Women and War: V6: Women’s Wars Down Under, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Women and War: V6

Women’s Wars Down Under, 1st Edition

Edited by Donna Coates


401 pages

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Hardback: 9780367375959
pub: 2020-03-25
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This is a 7 volume collection of primary texts, each selected and introduced by experts, reproducing in facsimile a wealth of materials related to the history of women and warfare in the English-speaking world. The editors are historians and literary scholars with a wealth of publications in women’s writing and war literature. The project focuses, for most of its historical range, on England (and Britain); it also includes volumes on the United States, Australia, and Canada. The collection documents women’s historical and literary participation in, and commentary on, war. It represents the first attempt to examine the variety of roles women have played in war, and as critics and commentators on war, across all of history into the twentieth century. The project makes a unique and powerful claim about the long history of women’s involvement in war in the English-speaking world. This volume covers women from Australia in the Boer War and the First and Second World Wars.

Table of Contents

Volume VI: Women’s Wars Down Under

Edited by Donna Coates



Part 1. South African War (The Boer War 1899-1902)

1.1 Fiction

1. Miles Franklin (pseudonym Brent of Bin Bin), excerpt from Cockatoos: A Story of Youth and Exodists (Sydney and London: Angus & Robertson, 1954), pp. 148-150.

1.2 Nurses

2. Agnes Macready, (nom de plume ‘Arrah Luen’), ‘After the Red Battle of Tugela’, (Sydney: Catholic Press, 24 February 1900, p.3.

3. Arrah Luen, `With Wounded Tommy Atkins’, Catholic Press (Sydney), 21 April 1900, p. 3.

4. Martha Sarah, Bidmead, transcribed interview, Adelaide Observer, 18 June 1902, p. 8.

5. Edith C. M. Dickenson, ‘Boer Women and Children’, Advertiser (Adelaide) 8 November 1901, p. 6.

Part 2. First World War (1914-1918)

2.1 Fiction (Myrmidons: The Erasure of Women’s Voices)

6. Annie Rixon, extract from The Scarlet Cape (Sydney: The Criterion Press, 1939), pp. 172-176.

7. Annie Rixon, extract from Yesterday and Today (Sydney: The Criterion Press, 1940), pp. 109-113.

8. Gladys Hain, ‘The Love Story of Dicky Collins, V. C.’, The Coo-ee Contingent (London, New York, Toronto, and Melbourne, 1917), pp. 100-107.

9. Chrystal Stirling, ‘Casualties’, in Soldiers Two (Sydney: N. S. W. Bookstall, 1918), pp. 186-191.

10. Excerpts from Irene MacDonald and Susan Radvansky (eds), Arthur and Emily: Letters in Wartime (Fitzroy, Victoria: Penguin, 1984), p. 94.

2.2 Fiction (Anzac Worshippers)

11. Mabel Balcombe Brookes, extract from Broken Idols (Melbourne: Melville & Mullen, 1917), pp. 163-168.

12. Mabel Balcombe Brookes, extract from On the Knees of the Gods (Melbourne: Melville & Mullen, 1918), pp. 70-71.

2.3 Adolescent Girls’ Wartime Work

13. Mary Grant Bruce, extract from Captain Jim (London, Melbourne, and Toronto: Ward, Lock, & Co., 1919), pp. 21-31.

14. Ethel Turner,‘Brigid Looks for a Job’, in Brigid and the Cub (London and Melbourne: Ward, Lock, & Co., 1917), pp. 64-72.

2.4 Fiction (Rejection of Motherhood, Betraying the Nation)

15. Mary Marlowe, ‘In the Library’, in The Women Who Wait (London: Simpkin Marshall Hamilton Kent & Co., 1918), pp. 112-121.

16. Rae Phillips, extract from ‘Invisible Chains’, in The White Feather (Melbourne: Melville & Mullen, 1917), pp. 156-161.

2.5 Fiction (Insubordinates)

17. Lesbia Harford, extract from The Invaluable Mystery (Melbourne: Penguin, 1987), pp. 162-171.

18. R. E. Leake, excerpt from Letters of a V. A. D. (London: Andrew Melrose, 1918), pp. 209-219.

19. M. L. Skinner, (also R. E. Leake), ‘Left in Bombay’, in Tucker Sees India (London: Martin Secker & Warburg, 1937), pp. 7-16.

20. Leslie Parker, (pseudonym for Angela Thirkell), ‘Trouble in the Bush’, in Trooper to the Southern Cross (London: Faber & Faber, 1934), pp. 101-105.

