• Jean Nellie Miles Walker

Army / Flying Corps
  • Australian Army Nursing Service
  • Sister
  • Matron

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  • Royal Red Cross (1st Class) (RRC)
  • 1914–1915 Star
  • Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
  • British War Medal
  • Victory Medal
  • Birth

    Hamilton, TAS, Australia

Stories and comments
    • WALKER, Jean Nellie Miles – Matron (MID, RRC), AANS
    • Posted by FrevFord, Friday, 22 May 2020

    Jean was born on the 16th November 1878 at Hamilton-on-Forth, Tasmania (reg. 1674 Port Sorell). She was the youngest daughter of Alfred Miles WALKER and Louisa Mary Glover WILKINSON, who had married at Torquay, Tasmania, on the 23/5/1866, when he was 36 and she was 23. The year before Jean’s birth, during a diphtheria outbreak, her parent’s lost 4 of their children to the disease within the space of nine days. Alfred, a Businessman, Storekeeper and Farmer, who had also faced bankruptcy in the late 1870s died from the effects of sunstroke on the 3/5/1881 at Hamilton-on-Forth at the age of 51. Following his death Louisa moved her family to Hobart. In Hobart during the early part of the 1900s, Louisa was a prominent member of many associations, including the Tasmanian Women’s Suffrage Association, the Women’s Political Association, the Women’s Health Association, the Peace Society, the Society For Protection Of Children, and the Blind, Deaf and Dumb Institution. She was living in NSW by the end of WW1, and died on the 12/6/1926 at her daughter Ethel’s residence, Stanley Park, Okoroire in New Zealand. Family Addresses: 1867: Spring Vale, on Forth, Tas 1868, 1881: “Berllanvedw,” Hamilton-on-Forth (River Forth), Tas 1882, 1900s: Hobart 1913: 8 Charles St, Sandy Bay, Hobart 1914: Ashfield St, Sandy Bay, Hobart 1914: C/- (son) Mr A.E. Walker, “Tongkah”, Culwalla St, Hurstville, NSW 1918: “Allowah”, Dunbarra Rd, Bellevue Hill, Sydney, NSW. 1919: 7 Woolcott St, Edgecliffe, NSW 1920: 103 Ocean St, Edgecliffe, NSW 1922: “Stanley Park”, Okororire Springs, Auckland, New Zealand Siblings: *Louis Augustus b.11/3/1867 – d.3/6/1891 of congestion of the lungs (24); *Rhoda Isabella b.7/9/1868 – d.24/9/1877 diptheria (9); *William Givillien b.24/9/1870 – d.7/6/1890 (19); *George St-George b.22/2/1872 – d.25/9/1877 diptheria (5); *Nellie Ada [twin] b.2/3/1874 – d.25/9/1877 diptheria (3); *Alfred Miles [twin] b.2/3/1874 – d.2/10/1877 diptheria (3); *Ethel Adela b.25/6/1875 – marr Robert CARRUTH 13/8/1913 NZ – d.15/71936 NZ; *Selina Mary b.19/10/1876; *Albert Edward b.16/5/1880 – d.1968 NSW [listed originally as NOK – for monetary matters, etc – as Louisa was ill at the time] Religion: Church of England Educated at the Collegiate School, Hobart Having trained in nursing at Hobart General Hospital from 1903 to 1906, Jean remained at the hospital until the end of 1908, having obtained the position of Senior Sister. Her resignation was tendered with the desire to enter private nursing. In January 1909 she registered with the Nurses and Midwives Register of NZ, and was living at the Nurses’ Club in Wellington, New Zealand. Joined the Australian Army Nursing Service in 1906 and was appointed Matron in April 1909 Member of the Australasian Trained Nurses Association Melbourne Women’s Hospital “six months training in obstetrical nursing” 1913 Matron at Nalinga Private Hospital, Tallangatta [Electoral Roll 1914: Nalinga, Tallangatta] Jean, a tall thin woman with brown eyes, a dark complexion and dark brown hair, was Matron of the Molong Private Hospital in Forbes St, Darlinghurst, NSW, when she left to enlist in WW1 on the 21/9/1914 at the age of 35. WW1: Having been accepted to serve overseas with the AANS with the rank of Sister, Jean embarked in Sydney on the HMAT A14 Euripides on the 20/10/1914. Sailing with her were Matron Nellie Gould and Sisters Julia Johnson, Penelope Frater, Maud Kellett and Alice Twynham. These 6 nurses, along with 19 other AANS nurses distributed over 6 other ships, eventually sailed from Albany on the 1st November as part of the First Convoy. [Also on board the Euripides were members of the 1st Infantry Brigade HQ, the 3rd and 4th Battalions and the 1st Field Ambulance.] Destined originally for England, but diverted to Egypt en-route, they arrived at Alexandria on the 4/12/1914, with hundreds of the soldiers on board having suffered an outbreak of Ptomaine poisoning between Port Said and Alexandria. The 25 AANS nurses now in Egypt were part of the advance staff for the 1st and 2nd Australian General