Page 7 - Luce 2015
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Australia  R emembers  ANZAC 1915-2015

            By 1916 the need for medical staff was desperate and women
            (while denied official Royal Army Military Corps rank and
            status) were permitted to join War Office-sanctioned military
            hospitals in Britain and overseas.  While Helen Sexton was in
            France, Dr Vera Scantlebury (1907) seved at London’s Endell
            Street Military Hospital, founded by British women’s medical
            pioneers Dr Flora Murray and Dr Louisa Anderson.  ‘Endell
            Street’ was the only military hospital run by women within
            the British Army during the Great War, growing over time to
            over 180 (overwhelmingly female) staff members.  Run on
            military lines, it was a tough apprenticeship for Vera as she
            watched Murray and Anderson work themselves to the point
            of exhaustion. Their example would strongly influence her
            post-war leadership in infant care.  She and more than two
            thousand other Australian women served as nurses overseas,
            where they were able to experience some of the freedoms that
            wartime necessity allowed.  For some, that freedom was to be
            retained after the war in favour of the conventional expectation
            of marriage and motherhood.

            The Red Cross organisation provided opportunity for other JCH
            women to help the war effort abroad. Among them was Ethel
            Bage (1907), Senior Student of the College in 1909, who served
            in Queen Mary’s Army Auxillary Corps.  Vera Scantlebury’s   Certificate presented to Principal Enid Joske for
                                                                    wartime service in the Civil Defence Organisation
            diary provides a glimpse of her wartime camaraderie with her
            JCH contemporary Ethel in London. In one recollection she   role in trying to secure a lasting peace from the ashes of the
            used the distinctive ‘coo-ee’ of the Australian bush to wake up   ‘war to end wars’. Ethel’s sister Freda Bage (1901), who had
            Ethel from outside her Baker Street window late in the night.   served as President of the University Women's War Work
            In London they met up with friends such as Jessie Traill, who   groups, also served as the first Australian female representative
            went to London with the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD)   to the League of Nations, the forerunner of the United Nations,
            and worked as a nurse with the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial   as hopes for a system of international arbitration to end global
            Military Nursing Service. A renowned artist, Jessie was not an   conflict were initially high. The daughter of Trinity’s first
            alumna of the College but had a lifelong association through   Warden, Valentine Leeper was among those JCH women who
            these friendships and her lifetime friendship with Enid Joske   worked tirelessly to promote diplomatic solutions to conflict
            (1909), Principal of the College from 1927 to 1952. Her   through the League. As Europe and Asia moved towards a
            influence on JCH may be found in the works that still adorn   second global war, she watched the rise of Japan, Mussolini
            our walls: during the Great War she was ‘Sister Traill’ and ward   and Hitler with dismay.
            matron for many hundreds of patients and staff.
                                                               Miss Joske was among many whose public service was
            With sixty thousand dead, and more than a hundred and   shaped, at least in part, by the impact of war. She recalled
            fifty thousand other Australian soldiers wounded and   the Sunday evening during her time as Principal when the
            psychologically damaged by the time of the Armistice, the   women of the College heard ‘on September 3rd, 1939… the
            Great War cut a hole in the lives of the nation. For the women   tragic news broadcast of the declaration of war.’ Miss Joske
            of Janet Clarke Hall, their lives were changed forever by the loss  reflected that during the Second World War the ‘whole
            of friends and family. The Bage sisters lost their brother Robert,   life of the nation and of the University and of the colleges
            killed at Gallipoli less than two years after receiving the Polar   changed.’  Along with rationing, first aid lectures and air raid
            Medal for his work with Sir Douglas Mawson in Antarctica. It   drills, the College was blacked out at night by curtains with
            is impossible to know why Ethel and Freda never married but   chicken wire affixed to windows to protect from bomb blasts.
            it is clear that for these sisters, as for many other women, the   It would prove to be a global war even longer and bloodier
            loss of their brother and of many of their male friends during   than the Great War – and with the entry of Japan became for
            the war had a lasting impact.  Long-serving Principal Miss Enid   Australia a war of national survival. It was little surprising that
            Joske was twenty-four years old when the Great War broke out.  the College celebrated Victory over Japan with a celebratory
            She was among that generation who knew the young men who  dinner (‘where tables were decorated with red Japonica, blue
            set off with the AIF and never returned. As she never married,   Forget-me-nots and white Plum blossom’) and dancing, and
            the College (in words of alumna and historian Dr Alison Patrick  afterwards with services of thanksgiving held in Chapel and
            (Hamer 1939) ‘became her life’.                    at the Shrine of Remembrance. During the Second World
                                                               War, as restrictions were lifted on official military service,
            As the Great War dominated the psychological landscape and   JCH women again played their part. Among these women
            Australia became a nation of memorials, JCH women saw a   was Captain Mavis Freeman (1925) who had a distinguished

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