• QAIMNSR Nurses who embarked on the RMS Orontes in April 1915

In 1915 there were more nurses wishing to serve overseas than vacancies existed to join the Australian Army Nursing Service. Some individuals travelled overseas at their own expense and joined the various nursing services, but when the British War Office called for Australian nurses to be sent to join Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve (QAIMNSR), the Commonwealth authorities organised enrolments amongst the States and sent them in four separate contingents. Two contingents were sent in April 1915 on the RMS Malwa and the RMS Orontes, followed by a third on the RMS Mooltan in May, and finally the fourth on the hospital ship Karoola in December. The RMS Orontes left Brisbane on the 4th of April with 8 of these nurses on board, and having collected a further 15 in Melbourne on the 14th, as well as Sister Lempriere of the AANS, who was to take charge of the group for the voyage, they arrived at Fremantle on the 21st. With the final 5 nurses who joined them here, the total came to 28, and they sailed for England the same day. The 28 nurses were as follows: CHAPMAN, Minnie Logie CHEESMAN, Beatrice Graham (MID) CLERKE, Evangeline Alice (MID) CRAIKE, Dorothy May CUMMING, Margaret (MID) DODS, Wilhelmina Sarah DONALDSON, Edith Victoria (ARRC) DONNELLAN, Margaret (MID) DOYLE, Estelle Mary (ARRC) FINCHAM, Isabel Edith (also AANS) HAMILTON, Ellen Mary (MID) HARGREAVE, Ethel Mary (Effie) HERIOT, Katie Rae INGLIS, Catherine KING, Eileen (MM) LOUGHRON, Mary McLean (MID, ARRC) MANN, Elizabeth Davidson MARRON, Sara Marie McRAE, E MIDDLETON, Jean NYE, Gertrude Ada O'SHEA, Constance Elizabeth (MUNDEN) POWELL, Selina Maude ROSS, Isabel Russell [Ross-Russel] TABOR, Louisa Alice (MID, ARRC) WARD, Mary Ann WARDLE, Priscilla Isabel WILSON, Myrtle Elizabeth (DOS) The ship arrived in the UK on the 26/5/1915 following some excitement in the English Channel after three German submarines were reported, and everybody sat up throughout the night fully clothed with their lifebelts within reach. Heather (Frev) Ford