• First Convoy Nurses - 1914

Official Histories – Medical, First Convoy P.36: The Director-General further obtained the permission of the Minister for Defence for nursing sisters of the A.A.N.S. to accompany the force: “on arrival in England, if not otherwise required, they could be handed over to the Imperial authorities for general duty.” The Principle Matron of No. 2 A.G.H. was placed in charge. The reason for this arrangement was that, whereas for British troop-transports there were always available fully trained medical orderlies, the medical personnel, ambulance and regimental, of the A.I.F. were but beginning their training, of which the voyage would form part. P.40: In those transports in which nursing sisters were in charge of a well-equipped hospital, ambulance personnel and the regimental medical detachments worked under them, practical training being supplemented by lectures. 25 Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) Nurses sailed with the first Australian (and NZ) convoy in 1914, distributed over 7 ships. As listed on the Embarkation Rolls: 1. HMAT A2 Geelong embarked Hobart 20/10/14 [with 12th Bn] (2) Sisters A. King and J. Ratcliffe [sic] 2. HMAT A5 Omrah embarked Brisbane 24/9/1914 [with 1st LH Supply Train] (4) Sisters E.M. Paten, J.M. Hart, C.M. Keys and B.M. Williams 3. HMAT A8 Argyllshire embarked Sydney 18/10/14 [with 1st FAB] (2) Sisters A.B. Pocock and C. Marshall 4. HMAT A9 Shropshire embarked Melbourne 20/10/14 [with Divisional Artillery HQ] (3) Sisters E.S. Davidson, M.M. Finlay and E.A. Conyers [Note: Lucy Creasy was also shown to be on board, but didn’t sail as she wasn’t passed fit, and didn’t rejoin until 1916] 5. HMAT A11 Ascanius (2) Matron K. Graham [sic] and Sister L. White embarked Adelaide 20/10/14 [with 10th Bn (2) Sisters Heath & Rogers embarked Fremantle 2/11/14 [with 11th Bn] 6. HMAT A14 Euripides embarked Sydney 20/10/14 [with 1st Inf Bgde HQ] (6) Matron Miss Gould, Sisters J.B. Johnson, J.N.M. Walker, P. Frater, A. Kellett and J. Twynam 7. HMAT A24 Benalla embarked Melbourne 19/10/14 [with 8th Bn] (4) Sisters H.R. Samsing, J.M. Lempriere, J.McH. White and A. Kitchen Nurses full names: 1. Alice Gordon KING and Janet Ella RADCLIFF 2. Eunice Muriel PATEN, Julia Mary HART, Constance Mabel KEYS and Bertha Mary (Billie) WILLIAMS 3. Mary Annie (Bessie) POCOCK and Clementina Hay MARSHALL 4. Ethel Sarah DAVIDSON, Mary MacKenzie FINLAY and Evelyn Augusta CONYERS 5. Margaret GRAHAM and Louise Ellen WHITE; Annie HEATH and Tessa Eleanor Nunn ROGERS 6. Ellen Julia (Nellie) GOULD, Julia Bligh JOHNSTON, Jean Nellie Miles WALKER, Penelope FRATER, Adelaide Maud KELLETT and Alice Joan TWYNAM 7. Hilda Theresa Redderwold SAMSING, Janey McRobie LEMPRIERE, Jessie McHardy WHITE and Alice Elizabeth Barrett KITCHEN [KITCHIN] Note: There were also 4 nurses on board the flag ship, Orvieto. These ladies were members of Dr Bird’s Unit – selected from his private hospital, he took them with him at his own expense. These nurses were: Doris Marion GREEN Adelaide Louisa HARTRICK Minnie Maud McNAB Muriel Alice ROBERTSON
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