Women’s war service glorified

An Australian Women's Army Service (AWAS) uniform from World War II on display at the Healesville Library. 119361 Picture: JESSE GRAHAM


HEALESVILLE residents have less than a week to view a special display at the local library, which focuses on women’s involvement in major wars.
The display has been in place at the Healesville Library for the month of April, in the lead-up to Anzac Day, and features a number of uniforms, books and trinkets from the first and second world wars, along with those from Vietnam War.
The historical display, put together by local Rod Wilson, demonstrates the involvement of women in all of the major wars, with real uniforms worn and equipment used in the war on display.
Uniforms from the Australian Women’s Army Service (AWAS), the Women’s Royal Australian Navy Service (WRANS), Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF), Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS), Volunteer Aid Detachment (VAD), Australian Women’s Land Army (AWLA) and Red Cross uniforms from the world wars are on display.
The Red Cross uniform even comes accompanied with some of the kit that belonged to its owner, Staff Nurse Louisa Bicknell, who was the first nursing casualty for Australia in World War I.
The AANS and VAD uniforms were worn by Australian ladies who served at Gaza Ridge in Egypt during the Tobruk and El Alamein fighting – the hospital was responsible for all casualties from the frontlines in those campaigns.
The display was put up to tie-in with Anzac Day, and commemorates the work undertaken by women in a range of fields to assist in the war efforts.
During World War II, 24,026 women served in the AWAS.
The exhibition will be ending around Friday 2 May, giving residents a few more days to have a look before the historical pieces are taken down to make way for a new display.
For more information, call 5962 4423.