THOMPSON, Alice Jane, Staff Nurse, AANS (Greek Medal for Military Merit)
Posted by FrevFord, Monday, 12 October 2015
Born in 1893 at Balgownie, NSW (reg Wollongong) – daughter of Thomas and Caroline (nee CRAM) THOMPSON
Thomas, a Mining Clerk, died in the Wollongong District Hospital 17/10/1942, age 73 and Caroline died 21/1/1944 at her sister’s place in West Wollongong
Addresses: “Melba” School St, Balgownie, NSW (1917); Main Rd, Balgownie (1942)
Siblings: James; Ida – marr DUNCAN –d.1921 in mysterious circumstances; Thomas
Religion: Church of England / Methodist
Educated: Balgownie Public School
Trained at the Balmain and District Hospital
Embarked in Sydney 9/6/1917 on the RMS Mooltan – and disembarked Suez 19/7/1917
Re-embarked at Port Said 25/7/1917 on the Chagres for Salonika, and arrived for duty at the 60th General Hospital 31/7/1917
Transferred to the 52nd Gen Hosp 23/8/1917 – then to the 50th GH 29/8/1917 – the 66th GH 3/10/1917 – and returned to the 50th GH 7/10/1917
Joined the 42nd General Hospital for duty 18/5/1918
Transferred to the 52nd GH 17/7/1918 for a 14 day rest – then to the Sister’s Convalescent Camp 22/7/1918 – 29/7/1918 (N.Y.D. debility) – before being transferred to the 61st GH 16/8/1918 – 24/8/1918
Rejoined the 42nd GH for duty 24/8/1918 – then the 50th GH 4/9/1918
Entrained for ..?.. 11/12/1918 on UK Leave, and embarked for Taranto, Italy 18/12/1918, finally arriving in London 31/12/1918
Resigned her appointment in London 16/1/1919 due to marriage
Married Dr Theophilus George ALLEN, Capt, AAMC on the 16/1/1919 at the St Peter and St Edward Church, 43 Palace St, Pimlico, London
Alice and Theo would have known each other from their time at the Balmain and District Hospital, and following Theo’s embarkation in May 1917, wouldn’t have seen each other again until meeting up in London just before their marriage.
Following their wedding, they had a week’s honeymoon before Alice embarked for return to Australia, and Theo returned to France
Returned to Australia on nursing duty on the Delta 23/1/1919 – arriving Melbourne 7/3/1919, then on to Sydney
Theo arrived home in August 1919
Awarded the Greek Medal for Military Merit 4th Class – conferred by His Majesty the King of the Hellenes [London Gazette 26/11/1919] – presented to her in Sydney 16/7/1920
Child: Joan [1924 accident: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/155727318]
Died 6/6/1922 at her home in Dunedoo, NSW, from Lysol poisoning – either by accident or suicide – an open verdict was given at the inquiry
Buried in the Methodist Cemetery, Wollongong
Theo was born in 1889 in Auckland, NZ – son of George Josiah and Mary
(George was a Wholesale Saddler, of Randwick, NSW)
M.B., Ch.M., University of Sydney 1916
Medical Officer at Balmain Hospital on enlistment
WW1: Capt, 12th Fld Amb, AAMC
Embarked 10/5/1917 on the A9 Shropshire – and disembarked Plymouth 19/7/1917
Proceeded O/S to France 20/12/1917 – wounded to England 3/4/1918 – returning to France 10/7/918
Leave to UK 2/1/1919 – 23/1/1919, and rejoined his Unit in France 27/1/1919
RTA 1/7/1919 on the Karmala – appointment terminated 2/12/1919
Remarried 14/12/1924 at St John’s Cathedral, to Dorothy FENELEY (of West Maitland)
Medical Officer to the Repatriation Department (1936)
Died 7/8/1963 (late of Randwick)
Illawarra Mercury (Wollongong, NSW), Fri 20 Apr 1917 (p.11):
Nurse Thompson, of Balgownie, has been called up for active service, and is now at the Base Hospital, Randwick, prior to proceeding to the front.
South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus (NSW), Fri 18 May 1917 (p.10):
The Balgownie Patriotic Committee is tendering a public send-off to Nurse Alice Thompson on Wednesday evening in the School of Arts; a presentation will be made and a social evening will be spent with Nurse Thompson before she leaves for distant lands to help in nursing and relief of our brave lads, who are nobly fighting for home and country. Also, the ex-pupils (girls) of the Balgownie Public School, where Nurse Thompson was educated, are also to make her a present during the week.
