We are proud and excited to introduce our latest military release - Australian and New Zealand Army Nurses - WWI.
We have created this set to recognise the role that women played in WWI - a role which is often overlooked in the world of toy soldiers, but is gradually becoming better recognised in the historical record especially with the production of TV programmes such as the popular Australian series "Anzac Girls". While there are plenty of military sets for which a number of manufacturers have created their own versions, we wondered why there was such a gap for nursing sets and wanted to bring our own beautiful and historically accurate figures into the Imperial family.
With his characteristic eye for detail David has carefully sculpted four figures - two Australian and two New Zealand.
One of the biggest challenges was getting the uniforms correct. We spent a lot of time at the Waiouru Army Museum in researching this set! And while there are some great reference books, the photographs are mostly black and white, there was a great deal of variation in the uniforms over time, and there was historically less focus on capturing an accurate record of the nursing uniforms than there was on making sure the men's uniform details were recorded. Over time the nursing services were also given military rank, which was reflected in the way the uniform evolved.
We have also created a special label for this set (below) which is on the outside of the box. As with previous Imperial special labels (Rorke's Drift, The Thin Red Line, Heirloom sets), the set also comes with a spare label sticker for use as you wish. The label is designed in a commemorative leadlight style which incorporates design features of the era (cameos, depiction of flags) and elements of the nursing experience, while the side panels create a record of service by listing the theatres of war in which the nurses served. It is inspired by the remarkable Christchurch Nurses' Memorial Chapel, which was built in the 1920s and is thought to be the only purpose-built, hospital chapel commemorating nurses who died in the Great War, in the world.
You can see the set here.