• Jean Middleton [McGregor]

Army / Flying Corps
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  • Sister

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Stories and comments
    • Jean Middleton
    • Posted by ResearchBuff, Tuesday, 1 June 2021

    Born in 1890 to John and Helena Middleton (d1946). Siblings: Frances Mary b c1887, m1904 Robert FLEMING, d1960 Pte. James Benjamin (miner) b c1879, m Peg, d1968 [691] Pte. John b c1894 (labourer) m1919 Agnes BRUCE; Elsie m1922 Thomas SMITH Alan m1928 Mary GRIFFITHS Jean’s childhood was in the suburbs of Perth. In 1900, she was a student of Plymton State School and was one of a number of children whose regular attendance was commended by the Education Department (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/67066227). By 1912 Jean was working (probably training) as a nurse at Perth Public hospital (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/26527429). Demonstrating support and sympathy Jean was one of several nurses who acted as pall-bearer at a colleague’s funeral (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/76840697). As a Staff Nurse Jean worked at the Perth Children’s Hospital and in 1915 was granted leave for the ‘term of the war’ (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/84712056). With friend and colleague Sister Dorothea [Dorrie] Craike, Jean embarked the RMS Orontes at Freemantle 20/4/1915, arriving in England at the end of May and was accommodated at the Ivanhoe Hotel, Bloomsbury Street, London, As both nurses had been loaned to the imperial service, Dorrie accompanied Jean to the QAIMNS head office and witnessed her signature on the application form. Jean and Dorrie were accepted as Staff Nurses and posted to 1AAH where they remained for five weeks. They would have loved to have stayed at this Australian auxiliary hospital at Harefield, believing that Matron Gray would have recommended their promotion to the rank of Sister (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/102385648). After leaving Harefield the nurses were posted to different locations. On 6/7/1915 Jean was posted to France and commenced work two days later at with the British Expeditionary Force 6SH Rouen. On the 4/1/1916 she joined 11SH Calais, followed by the Isolation Hospital, Calais; 20/3/16 Lahore BGH; 19/2/1917 HMHS Dieppe that traversed the channel from Newhaven to Dieppe. From 20/4/1917 to October 1918 she joined an ambulance train, HMAS Wandilla, Jontafa Military Hospital Malta, Victoria Hospital Netley, HMHS Braemar Castle, and on 14/10/1918 81GH. The Acting Matron at 81GH writes that Jean’s ‘professional abilities are above standard of rank’ and that she recommended that Jean be promoted. Three months prior to demobilisation, Jean was finally promoted to Sister. Embarking on the Osterley (again with Dorrie) on 21/5/1919, the friends arrived back in Freemantle at the end of June 1919. By June 1920 they had resumed work at the Children’s Hospital, Perth. On the 19/6/1928 Jean married Lt Col (Dr) Roy Stanley McGREGOR D.S.O. (b1890 Boggabri NSW) formerly of the 4th Australian Ambulance. They settled in Queensland. On the 2/8/1962 Jean and Roy applied for repatriation benefits. Roy died 1/6/1963 and Jean died aged 92, on 9/11/1982.