Hospitals (AGH), and Jean was a member of the 2nd AGH. The 2nd AGH nurses were trained out to the Mena House Hospital situated near Cairo at the foot of the pyramids. The hospital was being run by the British, and at first they worked along-side the British nurses under the imperial Matron Grierson. Eventually in January, the Australians took over completely, with Principal Matron Nellie Gould taking up her rightful position. At first, they treated the sick and injured soldiers from the Australian camp which was established beside them, and later, those same soldiers as they returned wounded from the Gallipoli campaign. “During the first rush of wounded from Gallipoli she took charge at Mena House while the matron was at the Ghezireh Palace Hotel, also run by the 2nd A.G.H. ‘Never Matron had better assistance,’ Ellen Gould later wrote of Jean and her counterpart at Ghezireh.” [Jan Bassett] In September, as one of 4 replacement nurses, Jean joined the hospital ship Gascon embarking at Alexandria on the 3/9/1915. Together with Penelope Frater, Maud Kellett and Alice Twynam who had also sailed with her from Australia, they teamed up with the remaining 5 nurses, serving under the British Matron Susan Wooler (QAIMNS). The HS Gascon was in service with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, and had been transporting the sick and wounded soldiers from the Gallipoli Campaign to hospitals at Lemnos, Egypt and Malta. Departing Alexandria on the 5/9/1915 with Jean on board, the Gascon continued this service, and over the following months also sailed to Gibraltar, England and Salonika. By December 1915 with the Gascon transporting fewer patients, and most of those convalescent, the nursing staff was reduced and on the 12th of that month together with Alice Kitchin and Hilda Samsing, Jean left the ship at Alexandria to return to her Unit (2AGH). She was then attached to the 1st Australian Stationary Hospital, Ismailia on the 22/1/1916 as temporary Matron, but to hold the rank of Matron whilst holding the appointment. The hospital, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Arthur Powell, was visited by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales on the 27/3/1916. On the 17/8/1916 the staff of the hospital was sent by rail to Alexandria, pending their departure for England and re-establishment as the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital in Dartford, Kent. During this time Jean was posted to the 15th General Hospital for temporary duty from the 4/9/1916 to the 25/9/1916. She then embarked for England on the Karoola on the 25/9/1916, and took up her position as Matron at the 3rd AAH on the 5/10/1916. The 3rd AAH, under the command of Lieut Col Powell, was established in what had been the Orchard Convalescent Hospital, and it was a comfortable, well managed hospital with 1200 beds and a beautiful little chapel in which Jean took a great interest. Mentioned in Despatches – London Gazette, Dec 1916 / Australian Gazette, Apr 1917 Awarded Royal Red Cross (1st Class) – London Gazette, Jan 1917 / Australian Gazette, Jun 1917 Granted Leave 10/3/1917 – 24/3/1917 Posted to ‘overseas’ service, Jean proceeded to France on the 10/7/1917 and took up the position of Matron at the 5th British Stationary Hospital (BSH), Dieppe on the 13/7/1917. Although a British hospital, the nursing staff was all Australian. The hospital was very clean and beautifully kept, and the number of patients and work load very light. She then took over as Matron of the 3rd AGH at Abbeville on the 7/9/1917 while Principal Matron Grace Wilson was in England on temporary duty. Granted Leave to South of France 14/1/1918 – 6/2/1918 With Grace Wilson returning to the 3rd AGH, and Jean to the 5th SH, she was given a farewell dinner in the Officer’s Mess on the 19/4/1918 and left for the 5th Stationary Hospital on the 24/4/1918. In September 1918 the War Office decided to recall Jean and her nursing staff for duty in England, replacing them with a British staff at the 5th SH. She reported to the Principal Matron at Boulogne on the 3/10/1918 and returned to the UK on the 5th, where she was attached to the 2nd Australian Auxilliary Hospital at Southall on the 6/10/1918. Jean received her final posting on the 19/10/1918 when she was attached to the No. 1 Group Clearing Hospital at Sutton Veny. Having contracted the Influenza virus, she died of Broncho Pneumonia at 6 p.m. on the 30th of October 1918 in the Sisters Quarters of the hospital, aged 39. “Her illness was the very first time that