Tuesday 30 June 2009 by Craig Blanch. 15 comments
News, Personal Stories, Collection, Collection Highlights, First World War, Heraldry, Western Front, People, women in war, military medal

Phoebe Chapple was always going to be someone special. She grew up in a family of high achievers. Apart from her father, Frederic Chapple, who was headmaster at Prince Alfred College Adelaide, five of her seven siblings held university degrees: Alfred a lecturer in engineering at St John’s University Cambridge; Ernest, another Cambridge graduate at Jesus University and president of the Fresher Debating Society before taking up a position in Rangoon, Burma; Harold a surgeon at Guy’s Hospital in London; Marian an arts graduate from the University of Adelaide; and Fred, another doctor. However, Phoebe stood apart even in such accomplished company.

Born in Adelaide on 31 March 1879, Phoebe was the youngest daughter in the family. She was educated at the Advanced School for Girls in Grote Street, Adelaide before entering university at the tender age of 16. She gained her Bachelor of Science in 1898, no mean feat considering the prevailing attitudes to women at the time. But Phoebe was not finished yet. Inspired by South Australian women’s advocate and Adelaide’s first practicing woman doctor, Dr Violet Plummer, Phoebe decided to study medicine. For academic excellence in her second year she was awarded the university’s Elder Prize. She graduated as a doctor in 1904.

Following the completion of her studies, Phoebe worked as a house surgeon at the Adelaide Hospital and in 1906 was briefly appointed the resident medical officer for the Sydney Medical Mission. While in Sydney she treated the poor in their homes, charging only a minimal amount to cover medicines, if anything at all. She kept an exhaustive schedule, travelling ‘by tram, bus, and on foot, and in urgent cases sometimes by cab.’

Returning to Adelaide, she practiced from Prince Alfred College where her father was headmaster. She quickly became actively involved in women’s issues, gaining a seat on the committee of the South Australian [Women’s] Refuge in November 1912. From 1914 to 1929, apart from her war service years, she was Honorary Medical Superintendent of McBride’s Maternity Hospital.

During the First World War she became frustrated with the Australian army’s refusal to appoint women doctors. Not content to surrender so readily, she travelled to England in February 1917 to enlist in the Royal Army Medical Corps. She was appointed as surgeon to Cambridge Hospital in Aldershot. Later, she was attached to Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps (QMAAC) and moved to France. Chapple was accorded the honorary rank of captain and was one of the first two women doctors sent to the front, which she ‘regarded as an honor [sic] for Australia.’

MEMBER OF THE WOMEN'S ARMY AUXILIARY CORPS (WAAC) (LATER QUEEN MARY'S ARMY AUXILIARY CORPS) WEARING THE UNIFORM COMPRISING A GREATCOAT WITH FUR COLLAR, TUNIC DRESS WITH WHITE DETACHABLE COLLAR AND BROWN FELT HAT.  MEMBER OF THE WOMEN'S ARMY AUXILIARY CORPS (WAAC) (LATER QUEEN MARY'S ARMY AUXILIARY CORPS) WEARING THE UNIFORM COMPRISING A GREATCOAT WITH FUR COLLAR, TUNIC DRESS WITH WHITE DETACHABLE COLLAR AND BROWN FELT HAT. P01267.002

On 29 May 1918, Chapple was inspecting the QMAAC Camp 1 near Abbeville in France when it came under a German aerial bombing attack. Using the glow from a lorry that had been set on fire, German aircrew dropped three bombs on the compound. Two destroyed huts while a third exploded on a covered trench used by the women as a shelter. The explosion killed eight women and a ninth was mortally wounded. Six were slightly wounded.

