Reviews - Battlefront Nurses in WW I
Battlefront Nurses Reviews
Condensed from various sources, 2009-2010
Maureen Duffus stands near the parade square where nurses practiced drilling in the summer of 1915. The location is confirmed by the image of the old house visible in the background of photos in the nurses' albums. (Shelley Lipke photo, The Outlook Newspaper, Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt.)
See what the house looked like in 1915
"What began as a search to uncover her aunt's military past, eventually led local author Maureen Duffus to write a book about the role of nursing sisters during the First World War. She found her aunt's story so compelling she molded her research into her fifth book, Battlefront Nurses in WWI, a detailed look at nursing sisters through the lives of her aunt, Ethel Morrison, and another local nursing sister, Elsie Collis. Following the two women's lives, Duffus tells the story of the their travels to Egypt, France, Salonika and England - adventures that few women could have dreamed of at the time - and takes readers inside the Esquimalt training camp that prepared them for war. Duffus chronicles four years in the two nursing sisters' lives after they enlisted in the Canadian Expedition Force in Esquimalt, B.C."
(Shelley Lipke, Staff writer, CFB Esquimalt Lookout)
"As a nurse, I am always delighted to see our histories published and made available. I am even more delighted when the stories are told by historians rather than nurses themselves. But few books bring the excitement and pleasure that I feel about this one. I found the book delightful ... well-researched and accurate. The photographs are extraordinary, and make this almost a coffee table book as well as a superb history."
(Dr. Glennis Zilm, honorary professor, University of British Columbia School of Nursing; Canadian Association for the History of Nursing)
"The strength of this book is its use of the words and photographs provided by Collis and Morrison. Their efforts to record what was happening during the war will help us gain a better understanding of the work they did ... and what the war was like for all the nursing sisters."
(Dave Obee, Times Colonist review, December 27, 2009)
"Historian Maureen Duffus relays the harsh Balkan reality ...[of] the soldiers - some killed in mountain battles, some wounded and dragged down to hospital in the malarial lowlands on mule-drawn travois stretchers ... [which] opens a personal-story window to world-changing events."
(Dr. G.E. Mortimore, columnist, Goldstream News Gazette.)
"... a delightful and well illustrated book. The Salonika chapters are especially good and highly informative ... I do hope this splendid book becomes the success that it deserves to be."
(UK historian Alan Palmer, author of The Gardeners of Salonika and more than 30 histories and biographies. Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature)
"This wonderful new addition to the history of nursing in World War I is the story of two intrepid nurses with a sense of adventure and mission. Their sometimes harrowing experiences are brought to life by Maureen Duffus as she follows them through their day-to-day struggles as front line nurses. I have worked and consulted with Maureen almost from the onset of her project, and I believe she has captured the true essence of Nursing Sisters Mary Ethel Morrison and Elsie Dorothy Collis."
(Michaeleen King, Archivist, Sisters of St. Ann)
"It is good to see anything new about Salonika in print. A re-focus on the medical/nursing angle is also good as it reinforces their vital contribution to the [Salonika] Campaign."
(Alan Wakefield, UK author of Beyond the Devil's Eye: Britain's Forgotten War, 1915-1918, with co-author Simon Moody; chairman, the Salonika Campaign Society)
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