New Zealand Ambulances in School Journal, by Dylan Owen, National Library of New Zealand. School Journal, Part III, August 1916, p. 208-209.
The ambulances provided by the schoolchildren were used for moving sick and wounded soldiers away from the front line and between hospitals. Soldiers who were injured and unable to walk would usually first be carried by stretcher-bearers to dressing stations, where some help could be given, such as stopping bleeding. From there, the injured were taken by ambulance to casualty clearing stations, which were a bit further away. At these clearing stations were doctors and nurses, who could give more specialist treatments. Injured soldiers who needed more help were then taken by ambulance to hospitals, where they could be cared for over longer periods of time.
About 500 New Zealand nurses went to the war and cared for soldiers from many different countries. This was hard work, and the nurses were well respected for it. Nurses were also awarded medals for their service.
The pages in the photograph above are from a 1916 School Journal. (The book in the photograph consists of all the School Journals for 1916 bound together.) The School Journal started in 1907, and during the war the Journals helped children to learn more about the war and encouraged their patriotism and obedience. Fund-raising was another way for children to learn something of what was happening in the war-affected countries far away and how they could be part of supporting their people overseas.
What can we observe?
What do we already know?
How might people view this story in different ways?
Possible discussion questions
How do ambulances and the people with them help us? Why do you think soldiers needed special ambulances and hospitals?
Why might children have wanted to raise money for the war effort? How would it help their sense of self-worth?
What is patriotism? Is it more important to be patriotic in wartime?
What can children do today to support people who experience war?
Do you ever do fund-raising? What do you raise funds for? How do you decide what to fund-raise for? How do you fund-raise?