Joan was born on the 9th of October 1882 at the family home ‘Riversdale,’ in Goulburn, NSW – the daughter of Edward TWYNAM and Emily Rose BOLTON – who had married in Sydney on the 21st of February 1866
‘Riversdale’ was a “fine old Georgian home” built about 1840, and owned by the Twynam family from January 1873 until sold to the National Trust in 1967.
Emily had died of heart failure at Riversdale, on the 9th January 1910, aged 65, and Edward; formerly Surveyor General of NSW, also died at Riversdale on the 2nd April 1923, aged 91
Siblings: Anne Jane Ellwood b.19/6/1867 Goulburn – d.26/6/1870; *Mary Emily b.1869 – married James CUNNINGHAM 1889 NSW – WW1: War Worker, Aus & Egypt (see her children); *Phoebe Ellen b.10/6/1871 Goulburn – married Awdry Gordon WESCHE 1901 – WW1: War Worker with the ARC, Egypt & UK – d.21/8/1950 NSW; Edith Bolton b.12/10/1873 Riversdale – d.2/5/1956; Henry b.11/8/1875 Riversdale – d.23/9/1955; *Edward b.30/10/1877 Riversdale – WW1: Capt, AN&MEF / Maj, 13th Bn – d.23/6/1943 (accident); George b.1880 – d.1895
Religion: Church of England
Educated at the Sydney Church of England Girls Grammar School until the age of 18
Trained in nursing at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, and in obstetrics at the Crown Street Women’s Hospital, Sydney
Bush nursing at Carinda, NSW for just under 11 months from January 1912 – before moving on to Jindabyne [Lady Dudley Bush Nursing Association of NSW]
Joan joined the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) Reserve two years prior to enlisting for war service on the 11/9/1914.
Attached to the 2nd Australian General Hospital (AGH), she was one of 6 nurses to embark in Sydney 20/10/1914 on the HMAT A14 Euripides [along with the 1st Infantry Brigade HQ]. As a part of the First Convoy, they eventually departed King George Sound, WA, on the 1/11/1914 for England, before being diverted to Egypt en-route.
In Joan’s Repatriation file she states that whilst in Egypt she served first with the 2nd AGH at Mena House, followed by the New Zealand Hospital, before rejoining the 2nd AGH, and later posted to the Hospital Ship Gascon.
She was posted to the Gascon on the 3/9/1915 which departed Alexandria on the 5/9/1915 for the return journey to Gallipoli, Joan being one of the 4 replacement nurses on board. During the following 5 months the hospital ship continued to ferry the sick and wounded between the Peninsula, Malta, Gibraltar, Egypt, Salonika and England.
Joans service on the ship came to an end on the 1/2/1916 at which time, together with Sisters Peters, Tucker and Gibson, she received orders to rejoin her Unit, the 2nd AGH at Cairo.
She was Mentioned in Despatches (MID) of 1/3/1916 Egypt for her conspicuous service
[Note: Many photos of the Gascon at Gallipoli taken in April 1915 were donated to the AWM by Sister A. Twynam (RRC) – but these were obviously not taken by her.]
Together with the 2nd AGH, she embarked at Alexandria on the Braemar Castle 26/3/1916, to join the BEF, and disembarked Marseilles, France 4/4/1916
They were stationed in Marseilles until the 29/6/1916, at which time the Unit entrained for the north of France, where they took over a site between Wimereux and Boulogne
Proceeded on Leave to England 21/9/1916
Sent to the Hardelot Convalescent Home 4/2/1917 – 12/2/1917
Posted to the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station (ACCS), Estaires, 28/2/1917 and attached for duty 1/3/1917
Along with 4 other Sisters, she was detached to the 10th Stationary Hospital, St Omer, to rest for the period 13/5/1917 – 24/5/1917, before returning to the 1st ACCS at its new site at Bailleul
Admitted to 10th Stationary Hospital, St Omer with Gastritis 4/7/1917 – 9/7/17
UK Leave 17/7/1917 – 23/8/1917
Following her Leave, she was attached to the 3rd Australian Auxilary Hospital (AAH), Dartford 25/8/1917
To be temporary Head Sister 1/9/1917
Detached from duty with the 3rd AAH and proceeded O/S to France 17/10/1917
Reported for duty with the 25th British General Hospital 18/10/1917 where she served for the remainder of the war
14 days UK Leave 11/2/1918 – 25/2/1918
14 days UK Leave 1/8/1918 – 16/8/1918
5 days Paris Leave 16/12/1918 – 21/12/1918
Embarked for England 17/2/1919 and attached to the 2nd AAH, Southall 18/2/1919
Joan returned to Australia on the Anchises 28/2/1919 – 13/4/1919 (3rd MD – then to 2nd MD)
Awarded the Royal Red Cross (RRC) 1st Class in 1919
Joan’s name is listed on the Taralga War Memorial where she had property known as “Emery’s,” which she later sold in 1947.
