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Kitty’s War is based upon the previously unpublished diaries of Great War army nurse Sister Kit McNaughton. Kit and historian Janet Butler grew up in the same part of regional Victoria, except many decades apart. The idea of this young nurse setting out in July 1915 on a journey that would take her across the world and into the First World War took hold of Janet Butler and inspired her to research and share Kit’s story. This decisive and dryly humorous woman embarked upon the troopship Orsova in 1915. Kit’s absorbing diary follows her journey through war from Egypt, where she cared for the Gallipoli wounded, to Lemnos Island off the coast of the Dardanelles and then on to France and the Somme. Kit finished active service as Australia’s first plastic surgery nurse, assisting medical pioneers in this field as they repaired the shattered faces of Australian soldiers. Through Kit’s diary and Janet butler’s thoughtful narration, we see the war through the eyes of a young Australian nurse as she is transformed by what she witnesses. This is an intimate and rare story of one woman’s remarkable experience of war.
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