 

Abbeville, France. 31 May 1918. Members of Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps (QMAAC), marching from No. 2 Stationary Hospital at 1.45p.m. in the funeral procession of their comrades, who were killed in the enemy air raid Abbeville, France. 31 May 1918. Members of Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps (QMAAC), marching from No. 2 Stationary Hospital at 1.45p.m. in the funeral procession of their comrades, who were killed in the enemy air raid E02354

Julia Cowper, author of an early history of the QMAAC, wrote later that: 'Fortunately...Dr P. Chappel [sic], who was staying the night at the camp, was on the spot.’ Working in the dark for hours, Phoebe moved through the destroyed trench, tending to the dead and wounded. For her actions during and following the air raid, Chapple was awarded a Military Medal (MM), the first woman doctor so decorated. The citation for the award reads: ‘For gallantry and devotion to duty during an enemy air raid. While the raid was in progress Doctor Chapple attended to the needs of the wounded regardless of her own safety.’

The funeral of members of Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), who were killed in the air raid by the enemy on the night of 29 May 1918. The funeral of members of Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), who were killed in the air raid by the enemy on the night of 29 May 1918. E02352

Instituted in March 1916 as an award for officers and men, a supplementary warrant for the MM was quickly issued to recognise women three months later. It was considered that the MM may ‘under exceptional circumstances, on the special recommendation of a Commander-in-Chief in the Field, be awarded to women.’ At the time of recommending the award for Chapple, the Commander-In-Chief was unable to authorise a Military Cross, a comparable award given to officers, as the women did not hold commissions. A recommendation for a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) was considered more appropriate for the women though the MM was finally decided upon as it could only be won in the field.

Dr Phoebe Chapple's medals (from left) Military Medal, British War Medal 1914-20, Victory Medal. Dr Phoebe Chapple's medals (from left) Military Medal, British War Medal 1914-20, Victory Medal. REL

A colleague of Chapple’s from Adelaide, Dr Helen Mayo, was so incensed at the obvious discrimination in the granting of awards that she noted, many years later, that: ‘Had [Chapple] been an officer (and a man) she would have received the Military Cross.’

Returning home to Adelaide in 1919, Phoebe set up practice in North Terrace. In December of the same year she ran in the Adelaide municipal elections, supported by the Women’s Non-Party Association, but was narrowly defeated. In 1921 she took the position of honorary medical officer at the night clinic at Adelaide Hospital. In 1927, to help remove barriers for women in the profession, Phoebe was a founding member of the South Australian Medical Women’s Society and later served as its president. She was made a life member of the society in 1962.

In 1937 she attended the Medical Women’s International Association Conference in Scotland as the Australian representative. Chapple continued to practice from her home, ‘Tintagel’, in Norwood until the age of 85 years. Dr Phoebe Chapple BSc MB BS MM died on 24 March 1967, aged 87 and was cremated, with full military honours, at Centennial Park Cemetery. An annual bursary in her name is awarded at St Ann’s College, University of Adelaide, in recognition of her outstanding work and for her contribution to the academy.

Comments

tinavo

this is so cool

Christi Bennett

Like Weary Dunlop it seems that acts of gallantry in administering compassion and medical care in the heat of battle takes gallantry and duty to a higher plane . For it to come from a woman in such circumstances and such times is truly special and something all young Australians, especially our women, should know and be proud of. When will our schools teach more of the ANZAC spirit so embodied in this example and thourhg these stories teach our youth what it means to be Australian.

Roslyn Jones

A great story of an amazing woman, whom so many Australian know so little about. When people think of war, they usually always remember the men, thank you Craig for bringing a wonderful woman to light

Lyn Johnson

A truly inspiring woman. Recently read the book "The Other Anzacs" by Peter Rees. Its the record of Australian nurses who served and in some cases gave their lives in WW1. The description in their diaries of the conditions that those valiant women worked under just as did Dr. Phoebe Chapple were horrific. How they continued to tend the injured and dying under such conditions was amazing. I think they were more more frank in describing the injuries they dealt with than some of the men. The book should be required reading. Glad I discovered this site. Thank you

A J Longuehaye-Hooper

What a wonderfully moving read! My wife and I were so impressed by Dr Phoebe Chapple's remarkable life and achievements. All Australian young people should hear her story.

