• Hilda Florence Wellmens

Army / Flying Corps
  • Australian Army Nursing Service
    Unknown
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  • Birth

    Kyneton, VIC, Australia

Stories and comments
    • WELLMENS, Hilda Florence - Staff Nurse, AANS
    • Posted by FrevFord, Sunday, 29 November 2015

    Hilda was born on the 17th of August 1893 at her parent’s home in Mollison St, Kyneton – the only child of Benjamin WELLMENS & Matilda Florence DALTON – who married in Vic in 1891 Benjamin had been born c1860 in Kerestiny, Austria, and a couple of months before Hilda’s birth he was naturalized, on the 26/6/1893 – at the time he was a Draper in Kyneton Maltilda filed for divorce in 1903 – alledging desertion (from 18/9/1899) & maltreatment – a decree nisi was granted Matilda (who became a Hotelier) died in 1947 East Melbourne, age 77 Religion: Roman Catholic Educated Holy Cross Convent, Daylesford Worked as a Stenographer before taking up nursing Trained in nursing at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, and the Daylesford Hospital – for eighteen months at each hospital WW1: Hilda served for some time at the Base Hospital in Melbourne She then enlisted for service abroad on the 23/7/1917, and embarked in Sydney on the A28 Miltiades 2/8/1917 with the reinforcements for No 4 Sea Transport Disembarking in Glasgow 2/10/1917, she was then detached to No. 2 Command Depot at Weymouth for temporary duty, and marched in on the 17/10/1917 On the 1/11/1917 she transferred to the 2nd AAH at Southall until the 4/11/17, when she was detached and marched out for return to Australia on transport duty on board the Themistocles – arriving 31/12/1917 Returning to transport duty again, she embarked in Sydney on the Wiltshire on the 2/2/918 – also on board the Wiltshire was Lieut Myles O’Hara of the 4th LH, who was returning to Egypt. Hilda also disembarked in Egypt on the 9/3/1918, and after obtaining the necessary approval to marry, her appointment was terminated on the 4/4/1918 due to that marriage. The marriage between Hilda and Myles Osborne (Mick) O’HARA, on the 4th of April 1918 in Cairo, first took place by special license at the British Consulate, followed by a full military wedding at St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, where Hilda was given away by Lieut-Colonel Fulton. The ceremony was followed up with a reception held at the Empire Nurses’ Red Cross Club. Following her husband’s return to his regiment, Hilda remained in Egypt, staying with Lieut-Colonel Fulton and his wife on their houseboat on the Nile. She continued on with war-work, being employed as a stenographer in the Correspondence Department attached to the Royal Air Forces office, located in the Ghizereh Palace at Cairo. She finally returned to Australia on the Nestor, embarking 25/12/1918, having been granted free passage in return for nursing duties http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=6042559 Myles was born 4/1/1892 in St Kilda – son of (Dr) Henry Michael O’HARA & his third wife Nina (nee OSBORNE). He was Farmer on enlistment WW1: Originally enlisted as Pte 544, 4th LH on the 21/9/1914 – promoted Lieut 17/6/16 – RTA 13/2/1917 on Ulysses due to injured thigh received in an accident in Sept 1916 – disembarked Melbourne 12/4/17 & discharged 15/5/17 Re-enlisted 26/1/1918 and embarked on the Wiltshire at Sydney 2/2/1918 – the same ship as Hilda. Myles returned to Australia for the final time on the Essex from Kantara 15/6/1919 – 25/7/1919 Vic Children (2): *William Myles (Bill) b.3/3/1921 at Quisisana Private Hospital, Windsor, Melb – WW2 – marr Fay SMITH 26/12/1947 *Margaret Hilda (Peg) – marr Edwin (Ted) DAWSON 1950 Kew The couple were farming at “Gowrie Park” Tatura in 1921 Living at 11 Ewart St, Malvern 1924 – Myles was a Lineman 3 Neptune St, St Kilda West 1925 – Myles was an Agent 12 Gurner St, St Kilda West 1926, 1927 21 Westbrook St, Kew 1931, 1934 – Myles now with the M.M.B.W. In November 1935, Hilda made application to the Repatriation Commission for the acceptance of certain disabilities