The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918
Have you ever met the Sister-With-The-Bed-Making-Mania? She starts early in the morning and makes all the beds, and then spends half of the remainder of the day making them again—the other half being employed in pulling them to pieces. However nicely you make your own bed, it is absorbed in the general remaking process, and you find your best plan is to tidy your bed once, and then retire to the verandah for a day's rest.
Then there's the Sister. Who-Likes-To-Have-Her-Photo Taken. Immediately a new patient appears equipped with a camera, he his placed on a luxurious diet, and his downfall has begun. He uses film after film, produces print after print; and still the question of demand and supply worries him. Finally, in desperation, he breaks his camera.
You surely know the Nervous-Sister-Who-Is-Very-Afraid-Of-Inspections. The news that the Matron is in sight sends her into hysterics, and the simple message that "the Colonel is on his way, Sister", sets her rushing round, annihilating imaginary specks of dust with a courage born of despair; the arrival of the inspecting Colonel and his retinue sees her setting her teeth and keeping her feet by some miracle; and their departure leaves her a nervous wreck in a deck chair. The avidity with which she demolishes the subsequent cup of tea and two biscuits in the little pantry speaks eloquently of her recent mental suffering.
Again, we have the Sister-Who-Will-Stand-No-Nonsense, whose stern and unrelenting visage effectually silences the frivolous youth who would whistle or sing out of turn; and when a poor unfortunate ventures to throw a box of matches across the room, he receives such a look as makes him wither. When this Sister had occasion to reprove a patient (it only happened once) he immediately went out and ate his iron rations.
Then there's the Night-Sister-Who-Must-See-That-You're-Asleep. You get in about a "three-quarter doze", and then waste up with a jump, as you discover that somebody has crept up to your bedside. "Sh-sh" says a gentle voice, "I just wanted to see if you were asleep". Your bewildered senses will only allow of a grunt in reply, and you snuggle off again, and this time get to sleep. At 2 a.m. you're awakened again by the same angelic voice saying, ''Take this, you're coughing". A gulp, a snort, and more sleep. Three thirty, and you're dreaming of home, when you come to life with a tingling feeling in the foot, the result of an accidental knock. "It's all right, old chap, I'm only tucking you in". Two hours later you're awakened again for your wash, and consequent on all this you spend the next day sulking, and feel like going to sleep next night with placards all over you—'I'm always asleep", "I don't want any cough mixture.", "I love sleeping with my feet in the fresh air—it's good for headache". The chances are even then, though, you'd be awakened to see if your nose was bleeding.
Last, but by no means least, is—I was almost ungallant enough to say, O Rara Avis!—the Perfectly-Dinkum-Sister, or the Dinkumly-Per-fect-Sister. She's small, fair, soft pink complexion, always cheerful, bubbling over with life and high spirits, calls you "Boy", doesn't care if your locker's untidy, rejoices with you in your triumphs, condones your faults, and is sorry when you go away; in fact, is a good pal all the time.