she had been off duty in four years” of service. On hearing of her death Sister Anne Donnell (AANS) wrote: “My word we have lost a friend – she was one that was loved by all who knew her.” She was buried in a full Military Funeral at St John the Evangelist Churchyard, Sutton Veny, Wiltshire, on the afternoon of the 3rd of November 1918 by a padre whom she knew and liked, Chaplain Alexander MacPherson (AIF). Among the many mourners were about 40 of her fellow nurses as well as the famous Captain Albert Jacka, VC, and thousands of Australian soldiers lined the road leading to the Churchyard, each saluting as the coffin passed by. [Grave No.15] Commemorated on the Five Sisters’ Window in York Minster Service Record: Funeral Service conducted by: Chaplain A.S.M. MacPherson, No. 1 Command Depot, Sutton Veny “Deceased was buried with full Military honors the coffin draped with the Australian flag was borne to the graveside on a Gun-carriage preceded by a Firing Party and Band from the 1st Australian Training Battalion. Six Captains of the A.I.F. supported the Pall. About 40 Members of the A.A.N.S. and 30 Officers and 300 N.C.O.’s and Men followed the remains to the graveside. Representatives from Administrative Headquarters, Headquarters A.I.F. Depots in United Kingdom and all A.I.F. Training areas attended the funeral. Numerous wreaths and floral tributes were placed on the grave.” Temporary Sergeant (Cadet) Ashley Carver’s description of the funeral: “We arranged to supply the gun carriage and horses to bear the coffin from the R.B.A.A. The funeral took place this afternoon. We had three officers driving and two cadets acted as brakesmen on the limber. I happened to be one of them. We moved off from Sutton Verney [sic] at the slow march – a terrible thing for horses to keep up – and we did the mile to the church in just under an hour. The two brakesmen walked behind the gun carriage, and walking alongside me was Captain Jacka, the Australian V.C. and M.C and bar. The road was lined with thousands of Australians, and the funeral ceremony was made even more impressive by the way every man came up to the salute as the coffin passed – even little kiddies about six years old, seeing all the soldiers doing it, solemnly did the same. About 100 officers and 200 men attended, besides many others that came along, apart from the actual column at the slow march I’m glad I had the privilege of attending – the scene was most impressive.” 3rd AGH War Diary, Abbeville 31/3/1918: In closing the diary for March I wish to put on record…………….. Miss Miles Walker as Matron & Miss Jeffries as Assistant Matron have done excellent work. I consider that Miss Jeffries has for a woman exceptional administrative capacity, and is also imbued with energy and enthusiasm for work. 3rd AGH War Diary, Abbeville: 19/4/1918: In the Sisters’ Mess the Officers gave a dinner to Miss Miles Walker, the Matron, prior to her departure on the 22nd inst. to No. 5 Stationary Hospital, Dieppe. 23/4/1918: Miss Grace Wilson, Principal Matron, reported for duty. 24/4/1918: Matron Miss Miles Walker left for No.5 Stationary Hospital, Dieppe. “THE DIGGERS – Makers of the Australian Military Tradition.” [Page 325:] WALKER, Jean Nellie Miles (1878 – 1918), was born on 16 November 1878 at Port Sorell, Tasmania, daughter of a farmer. Privately educated until 1893, she enrolled at the Collegiate School, Hobart, then trained at Hobart General Hospital 1903-06. Having stayed on as a staff nurse and later sister, in 1908 she entered private nursing. In early 1913 she completed six months training in obstetrical nursing at the Women’s Hospital, Melbourne, following which she served as matron of private hospitals at Tallangatta, Victoria, and Darlinghurst, Sydney. Joining the Australian Army Nursing Service Reserve in 1906 and becoming principle matron in 1909 of the 6th Military District (Tasmania), Miles-Walker (as she sometimes styled herself) was one of 25 nurses who sailed for Egypt with the Australian Imperial Force in November 1914. After several weeks with the British in Alexandria, she joined her own unit, the 2nd Australian General Hospital, at Mena House, Cairo. During the first rush of wounded from Gallipoli she took charge at Mena House while the matron was at the Ghezireh Palace Hotel, also run by the 2nd A.G.H. ‘Never Matron had better assistance,’ Ellen Gould later wrote of Jean and her counterpart at Ghezireh. From September 1915 to January 1916 Sister Walker worked in the British hospital ship Gascon which carried patients from Anzac Cove, Cape Helles, Mudros and Salonika to Malta, Gibraltar, England and Egypt. She was next attached as temporary matron to the 1st Australian Stationary Hospital at Ismailia, Egypt, where wounded from the battle of Romani were treated. When the 3rd Australian Auxillary Hospital opened at Dartford, England, in October 1916, she had been promoted matron. In the following July she became matron with the A.A.N.S. staff of the 5th British Stationary Hospital at Dieppe, France; from September 1917 to April 1918 she acted as matron of the 3rd A.G.H. at Abbeville, replacing Grace Wilson [q.v.]