as due to war service, apparently having been ill on her return to Australia on the Nestor in 1918. It was noted in her service record that no record of her having been admitted to the ship’s hospital, or having been treated for any disability had been found. [Files that appear to relate to this application have not been digitized] 63 Cotham Rd, Kew 1936 95 Barker’s Rd, Kew 1943 [also William Myles O’Hara – clerk] Kew 1948 75 Harcourt St, Auburn 1949 – Myles listed as nil occupation They also resided in Armidale, NSW for some of 1949 – in the New England Hotel [1949 ER: Margaret Hilda O’Hara at 164 Marsh St, Armidale – clerk] East St Kilda 1950 8 Balaclava Rd, East St Kilda 1955 Myles died on his 63rd Birthday on the 4/1/1955 at his home in East St Kilda – he was cremated at Springvale 6/1/1955 and his ashes installed in the Tristania Wall 4BB, Niche 87 [photo] Hilda now on her own was at 182 Allingham St, Armidale in 1958 – in 1963 her son William Myles is listed with her In 1968 Hilda is at Glengariff, Armidale – and her son is at 118 Handel St, Armidale [with Mary Elizabeth O’Hara] 1972, 1977 still at Glengariff – Hilda then moves to 112 Brown St, Armidale in 1977, still there in 1980 Hilda died on the 5th October 1982 in NSW and was cremated at Springvale, Vic (5/10/82) & her ashes installed in the same wall as her husband, in niche 91. [photo] The Australasian (Melb, Vic), Sat 9 Sept 1893 (p.41): BIRTHS WELLMENS – On the 17th ult., at her residence, Mollison-street, Kyneton, the wife of B. Wellmens, draper – a daughter. Bendigo Advertiser (Vic), Mon 20 Dec 1915 (p.7): PROMOTED LIEUTENANT Cohuna, 17th December The news that Private Myles O’Hara, who left with the 4th Light Horse, has been promoted until he has now reached the rank of Lieutenant was received here with much interest and satisfaction. He has been in the trenches for six months almost continuously. He was for about two years a farmer at Leitchville, and although not a particularly successful farmer, was a very useful and popular resident in other directions. The Age (Melb, Vic), Fri 1 Dec 1916 (p.6): AUSTRALIANS IN FRANCE Wounded Dr O’Hara has received news that his son, Lieutenant Myles O’Hara, 4th Light Horse, was wounded in France, and is now in the Military Hospital, Harefield, undergoing surgical treatment. Lieutenant O’Hara left Australia with the first contingent as a private, and received his promotion at Gallipoli. His elder brother, Captain Osborne O’Hara, Royal Irish Fusiliers, was killed in action in France at the beginning of the war. [Osborne O’Hara was Myles half-brother, the son of Henry’s 2nd wife, Bella (nee Osborne – the cousin of Myles’ mother) – Capt, 2nd Bn, RIF – KIA 13/2/1915 Belgium – Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres – not on AWM Commemorative Roll] Punch (Melb, Vic), Thur 18 Jul 1918 (p.27): MARRIAGE O’HARA – WELLMENS – On the 4th April, by special license, at British Consulate, and then at St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, Cairo, Egypt, Lieutenant Myles O. O’Hara, son of Dr Henry O’Hara, Collins Street, Melbourne, to Sister Hilda Florence Wellmens, only child of Mrs F.M. Welmens, Little Collins Street, Melbourne. [Photo] Nurse Hilda Florence Wellmens, whose photograph is given here, said “Yes” to Lieutenant Myles O’Hara at St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, Cairo, Egypt, on 4th April. Nurse Wellmens, a Melbourne girl of bright and attractive personality, and a firm believer in “doing something,” was a proficient stenographer in Melbourne till the war appealed to her to do her utmost for the Empire. She then took up the nursing profession, was engaged at the Base Hospital, Melbourne, and has also been for some time on transport duty. Lieut O’Hara is a son of Dr Henry O’Hara, of Collins-street, and, after the wedding, rejoined his regiment, the Fourth Light Horse, in Palestine. Mrs O’Hara promptly took up war work again in her husband’s absence, and is acting as a stenographer in the Correspondence Department attached to the Royal Air Forces office, located