At the age of 99, Kempsey woman Jean Cooper has been recognised for her tireless work as a nurse during the Second World War by receiving the Commemorative Medallion and Certificate of Commemoration to mark the 75th anniversary of the guns falling silent.
Jean was born on November 11, 1921 and moved around a lot when she was young due to her father's occupation as a police officer and being required to move for work.
In 1941, at the age of 20, Jean was living in Mullumbimby with her family and decided to join the army with a couple of her friends.
She began training and was called to serve the following year.
"Not all of my friends who I joined with were called up at the same time," Jean remembers.
Although Jean wasn't required to travel overseas during the war, she was stationed at a number of hospital camps across NSW including Bathurst, Goulburn, North Head, Ingleburn and Murwillumbah.
She mainly worked on the hospital wards and looked after wounded soldiers who had been injured in battle or had contracted malaria. Jean was also stationed at psychiatric institutions during her time as a nurse.
"The wards were just tin sheds and I can remember it being very cold in Bathurst and Goulburn," she said.
"I was moved to different wards but was mainly looking after soldiers who had been injured or had malaria and we needed to give them injections."
Jean said the work on the wards was tiring.
"We would drink black coffee during the night shifts so we wouldn't fall asleep. A few of the Sisters would go to lie down and we would have to wake them if a colonel was coming."
While working on the wards Jean met her future husband, Leslie Cooper. Leslie had returned from the war effort in New Guinea and had contracted malaria.
Jean remembers Leslie needing injections to treat the infectious disease.
"He would have to come in for the injections and that's how we got to know each other," she said.
Jean left the army on June 12, 1946, after four years of service and married Leslie three days later. Leslie was originally from the Macleay and the pair moved to Kempsey following their wedding.
Leslie and Jean had six children together and remained married until Leslie sadly passed away in 1992. Jean also has eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Over the years, Jean has remained in contact with a number of local ex-servicewomen through the Kempsey War Widows and is still a member today.
She said she is proud to receive the Commemorative Medallion and Certificate of Commemoration to mark the 75th anniversary of end of the Second World War.
"It feels wonderful to receive the medal for the work I did, it makes me feel proud," Jean said.