21. D. Manners-Sutton [C. Gentile], extract from A Marked Soul (Melbourne: Alexander McCubbin, 1923), pp. 183-187.

2.6 Autobiography

22. Jean Devanny, extract from Point of Departure: The Autobiography of Jean Devanny, Carole Ferrier (ed.) (St. Lucia, London, and New York: University of Queensland Press, 1986), pp. 68-71.

2.7 Drama (War Brides)

23. Betty Roland, extract from The Touch of Silk: A Play in Three Acts (Melbourne and London: Melbourne University Press in Association with Oxford University Press, 1945), pp. 25-27.

24. Miles Franklin, extract from ‘No Family’, in Susan Pfisterer (ed.), Tremendous Worlds: Australian Women’s Drama 1890-1960 (Strawberry Hills, NSW: Currency Press, 1999 [1937]), pp. 137-142.

2.8 Poetry

25. Zora Cross, extract from Elegy on An Australian Schoolboy (Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1921), pp. 24-27.

26. Mary Gilmore, `War’ and ‘Gallipoli’, in Under the Wilgas (Melbourne, Robertson and & Mullers Ltd., 1932), pp. 10, 102-103.

27. Mary Gilmore, `The Satin of the Bee’, in The Passionate Heart (Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1918), pp. 18-19.

2.9 World War One Nurses

28. May Tilton, extract from The Grey Battalion (Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1933), pp. 132-135, 230-240.

29. Anne Donnell, extract from Letters of an Australian Army Sister (Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1920), pp. 208-210.

30. Gertrude F. Moberly, extract from Experiences of a "Dinki Di" R. R. C. Nurse (Glebe N. S. W: Australasian Medical Publishing, 1933), pp. 30-33.

2.10 Ambulance Drivers, Munitions Workers

31. Mary Edgeworth David, ‘World War I’, in Passages of Time: An Australian Women 1890-1974 (St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1975), pp. 82-98.

32. Olive King, ‘The Serbian Army: 1916-1918’, in Hazel King (ed.), One Woman at War: Letters of Olive King 1915-1920 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1986), pp. 35-39.

2.11 War Reporters

33. Louise Mack, (Mrs. Creed), ‘The City Surrenders’, in A Woman’s Experiences in the Great War (London: T. Fisher Unwin Ltd. 1915), pp. 175-183.

34. Katharine Susannah Prichard, `Mr. Atkins and His Australian Sisters’, Everylady’s Journal, 6 March 1915, pp. 138-139.

2.12 Pacifists

35. Adela Pankhurst, `Atrocities’, in Put Up the Sword (Melbourne: The Women’s Peace Army, 1915), pp. 154-158.

36. Eleanor M. Moore, ‘The First World War and Peace Movements of that Period’, in The Quest for Peace: As I Have Known It in Australia (Melbourne: Wilks and Company, 1948), pp. 25-32.

37. Eleanor M. Moore `Conscription and Woman’s Loyalty’, (Melbourne: Fraser and Jenkinson, 1917).

38. Vita Goldstein, `Workers of the World Unite: Workers of the World Unite!’, The Woman Voter, May 11, 1917, p. 19.

2.13 Pamphlet

39. W. R. Winspear (verse) and Claude Marquet (cartoon), `The Blood Vote’, Anti-Conscription Campaign, World War One, Australia, 1917 (Melbourne: Fraser & Jenkins, 1917).

2.14 Post-War Reconstruction (Returned Veterans)

40. Katharine Susannah Prichard, extract from Intimate Strangers (London: Jonathan Cape, 1937), pp. 200-204.

Part 3. Spanish Civil War

3.1 Poetry

41. Aileen Palmer, `A Sort of Beauty’ and `Lest We Forget’, in World Without Strangers? (Melbourne: Overland, 1964), pp. 18, 24.

3.2 Pamphlets

42. Nettie Palmer, ‘Preface’, ‘The Spanish Background’, ‘Foreword’ and `From Sister Una Wilson to P. Thorne’, in Australians and the Spanish Civil War: Two Historic War-time Pamphlets (Melbourne: Red Pen Publications, 1986), pp. 9-13, 1-7.

3.3 Nurses

43. Agnes Hodgson, ‘Part Two: The Diary of Agnes Hodgson’, in Judith Keene (ed.), The Last Mile to Huesca: An Australian Nurse in the Spanish Civil War (Sydney: New South Wales University Press, 1988), pp. 134-138.

Part 4. Second World War

4.1 Fiction (The Yank Invasion)

44. Henrietta Drake-Brockman, extract from The Fatal Days: A Novel (Sydney and London: Angus and Robertson, 1947), pp. 62-64.