. While the allies retreated towards Amiens in April, the hospital was used as a casualty clearing station: its remaining 24 nurses cared for some 1800 patients – many of whom were badly wounded – as bombs fell in the area. After a further term at Dieppe, Matron Walker went to London and on 19 October was attached to the 2nd A.A.H. at Southall. When working in the 1st Group Clearing Hospital at Sutton Veny, Wiltshire, she fell ill during the Spanish influenza epidemic and died on 30 October 1918 in the British Military hospital, Sutton Veny. She had been mentioned in dispatches and awarded the Royal Red Cross (1st Class) in 1916. Jan Bassett [12:362] “Guns and Brooches” by Jan Bassett [p.69] “The work was light and ‘not very interesting’ at No.5 BSH, a small hospital at Dieppe, to which Miss Nellie Miles Walker and about twenty nurses were sent. ‘We only really had the local sick, that is Labor Batt. employed in and about Dieppe…..’, Sister Bessie Walder recalled after the War. ‘At times we did get the overflow from Le Treport but very rarely; and then only minor walking cases.’” “Other Anzacs” by Peter Rees [p.462] “Four months later, Matron Jean Miles Walker also died. She was thirty-nine and had been awarded the Royal Red Cross (1st Class). Anne Donnell thought her ‘such a fine woman, and all we Nursing Sisters abroad have indeed lost a friend…Matron and I have just returned from her funeral at Sutton Veny. The coffin was draped with the Union Jack, but when I saw her red cape and white cap lying on top of the beautiful wreath of flowers it fairly broke me up.’” Daily Post (Hobart, Tas), Sat 12 Dec 1908 (p.5): HOSPITAL BOARD OF MANAGEMENT MONTHLY MEETING The monthly meeting of the Board of Management of the Hobart General Hospital was held yesterday. …………………………….. During the month the senior sister (Miss Jean Miles-Walker) tendered her resignation with the view of taking up private nursing in Hobart. The committee accepted the resignation with much regret at the loss of Sister Walker’s valuable services, and took the opportunity of conveying to her their best wishes for her future success. Examiner (Launceston, Tas), Mon 26 Apr 1909 (p.6): MILITARY APPOINTMENTS MELBOURNE, Sunday The following military notifications appeared in yesterday’s “Gazette”:- ………………………………………….. Australian Army Nursing Service – Miss Jean Miles Walker to be matron. Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld), Sat 20 May 1916 (p.10): PRINCE OF WALES IN EGYPT AUSTRALIAN HOSPITAL VISITED A recent member of the staff of the Melbourne “Argus,” who is serving as a quartermaster with the No.1 Australian Hospital in Egypt, writes, under date of the 27th of March – We have just closed a memorable day in the history of the hospital. Early this morning we were told that H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, who is at present on a visit to Egypt, would inspect the hospital. Shortly after 11 o’clock he arrived. With the Royal party were Lieutenant-General Birdwood an Colonel Murray. His Royal Highness was met by Lieutenant-Colonel Power, who is in command of the hospital, his officers, and the matron (Miss Miles Walker). ……………………… Before leaving the hospital the Prince of Wales shook hands with the officers and matron, and expressed pleasure at what he had seen, and complimented us on the appearance of the hospital and the completeness of its equipment. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/53423800 The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Wed 3 Jan 1917 (p.7): AWARDED ROYAL RED CROSS [Photo] MATRON JEAN MILES WALKER Matron Walker was born in Tasmania, and is the daughter of Mrs Miles Walker, formerly of Hobart, and now residing at 7 Woolcott-street, Darlinghurst. She was trained at the General Hospital, Hobart, and later received an appointment at the Melbourne Women’s Hospital. From there she became matron at Kallangatta Hospital [sic]. Latterly she was sister-in-charge at a private hospital at Darlinghurst. Matron Walker left Sydney with the first nurses in October 1914, and went to Egypt, where she was matron at the Heliopolis Hospital. She was transferred to Malta, and later to France. She is now in charge of a large military hospital at Dartford, Kent. Her brother resides at Hurstville, and all her sisters are nurses. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/15704424?searchTerm Critic (Hobart, Tas), Fri 12 Jan 1917 (p.3): Social News The many friends of Matron Jean Miles Walker will offer her well-merited award of the Royal Red Cross. Matron Miles Walker is well known in Hobart, having been trained at the General Hospital. She received her first appointment at the Melbourne Women’s Hospital, and left Sydney with the first nurses in October, 1914, and went to Egypt, where she was appointed matron at the Heliopolis Hospital. She is now in charge of a military hospital at Dartford, Kent. Daily Post (Hobart, Tas), Thur 29 Nov 1917 (p.8): WITH OUR BOYS – ANOTHER VISIT TO THE CAMPS LETTER FROM MRS CRANSTON ………………………………………………….. I have missed Miss Miles Walker, late matron of the Australian Hospital at Dartford. She was always so kind to me. It is a comfortable, well managed hospital, and has a beautiful little chapel in which Miss Walker took a great interest. We all wish her success in her work in France. …………………………. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/191683741 Daily Telegraph (Launceston, Tas), Tue 18 Dec 1917 (p.4): PERSONAL The following items of local interest appear in “The British Australasian” of October 11: Miss J. Miles Walker (Tasmania), matron of No.5 Stationary Hospital, has been appointed matron of the 3rd A.G.H. The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Wed 25 Dec 1918 (p.6): DEATH OF DISTINGUISHED NURSE [Photo] News has been received by cable that Matron Jean Miles Walker, youngest daughter of the late Mr Alfred Miles Walker, of Tasmania, and of Mrs Walker, of Woolcott-st, Darlinghurst, died at Sutton Veny Military Hospital, in England, of bronchial pneumonia, on October 30, after four years of active service. She left Sydney on October 19, 1914, on the troopship Euripides, and landed at Alexandria on December 4 of the same year. In Egypt she did duty in various hospitals, and at the beginning of September, 1915, she went on transport duty on H.M.H.S. Gascon to Lemnos and Gallipoli. Then Nurse Walker went to Salonica with No.29 General Hospital. From here she returned to Ghezireh, and was soon after appointed matron of No.1 Australian Stationary Hospital, Ismailia, Port Said. This hospital was later removed with its full staff – in October, 1916 – to Dartford, Kent, as No.3 Australian General Hospital. During General Murray’s command of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force Nurse Walker was mentioned in despatches for devotion to duty, and was presented by the King in person with the order of the Royal Red Cross on February, 4, 1917. By request of Queen Alexandra, she afterwards attended at Marlborough House. In July, 1917, she received orders to take up duty at No.5 Stationary Hospital, B.E.F., at Dieppe, and in the following month she was promoted to No.3 A.G.H., B.E.F., Abbeville, France. In March, 1918, she returned to her old hospital at Dieppe, and from there she went to England, where she died. She was a sister of Mr A.E. Walker, of Hurstville. The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Sat 11 Jan 1919 (p.7): THE LATE MATRON WALKER Letters giving particulars of the death of Miss Miles Walker, R.R.C., shortly after her appointment as matron of the Australian Military Hospital at Sutton Veny, Wilts, England, and containing many expressions of regret, have been received by her mother, Mrs Miles Walker, of 7 Woolcott-street, Darlinghurst. Miss Walker received her important appointment on account of her exceptional administrative ability. A letter from Sister Violet Aitken, who was with Nurse Walker, says that she died of septic pneumonia, following influenza. Her illness was the very first time that she had been off duty in four years, which was something to be proud of. Describing the funeral the sister says: “It was a full officers’ funeral, and very widely attended. The coffin was borne on a gun-carriage covered with a Union Jack. There were about 200 officers present and thousands of men. People came from far and wide to do her honour. It was a wonderful sight to see all the Australians standing at the salute while the coffin, which was