1018 bears sponsored to 672 primary schools by 566 sponsors... Thank You Rose Clark and Fiona Hood For Donating Bert Jones - Light Horse Bear to Mapleton State School - MAPLETON Suzanah Kirby - Our most recent donor - Thank you Thank You Cranbourne RSL Women’s Auxiliary For Donating Earnest Harvey - Gallipoli Bear to Clyde Primary School - CLYDE Thank You Epsom School Parent Community For Donating Andy Miller - Navy Bear to Epsom Primary School - EPSOM Thank You attention - Mrs Ali Smith - Aldinga Beach Primary For Donating Andy Miller - Navy Bear to Aldinga Beach B-7 School - ALDINGA BEACH Thank You Isabel Sramek For Donating Earnest Harvey - Gallipoli Bear to Yungaburra State School - YUNGABURRA Thank You Andrew Wilkinson - Invictus Team Member For Donating Andy Miller - Navy Bear to Thomas Hassall Anglican College - HOXTON PARK Thank You Downer Defence Services For Donating Thomas Hendy - Flying Corps Bear to Charles Conder Primary School - CONDER Thank You Seymour Toyota For Donating Armistice Centenary Bear to Seymour College - SEYMOUR - Victoria Thank You Hoskinson & Mcsweyn family For Donating Bert Jones - Light Horse Bear to Ungarie Central School - UNGARIE Thank You Ward Family For Donating John Murray - Wounded Bear to Nakara Primary School - NAKARA

Sister O’Meara

Great War Nurse Bear

Listen to Sister O’Meara’s Story

When news of the war spread across Australia in August 1914 a lot of we younger nurses at the Children’s Hospital wanted to do our bit. Like the boys, we thought it might be a bit of an adventure and a chance to see the world. No one thought the war would last more than a few months anyway.

Because I had three years hospital training the Australian Army Nursing Service was pleased to sign me on, and before I knew it I was a nurse in the 2nd Australian General Hospital. We sailed from Sydney fully expecting to go to England but we stopped at Egypt. My hospital was right beside the Great Pyramids and with thousands of boys in training camps to look after we nurses were busied with sprains, sickness and a few serious injuries. But when the boys landed at Gallipoli in April 1915 we saw some really terrible wounds. It was horrible and we thought nothing could be worse, but in 1916 we shipped off to France and our boys joined the fight on the Western Front. It is more horrible than anyone could imagine.

My hospital is way back from the fighting but on some days you can hear the big guns like thunder in the distance. The real heroes of this war are the doctors and stretcher bearers at the front. Before the wounded soldiers get to me they have lots of stops. The Aid Posts and Dressing Stations are right near the fighting and the stretcher bearers and doctors there patch the lads up as best they can and send them further back to the Casualty Clearing Stations. These are hospitals in big huts or tents where doctors and nurses look after everything from broken bones to major operations. After a big push – that’s what the soldiers call battles like Pozieres and Fromelles – there can be thousands of wounded lads lined-up in a Clearing Station.

At my hospital we mainly tend their wounds and make sure they heal properly after surgery. Some lads are sent home to Australia, others go to England to recover more, and others get sent back to the front. This war makes me so sad and cross sometimes.