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Thursday, 26 September 2013

Of Beds, Patients, Children, Toys, and Bedfellows



Bed is the best place for rest and recovery. Beginning on a serious note, I've gathered together a few photographs of  patients recuperating in their hospital beds, of which there are many, from the Australian War Memorial Collection found on Trove.

Kantara, Egypt. July 1941. A patient in 2/2 Australian General Hospital giving the thumbs up gesture. He is happy because he is going home on a hospital ship tomorrow. A gramophone is playing on his bed.

Harefield, England. A patient in his bed at No 1 Australian Auxiliary Hospital writing letters home.


NEW BRITAIN, 1945-09. RELEASED POW RESTING HIS LEG IN BED AT THE AUSTRALIAN 2/8TH GENERAL HOSPITAL. (RNZAF OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH.)


QFX22911 Sister Eileen Short, of 2/10 Australian General Hospital recuperating after her release in a hospital bed after her release from Belalau, a Japanese prisoner of war (POW) camp outside Loebok Linggau, Sumatra. She had been aboard the Vyner Brooke when it was sunk by the Japanese on 14 February 1942 two days out of Singapore.


The captions tell us a little of these people's stories, but we can only imagine what harrowing experiences they must have gone through before reaching the safety of hospital, and they all appear fairly happy and thankful to have survived and hopefully to be on the mend, although the patient above has a rather wistful expression, and the chap below does appear rather startled to be 'captured' in bed!

HEIDELBERG, VIC. 1943-01-20. PRIVATE C. MARTIN, AIF, IN HIS BED AT THE 115TH AUSTRALIAN GENERAL HOSPITAL. HE WAS WOUNDED BY A JAPANESE SNIPER IN NEW GUINEA.

Now for some children and their toys:
The children who appear in my old photograph album from the 1880s are mostly formally posed just like the adults, but here is a sweet one of two little girls with some toys, which may or may not be their own. I'm not sure what the older girl is holding, or what is in the cart the younger one has, but I do like the way she is standing on a block so that the height difference between the two sisters in their matching dresses is reduced. If only I knew who these young ladies were!

My mother aged about 4, in the 1920s

 Having fun in the 1950s:

Entertaining a visiting friend with teddy
and with a favourite doll

And on a lighter note, just a few family photos from the 1980s onwards, for your entertainment:

On  Mum and Dad's bed at eight weeks old, this premature arrival was barely bigger than her sister's cabbage patch dolls

No really, we're just friends!
Doesn't look too comfortable, but it works!
Why fight when you can sleep? Thanks to 'the cabbage patch kid' for this recent photo of  her two pets Buddy and Holly.
Here's my favourite bed photo from our travels, snapped in the guesthouse where we stayed  in Kitzbuhel on a skiiing and tramping holiday some years ago.

 I just love the imaginative arrangement of those continental pillows! 



And finally, I can't think of any Australian bed songs, but here's one from John Denver, performing a classic in this country :-)

For more takes on the topic for this week, just go directly to Sepia Saturday #196