• Lorna Blachford Backhouse

Army / Flying Corps
  • Other
  • Australian Army Nursing Service

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  • 1914–1915 Star
  • British War Medal
  • Victory Medal
  • Birth

    Merriwa, New South Wales, Australia

  • Enlistment - WW1

    Sydney, NSW, Australia

Stories and comments
    • BACKHOUSE, Lorna Blachford – Staff Nurse, QAIMNSR / Sister, AANS
    • Posted by FrevFord, Wednesday, 7 June 2017

    Born on the 4th of September 1881 at the Commercial Bank, Merriwa, NSW (reg. Cassilis) – daughter of Ernest Benjamin BACKHOUSE and Ida Frances WANT – who married in Paddington, NSW in 1880 Ernest, a retired Bank Manager of the Commercial Bank, died on the 8/4/1925 at his home in Neutral Bay, aged 69. Ida died on the 31/7/1952 Siblings: Eric Blachford b.1883 Cassilis – d.1964; Norman Blachford b.1884 Lismore – d.1958; Mabel Blachford b.1886 Lismore; Constance Blachford b.1888 Lismore; Harold Blachford b.1890 Lismore – WW1: Applied to enlist in 1917 – d.1968 Religion: Church of England Trained in nursing at the Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney Passed her final examination for the Australian Trained Nurses Association (ATNA) in June 1910 Resident at St George’s Nurses’ Home, Milton Heights (Toowong), Qld in 1913 WW1: Enrolled in the AANS in August 1914 Embarked 6/4/1915 on the Malwa as a member of Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve (QAIMNSR) – arriving Egypt 1/5/1915, where she was posted for duty at No.1 Australian General Hospital (AGH), Helipolis, to help with the influx of wounded following the Gallipoli landing. Approximately a month later she was transferred to the Hospital trains, carrying the wounded from the ships to the various hospitals. On the 15/7/1915 she joined the 19th General Hospital, Alexandria where she remained until the 19/4/1916; spending a couple of days as a patient in the February, due to a suppurating thumb. She then served on the Hospital ship Valdivia from the 20/4/1916, which included the Salonika run; before returning to Egypt, and posted to the Nasrieh Schools Military Hospital, Cairo on the 8/12/1916. Granted 7 days Leave from 7/3/1917 to 13/3/1917 In August 1917, no longer wishing to stay in Egypt, she requested that her resignation be accepted on the completion of her contract 4/10/1917 Confidential Report from the A/Matron, Narrieh Mil Hosp 6/8/1917: “Staff nurse Backhouse commenced duty in this hospital on the 8th of December 1916. Her work is very good, she is cheerful kind and most attentive to her patients and is a capable nurse. I consider her suitable for further military service.” Her return passage to Australia was organised and she embarked at Suez 12/11/1917 on HT Wiltshire, on duty, arriving back home on the 20/12/1917 On the 19/2/1918 she joined the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) and attached to the No.2 Australian Sea Transport Corps she embarked 8/5/1918 on the RMS Osterley – disembarking Liverpool, England 10/7/1918 In England she was temporarily attached to the 2nd Australian Auxiliary Hospital (AAH), Southall from 12/7/1918 to 1/8/18, whilst awaiting the return voyage to Australia on the Malta Arriving back in Australia she was discharged on the 13/10/1918 in order to marry Married Harry LORD on the 17th of October 1918 at St Chad’s, Cremorne, NSW Children (2): 1. Jean Frances – (WAAF) – marr Henry A.L. LOVELL 1943; 2. John Paxton b.19/12/1921 Tamworth – WW2: Lieut 359 Aus Hvy A A TP [NOK: Harry] Living Tamworth, NSW 1921; Spring Ridge, NSW 1927; “Kirra,” 3 Parriwi St, Mosman, NSW 1938 / Highvale, Samford, Qld 1949 / 446 Pacific Hwy, Lane Cove, NSW 1958 / 9 Woking St, Oxford Park, Qld 1963 / 98 Cribb Avenue, Oxford Park, Qld 1967 Registered Nurse 1927 Harry’s occupations: Grazier 1930 Service Station Proprietor 1936, 1943 Farmer 1949, 1954 No occ 1958, 1963, 1968 Resident of 98 Cribb Avenue, Oxford Park, Qld in 1974 Died on the 15th of August 1974 in Qld Cremated at the Albany Creek Crematorium, Aspley, Brisbane The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Sat 10 Sept 1881 (p.1): Births BACKHOUSE – September 4, at the Commercial Bank, Merriwa, the wife of Ernest B. Backhouse, of a daughter. The Manaro Mercury and Cooma and Bombala Advertiser (NSW), Thur 24 Dec 1908 (p.2): Local and General News Mr E.B. BACKHOUSE, of Cooma, received word on Saturday afternoon that his daughter, Miss L. Backhouse, had passed all her second years’ examinations for the position of nurse. Miss Backhouse is at the Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney. Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW), Sun 4 Apr 1915 (p.7): THE WORLD AND HIS WIFE Mrs E.B. Backhouse, of Tamworth, arrived in Sydney on Monday to bid farewell to her daughter, Nurse Backhouse, who left for the front during the week. The Tamworth Daily Observer (NSW), Sat 9 Oct 1915 (p.3): RIGHT THINGS TO SEND SOLDIERS Extracts from letters from Nurse Backhouse, who is at Alexandria, Egypt: “We have been so frightfully busy since the last big fight in the Dardanelles. We have been going on duty at 7 a.m. and lucky to get off by 10 or 11 p.m. Even the roof of the hospitals have been covered in and turned into wards. I am in charge of one of these and we have been busy – cases rolling in some days, and then when we get them settled a bit they move them on to England or Australia, so as to make room for the next lot. I just long to be with you sometimes, but there is more than enough work here for a long time yet. Our poor men have had a bad time, but they are holding their own splendidly. It is almost impossible to buy anything decent over here. People send to England for most of their things. If anyone ever wants to send any special little gifts for soldiers, socks, handkerchiefs, tooth brushes, indelible pencils and milk jug or jam jar covers (those with beads round them), and the sort of things are all most awful [sic]. If people were only here to see how these little things are appreciated they would always be sending them.” Daily Observer (Tamworth, NSW), Mon 12 Nov 1917 (p.2): PERSONAL Mr E.B. Backhouse has received a cable saying that his daughter, Nurse Lorna Backhouse, is on her way home to Australia. Nurse Backhouse has been on active service almost since the outbreak of war, and was in Egypt at the time of the first terrible influx of casualties after the landing in Gallipoli. Daily Observer (Tamworth, NSW), Sat 26 Jan 1918 (p.3): THREE YEARS ON SERVICE TAMWORTH NURSE AT THE WAR – Exciting Experiences After an absence of nearly three years at the war fronts, Nurse L.B. Backhouse, who is on furlough, is spending a well-earned rest with her mother and father, Mr and Mrs E.B. Backhouse, Commercial Bank, Tamworth. In an interesting chat with a “Daily Observer” representative, Nurse Backhouse said she left Australian shores in the “Malwa” in March, 1915, and landed in Egypt on 1st May just after the Gallipoli landing. They were really on their way to England, said Nurse Backhouse, but their services were required so badly that orders were given for their disembarkation immediately, and they went to work straight away. Hundreds of wounded came direct from the Peninsula to Cairo, and Nurse Backhouse took up duty at the Heliopolis Palace, No. 1 Australian General Hospital. Nurse Backhouse was about a month so employed and then went on to the Hospital trains which carried the wounded to the different hospitals as they were landed from the troop and hospital ships in Alexandria harbor. The patients were either taken to Cairo and Port Said, on intervening stations where they were convalescent hospitals established. The trains were beautifully fitted up and very comfortable. When matters became somewhat normal Nurse Backhouse went on to No. 19 General Hospital at Alexandria, and was there when a large number of badly wounded came forward as a result of the Suvla landing. This was a beautiful hospital – a hospital conducted by Germans in peace times, and it was splendidly run. The patients were mostly English boys, but there was a little crowd of Australians, a happy lot of boys, and the “Australian corner” it was generally named. The Australians always seemed to progress well and they were a very contented and happy lot. After 12 months’ service at this institution Nurse Backhouse’s activities were transferred to a hospital ship. The ship was splendidly fitted up with everything necessary for the care and comfort of the sick and wounded. Cot cases were all in swinging cots. Nurse Backhouse was enthusiastic over the good work of the Red Cross. She really did not know how they could do without them. The worst time she had was the run across to Salonika in the hospital ship where they took on board a greater number of sick than wounded, suffering from malaria and dysentery. It took about a week to load the ship’s complement, and wile in the harbor it was so hot they frequently took a run outside to obtain a breath of fresh breeze. These were the boys who appreciated the hospital ship. “The most exciting part of my experience,” said Nurse Backhouse, “was returning from Salonika to Malta. One evening about 7 o’clock the S.O.S. signal reached us and our boat turned back 70 miles and picked up two crews who were on rafts and in life boats. It was about midnight when we came upon them, and it was a difficult matter to locate them and pick them up. Two boats had been submarined and we just managed to arrive opportunely. As ours was a full ship rough beds had to be made along the decks. Part of the survivors comprised Lascars, and they had all their belongings. They would rather lose their lives than their belongings, and the remainder of the crew were Englishmen, and they did not have a stitch of anything.” Nurse Backhouse left the ship for hospital work at Cairo. They had a very heavy time after the Gaza fight in the Desert. “People generally imagine,” said Miss Backhouse, “that the soldiers in Egypt have an easy time compared with those on French soil, but such is not the case. The food is not