Medical Units of 2 NZEF in Middle East and Italy
For some months two members of the NZ WAAC had been attached to 1 Mobile CCS for duty. This the nurses considered a compliment to their ability and usefulness as they had previously discounted their chances of being posted to that unit. One was a stenographer, who proved her worth battling with case histories and medical records during the busy periods, and the other was employed in the sisters' mess to make the life of the sisters easier and to relieve them during peak hours of work. The nurses moved with the CCS from Presenzano to Frosinone, Siena, Viserba, and Forli, page 409 arriving in the latter town when the enemy was not many miles up the road.
In Italy the status of the members of the WAAC was changed so that within 2 NZEF they had all the privileges of an officer as regards travelling, accommodation, and the use of clubs. The change was made purely to avoid embarrassment to the women, and they were gratified.
Feminine influence in hospital life became prominent at 3 General Hospital when Tripoli Lounge was run by a sister and two nurses. Although the Polyclinic buildings at Bari, with their pale-blue cool interiors, were ideally suited for the bed-patients, there was little else than the monotony of the wards to fill the days of the up-patients. There was no handy beach as at Senigallia, or green countryside as at Caserta, only the grey dust and the dry heat of the compound, with no patch of green grass or even a shady tree. At the beginning of 1945 a ward was converted into a lounge and suitably furnished, provided with games equipment, and decorated with palms and flowers. Here morning and afternoon teas and suppers were served in glass cups and saucers to as many as 250 patients at a sitting.
Several nurses also worked in the hospital and welfare centres of the Convalescent Depot at San Spirito.