in the Ghizereh Palace at Cairo. The wedding was a full military ceremony, the bride being given away by Lieut-Colonel Fulton, Military Commandant, and the bride and bridegroom afterwards passing under an arch of swords held by the bridegroom’s brother officers. Table Talk (Melb, Vic), Thur 18 Jul 1918 (p.9): MILITARY WEDDING IN EGYPT ………………………………………… A reception, tendered by the matron and sisters of the bride’s unit, was afterwards held at the Empire Nurses’ Red Cross Club, where many friends of the bride’s nursing days at the Base Hospital, Melbourne, tendered their good wishes to her. While her husband is away on service, Mrs M.O. O’Hara, who continues to be engaged in war-work, is staying with Lieut-Colonel and Mrs Fulton in their houseboat on the Nile. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/146592066 Advocate (Melb, Vic), Sat 27 Jul 1918 (p.28): The Ladies’ Page That the first full military wedding to take place in Cairo should be a Catholic one is an item of interest to us in itself, but the interest is redoubled in the fact that the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony was celebrated between two Australians whose names are so familiar as Lieutenant Myles O’Hara, son of Dr Henry O’Hara, of Collins-street, Melbourne, and Nursing Sister Hilda F. Wellmens, also of this city. Soldiers and nurses galore were present at the ceremony at St Joseph’s Church, the bride being given away by Lieut-Colonel Fulton, the Australian Commandant in Egypt. Captain Throsell, V.C., and Captain Purehay headed an imposing guard of honour, formed by eighteen of Lieut Myles O’Hara’s brother officers. The matron and sisters belonging to the bride’s unit held a reception in the wedded couple’s honour directly afterwards at the Red Cross Club. The bride was attired in cream cloth, and wore a black velvet hat, relieved with the charming hue popularly known as Wedgwood blue. Her bouquet was composed of beautiful crimson roses, and roses were showered upon the bridal pair as they walked down the aisle. “Happy may the omen be!” The passing under “the arch of swords” is a picturesque and impressive part of a military wedding, and the whole scene made a very memorable event in the eyes of the Australians in Cairo, among whom were many friends and acquaintances of both bride and bridegroom. The Argus (Melb, Vic), Sat 5 Mar 1921 (p.13): BIRTHS O’HARA (nee Hilda Wellmens) – On the 3rd March, at Quisisana private hospital, to Mr and Mrs Myles O’Hara, “Gowrie Park,” Tatura – a son (William Myles). The Argus (Melb, Vic), Sat 3 Apr 1943 (p.2): SILVER WEDDINGS O’HARA – WELLMENS – Mr and Mrs Myles O’Hara announce the 25th anniversary of their wedding, celebrated on April 4, 1918, at Cairo Cathedral, Egypt. (Present address, 95 Barker’s road, Kew, E.4.) The Argus (Melb, Vic), Thur 6 Jan 1955 (p.17): DEATHS O’HARA – On January 4 (his 63rd birthday), at his home, 8 Balaclava road, East St Kilda, Myles Osborne (Mick), beloved husband of Hilda, dearly loved father of Bill (Mildura) and Peg (Mrs E. Dawson, Armidale, NSW), loved father-in-law of Fay and Ted, dear papa of Robyn, Michael, and Tony. Late 4th Light Horse. Notes: Photo of the couple on their wedding day can be found on an Ancestry FT Hilda’s parents divorce 1903: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/9814860 Advocate (Melb, Vic), Sat 6 Nov 1915 (p.29): Personal and Social Mr Henry O’Hara received a telegram from his son, Surgeon-Captain William O’Hara, informing him that he was at the front with the troops at Anzac, and that he had met his brother, Private Myles O’Hara, who has been in the trenches for the last five months. Another brother, Captain Osborne O’Hara, Royal Irish Fusiliers, was killed in Flanders in February last. [William Ernest (son of Henry’s first wife) – WW1: Capt-Surgeon, 1st AGH] http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=8004353 Henry O’Hara’s Obit 1921: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/203965437 Marriage of daughter Margaret 1950: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/206235252