borne by six officers from the church to the graveside, was passing. A volley was fired over the grave, and thousands of Australian soldiers stood at the salute while the ‘Last Post’ was sounded. The service was taken by one of our own padres whom the matron knew and like. The flowers were beautiful.” http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/15819661?searchTerm The Farmer and Settler (NSW), Tue 14 Jan 1919 (p.8): AN INFLUENZA VICTIM Australian Nurse’s Burial in England After four years of very distinguished war service, Matron Jean Miles Walker, of Sydney, died recently in England of influenza. Lieutenant A. Carver in a letter written from Wiltshire to his parents, who reside at Goulburn (NSW), gives the following description of the funeral of this noble woman:- Last week the matron of the hospital at Sutton Verney [sic] – a camp a couple of miles from here – died of influenza, an epidemic that is raging here, We arranged to supply the gun carriage and horses to bear the coffin from the R.B.A.A. The funeral took place this afternoon. We had three officers driving and two cadets acted as brakesmen on the limber. I happened to be one of them. We moved off from Sutton Verney at the slow march – a terrible thing for horses to keep up – and we did the mile to the church in just under an hour. The two brakesmen walked behind the gun carriage, and walking alongside me was Captain Jacka, the Australian V.C. and M.C and bar. The road was lined with thousands of Australians, and the funeral ceremony was made even more impressive by the way every man came up to the salute as the coffin passed – even little kiddies about six years old, seeing all the soldiers doing it, solemnly did the same. About 100 officers and 200 men attended, besides many others that came along, apart from the actual column at the slow march I’m glad I had the privilege of attending – the scene was most impressive. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/15817793?searchTerm The Mercury (Hobart, Tas), Mon 23 Jun 1924 (p.3): RETURNED ARMY SISTERS REST HOME AT LINDISFARNE OFFICIAL OPENING ON SATURDAY Overlooking an extensive stretch of the River Derwent, north and south, and the city, with Mt Wellington in the background, the Memorial Rest Home for Returned Nursing Sisters was officially opened at Lindisfarne on Saturday afternoon. ……………………………. In the memorial room, the principal room of the cottage, is hung a circular shaped oak tablet, upon which are carved the names of three sisters who lost their lives as a result of the great war. These are Matron Miles Walker, Sister Janet Radcliff, and Sister Isabel Edwards. Surrounding their names are the words, “Australian Army Nursing Service, 1914-1918. From their nursing comrades.” ………………………………… SERVICES OF NURSES A large amount of war service stood to the credit of the three women whose memory was honoured on Saturday. Matron Miles Walker in 1914 did duty in one of the first New South Wales transports. Later she was on the staff of the Mena House and Gezireh Hospitals in Egypt, and was matron of Ismalia Hospital at the time of the battle of Romani. After doing duty as matron of Dartford Hospital in England, she was employed at a stationary hospital in France and later on at Sutton Veny. She died of pneumonic influenza in 1918. ……………………. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/23744296 Advocate (Burnie, Tas), Sat 2 Jul 1938 (p.5): THE WOMEN’S FORUM First A.I.F. Nurse Mr Alfred Miles Walker, with his brother, was in business at Forth. His three little children, who are buried in the old cemetery, all died of diphtheria within a few days of each other. This was before the time of antitoxin. Three daughters became nurses. Sister Jean Miles Walker, A.N.A., was one of the five matrons who accompanied the first unit of soldiers which left Australia during the Great War, and was awarded the R.R.C. She died at Sutton Veny; and opposite the renowned “Five Sisters” window, in York Minster, which was restored by the women of the Empire, Sister Jean Miles Walker’s name heads the list of A.I.F. nurses who gave their lives in the Great War. The Mercury (Hobart, Tas), Tue 15 Sept 1942 (p.3): COLLEGIATE JUBILEE ………………………. In the First World War a number of old girls of the school saw active service with Australian nursing units. Included amongst these was Matron Jean Miles Walker, who was decorated with the Royal Red Cross and dies as a result of war service. Her name is at the head of the Australian War Memorial at York Minster, England. …………………….