Peter Lang

I found this article particularly interesting because I am her grand nephew (on my mothers side) and I knew nothing if anything about her until this time. Certainly some-one to be extremely proud of. Peter Lang

Jennifer Baker

Australian Women Doctors who served in WW1 http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=186866163112 The Following is list of Australian Women Doctors who served in WW1 and the service they served in - unable to serve in an Australian Units beacsue of Australian Govt Policy at the time, many of our most intelligent women of the time left Australia and served in other units overseas. Becasue they didnt serve under an Australian unit they have never been recognized here in Australia Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps / Women's Auxiliary Army Corps PHOEBE CHAPPLE, (1879-1967), medical practitioner http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A070625b.htm ELEANOR ELIZABETH BOURNE, (1878-1957), medical practitioner - http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A070364b.htm ELIZABETH BRITOMARTE JAMES, (1867–1943), administrator http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/AS10245b.htm Women's Hospital Corps - Endell Street Military Hospital The Women's Hospital Corps established hospitals in Paris and at Wimereux near Boulogne. Eventually the War Office gave permission for Garrett Anderson and Murray to establish the Women's Military Hospital in Endell Street, London ELEANOR ELIZABETH BOURNE, (1878-1957), medical practitioner - http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A070364b.htm VERA SCANTLEBURY BROWN, (1889-1946), medical practitioner http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A110543b.htm RACHEL CHAMPION, medical practitioner from Melbourne - Endell Street Military Hospital, with the Women's Hospital Corps - no papers, but family alive ELIZABETH HAMILTON-BROWNE, medical practitioner from Sydney - Endell Street Military Hospital, with the Women's Hospital Corps, then with No.19 General Hospital, in Egypt; subsequently M/O in France, in charge of 500 American women clerks who had been lent to the British Army - some reminiscences in the University of Sydney archives EMMA BUCKLEY, medical practitioner, from Sydney - Endell Street Military Hospital, with the Women's Hospital Corps Scottish Women's Hospitals Scottish Women's Hospitals Committee sent the first women's medical unit to France three months after the war started. By 1915 the Scottish Women's Hospital Unit had established an Auxiliary Hospital with 200 beds in the 13th century Royaumont Abbey. In April 1915 they served in Serbia on the Balkan Front. Over the next few months they established field hospitals, dressing stations, fever hospitals and clinics. During an Austrian offensive in the summer of 1915, Inglis and some of her staff were captured but eventually, with the help of American diplomats, the British authorities were able to negotiate the release of the women. During the First World War - fourteen medical units to serve in France, Serbia, Corsica, Salonika, Romania, Russia and Malta. This included doctors, nurses, cooks, ambulance-drivers, orderlies and relief-workers. LILIAN VIOLET COOPER, (1861-1947), medical practitioner http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A080116b.htm ELSIE JEAN DALYELL, (1881-1948), pathologist http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A080223b.htm AGNES ELIZABETH LLOYD BENNETT, (1872-1960), medical practitioner http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A070265b.htm LAURA MARGARET (Fowler) HOPE, (1868-1952), medical practitioner http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A140557b.htm MARY CLEMENTINA DE GARIS (1881-1963), , medical practitioner, obstetrician http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A080699b.htm OLIVE MAY KING, (1885-1958), ambulance driver http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A090600b.htm ARMSTRONG, MILLICENT SYLVIA (1888-1973), Orderly http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A130087b.htm STELLA MARIA (MARIAN) FRANKLIN, SARAH MILES (1879-1954), Orderly http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A080591b.htm MARGARET EMILY HODGE, (1858 - 1938) London committee http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/AS10227b.htm Royal Army Medical Corps KATIE LOUISA ARDILL, (1886 - 1955) medical practitioner http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A070692b.htm AGNES ELIZABETH LLOYD BENNETT, (1872-1960), medical practitioner http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A070265b.htm PHOEBE CHAPPLE, (1879-1967), medical practitioner http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A070625b.htm ELSIE JEAN DALYELL, (1881-1948), pathologist http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A080223b.htm ELAINE MARJORY LITTLE, (1884-1974), pathologist http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A150131b.htm French Red Cross LUCY EDITH GULLETT, (1876-1949), medical practitioner http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A090133b.htm HANNAH MARY HELEN (SEXTON, 1862-1950), surgeon http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A110582b.htm BESSIE ELLEN DAVIDSON, (1879-1965), nurse http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A130639b.htm Australian Red Cross ISABEL MARY MITCHELL, (1893-1973), http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A100519b.htm Dame MABEL BALCOMBE BROOKES, (1890-1975) http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A130301b.htm Other Doctors – Units & Details Unknow GRACE CORDINGLY MABEL MURRAY-PRIOR ISABEL ORMISTON

