TRIBUTES: WMHHS acting chief executive Sharon Kelly and board member Gary Edwards hold a horse from 14th Light Horse Regiment during the ceremony.
TRIBUTES: WMHHS acting chief executive Sharon Kelly and board member Gary Edwards hold a horse from 14th Light Horse Regiment during the ceremony. Supplied

Our medical recruits not forgotten

WHILE record crowds turned out to honour the fallen during the ANZAC centenary over the weekend, patients and staff at the busy Ipswich Hospital paused to remember former medical staff who served in the First World War.

On Friday the personal sacrifice and professional contribution of the 19 Ipswich Hospital staff who served in the war were honoured.

Volunteers from the Ipswich Hospital Nurses Association researched and catalogued the records of the 15 female nurses and four male surgeons who went to war as proud representatives of Ipswich Hospital.

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West Moreton Hospital and Health Board chairwoman Mary Corbett said the work of the volunteers who operate the hospital's AE Wilcox Museum captured the memories and stories of Ipswich Hospital, including a copy of a Queensland Times article dated 12 October 1914 which features excerpts from a letter written by nurse Margaret Winning who was honoured during the Anzac Day service.

Nurse Winning wrote, "You must not worry about me. I will be all right. I have volunteered for nursing service, and may get a call any moment. The addresses of relatives of the nurses are taken, in case anything might happen".

"The historical records maintained by museum staff are bringing to life the voices of our past staff but there is still much work to do. I am sure we would all like to know more of nurse Winning's story and what happened to her after enlisting," Dr Corbett said.

Dr Corbett advised that the museum's records also make reference to the hospital's ability to deliver services in the absence of doctors and nurses on military service.

"Historical documents reference an Ipswich Hospital Board of Management meeting in May 1915 which noted the difficulty the hospital was experiencing maintaining an adequate level of staff due to the many doctors leaving their practices to enlist," she said.

"The Anzac spirit continues to be present across West Moreton, with many in our workforce being former or current service men and women."

The museum is open the first Monday of the month, from 9.30am to 12.30pm.