Imperial Service Medal : Miss N Leake

Unit Australian Army Nursing Service
Place Oceania: Australia
Accession Number REL/10316.005
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Award
Physical description Silver
Maker Unknown
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1949
Conflict Period 1940-1949

Imperial Service Medal (Geo VI). Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

History / Summary

Nellie Leake was born in Orange, NSW and was a nurse in the Australian Army Nursing Service on her enlistment with 3 Australian General Hospital (AGH) on 26 April 1915. Embarking for overseas service aboard RMS Mooltan on 15 May, with the rank of Staff Nurse, Leake arrived in Alexandria on 27 January 1916.

She served with 3 AGH at Mudros, nursing Gallipoli casualties, and at Abbassia in Egypt until October when the hospital relocated to Brighton, England. She was awarded a Mention in Despatches on 1 December 1916 for 'distinguished services rendered during the period of General A. J. Murray's Command of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force' and a Royal Red Cross, 2nd Class on 1 January 1917 'in recognition of her valuable services with the Armies in the field'.

On 11 April 1917 Leake proceeded overseas to France where 3 AGH had relocated to Abbeville. This hospital operated from tents and huts and from May 1917 began to admit gassed patients and treating them briefly before sending them on. Promoted to Sister on 5 May Leake was detached to a number of Australian and British medical units over the next year, including 1, 11 and 13 Casualty Clearing Stations, 6 and 10 Stationary Hospitals and 25 General Hospital.

On 3 July 1918 Leake was admitted to 20 General Hospital, Dannes Camier with debility. She was invalided to England on 6 July and admitted to 12 Southwell Gardens, South Kensington. After a week of convalescence Leake was discharged and attached for duty to 3 Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford where she nursed until the end of the war.

Returning to Australia on duty aboard HMAT Wyreema Leake, disembarked in Sydney on 5 June 1919.

After her discharge Leake continued her nursing career as a civilian, rising to the rank of Matron. On 17 May 1949 she was awarded the Imperial Service Medal for her work as Matron in the NSW Public Health Department.