Jennifer Baker

During the Great War they gave their All - 38 Australian Women gave their lives in WW1 http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=144220448112 During the Great War they gave their All 38 Australian Women gave their lives in WW1 while undertaking Humanitarian Aid And have never been full recognized or had a memorial put up to them in Australia This Remembrance Day - 11 Nov help right this wrong remember the ladies as well as the men 4 Deaths - Voluntary Aid Detachments (VAD) Louise (Louie) Blanche Riggall Lydia W F Grant Kathleen Adele Brennan Maud Augusta Parrott 3 Deaths - Merchant Navy - Stewardess Clara Louisa McMillan Edith Keighly Newton Jean Robertson 1 Death - Australian Munition Worker Rose Roseman 1 Death - Women's Royal Air Force Dora Ashley 24 Deaths - Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) Louisa Annie Bicknell Emily Clare Ruby Dickinson Gertrude Agnes Grewar May Hennessy Hilda Mary Knox Irene McPhail Edith Ann Moorhouse Letita Gladys Moreton Norma Violet Mowbray Gertrude Evelyn Munro Lily Nugent Amy Veda O'Grady Rosa O'Kane Katherine Lawrence Porter Kathleen Power Doris Alice Ridgway Elizabeth Rothery Mary Florence Stafford Ada Mildred Thompson Fanny Isobel Catherine Tyson Jean Miles Walker ( Matron Jean Miles-Walker) Beatrice Middleton Watson Blodwyn Elizabeth Williams 1 Deaths – Hospital Ships - Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Edith Blake 4 Deaths - Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Myrtle Elizabeth Wilson Charlotte Berrie Florence Narrelle Jessie Hobbes May Dickson Their Full details 4 Deaths - Voluntary Aid Detachments (VAD) Louise (Louie) Blanche Riggall Died from a cerebral haemorrhage on 31st August 1918 Rouen France - died in France 7th Sept 1918 - buried St Sever Cemetery ( Grave/Memorial Reference: Officers, B. 3. 1. )- Mentioned in Despatches for her services with the British Red Cross (BRCS) Name is recorded on the Nurses Roll of Honour in St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne & RSL Memorial Hall Maffra VAD – member Australian Red Cross Society - Served in Heliopolis and 1 AGH (Australian General Hospital ) at Rouen France Lydia W F Grant Died 1 April 1917 - Cause of Death Measles turned Septic Arthritis - treated at Manchester 2nd Western General Hospital - Died in England on active Service VAD – Nurse British Red Cross -BRCS VAD Australian Detachment Brisbane 2 Kathleen Adele Brennan Died of influenza at Leicester, England on 24 November 1918. BURIED Welford Road Cemetery, Leichester England ( cemetery details - BRENNAN, Nurse Kathleen Adele, Australian Army Nursing Service. 24.11.1918 - Grave/Memorial Reference: Screen Wall. O1. 198.) VAD – member Australian Red Cross Society, left Australia for United Kingdom aboard HMAT Osterley, on 27 September 1916 Maud Augusta Parrott Died 24 October 1918 Age at Death 37 Cemetery or Memorial Details SOUTH AFRICA 53. Johannesburg (Brixton New) Cemetery. E.C. 2219 Family details: DAUGHTER OF COL & MRS T S PAROTT OF SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA VAD – Nurse Sister Unit Volunteer Aid Detachment British Red Cross -BRCS VAD - Service Allied Forces 3 Deaths - Merchant Navy Stewardess Clara Louisa McMillan Died 26 June 1918 Cause of Death Killed by mine Age at Death 31 Cemetery or Memorial Details 39. Mercantile Marine Memorial, Tower Hill, London Rank Stewardess Unit SS Wimmera (Melbourne) Service Merchant Navy Conflict 1914-1918 Edith Keighly Newton Died 26 June 1918 Cause of Death Killed by mine Cemetery or Memorial Details 39. Mercantile Marine Memorial, Tower Hill, London Rank Assistant Saloon Stewardess Unit SS Wimmera (Melbourne) Service