The first part of this book describes the history of the Queen Elizabeth Overseas
Nursing Service, which originated as the Colonial Nursing Service, founded by Mabel
Piggot in 1896. Trained nurses were sent to the overseas colonies, often working under
difficult and trying circumstances to provide nursing care to all those who needed it.
These dedicated nurses were clearly of true pioneering stock, dealing with a new
field of work in tropical diseases, new language, extremes of temperatures and lack of
the most basic facilities - also strange customs.
The second part of the book tells of reminiscences from working lives, assocation
with people of importance, local leave and recreation in many different territories.
There were dangerous times too. World wars one and two with "the Winds of
Change" in the African continent.
In 1948 a nurse describes in her diary, during a Palestine Tour, with mounting fear,
the prospect of the terrifying unknown as conflict exploded between warring factions.
There is another tale of an earthquake and a great tidal wave on the Solomon Isles.
The last chapter deals with training nurses and how hospitals and nursing services
had developed in the Dominions. The handing over to the peoples of their country and
running of their own nursing service for themselves.
In conclusion, by 1966 circumstances had so changed that the Queen Elizabeth
Overseas Nursing Service finally finished in that year.
This book is a must for any nurse to read but for those who have served in the
Colonial Service the reading will be particularly nostalgic.