• Royal Red Cross (2nd Class) (ARRC)
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    • ABELL, Lydia (ARRC) – Staff Nurse, FFNC / AVH / QAIMNSR
    • Posted by FrevFord, Thursday, 27 October 2016

    Born on the 13th of June 1872 at Wallsend, NSW – daughter of Elijah ABELL and Margaret BROWN – who married in Newcastle in 1859 Margaret died 27/5/1902, age 63, at her home in Wallsend from Pleurisy and Bronchitis, with Lydia nursing her towards the end Elijah died 1913 Wallsend, age 81 (Mining Overseer / Mayor of Wallsend 1882, 1886 and 1894 for the 4th time) Siblings: Ann b.1860 – marr Cummings – d.1920; Thomas b.1862 –d.1947; Susan b.1864 – marr John BOWER – d.30/4/1917 (lost her eldest son William (Pte 4067) – DOW 6/2/1917); Alexander b.1867 – d.1939; Elizabeth b.1869 – marr Edward Lockley 1914; John William b.1875 – d.1928 NSW, age 53; Sarah Jane b.1878 (nurse) – d.1958 Chatswood Educated at the Superior Public School, Wallsend *3 months as a Probationary Nurse at Wallsend Hospital, in place of Miss Garaty – 1894 *Trained Newcastle Hospital, NSW – Oct 1895 – Oct 1898 [passed her final (or 3rd year) exam in Aug 1898] – continued nursing there until July 1900 as Charge Sister Private Nursing July 1900 to March 1901 / Sub-Matron, Infant’s Home, Ashfield March 1901 to Feb 1902 / Private Nursing Feb 1902 to June 1904 / Royal Hospital for Women June 1904 to Dec 1904 / Private Nursing Dec 1904 until leaving for England “Her services were secured by the Government on two occasions when special staffs of nurses were engaged to cope with serious epidemics at Coonamble and at Newcastle.” *1910 Lawson, NSW – 1912 Turanville, Scone, NSW *Infant Welfare work at the Babies Hospital, St Peters, SA and Perth Children’s Hospital (Dec 1914) *Attached Phillip St Nurse’s Home *Foundation Member of the ATNA WW1 Service: Travelled to England (with Nurse Ellen Lowe, age 43) by the RMS Arabia, embarking Sydney 18th September 1915 – and arriving Tilbury 1/11/1915 Crossed to France 19/11/1915 with the French Flag Nursing Corps (with Ellen Lowe and Mabel Gale) Served at the Military Hospital at Talence, near Bordeaux AVH – she is on the list of nurses serving at the Australian Voluntary Hospital (AVH) when it was taken over by the War Office in July 1916 and renamed 32nd Stationary Hospital – recommended to join Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve (QAIMNSR) by the AVH Matron, Ida Greaves QAIMNSR Service Record: [NOK: her sister Mrs E Lockley, Ridge St, Gordon, NSW] Transferred to the QAIMNSR from the AVH 1/7/1916 – continued working at the newly named 32nd Stationary Hosp, Wimereux Leave 17/3/1917 10th Stationary Hospital 15/7/1917 3 and 4 Ambulance Flotilla 16/7/1917 (hospital barges on the Canal) 10 Stationary Hosp 14th General Hosp, Boulogne 14/9/1917 14 days Leave 30/12/1917 2nd Casualty Clearing Station 15/3/1918 – 15th CCS 9/4/1918 – 2nd CCS 12/5/1918 – 11th CCS 17/6/1918 – 62nd CCS 12/7/1918 26th General Hosp 20/11/1918 Report by Matron – 26th General Hospital, 1/4/1919: Miss Abell has worked in this hospital since 20/11/1918 to present date – during that time she has had charge of both medical and surgical wards. She is a thoroughly sensible practical nurse, capable and reliable. Is tactful, punctual, kind, sound in her judgement, loyal to those in authority, and keeps an excellent tone in her wards. I consider her suitable for promotion. To UK to be demobilized 18/4/1919 – service terminated 26/4/1919 “Awarded the Royal Red Cross Advices just received describe the hasty removal of an important casualty clearing station immediately behind the lines on the Western front owing to the Allied army being pressed back by the oncoming German forces during a recent offensive. Less than half an hour’s warning was given to the staff to prepare to leave with the wounded patients and to pack as best they could all the surgical appliances and stores. Doctors and nurses worked heroically, and while hospitals in the vicinity were being deliberately bombed by German aircraft, succeeded in re-establishing the station in a safer quarter. Sister Abell, who has now been honoured with the Royal Red Cross, was one of the heroic band of nurses.” Received her RRC (2nd Class) from the King 15/5/1919 at Buckingham Palace Returned to Australia on the Katoomba, embarking 7/8/1919, and arriving Sydney 25/9/1919 Returned for a visit to her birthplace, Wallsend, in October and attended a Welcome Home in the Masonic Hall on the 3/11/1919 Nursed at the Repatriation Department’s Lady Davidson Home at Turramurra – from her return to Australia until retiring from the institution in 1933 (2nd in charge) 1920 – residing with her sister Elizabeth at Gordon, NSW Electoral Rolls: 1936 ER: Burbank, Wentworth Falls, NSW – nursing sister 