Merchant Navy Jean Robertson Died 26 June 1918 Cause of Death Killed by mine Cemetery or Memorial Details 39. Mercantile Marine Memorial, Tower Hill, London The Evening Post of the 28th June 1918 reported “that among the passengers and crew there were many splendid instances of courage. Mrs Robertson, stewardess, cheerfully helped the women and children with the scanty clothing available, and in fitting lifebelts. Then she walked to the upper deck and stood by doing what she could till the steamer took her final plunge”. Rank 1st Class Stewardess Unit SS Wimmera (Melbourne) Service Merchant Navy 1 Death - Australian Munition Worker Rose Roseman Died 25 November 1918 Cemetery or Memorial Details SURREY 150. Fulham New Cemetery, North Sheen. FC. 306 Australian Munition Worker - Service No. B/539 1 Death - Women's Royal Air Force Dora Ashley Died 4 November 1918 Cause of Death Died of pneumonia Age at Death 27 Cemetery or Memorial Details LONDON 8. Kensal Green (All Souls) Cemetery. 198. 19. 460933 Service Number 17663 Unit No 10 Motor Transport Repair Depot, Women's Royal Air Force Service Women's Royal Air Force 24 Deaths - Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) Louisa Annie BICKNELL Died 25 June 1915 Cause of Death Died of sickness Cemetery or Memorial Details EGYPT 9 Cairo War Memorial Cemetery Rank Staff Nurse Unit 1 Australian General Hospital - 1 to 6 and Special Reinforcements (February 1915 - April 1916 Australian Army Nursing Service Emily Clare Died 17 October 1918 Cause of Death Died of pneumonia Cemetery or Memorial Details INDIA 10 Deolali Government Cemetery Place Of Enlistment Stawell, VIC War Grave Register Notes CLARE, Sister Emily. Australian Army Nursing Service. Died of pneumonia 17th Oct., 1918. Age 28. Daughter of Peter and Mary Clare, of 34, Lynch St., Footscray, Victoria, Australia. M. 2. 22. Rank Sister Unit Australian Army Nursing Service - Nurses (July 1915 - November 1918) Service Army Ruby Dickinson Died 23 June 1918 Cause of Death: Pneumonia Cemetery or Memorial Details Middlesex 82 Harefield (St Mary) Churchyard Place Of Enlistment Sydney, NSW War Grave Register Notes Dickinson, Staff Nurse Ruby. Australian Army Nursing Service. 23rd June, 1918. Age 32. Daughter of William and Julia Dickinson, of Arizona, Almora St., Mosman, Queensland. Born at Forbes, New South Wales. Aust. Rank Staff Nurse Unit Australian Army Nursing Service Service Army Gertrude Agnes Grewar Died 24 May 1921 Buried Waverley General Cemetery, NSW Rank Staff Nurse Cause of Death: ? Rank Staff Nurse Unit Australian Army Nursing Service - 1 Australian General Hospital - 1 to 6 and Special Reinforcements (February 1915 - April 1916) Service Army May Hennessy Died 9 Apr 1919 Cause of Death: Malaria Age 25 Cemetery or Memorial Details Bendigo VIC C of E H 1 24202 Next Of Kin Mrs Helen Hennessy, Mother Rank Staff Nurse Unit Unit Australian Army Nursing Service Service Army Hilda Mary Knox Died 17 February 1917 Cause of Death Died of sickness Cemetery or Memorial Details FRANCE 145 St Sever Cemetery Rouen War Grave Register Notes KNOX, Sister Hilda Mary. Australian Army Nursing Service. Died of sickness 17th Feb., 1917. Age 33. Daughter of James and Isabella Knox, of Benalla, Victoria, Australia. Officers, B. 4. 