The compassion of Passchendaele: Remarkable bravery shown by nurses who tended to wounded soldiers as bombs rained down on them is revealed

Mail Online | 7/31/2017 | Julian Robinson for MailOnline
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The remarkable bravery of the nurses who tended to wounded soldiers as bombs rained down on them during the Battle of Passchendaele has been highlighted in a new book.

Nurses of Passchendaele uses the diaries of the small army of courageous women who risked their lives to help those injured on the Western Front during the First World War campaign.

Today - Years - Start - Battle - City

Today marks 100 years since the start of the battle near the Belgian city of Ypres, which killed or wounded an estimated one million solders, 77,000 of whom were Australian.

Harrowing diary entries give a startling insight into the horrors of the notorious campaign, with many of the nurses becoming physically or mentally ill as a result of their front line work.

Nurse - Life - Gas - Mask - Soldier

One nurse even sacrificed her own life after giving her gas mask to a stricken soldier, exposing herself to the deadly toxins from gas shells in the process.

Yet, despite their heroic actions, very few nurses received compensation in the form of a war pension.

Nurse - Hilda - Loxton - 'Most - Patients

One nurse, Hilda Loxton, wrote in her diary: 'Most of the patients were very nervous when the planes were bombing around us, almost all were very badly wounded.

'They were so helpless and there was no protection except the thin wooden roofs.

Sandbags - Dugouts - Time - Safer - Trenches

'We had no sandbags or dugouts at that time - many remarked they felt safer in the trenches.'

Australian nurse Violet Payne recounted the deafening noise of the 'terrible guns' which would make her head ache and the remarkably upbeat attitude of soldiers she treated who in many cases she knew tragically would not survive their grave injuries.

'The - Boom - Guns - Week - Eye

She said: 'The boom of those terrible guns I shall never forget - for a week I scarcely closed an eye and my head ached. They fairly shook the earth continuously day and night.

'At one time so many wounded came in that every...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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