1937 ER: Red Cross Farm, Exeter, NSW - nurse 1943 ER: 123 Prince Edward St, Malabar, NSW – home duties 1949 ER: 29 Ridge St, Gordon – nursing sister (also with her was Sarah Jane – nurse) 1954 ER: 79 Boundary St, Roseville – no occupation 1958 ER: 17 Edward St, Gordon – no occ Died on the 21st of July 1959 at the Lady Gowrie Nursing Home, Edward St, Gordon, NSW, age 87 (reg. Chatswood, NSW) Cremated Northern Suburbs Crematorium Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW), Wed 1 Aug 1894 (p.8): WALLSEND HOSPITAL ………………………………………………………………………………. The question of the probationary nurse was introduced. It appears that since the illness of Miss Garaty, Miss Lydia Abell has been acting, and giving such general satisfaction that it was decided that she should remain the full term of three months for which she was engaged, and that Miss Garaty be granted another month’s leave of absence. The Blue Mountain Echo (NSW), Fri 30 Dec 1910 (p.9): Late Lawson Nurse Abel [sic], a member of the A.T.N.A. has taken up her residence here, and much satisfaction is expressed that a nurse of her standing and qualification is available in case of sickness, there being no resident doctor in the district. There should be a good opening for a trained nurse under the circumstances. The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 18 Sept 1915: PERSONAL Nurse L Abell, of Newcastle and Sydney, one of the first members of the Australian Trained Nurses’ Association, and Nurse Ellen Lowe, matron of the State Hospital at Barren Jack, leave Sydney to-day, by the P and O Company’s RMS Arabia, to volunteer their services, for work with the military hospitals in France. The British Journal of Nursing, Nov 20, 1915: FRENCH FLAG NURSING CORPS ……………………………. All being well Miss Mabel Gale, Miss Ellen Lowe, and Miss Lydia Abell, holding certificates of three years’ training, and the Certificate of Registration of the Australasian Trained Nurses’ Association, leave for Paris on the 19th inst. The Sun (Sydney, NSW), Sun 9 Jan 1916 (p.17): Social Gossip Miss Lydia Abell, a Sydney nurse, is staying at the Nurses’ Club, Norfolk-square, London. The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 17 Jul 1918: A NURSE ON SHIRKERS “THEY WILL BE SORRY SOME DAY.” Staff-Nurse L. Abell, of Sydney, who three years ago proceeded to France to offer her services to the military authorities, and who is attached to Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve, writing to a friend from a casualty clearing station behind the lines, says: - “Much as I would like to come home, I do not wish to leave the boys or my work. I went with the other nurses to one of the camps this morning, and the boys were delighted to see us, and made us very welcome. Most of them are from New South Wales, and I am going again to-morrow, because they will not be here long. They are dear brave boys, and I am proud of them. Those who could have come and didn’t will be sorry some day.” The Sydney Morning Herald, Thur 8 Aug 1918: SYDNEY NURSE HONOURED [Photo] SISTER LYDIA ABELL Awarded the Royal Red Cross Advices just received describe the hasty removal of an important casualty clearing station immediately behind the lines on the Western front owing to the Allied army being pressed back by the oncoming German forces during a recent offensive. Less than half an hour’s warning was given to the staff to prepare to leave with the wounded patients and to pack as best they could all the surgical appliances and stores. Doctors and nurses worked heroically, and while hospitals in the vicinity were being deliberately bombed by German aircraft, succeeded in re-establishing the station in a safer quarter. Sister Abell, who has now been honoured with the Royal Red Cross, was one of the heroic band of nurses. Sister Abell, who is a native of Wallsend, was trained at the Newcastle Hospital, and eventually became a charge nurse at that institution. Matron Greaves, of the Australian Voluntary Hospital, and Matron Veenman, of the Randwick Military Hospital, both of whom were some time ago decorated with the Royal Red Cross, were among her colleagues at Newcastle. For some years Sister Abell continued the practice of her profession in Sydney, and was attached to the Phillip-street Nurses’ Home. Her services were secured by the Government on two occasions when special staffs of nurses were engaged to cope with serious epidemics at Coonamble and at Newcastle. Sister Abell is one of the foundation members of the Australasian Trained Nurses Association. Desiring to assist in war work, Sister Abell in September 1915, proceeded at her own expense to London and France to volunteer her services to the military authorities, and was at once attached to Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve. She