Paul Warren

Gold Star - 67,806 Points (ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA)

Brave Women 4 - Phoebe Chapple Mm (1879 - 1967) - Poem by Paul Warren

Phoebe Chapple was a doctor born in Adelaide, South Australia
And in many ways was a pioneer and a feminist without failure
She entered the Adelaide University at the young age of 16 years old
In 1905 she became the House Surgeon at the Adelaide Hospital very bold
Then she was the doctor at the Medical Mission in Sydney town
Before becoming the doctor at Prince Alfred College for the boys around

In 1914 the First World War was declared and Australia joined with Britain
She tried to join the Australian Imperial Force as a doctor all in
But they refused to appoint female doctors in the Army then
So in February 1917 she sailed for England to offer her services when
Upon arrival she was attached to the Royal Army Medical Corps
And then later to the Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps

She worked at Cambridge Hospital in Aldershot using her surgeon skill
Then went to France later that year working at Rouen, Le Havre and Abbeville
On the night of 29 May 1918 she went to inspect the women's quarters
When an air raid occurred causing forty women to shelter in the trenches
A direct hit by one of the bombs decimated the women sheltering there
Phoebe went straight to work during the raid and to them she provided care.

She worked on through the night in appalling conditions putting the casualties right
She treated the injured in the mud and darkness for her difficult medical fight
So after this the British Government awarded her the Military Medal
For gallantry and devotion to duty on that night that tested her mettle
This medal was only awarded to a few women in this war to end war
And her decision to serve her country has made us proud even more

Phoebe continued using her skills with the rank of honorary major
And was still with the troops at the end of the war without failure
She returned to Adelaide to her medical practice as 'Aunty Doc'
As the lead doctor of a number of Medical Associations in her flock
On Anzac Day in Adelaide at the head of Nursing contingents for women
She marched into history as a brave Australian with few others to contend.

© Paul Warren Poetry

Topic(s) of this poem: war

Form: Prose Poem

Poet's Notes about The Poem

A story of a brave Australian woman from the First World War. These people have not been heralded and they should be - a woman who should be celebrated in history.

Comments about Brave Women 4 - Phoebe Chapple Mm (1879 - 1967) by Paul Warren

  • (2/1/2016 5:22:00 PM)

    she marched into history as a brave, as the French say, Australienne.
    Good one with sensitive rhymes, Paul, though I don't know about the last three lines.
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, February 1, 2016

Poem Edited: Monday, April 18, 2016

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