From Brisbane trainee nurse to U.S. war bride.

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Locket showing Elvie Geissmann and Roy Bridges, the U.S. serviceman she would later marry.

How different was the life of a young woman in Australia during World War II? Personal diaries are a wonderful way to rediscover the day-to-day activities of our past.

In this 1941 diary, twenty-year-old Elvie Geissmann records her first year as a trainee nurse at the Brisbane General Hospital. She has had to trade the comforts of her childhood home on Tamborine Mountain for cramped nurses quarters at the hospital, where she will train for three long years. Her first months are not easy: she bucks at the discipline, gets into trouble, and spends way more than she earns. But, above all, she perseveres. 

To read more, go to my guest blog post on the State Library of Queensland website.

Finally, a suggestion. If you’ve inherited personal diaries about life in Queensland and don’t know how to preserve them, consider donating them to the collection of the State Library of Queensland.

About Debbie Terranova

I write stories of mystery and adventure (with a touch of romance) which inspire adult readers to question historical 'truths' and discover alternative meanings. I call this approach ‘fiction with a conscience’. While settings, historical events, and some characters in my novels are based on solid research, others are the creation of a vivid imagination. I have three stand-alone novels and a fourth due for release in early 2021.
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