South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus (NSW), Fri 1 Jun 1917 (p.16):
The Balgownie Patriotic League on Wednesday evening last tendered to Nurse Alice Thompson and Pte Wm Gemmell a public send-off, both of whom have volunteered for active service in the great war. Over 200 citizens assembled in the School of Arts’ Hall, which was decorated with flags. …………………………………………………….
Mr H.R. Murdock, on behalf of the Patriotic League, and citizens, with a few words of appreciation presented Nurse Thompson with a wristlet watch, ……………………
South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus (NSW), Fri 15 Jun 1917 (p.11):
The girl school mates of Nurse Alice Thompson on Thursday evening entertained Nurse Thompson in Balgownie School of Arts’ Hall, giving in her honor a social send-off, also making her a present of a manicure set.
Illawarra Mercury (Wollongong, NSW), Fri 15 Jun 1917 (p.2):
Nurse Thompson, daughter of Mr and Mrs T. Thompson, Balgownie, is now en route for Salonika to take up duties in the Military Hospital there.
Illawarra Mercury (Wollongong, NSW), Fri 10 Aug 1917 (p.2):
Mrs T. Thompson, of Balgownie, has received a cable from her daughter, Nurse Thompson, stating she had arrived safely in Eastern Salonica.
Illawarra Mercury (Wollongong, NSW), Fri 26 Oct 1917 (p.5):
NURSES AT THE FRONT – Information received from Nurse A. Thompson shows that forty of the three hundred nurses who left Australia in the ill-fated Mooltan were selected to proceed to Salonika, she being one of them. She states that most of the cases so far are sickness owing to the terrible heat, which is bad at this time of the year. However, she is satisfied with her lot and says that she is not sorry that she came and if she had to choose over again she would do the same, as too much cannot be done for the boys who are fighting and bleeding for us all.
Illawarra Mercury (Wollongong, NSW), Fri 23 Nov 1917 (p.7):
A NURSE’S LETTER
The following is an extract from a letter written by Nurse A. Thompson, daughter of Mr and Mrs T. Thompson, of Balgownie, who is at Salonika:-
We are having very hot weather here, something like our hottest days. This is a very nice place, surrounded by mountains with many hospitals near here. The sunsets are glorious, the sun does not set until 7.30 p.m. Yesterday I went for a walk along the road and had a very good view of the harbor and several small villages nestling at the foot of a mountain. To-day 400 nurses arrived – 200 Australians, 200 English. There are many malaria fever cases. We have quinine twice a week. It is dreadful stuff. To-day we are getting 100 cases of malaria. Our commanding officer is very nice and a very capable man who would and has done everything within reason for us. This place is going ahead. Fresh tents going up every day. All being filled up. We are very busy, but it is better so, keeps our minds occupied. We had large parcels put on our ships at Adelaide, with many comforts for the boys – flannel shirts, pyjamas, shoes, scarves, tooth brushes, etc. The boys were very pleased to get them. To-day our beds, bedding, together with the rest of our equipment arrived from Australia. It is said that the winters here are very severe. This week we have had 800 patients admitted, 300 discharged. They are still coming. The men are digging drains around our tents and up the hill they are digging trenches for us to go to in case of air raids. We have four doors to each tent. We have to send our laundry to the village, pay for sheets, towels, etc., soon runs away with the cash. I have a ward with malaria patients. I am feeling very well, work about 10 hours a day, and that is not too bad. Rest assured I am quite safe and happy.
Illawarra Mercury (Wollongong, NSW), Fri 21 Feb 1919 (p.2):
Nurse A. Thompson is returning from the war and is expected to reach Australia about the 7th of next.. She returns as Mrs Allen, having married Dr Allen, late of the Balmain Hospital, in London. Both have been at the war for some time, the Nurse in the Balkans, the Dr in France. We wish the young couple every success.
Illawarra Mercury (Wollongong, NSW), Fri 28 Mar 1919 (p.2):
A NURSE HONOURED
Staff Nurse A. Thompson arrived home on Saturday evening, and was met at the Wollongong station by the members of the Balgownie Reception Committee. She was driven in a motor car to the residence of her relatives, the Misses Cram, Crown-street, where refreshments were partaken of. Afterwards the journey to Balgownie was resumed, where a very large procession, headed by the Town Band, led the way into her native village. Very complimentary addresses were delivered by members of the committee, after which an adjournment was made to the residence of her parents, where in a large marquee erected in the grounds, a gathering of old friends assembled to welcome Nurse Thompson home, and incidentally to partake of the good things provided by her parents. Afterwards music and songs helped to pass a very pleasant evening.