45. Dymphna Cusack and Florence James, extract from Come in Spinner (abridged edition 1951) (Auckland: Angus & Robinson, 1988), pp. 220-227.

46. M. Barnard Eldershaw, extract from Tomorrow and Tomorrow (London: Phoenix House, 1948), pp. 313-317.

4.2 Fiction and Memoir (Attacks on the Home Front)

47. Dymphna Cusack, extract from Southern Steel (Sydney: Walter Standish & Sons, 1953), pp. 320-327.

48. Eleanor Dark, extract from The Little Company (Sydney and Auckland: Collins Bros. & Co., 1945), pp. 217-223.

49. Oriel Gray, extract from Exit Left: Memoirs of a Scarlet Woman (Ringwood, Victoria: Penguin, 1985), pp. 96-97.

50. Maureen C. Meadows, ‘After Pearl Harbour’, in I Loved Those Yanks (Sydney: George M. Dash, 1948), pp. 7-16.

4.3 Poetry

51. Mary Gilmore, `Singapore’, The Australian Women’s Weekly March 14, 1942, p. 9.

52. Judith Wright, ‘The Moving Image’, `The Soldier’s Farm’ and `The Trains’, in Judith Wright: Collected Poems 1942-1970 (London, Sydney, Melbourne: Angus & Robertson, 1975), pp. 3-5, 11-12.

4.4 Drama

53. Mona Brand, extract from Susan Pfisterer (ed.), Here Under Heaven, Tremendous Worlds: Australian Women’s Drama 1890-1960 (Sydney: Currency Press, 1999), pp. 147-167.

54. Dymphna Cusack, extract from `Eternal Now’, unpublished play, Campbell Howard Collection (CHC), University of New England, 1947, pp. 43-44.

4.5 Prisoners of War

55. Betty Jeffrey, extract from White Coolies (Sydney, London, Melbourne and Wellington: Angus & Robertson, 1954), pp. 23-25.

56. Testimony of Sister Vivien Bullwinkel, sole survivor of the Australian nurses massacred at Banka Island, at the Tokyo War Crimes trials, National Archives of Australia, Series number Mp742/1.

57. Jessie Elizabeth Simons, ‘Geisha Girls’, in While History Passed: The Story of the Australian Nurses Who Were Prisoners of the Japanese for Three and a Half Years (Melbourne, London and Toronto: William Heinemann, 1954), pp. 32-40.

4.6 Medical Practitioners (Doctors and Nurses)

58. Mary Kent Hughes, chapter VI in Matilda Waltzes with the Tommies (Melbourne and London: Oxford University Press, 1943), pp. 41-46.

4.7 Memoirs (Anti-War Protestors)

59. Jessie M. G. Street, extract from Truth or Repose (Sydney: Australasian Book Society, 1966), pp. 224-238.

60. Nancy Wake, chapter 8 in The Autobiography of the Woman the Gestapo Called The White Mouse (Melbourne: Macmillan, 1985), pp. 101-113.

4.8 News Reporters

61. Alice Jackson, `The Luckiest Man in New Guinea: Every Soldier in Hospital Lays Claim to this Title’, Australian Women’s Weekly, December 4, 1943, p.10

62. Lorraine Streeter, ‘"Woman" on Inside of Allied Raid on Rabaul’, Woman, 6 December, 1943, pp. 16-17.

63. Anne Matheson, `How London Lives in Shadow of Flying Bombs’, Australian Women’s Weekly, July 29, 1944, p. 9, 12.

64. Betty Wilson, `23,000 Men Still at Dachau’, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 May 1945, p. 1.

4.9 Aboriginal Women at War

65. Kath Walker extract (Oodgeroo Noonuccal Collection), 3-page typescript, UQFL84, Box 3, Fryer Library, University of Queensland. 

About the Editor

Donna Coates is Associate Professor in the Department of English, Univesity of Calgary, Canada.

About the Series

History of Feminism

The History of Feminism series aims to make key archival source material available to scholars, researchers, postgraduates and undergraduates working in the fields of women and gender studies, women's history and women's writing. Subject matter and texts are selected for their decisive contribution to the feminist history of ideas in an international context.

Sets are published in hardback format of between three to six volumes and include full-length documents, pamphlets, reviews, newspaper articles and debates, letters, and fiction. The first set, Sex, Social Purity and Sarah Grand (edited by Ann Heilmann and Stephanie Forward), is concerned with the most prominent British New Woman writer and her contemporary critical reception.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies