Australia’s involvement in World War One began on 4 August 1914. Many who joined up believed that the war would be a great adventure, but none could have imagined the scale of the endeavour on which they were about to embark. Sadly, many of these soldiers, sailors, airmen, medical support staff and nurses didn’t make it home. Their courage, sacrifice, hardship and losses brought a new maturity to our nation.

Australian women could serve overseas only if they joined the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS), the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service or the Red Cross. Across Australia a total of 2,861 women enlisted for duty during World War One and 513 of these were from New South Wales.

The impact of World War One on Australia’s economy was significant. At that time, the majority of exports from Australia were wool, wheat and minerals. Exporters were deprived of shipping services and they found it difficult to receive payments for their goods.

For Australia, the World War One remains the costliest conflict in terms of deaths and casualties. From a population of fewer than five million, 416,809 men enlisted, of whom more than 60,000 were killed and 156,000 were wounded, gassed, or taken prisoner. Another 6000 veterans died by the 1930s due to war related injuries and suicide.

The team in Research Services have prepared and posted hundreds of biographical stories and accounts of events which relate to the actions of Parramatta servicemen and women during World War One. To access this eBook, please click on the title World War One and Parramatta Nurses.

We hope you enjoy reading about these amazing people and the terrifying and sometimes awe inspiring events which carried them across the globe to fight against Germany and her allies.

Neera Sahni, Research Services Leader, City of Parramatta, Parramatta Heritage Centre, 2018