33 x 25.25 inches
“ANGELS TWENTY FINE ART” watermark does not appear on print
Commemorating 100 years of Australian military nursing - 1899 to 1999
From the Artist -
In this portrayal of Nurses in War, I have attempted to depict not their duties, but rather the environment and locales in which they were to serve. It is intended to be suggestive, rather than a literal representation.
It begins with Florence Nightingale, known as the Lady with the Lamp, the driving force behind the establishment of modem military nursing practices. Her lamp symbolically guides generations of nurses toward future conflicts.
In the case of Australia that particular beginning was the Boer War of 1899, shown in the upper left of the painting it then filters down to the Gallipoli landings of World War 1, into Egypt and the tent conditions in which they lived on Lemnos Island through to the ruination of France and the Western Front.
In turn, the scene crosses to the lower Centre and right depicting two of the more infamous incidents of World War 2. The torpedoing of the hospital ship "Centaur' and it's Sole Surviving nurse, Sr. Ellen Savage, shown on a raft tending the injured survivors despite Serious injuries to herself. I have used her example as typical of the devotion to duty exemplified by the Nursing Service.
The other incident shown is the murder of 21 shipwrecked nurses on the shore of Banka Island near Sumatra. Although wounded, Sr. Vivian Bullwinkel alone survived and along with fellow nurses was to suffer 3 years in a Japanese prison camp. Only here in the painting do I identify an enemy, the Japanese, not for an act of warfare, but for the crime of murder. St. Bullwinkel is shown symbolically bathed in the light of life, leaving the Scene and bearing witness, which she ultimately did.
The story then proceeds up the right-hand side to Korea, Vietnam and on the burning oil dericks of the Gulf War, where our nurses were to serve under the authority of the United Nations and for which they have continued to serve to the present day.
Combat is not depicted, being irrelevant to a nurses duty, it is instead symbolized by the black hole into which the doomed "Centaur is about to plunge, flanked by the Crumbling ruins of France on the side, to the fall of Singapore and the ruins of Hiroshima on the other. From this abyss of war emerge the sick and the wounded into the arms of the ever devoted Nurse.
- Brian Wood
Captain Wilma Oram, AM (RN, AANS)
Wilma was born in Glenorchy Victoria. She trained as a nurse at the Warrnambool Base Hospital, Victoria and enlisted in the Australian Army Nursing Service on the 3 July 1941 serving in the pacific theatre during WW11 with the 13 AGH. With the fall of Singapore Wilma was one of many to be evacuated on the "Vyner Brooke". The ship was attacked and sunk by the Japanese and after 16 hours in the water, she and some other survivors finally made it ashore where they became prisoners of the Japanese. From February 1942 Wilma was held in POW camps on Banka Island and Sumatra until she was repatriated in September 1945. Wilma was discharged from the army on 5 July 1946 and continued nursing at the Heidelberg Military Hospital for Some time. In 1989 Wilma received an Advance Australia Award and was one of three recipients in 1998 to be presented with an ANZAC of the YEAR AWARD.
Captain Patricia Catherine Vines, RRC. (RN., RANS)
Patricia Vines was educated at the Catholic Ladies College, East Melbourne; in 1952 she became a registered nurse at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, registered midwife 1954 and in 1972 was granted a diploma in Nursing Administration (Royal College of Nursing, Australia). She Was Honorary Nursing Sister to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11 (QHNS) 1971-1980. Associate of the Royal Red Cross (ARRC) promoted to member of the Royal Red Cross (RRC) in 1981. Recipient of the Queen Elizabeth 11 Jubilee Medal and the Australian Service Medal 1945-75.
From 1959 till 1962 Patricia was a civilian nursing sister at HMAS Cerburus. In 1964 she was commissioned a Lieutenant in the Royal Australian Navy Nursing Service and served at HMAS Leeuwin, W.A., HMAS Tarangau, PNG and HMAS Harman, ACT. In 1968 she was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and appointed Matron, RAN Hospital HMAS Penguin, NSW, in 1971 she was promoted to (Commander) Principal Matron and Director of Nursing (Navy). As well, she was Matron RAN Hospital HMAS Cerberus and staff of Director of Naval Health Melbourne. In 1978 she was transferred to Navy Office, Canberra, ACT, as Director of Naval Services, Navy, with the Director General Naval Health Service. Commander Vines retired in 1980.
