Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sister Rachael Pratt, MM

While looking for an image of Sister Louisa Cumming Pratt in the AWM collection, I noticed there was another Sister Pratt - Rachael - probably no relation.  While checking both of the Pratt service records to see if one or both had served in the 1 Australian Auxiliary Hospital (and therefore which one was the "Sister Pratt" pictured there), I was astonished to find that Rachael Pratt had received a gunshot wound, and later a Military Medal.

The AWM says of Sister Pratt, " she was awarded her Military Medal for "bravery in the field" on 19 October 1917, one of seven nurses to receive this award during the First World War."

In returning to the NAA website to discover more about her, by just putting her name in the search engine it brought up a citation for her Military Medal, and several Repatriation Department files which had been digitised.  These revealed that returned nurses suffered very similar problems as the soldiers.  

I have been unaware of Repatriation Files being included in the NAA catalogue - probably Rachael Pratt's records were digitised on request - there certainly aren't huge numbers digitised that I can see, but I can see it is worth revisiting the NAA catalogue to see if further files will come up in search results for your particular soldier or nurse.

Sister Louisa Pratt of Ascot Vale was awarded the Associate Royal Red Cross (2nd class) and later the Royal Red Cross (1st class.).

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