Description: Battledress Flash – Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps.

Condition: Near Mint

Comments: Worn by the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps after 1960 on battledress uniform.

The Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps (RAANC) is a Corps of the Australian Army. It was formed in February 1951 from the Royal Australian Army Nursing Service. A Corps Badge was introduced in 1951 with the motto Pro Humanitate (for Humanity). It embraces the values of compassion and service to others, reflecting the care and dedication provided to the wounded and sick. Approval for the Corps flag was granted on 7 February 1958.

The history of RAANC can be traced back to the formation of the Army Nursing Service on 13 August 1898. At the time it was made up of one Lady Superintendent and 24 nurses. The service saw its first action in the Boer war, when the New South Wales and Victorian governments arranged for a detachment of nurses to deploy with their troops to Africa. Groups and individual nurses from West Australia, South Australia and Queensland also served in the Anglo-Boer War. Due to the performance of the nurses in that conflict, an order was given in 1902 for the formation of the Australian Army Nursing Service under the control of the Federal Government. It is this order’s promulgation, 1 July 1903, which is celebrated as RAANC Corps day.

2,139 AANS female nurses served overseas in the World War I with 423 serving in Australia, together with 130 Australians who worked with Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service. 25 died on active service and 388 were decorated.

In World War II, 3,477 women joined the AANS with 71 members losing their lives (23 in battle and 18 as a result of accident or illness). 38 became Prisoner of War. 137 decorations were awarded including two George Medals. In 1945, Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, became the Honorary Colonel and in 1948 the service was renamed as the Royal Australian Army Nursing Service.