Nurse Thompson had a very interesting trip home. After leaving Salolika, she travelled through Greece, part of Austria, into Italy, where she viewed the sights of Rome. From the latter city she proceeded through Italy to France, and spent Xmas Eve at Paris. Crossing the Channel to England, she spent a month at London before embarking for home.
South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus (NSW), Fri 28 Mar 1919 (p.7):
Also on Saturday, Mr and Mrs T. Thompson had the pleasure of receiving their daughter, Sister Alice Allen (nee Thompson), home from the Salonica front, where she had put in a very trying time in nursing the sick and wounded soldiers, having Serbs, Roumanians, Greeks, Bulgars as well as French, English, Germans, Austrians and Italians amongst her patients. So one can guess how difficult the task, so many tongues and languages she could not understand, and in a most unhealthy climate as well.
The committee met Sister Thompson at Wollongong Station with moto cars (Caldwell’s and Week’s), and after going down Crown-street with a returned Wollongong soldier headed by the band, returned to Cram’s in Upper Crown-st., who are her uncles and aunts, where they received her with open arms. ……………………………………
South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus (NSW), Fri 16 May 1919 (p.7):
Nurse Alice Allen (nee Thompson), who lately returned from Salonika, has gone to Sydney, and is now nursing patients suffering from pneumonic influenza.
Illawarra Mercury (Wollongong, NSW), Fri 3 Oct 1919 (p.4):
PERSONAL – Nurse Thompson has received the Greek decoration for services in Greece.
Illawarra Mercury (Wollongong, NSW), Fri 27 Aug 1920 (p.2):
Sister A.J. Thompson was decorated in Sydney with the Greek Cross on the 16th Last.
The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 7 Jun 1922:
ALLEN – The Friends of Mr and Mrs THOMAS THOMPSON, of School-lane, Balgownie, are kindly invited to attend the Funeral of their dearly loved DAUGHTER, Alice Jane; to move from their residence, THIS DAY (WEDNESDAY), at 3pm for the Methodist Cemetery, Wollongong.
Mudgee Guardian and North-Western Representative (NSW), Thur 8 Jun 1922 (p.14):
Sad Death at Dunedoo
DOCTOR’S WIFE POISONED
Dr and Mrs Allen had visitors at their home on Monday evening and a cup of tea was served by the hostess. After this Mrs Allen retired to her room and later on when the doctor himself came in he discovered that his wife had taken Lysol, it is said, by mistake, and was seriously ill. Dr Blaney, Coolah, was phoned for and although both medical men rendered every measure of aid possible the patient never rallied, and died some time after. Mrs Allen was only 26 years of age, and was a favourite with all who knew her.
The remains were taken to Wollongong, where her people reside, for interment.
There was no evidence to show how the poison came to be taken and an open verdict was returned at the coronial inquiry.
The sympathy of the community goes out to Dr Allen in his bereavement.
South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus (NSW), Fri 9 Jun 1922 (p.14):
Quite a gloom was cast over Balgownie on Tuesday last when word was received that Mrs Alic Allen, the wife of Dr. T.G. Allen, had died suddenly. Mrs Allen was the daughter of Mr and Mrs Thomas Thompson, of Balgownie; she was previous to her marriage Sister Alice Thompson, and served with honor in the late war in Servia as a nurse, where she met her husband. Her parents and family, also Dr Allen, have the greatest sympathy of all; Balgownie mourns her loss. Further particulars next issue.
The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 10 Jun 1922:
ALLEN – June 6, 1922, Alice dearly beloved wife of Dr Theo Allen (suddenly), aged 26 years.
Illawarra Remembers: http://www.illawarraremembers.com.au/node/80
Mysterious death of her sister Ida 1921:
South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus (NSW), Fri 28 Jan 1944 (p.13)
Mrs CAROLINE THOMPSON
After an illness of some two years Mrs Caroline Thompson died at the home of her sisters in Crown street West last Friday.
She was born at Balgownie, and apart from a few years in Sydney had lived all her life on the Coast, mostly at Balgownie, where she was widely known and held in the highest esteem.
Her husband the late Mr Thomas Thompson, predeceased her, and also two daughters Alice and Ida. Two sons survive, James, of Thirroul and Thomas of Balgownie.