10. Rank Sister Unit Australian Army Nursing Service - 14 Australian General Hospital and Reinforcements (July 1916 - November 1917) Service Army Irene McPhail Died 4 August 1920 Cemetery or Memorial Details Brighton VIC C of E Compt Z a 1689 Next Of Kin Mrs J MacNeece, Aunt Rank Staff Nurse Unit Australian Army Nursing Service - Nurses (July 1915 - November 1918) Service Army Edith Ann Moorhouse Died 24 November 1918 Cause of Death Died of sickness Cemetery or Memorial Details France 1027 Lille Southern Cemetery War Grave Register Notes Moorhouse, Sister Edith Ann. Australian Army Nursing Service. Died of sickness 24th Nov., 1918. Son of Frederick and Deborah Moorhouse. Born at Undera, Victoria, Australia. I. C. 25. Rank Sister Unit Australian Army Nursing Service - Unit 2 Australian General Hospital - 1 to 16 and Special Reinforcements (December 1914 - March 1916) Service Army Letita Gladys Moreton Died 11 November 1916 Place of Death Quetta, India Cause of Death Enteric fever Cemetery or Memorial Details 43 Delhi Memorial India War Grave Register Notes MORETON, Sister Letittia Gladys. Australian Nursing Service, attd. Australian Gen. Hosp. No. 2. Died of enteric 11th Nov., 1916. Age 26. Daughter of Samuel Henry and Letetia Dexter Moreton. Born at Brim, Victoria, Australia. (Buried Quetta Govt. Cem. 209 Rank Staff Nurse Unit Australian Nursing Service attached Australian Gen Hosp No 2 Service Army Norma Violet Mowbray Died 21 January 1916 Cause of Death Pneumonia Cemetery or Memorial Details EGYPT 9 Cairo War Memorial Cemetery War Grave Register Notes MOWBRAY, Staff Nurse Norma Violet. Australian Army Nursing Service. Died of pneumonia 21st Jan., 1916. Age 32. Daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Barclay Mowbray, of Longville, Dickson St., Eagle Junction, Queensland. Born at St. George, Queensland. D. 271. Rank Staff Nurse Unit Australian Army Nursing Service - Unit 1 Australian General Hospital (November 1914) Service Army Gertrude Evelyn Munro Died 10 September 1918 Cause of Death Died of sickness Cemetery or Memorial Details GREECE 9 Mikra British Cemetery Salonika War Grave Register Notes MUNRO, Sister Gertrude Evelyn. Aust. Army Nursing Service. Died of sickness 10th Sept., 1918. Age 36. Daughter of Mr. A. B. and Mrs. E. P. Munro, of 5, Gillies St., Alfredton, Ballarat, Victoria Australia. 591. Rank Sister Unit Australian Army Nursing Service - Nurses (July 1915 - November 1918) Service Army Lily Nugent Died 21 February 1918 Place of Death Sydney Next Of Kin Michael Curtin, Step brother at Wagga Rank Staff Nurse Unit Australian Army Nursing Service Service Army Conflict 1914-1918 Amy Veda O'Grady Date of Death 12 August 1916 Place of Death Bombay Cemetery or Memorial Details Sewree Bombay Next Of Kin O'Grady, Brother at Preston VIC Rank Staff Nurse Unit Australian Army Nursing Service - Nurses (July 1915 - November 1918) Service Army Rosa O'Kane Died 21 December 1918 Place of Death Woodmans Point WA Rank Staff Nurse Unit Australian Army Nursing Service - Nurses (July 1915 - November 1918) Service Army Katherine Lawrence Porter Died 16 July 1919 Place of Death NSW Cemetery or Memorial Details Waverley RC Rank Staff Nurse Unit Australian Army Nursing Service - 1 Australian General Hospital - 1 to 6 and Special Reinforcements (February 1915 - April 1916) Service Army Kathleen Power Died 13 August 1916 Age 28 Cause of Death Died of sickness Cholera Cemetery or Memorial Details INDIA 8 Bomboy (Sewri) Cemetery Rank Staff Nurse - Nursing Sister Unit Australian Army Nursing Service - Nurses (July 1915 - November 1918) Service Army Doris Alice Ridgway Died 6 January 1919 Cemetery or Memorial Details Woodman's Point WA C of E 15 Rank Staff Nurse Unit Australian Army Nursing Service - Service Army Elizabeth Rothery Died 15 June 1918 Place of Death Beechworth VIC Cemetery or Memorial Details Beechworth Vic C of E B 419 Rank Staff Nurse Unit Australian Army Nursing Service - Nurses (July 1915 - November 1918) Unit AAMC ( Australian Army Medical Corps) Unit Hospital Transport Corps (May 1915 - September 