Allen, Caroline Mary (Sister, b.1871 - d.1957)

Place Europe: Greece, Aegean Islands, Lemnos
Accession Number PR06248
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement 1 wallet: 1 cm
Object type Letter
Maker Allen, Caroline Mary
Place made Egypt: Cairo, Heliopolis
Date made 1916
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copying Provisions Copying is permitted for the purposes of research and study, subject to physical condition

Collection relating to Sister Caroline Mary Allen, who served with the Australian Army Nursing Service during the First World War. Comprises a three A4 page letter, dated 29 January 1916, written by Sister Allen to her niece Ruby. Writing from No 1 Australian General Hospital in Heliopolis, Cairo, Sister Allen predominantly describes conditions during her four months spent at No 2 Australian Stationary Hospital at Lemnos, 'It was very pioneering work there, very few conveniences, sometimes short of water. Nearly all the time we were in tents'. Mention is made of the blizzard like weather - 'Icy cold wind blew in hurricanes day after day..." - the hilliness of the landscape - ' the distance we could see Gallipoli, the land where so many Australians fought, bled and died', and the hot minerals springs at Thurma - '...whilst the troops were there great numbers visited this place to have a hot mineral bath, the baths were of marble...level with the floor & you slip down into it'. Sister Allen also comments on the inhabitants of Lemnos, including the women - '...with their spinning jenny weaving their cotton' - and surmises 'I think if we could have visited it two or three hundred years ago we would have found the people living the same kinds of lives as today'. Despite the hardships and challenges she experienced, Sister Allen concludes '...I shall always look back with pleasure or rather satisfaction to having been there'.