Nursing Fox by Jim Ditchfield – Review

Title –  Nursing Fox
Author – Jim Ditchfield
Genre –  Historical Fiction
Length –    291 Pages
My Rating – 5/5 Stars


At the outbreak of World War I, Lucy Paignton-Fox enlists in the Australian Army Nursing Service and leaves her family’s cattle station in the Northern Territory to join the war effort. During the Gallipoli campaign she serves in hospitals in Egypt, but when the Anzacs are posted to France she moves with them. A talented and spirited nurse, with dreams of one day becoming a doctor, Lucy finds more opportunities than she ever imagined: working alongside doctors and surgeons, sharing the soldiers’ dangers, helping them through their pain, and making lifelong friends.

But with war comes suffering. Lucy sees it all around: sorrow, disease and death. How long can she stay separated from it all?

Adam Hayward joins the British Army after a devastating attack on his family. Accepted into the air force, Adam tests his luck in the cockpit fighting for those he loves. But with aircraft technology booming, can Adam continue to stay ahead of the game?

John Mitchell’s determination leads him slowly up the ranks. With more responsibility than ever, he becomes disillusioned with the horrors of war, but he can’t help admiring the brave nurses who do so much to help the wounded men.

Nursing Fox details the experiences of Australian nurses during the Great War. It honours their journeys and shows the impact that the nurses had on the soldiers with whom they crossed paths.


This has without a doubt been one of the best books I’ve ever had the pleasure to read, A beautiful and emotive tale that had me engrossed from the start.

The story is told from 3 different points of view, Lucy, Adam and John. Set within World War I they are thrust into the war effort and each play a part in each other’s lives. The tale starts slowly but then you get carried away and I just couldn’t put it down

At times the tale was others gut wrenching. It really made me feel glad for the freedom I’m lucky to have.

For me I feel the book did a good job and developing the characters, they felt real and I loved all 3..each strong but with their own issues they have to overcome.

One of the best things about this book for me is it really showed you well how nursing was conducted during the war. We all know fighting men died but have you ever thought of those close to enemy lines who were there to help the wounded? I know it’s something I’ve never really considered.

The story mainly follows Lucy and her part within the war effort, she has a lot to deal with.. not only are people around her dying but she also has to deal with superior’s looking down on her for wanting to better herself. Lucy seemed so strong but at times you can tell the struggles the character must have been going through

This story isn’t the kind of book to make you laugh, at times you might smile and at other times you might shed a tear..there’s this sense right from the beginning that not everything will end well.

Another thing that I really liked about the book was the pacing of the story. Never too much, never to boring with the perfect amount of detail and story to keep me reading well into the early hours of the morning.. and the ending!! I’m never one for spoilers but I felt the last few chapters suited the story perfectly.. I can’t imagine the author finishing the book any other way

In conclusion, this book was a real treat. It picks up on the courage and effort both woman and men (and horses J ) put into the war effort and does it in such a way that by the end of it you feel you’ve had a history lesson rather than simply reading a story.

Well worth reading in my opinion

My thanks go to Odyssey Books for the chance to read/review the book

To find out more head to Goodreads, or

8 thoughts on “Nursing Fox by Jim Ditchfield – Review

  1. Sarah Hardy

    You seem to be reading quite a few different genres lately that I’m not used to seeing on your blog, enjoying reading your reviews for them though you are making me want to add more books to my to read pile 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bairdy1985 Post author

      Ha.. yes I’ve had quite a mix. I think authors can tell I just love reading… its keeping me very busy I must say but I love it. You’re just as bad though for tempting me with your reviews 🙂 so many books just not enough time

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim Ditchfield

    G’Day David,
    Thank you for your review. I’m delighted you enjoyed Nursing Fox, and so pleased you discovered a little of the history of the nurses in the casualty clearing stations. Those young women are rarely mentioned in accounts of that conflict, yet they played a vital role. I felt that it was time they received a little recognition for their dedication and bravery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bairdy1985 Post author

      Hi Jim,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my review 🙂

      I loved the book, i really felt i learned something from this one.

      I look forward to reading more of your work



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