Women's History Month Spotlight: Olive King

Women's History Month Spotlight: Olive King

(KFVS) - March is Women's History Month, and in the spotlight for March 8, 2016 is Olive May King (1885-1958) an adventurer and World War I hero.

At the age of 25, King climbed Mount Popocatepetl in Mexico with three male companions.

She was on a visit to England to help her sister give birth, when World War I broke out.

King supplied her own vehicle and went to Belgium as a driver with a volunteer field ambulance service. She converted a truck into a 16-seater ambulance, which became known as 'Ella the elephant'. She later  joined the Scottish Women's Hospitals for Foreign Service and went to France in spring 1915. After about six months her unit was sent to Serbia.

On 18 August 1917, the day of the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917, King transported people and records to safety, driving for 24-hours at a stretch. She was awarded the Serbian silver medal for bravery for her efforts that day.

After the war King raised money to set up canteens in Serbia to provide necessities to former soldiers and their families. Back in Australia she became an active leader of the Girl Guides' Association.

During World War II Olive King inspected war planes before they were sent into service.

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