1918) Ship Name HMAT Karoola - Ship number No 1 Hospital Ship Service Army Mary Florence Stafford Died 20 March 1919 Place of Death Torrens Park SA Cemetery or Memorial Details West Terrace Adelaide A I F Light Oval Rank Staff Nurse Unit Australian Army Nursing Service – 1 Australian General Hospital - 1 to 6 and Special Reinforcements (February 1915 - April 1916) Service Army Ada Mildred Thompson Died 1 January 1919 Place of Death West Australia Rank Staff Nurse Unit Australian Army Nursing Service – Nurses (July 1915 - November 1918) Service Army Fanny Isobel Catherine Tyson Died 20 April 1919 Cause of Death - Died of sickness Cemetery or Memorial Details WILTSHIRE 167 Sutton Veny (St John) Churchyard Rank Sister Unit Australian Army Nursing Service - 1 Australian General Hospital - 1 to 6 and Special Reinforcements (February 1915 - April 1916) Service Army Jean Miles Walker ( Matron Jean Miles-Walker) Died 30 October 1918 Age 39 Cause of Death Died of sickness Cemetery or Memorial Details WILTSHIRE 167 Sutton Veny (St John) Churchyard Rank Nursing Sister - later promoted to Matron Unit Australian Army Nursing Service - Unit 2 Australian General Hospital (November 1914) Service Army Conflict 1914-1918 Beatrice Middleton Watson Died 2 June 1916 Age 34. Cause of Death Died of sickness Cemetery or Memorial Details EGYPT 8 Ismailia War Memorial Cemetery Rank Staff Nurse Unit Australian Army Nursing Service - 1 Australian General Hospital - 1 to 6 and Special Reinforcements (February 1915 - April 1916) - attached 1 Aust Stat Hosp Service Army Blodwyn Elizabeth Williams Died 24 May 1920 Place of Death Caulfield Unit Australian Army Nursing Service - Unit 2 Australian General Hospital - 1 to 16 and Special Reinforcements (December 1914 - March 1916) Service Army 1 Deaths – Hospital Ships - Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Edith Blake Died 26 February 1918 Cause of Death Drowned at sea on the Glenart Castle Hospital ship Age at Death 32 Cemetery or Memorial Details 40. Hollybrook Memorial, Southampton Rank Staff Nurse Unit Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service - Glenart Castle Hospital ship & a year to nursing German prisoners of war at Belmont, Surrey. Service British Army 4 Deaths - Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Myrtle Elizabeth Wilson Died 23 December 1915 Cause of Death Died of pneumonia Age at Death 38 Cemetery or Memorial Details FRANCE Wimereux Communal Cemetery Rank Sister Unit Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Service British Army Charlotte Berrie Died 8 January 1919 Age at Death 32 Cemetery or Memorial Details PALESTINE 3. Jerusalem War Cemetery. Q. 107 Rank Nursing Sister Unit Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Service British Army Florence Narrelle Jessie Hobbes Date of Death 10 May 1918 Cause of Death Died at sea Age at Death 37 Cemetery or Memorial Details BASRA MEMORIAL Iraq . Panel 43 Rank Sister Unit Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Service British Army May Dickson Died 4 October 1917 Cause of Death Illness Age at Death 37 Place of Death Melbourne, Vic, Australia Cemetery or Memorial Details Coburg Cemetery, Vic, Australia Rank Sister Unit Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Service British Army References: Just to put this list together it took 9 months of going thru the British Nursing Journals archive - http://rcnarchive.rcn.org.uk Commonwealth War Graves - http://www.cwgc.org/ Australian War memorial - www.awm.gov.au/ Research By Jennifer Baker Facebook Cause to Remember the Ladies as well as the Men – the forgotten Australian Women of WW1. http://apps.facebook.com/causes/397026