On her return from the war she was staying with her sister Phoebe at ‘Hawthornden’, Edgecliff Rd, Woollahra in September 1920, and Burra Burra, Yalbraith in November 1921 (probably with her brother Edward)
[See ‘Notes’ below for info on ‘Riversdale’ – the family home, which following her father’s death was turned into a genteel boarding house by Joan]
Electoral Rolls – Riversdale: 1930; 1935, 1943, 1949 (also Edith); 1958, 1963, 1965
In 1948 she was elected Secretary of the Richlands branch of the Red Cross Society
Claimed Repatriation Benefits in 1965
Suffering from failing eyesight, she was also incapacitated by arthritis and old age by early 1966
Resident of Richlands, Taralga Feb 1967 after selling ‘Riversdale’ to the National Trust
Died on the 26th of September 1967 at Goulburn, NSW, just shy of her 85th birthday
Cremated at the Northern Suburbs Crematorium
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Fri 13 Oct 1882 (p.1):
TWYNAM – October 9, at Riversdale, Goulburn, the wife of E. Twynam, Esq, of a daughter.
Goulburn Evening Penny Post (NSW), Tue 30 Jan 1912 (p.2):
Nurse Joan Twynam has gone to Carinda, which district has been affiliated with the central body of the bush nursing association. Carinda is some 70 miles beyond Coonamble. Nurse Twynam was trained at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and at the Women’s Hospital, Sydney.
Goulburn Evening Penny Post (NSW), Sat 17 Feb 1912 (p.4):
Nurse Joan Twynam, one of the latest of the recruits to the bush nurses, has been giving an account of her first experiences and impressions in her new career in the Carinda district. She left Sydney on Thursday, and arrived at her destination on Saturday evening. “I had a quiet time for the first few days,” says Miss Twynam in the “A.N. Journal,” “which allowed me to get settled in my new abode, which, however, is decidedly cramped, and I am hoping that my committee will be able shortly to give me a little more room. I shall need it badly when the medical outfit arrives, as I must have room to store these things and to sterilize. During my third week I have been kept very busy. I have paid 30 visits altogether, besides seeing patients who have come to me for small dressings of various kinds. The most serious case was that of a deaf and dumb woman and her child, who were camping about three-quarters of a mile away, and who got very badly burnt.”
Aug 1912: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/75282849
Goulburn Evening Penny Post (NSW), Tue 15 Apr 1913 (p.2):
The Sun (Sydney, NSW), Wed 16 Apr 1913 (p.6):
MEN and WOMEN
Nurse Twynam, of Goulburn, was on Monday presented by the Mayor of Goulburn (Alderman James Turner), on behalf of the residents of Carinda, with wristlet and brooch gold watches, in recognition of her services as a nurse under the Australian Bush Nursing Scheme.
Goulburn Evening Penny Post (NSW), Thur 22 Oct 1914 (p.2):
A GOULBURN NURSE
It may interest many of our readers to know that what may be termed the first contingent of the army nurses have left Sydney on their service of duty and mercy. Amongst the eight young women who have devoted themselves to this work is a citizen of Goulburn – Miss Alice Joan Twynam, daughter of Mr E. Twynam, of this city. She is duly qualified in all branches, served in the Prince Alfred Hospital and the Women’s Hospital, and was one of the first to enter on the bush nursing scheme, doing her term of service in the “back of beyond” country at Carinda. Afterwards she went to fill urgent emergency at Jindabyne, near Kosciusko. Unfortunately the names of the other nurses who have gone are not at present available, but it may be mentioned that the party is in charge of Miss Gould, who served during the South African War. We wish them God Speed.
The Newsletter (Sydney, NSW), Sat 27 Nov 1915 (p.2):
Social Chat of the Day
Mrs Gordon Wesche has decided to visit Egypt, where her sister, Miss Twynam, is engaged in nursing the soldiers. She was one of the first bush nurses under Lady Dudley, and has been taking wounded soldiers to Britain on transports ever since war started.
