Australians at War
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World War II
Myrtle's sling shows how it's done

When war broke out in 1939, Myrtle Sheppard (Nunn), like many other young Australians, wanted to do her bit for the war effort. She thought she'd like to be a nurse, but her mother (whose husband was a World War I veteran and had died when Myrtle was two years old) was reluctant to let her daughter join up because it would mean she'd be posted away from her home area.

Nevertheless, Myrtle felt that first-aid skills could prove useful in any emergency, and so she enrolled in a training course and decided to be a Red Cross blood donor..

One of the items she received as part of her course was a piece of cloth in a triangular shape that could be used as a bandage or sling to support wounds or injuries. The cloth had printed on it illustrations of how to fold and tie it.

"While my war-time service may not be as exciting or dramatic as others, I still feel as though I did what I could in my circumstances," Myrtle said.

"We all knew that only by being prepared and working together could we be sure of winning through."

"For me, my little piece of cloth is my link back to those days."

The material for this article was supplied by Mrs Myrtle Sheppard of Queensland

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View a larger picture of Myrtle Sheppard with her bandage.
View a larger picture of Myrtle Sheppard with her bandage. Myrtle Sheppard with her bandage.

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