Kathleen

Nurse Kathleen Campbell was born in the small town of Echuca, in southern Australia. She worked on her family's cattle farm until her father decided to send her off to school in Melbourne to become a nurse. She was working at a hospital there when the war broke out. It took her a little while to work up the courage, but in 1915 Kathleen enlisted in the Australian Army Nursing Service, a volunteer reserve force that was attached to the Australian Army Medical Corps.

After training, it was off to Egypt briefly, then Gallipoli. The horrors of war at the front quickly cured her of any notions of nursing being a grand adventure, but she did her duty, and even became an able surgical assistant. During the campaign, she fell in love with Corporal Owen 'Christy' Walsh. Kathleen saw Walsh killed just a short time before the evacuations, and left Gallipoli heartbroken and shellshocked.

At the recommendation of the nurse matron, Kathleen was posted back to Egypt, where she worked for a few months at a rear hospital during the defense of the Suez Canal. Eventually the hospital - including Kathy - was transferred to France when the corps was reassigned. Having recuperated from Gallipoli, Kathleen was able to return to a front-line post. She served at various posts for the remainder of the war, including hospitals near the Somme, Amiens, and Arras. For a time, she went with a team of nurses to assist the American troops at Belleau Wood before ending the war in Arras.

It was during a leave in Paris that Kathleen ran into her childhood friend, Lieutenant Jack Higgins. They had corresponded throughout the war, and it wasn't long before their friendship developed into a romance. They were engaged in 1917, though did not marry until after the war due to the AANS policy against married women serving.

When the war ended, Kathleen and Jack returned to Australia to manage a farm and raise a family: Jack Jr, Annabelle, and Daniel. All three served in the second war, as an infantry grunt, nurse and pilot respectively. She remained close to Bell, who even made it out to Campbell Station a few times and was an honorary Aunt for all her children.

The horrors of the war were always with her, and she never returned to nursing.

Favorite Logs from WWI: Gallipoli

Favorite Logs from WWI: Arras

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