Flight Lieutenant Patricia Helen Cook, (RN, RAFNS)
Helen Cook joined the Royal Australian Air Force Nursing Service (RAAFNS) in 1966 and was posted to 6RAAF Hospital Laverton and Point Cook for Initial Officer Training and Medical Evacuation Training. During the Vietnam War Helen Was posted to RAAF Edinburgh, SA and then to 3RAAF Hospital, Butterworth Air Force Base, Malaya, where she undertook general nursing duties and air medical evacuations from Vung Tau to Butterworth then on to Richmond Air Force Base, Australia.
In 1968 Helen was attached to 902AMES-USAF Clarke Air Base in the Philippines carrying out "in Country" flights and evacuating Wounded United States troops on to Japan, Korea and Thailand where they would be returned to the US. Overall, Helen evacuated 993 Wounded soldiers.
In 1969 she was discharged and was married at the RAAF Chapel Butterworth later returning to Australia. In 1979 Helen re-joined the RAAF and was posted to Butterworth where she was offered a position with 3RAAF in the general Wards later being appointed IC Maternity Unit. During this time she was awarded a Certificate of Outstanding Service. Helen finally retired from the RAAF in 1996.
Sister Dorothy (Dot) Angell (RN, RM., DTN, DWM., DNE M.ED., FRCNA, FNSWCN.)
Dot Angell trained at the Alfred Hospital Melbourne graduating in 1961. As part of Australia's obligations under SEATO (South East Asian Treaty Organisation) aid programme the Australian Government provided volunteer civilian Surgical/medical teams to work in four provincial Centres in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Approximately 123 civilian nurses served on these teams from 1964 to 1972.
In 1967 Dot Angel Went to Vietnam as a member of the Alfred Hospital Civilian Surgical Team based at Bien Hoa, South Vietnam. Whilst there Dot nursed Vietnamese civilians Wounded in the fighting as well as South Vietnamese military and Viet Cong Soldiers. With twenty-five years experience in nurse education, in 1996 Dot resigned her position as Professor/Head of School, Nursing at Monash University in order to undertake PhD studies at La Trobe University Melbourne.
Dot Angel's signature represents all those Australian civilian nurses who have served in theatres of War and at the Same time recognising the civilian training of those nurses who then choose to enter military Service.
Captain Vivian Bullwinkel, AO, MBE, ARRC., ED, FNM, FRNA (RN, AANS)
*Signature appears only on the Vivian Bullwinkel special edition along with all other signatures - There is very limited availability of this print so please email us for any inquiries
Vivian Bullwinkel trained at the Broken Hill Hospital, New South Wales. She joined the Australian Army Nursing Service in 1941 and was posted to the 13 AGH (Australian General Hospital) eventually to be sent to Singapore to nurse Australian troops Wounded in the fighting against the Japanese. In early February 1942, the "Vyner Brooke" the Rajah of Sarawak's private vessel fled Singapore with Some 300 civilians and 65Australian nursing sisters. Ten miles out in the Banka Straits the ship was bombed by Japanese planes and sunk. Twelve of the nurses drowned.
Sister Bullwinkel was one of the party of 22 nurses and 50 civilian Women and children to reach Banka Island. After two days on the island, the party surrendered to a patrol of Japanese. The Japanese separated the nurses from the civilians, then marched the nurses into the Sea and opened fire with their machine guns. Shot through the Waist, and thought to be dead, Sister Bullwinkel alone survived
After two Weeks hiding in the jungle nursing a bayonetted English serviceman, as well as administering to her Own needs the two finally Surrendered themselves and Were taken to Muntook prison camp. Vivian Bullwinkel remained a prisoner of the Japanese until the end of the war. (Of the 65 nurses who fled Singapore on the "Vyner Brooke", 12 drowned when the ship sunk, 21 were shot in the shallows of Banka Island and 8 died in the prison camps. 24 came home),
Vivian Bullwinkel went on to become Marton of the Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospital, Melbourne.
Limited editions: 950
Special Vivian Bullwinkel Edition: 60
Certificate of Authenticity: Yes
Framing: Please see framing details here
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