Daniel Kubski

Your article was very interesting, it is of note though that the MM was never awarded to officers only to NCO's and other ranks. I believe a similart problem existed with the women of SOE during the second world war with a number of them serving in the FANY's this meant that they were often given lesser civilian awards rather than the equivelant military award Violette Szabo comes to mind recieving the GC rather than the VC even though on two occasions her bravery was in the face of the enemy. Daniel Kubski

Michael Jelly

This is an example of the history which our group, Army Health Services Historical Group affiliated with Army Museum of South Australia, are trying to preserve and I am sure The University of Adelaide alumni are also interested in this sort of history. If There are others please let someone know as otherwise it is lost.

tom

thank you for the artical

Stu Whiteman

I just finished Oceans of Love by Melanie Oppenheimer last night about Narrelle Hobbes's service during WW1 in the Q.A.I.M.N.S.R. (Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve) in Malta, Sicily, Mesopotamia and India and i nearly cried for half an hour when i put it down. And even writting this i have tears in my eyes, it was so sad it breaks my heart it really does. I am a collector and reader of Australian WW1, WW2, Korea & Vietnam uniforms & bits & pieces so i have read alot about what happened during the Great War which is really my No.1 subject but this is the first book i have read about one particular Nurse, and it has truly effected me. Narrelle Hobbes's devotion to duty & her patients, her endurance & determination to help & get back to Active Service even when she was very ill is something i will never forget, absolutely unbelievable. People whinge & complain today for the smallest things it makes me sick, and there the type of people that aren't interested in these types of stories, if only i could chuck'em all in a time machine & send them back to WW1 for only 10 minutes it would take and then say "Do you have anything to complain about now"! And to think that there is no Memorial or anything for these Nurses etc is shameful to say the least, but there is a street or avenue in pymble in sydney N.S.W. that is named after her that the family was able to work out with the council at the time but the bloody council spelt it wrong and there is a little cottage there that is also named after her with plaque at the front gate that i think one of her sisters lived in for a time, i think if i remember correctly part of the family still lives there? Anyway if you see or can get a hold of this book do not hesitate it's a fantastic read, but be prepared to get emotional, i can't stop thinking about her. She did everything that she posssibly could & more to help the wounded & the sick, very patriotic lady, the most patriotic Australian i have ever seen or read about. I'm going to get a nice picture of Narrelle & put it up on the wall in my museum which i think for sure Narrelle would like & i'm going to see if i can get a reproduction Q.A.I.M.N.S.R. Uniform and put it on a female manikin that i already have (real WW1 Nurses Uniforms are impossible to find very little survived) and that will be my way of showing my gratitude to this fine lady. And this is just one Nurse so god knows what the others had to go through? Does anybody know if there is a campaign or anything to push for a Nurse's Memorial to be built we also had a family friend that served during WW2 in the V.A.D. (Nella Bailey) or Aunty Nelly as we knew her, one of the nicest ladys i have ever met. "LEST WE FORGET"

Stu Whiteman

'Thank God I'm Australian!' Sister Narrelle Hobbes.

Helen Kenyon

Great to hear all this information about my Auntie. Dr Phoebe Chapple was my Dad's mothers sister. Dad had told us she went to the war, we thought it would have been in the Australian Army. My daughter found this when searching for family history. Thanks to all the people who have put this information together.

Craig Blanch says:

Hi Helen and thanks for the comment. I stumbled across Pheobe's story while researching her medals. Your family should be extremely proud of a remarkable woman. Craig