good, they have a particularly hard time in the Desert. Water is scarce and men suffer severely from sun stroke and dysentery. The Australian soldier is a a fine stamp of man, who through all his trials and sufferings never grumbles. It is simply marvellous what they went through, and never a murmur.” Nurse Backhouse returned to Australia on a hospital carrier – a troopship roughly fitted up, which carried about 600 wounded. Provision was made for 80 cot cases. The patients did well after a week at sea. They had most enthusiastic welcomes from the Red Cross at Colombo, Fremantle, Melbourne, and Sydney. Fruit, eggs and cigarettes in abundance were supplied and the patients were entertained by motor drives through all the cities. At Ceylon 100 deck chairs were presented to the ship and each soldier received 11lb of Ceylon tea. Those who could not go ashore at all places of call were visited by Red Cross ladies, who handed round provisions and attended to any little wants. Nurse Backhouse referred to the Turkish wounded and said they were contented and happy in hospital, and always willing to work and anxious to please and what one may term “real sports.” In conclusion Nurse Backhouse stated that the Red Cross and Y.M.C.A. rooms were a great boon to the men, and they took full advantage of the comforts and recreations provided. Nurse Backhouse’s furlough is coming to an end, and she is to report for duty at the end of the present month for further service. Daily Observer (Tamworth, NSW), Wed 30 Jan 1918: COMPLIMENTARY TEA After an absence of three years at the war fronts Nurse L.B. Backhouse, who is home on furlough, and has been having a well-earned rest with her parents, Mr and Mrs E.B. Backhouse, Commercial Bank, Tamworth, intends returning to Sydney on Thursday, 31st, to report for further service. She is to be tendered a complimentary tea by members of the Tamworth Red Cross and Women’s and Girl’s Associations at Rackham and Paull’s tea rooms, on Thursday, 31st at 4 o’clock. The committee are desirous that there shall be a large gathering to, in a small way, show honor to one of Tamworth’s girls, who amid the shot and shell is nursing back to health and life many of our own soldier lads. Daily Observer (Tamworth, NSW), Fri 1 Feb 1918 (p.5): Tamworth Nurse – LEAVING AGAIN FOR THE WAR Women’s Farewell to Miss Backhouse Rackham and Paull’s new tea room was crowded yesterday afternoon, the occasion being a complimentary tea by members of the Red Cross ………………………….. Daily Observer (Tamworth, NSW), Wed 2 Oct 1918 (p.3): PERSONAL Sister Backhouse, daughter of Mr and Mrs E.B. Backhouse, of the Commercial Bank, Tamworth, returned to Tamworth yesterday after almost four years’, continuous service in English hospitals and on transports. Daily Observer (Tamworth, NSW), Sat 12 Oct 1918 (p.7): PRESENTATION TO SISTER BACKHOUSE There will be on view in Harvey Bros’. window, for to-day only, a silver tray, which is to be presented to Sister Backhouse, by her fellow war workers of Tamworth, on the occasion of her marriage. The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 26 Oct 1918 (p.13): MARRIAGES LORD – BACKHOUSE – October 17, at St Chad’s Cremorne, by the Rev C.E. Curtis, Harry Lord, of Brisbane, to Lorna Blachford, eldest daughter of E.B. Backhouse, of Tamworth. The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 26 Oct 1918 (p.9): FROM NEAR AND FAR On Thursday, October 17, Sister L.B. Backhouse, daughter of Mr E.B. Backhouse, manager of the Commercial Banking Company, Tamworth, and niece of his Honor Judge Backhouse, was married to Mr H. Lord, of Brisbane. Sister Backhouse has just returned from the front, after nearly four years’ service, eleven months of which were spent in transport duty in the Mediterranean. Daily Observer (Tamworth, NSW), Fri 1 Nov 1918 (p.3): MARRIAGE LORD – BACKHOUSE – October 17th, at St Chad’s, Cremorne, Sydney, by the Rev C.E. Curtis, Harry Lord, of Brisbane, to Lorna Blachford, eldest daughter of E.B. Backhouse, of Tamworth. The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Fri 26 Apr 1935 (p.4): FOR WOMEN NO MAN’S LAND Nurses’ Reunion at the Wentworth ………………………………………………………………….. Over there is Sister Backhouse, now Mrs Harry Lord, who did train duty – that horror of the army sister in Egypt – carrying troops straight off the ships from Gallipoli, and doing “running repairs” on the nightmare journey from Alexandria up to Cairo, and the relief of hospitals. ………………….. http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/17153910 The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), 16 Aug 1974 (p.30): FUNERALS LORD – The cremation service for Mrs LORNA BLACHFORD LORD, of 98 Cribb Avenue, Oxford Park, Qld, beloved wife of Harry Lord and mother, mother-in-law and grandmother of Jean Frances (Mrs Ray Lovell), Mr and Mrs J.P. Lord and families and loved sister of Miss Mabel Blachford Backhouse, of Florence Street, Cremorne, NSW, will be held in the Albany Creek Crematorium Chapel, Aspley, Brisbane, this Saturday at 11.45 a.m.