Sister Janet (ePub)
Janet Well's achievements make for fascinating reading. She was only 18 when decorated for her nursing service to the Russians in the 1878 Balkan War. The following year she became the only nurse to serve at the Front in the Anglo Zulu War. After a period in Northern Zululand she was sent to the garrison at Rorke' Drift very soon after the legendary action. Revered by the soldiers, she had to make do in appalling conditions with scant supplies. She overcame extreme difficulties and prejudice despite her youth. After returning to England in time for her 20th birthday, her achievements were recognized by the award of the Royal Red Cross - the highest accolade and the equivalent of the Victoria Cross. This is a gripping tale of a true heroine who refused to accept the conventions of the age and in so doing made a huge contribution to the welfare of the British Army.
The first Britons to reach Zululand were a handful of shipwrecked traders. They found themselves completely at the mercy of a nation whose name would become a byword for ferocity and courage. The castaways were fearful of their lives but, to their surprise, were well treated and prospered. At the time, the Indian Ocean shoreline of the Zulu kingdom extended for almost 400 miles, whilst its inland frontiers reached as far as the Drakensberg mountains. Fifty years later the kingdom had diminished by half, followed by a threat that it would shortly cease to exist. And so it was, in December 1878,…By Ron Lock
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