Goulburn Evening Penny Post (NSW), Tue 30 Apr 1918 (p.4):
VISIT OF WAR NURSING SISTER
Sister Heritage, who has had an extensive experience as a nurse in Egypt and France, is on a visit to Goulburn, ………………………………………
[Boulogne, France] Sister Chisholm and Sister Twynam (both of Goulburn) were in charge of rows of tents near Sister Heritage. ………………………………….
Queanbeyan Age and Queanbeyan Observer (NSW), Tue 6 May 1919 (p.2):
NEWS AND NOTES
Sister Joan Twynam, daughter of Mr E. Twynam, “Riversdale,” Goulburn, who recently returned after four years’ war service, is at present staying at Lanyon with her sister, Mrs James Cunningham. Miss Twynam, who is at present on leave, was working in war hospitals in Egypt and subsequently in France. The sister is in good health.
Goulburn Evening Penny Post (NSW), Sat 19 Jun 1920 (p.4):
The Prince’s Visit
LEVEES, INVESTITURES, ETC
DAME CHISHOLM – BOMBARDIER WILSON – SISTER TWYNAM
Sister A.J. Twynam received the R.R.C. decoration.
Goulburn Evening Penny Post (NSW), Tue 9 Jan 1923 (p.2):
Taralga War Memorial
Taralga Echo (NSW), Sat 10 Jan 1925 (p.2):
Sister Twynam, who has left the district, contemplates spending the remainder of the summer months at Norfolk Island.
1936 Letter from Edwin Charles to his mother describing his stay at Riversdale: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/122118670
Sydney Morning Herald, Sep 27, 1967 (p.48):
TWYNAM, Sister Alice Joan – September 26, 1967, at Goulburn, late of Richlands, Taralga, and formerly of “Riversdale,” North Goulburn. Lest we forget.
TWYNAM – The Funeral of the late Sister ALICE JOAN TWYNAM will arrive at the Northern Suburbs Crematorium, Tomorrow, Thursday, for service at 1.30 p.m., after which a Cremation will take place.
On her Attestation in 1914 she gives DOB as 9/10/1883 – she then gives correct DOB 9/10/1882 in her Repat. questionnaire [Birth reg. 1882 / Birth Notice 9/10/1882]
Mentioned in Col Reg J Millard’s diary as “Twynam of bush nursing fame”
History of ‘Riversdale’:
Advertised for auction Jan 1873: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/101100992
The Twynam’s 4th child was born there in Oct 1873
[Some sources refer to him having leased it for some time then purchased it in 1875]
The Sun (Sydney, NSW), Fri 7 Apr 1922 (p.6):
A GOULBURN GARDEN
Mr Twynam, retired Government Surveyor, of “Riversdale,” Goulburn, is the owner of the oldest asparagus bed in the Commonwealth. In 1873 Mr Twynam purchased the estate, which was one of the first homes in this part of the State, and the garden around the old house was then in splendid order, an asparagus bed 30 or 40 feet long and 15 feet wide being a feature of the fine vegetable patch. At that time it was the only one outside of Sydney. To-day, at least 54 years after it was laid down, it is still as prolific as ever, and large quantities have been cut from it during the season just closed. During the war Miss Twynam sold large quantities of the vegetable, the proceeds going to the funds of the local Red Cross Society.
The Canberra Times 1965: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/105879247
The Canberra Times 1968: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/131673150
Australian Women’s Weekly 1970 – with photos:
NSW Office of Enviroment & Heritage:
Mother’s Obit 1910: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/98801766
Father’s Obit 1923: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/16053795
ADB of sister, Pheobe and her husband:
Bio of sister, Mary: http://www.womenaustralia.info/exhib/cww1/cunningham.html
*Her daughter Griselda (known as ‘Tommy’) married Maj Charles Stewart DAVIES 22/4/1916 Egypt – see Married O/S Database – and went to London where she visited the wounded & trained as an ambulance driver
*Her daughter Mary Paule worked as a VAD in London
She married Maj Wm Archibald S DUNLOP 1916 England: [add to database]
*Her son Andrew Twynam Cunningham – Lieut, 1st LH (MC)
Goulburn Evening Penny Post (NSW), Thur 21 Jan 1915 (p.2):
CAPTAIN TWYNAM’S EXPERIENCES
Edward – resident of Burra Burra Creek 1925 [brother Harry, resident of Richlands]
Edward’s 1925 decoration: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/110086868
Edward’s accidental death: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/144012559
Accidental Deaths database
Harry’s daughter Dorcas served as a Sister with the AANS in WW2