from captivity as a prisoner of war.
In ‘Operation Babylift’ Ian Shaw captures the incredible story of the inspiring Australian women who rescued hundreds of orphans at the end of the Vietnam War. It tells the story from the perspective of the war’s most vulnerable victims; the orphans it created and the courage of the women sent to rescue them.
We have barely scratched the surface when it comes to Australian women at war, and would love to hear your stories and have them appear on our website.
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NOTE: If you are trying to research a family member, please start with the War Memorial in Canberra or your state or territory. This form is only for helping us to share your stories.