Friday, June 20, 2014

Olive King, her ambulance, and a fire in Salonika

Olive King and her ambulance
Australian War Memorial
P0 1352.002 

"On the afternoon of August 18, 1917, a fire broke out in Salonika, which was now swarming with soldiers from Serbia, France, Britain, and Italy, as well as colonial troops from India, Indochina, and North Africa. Olive, seeing the fire from a distance and longing to have a closer look, was thrilled when she was ordered to assist. Driving into the city she found it a place of utter confusion as panic-stricken people fled with whatever goods they could rescue from the terrifying roar of the flames.
Olive, at times only yards away from the fire, worked all night rescuing people and their possessions. Moments after one Serbian family climbed into her ambulance, their house caved in with a deafening crash. Olive kept saying to herself that it was all 'too dreadful...too frightening to be really happening.'"
Excerpt from "Olive King: Adventurous Ambulance Driver" from Women Heroes of World War I.

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