was appointed to a military hospital at Talence, near Bordeaux, then transferred to the 32nd Stationary Hospital at Boulogne, and afterwards was chosen for hospital barge work on one of the canals, and was frequently under fire. Subsequently she received an appointment to the 14th General Stationary Hospital at Boulogne, and later was selected for duty at casualty clearing stations in the danger zone. Sister Abell is at present the only Australian nurse on the staff of the No. 2 Casualty Clearing Station “somewhere in France.” The British Journal of Nursing, May 24, 1919: HONOURS FOR NURSES The King held an Investiture in the Quadrangle of Buckingham Palace on the morning of May 15th, and conferred, amongst others, the following decorations. The Royal Red Cross SECOND CLASS Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Militiary Nursing Service Reserve - …………….., and Staff Nurse Lydia Abell The Sydney Morning Herald, Fri 11 Jul 1919: [photo – very dark] SISTER L. ABELL, R.R.C. Advices have just been received from London, stating that on May 15 Sister L. Abell, of Sydney, was decorated at Buckingham Palace by his Majesty the King with the Royal Red Cross. Sister Abell, who is a native of Wallsend, was trained at the Newcastle Hospital, and eventually became a charge nurse at that institution. For some years she continued the practice of her profession in Sydney, and was attached to the Phillip-street Nurses’ Home. Desiring to assist in war work, Sister Abell in September 1915, proceeded at her own expense to London and France to volunteer her services to the military authorities, and was at once attached to Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve. The Sydney Morning Herald, Fri 26 Sept 1919: PERSONAL Sister L Abell, who was recently decorated by the King at Buckingham Palace with the Royal Red Cross and subsequently entertained by Queen Alexandra at Marlborough House, returned yesterday by the transport Katoomba. ……………………………………………………………………. The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 4 Nov 1919: NURSING SISTER HONOURED NEWCASTLE, Monday A welcome home to a number of local returned soldiers was held in the Masonic Hall at Wallsend to-night. The Mayor (Alderman T. Abel) occupied the chair. A prominent figure among the returned heroes was Sister L. Abell, R.R.C. Sister Abell, who is well-known in the Wallsend district, where she was born, enlisted for active service in 1915, and served in France and Belgium. For gallantry and devotion to duty she was awarded the Royal Red Cross, which decoration she received at the hands of the King at Buckinham Palace. She returned to her birthplace a few weeks ago. Sister Abell was trained at the Newcastle Hospital. Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (NSW), Wed 5 Nov 1919 (p.3): DISTRICT NEWS WALLSEND AND PLATTSBURG A well-attended welcome home, tendered to returned soldiers, by the members of the Red Cross Society, Comforts Fund, and Citizens’ Committee, was held at the Masonic Hall on Monday evening. The returned men present were……………… Sister Abell recently returned, was also welcomed. …………………….. After refreshments had been partaken of, the Mayor, who presided, proposed the loyal toast, after which he tendered a cordial welcome to Sister Abell, and the returned soldiers. Sister Abell had, he said, seen four years of service, and had the honour of winning the Royal Red Cross, in recognition of the way in which she had carried out her duty. ……………………………… Rev C.G. Walkom, who supported the toast, ………………………, congratulating Sister Abell on the distinction she had gained, and wishing all long life and prosperity. The chairman presented Sister Abell with a gold medallion brooch, as a mark of esteem, ……………………… Mr A. Abell responded on behalf of his sister, returning thanks for the present, and expressing appreciation of the kind remarks that had been made. ………………………… The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 14 Jun 1933: SISTER L ABELL Royal Red Cross Nurse Retires Sister L Abell, who has been on the staff of the Lady Davidson Home, at Turramurra for the past 12 years, has retired from the service of the Repatriation Department. [Photo] Sister Abell, who is a native of Wallsend, was trained at the Newcastle Hospital, and later continued to practise her profession in Sydney. She is one of the foundation members of the Australasian Trained Nurses’ Association. In September 1915, desiring to assist in war work, Sister Abell proceeded to London at her own expense to volunteer her services, and was immediately attached to Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve. She was appointed to a military hospital at Talence, near Boreaux, then transferred to the 32nd Stationary Hospital at Boulogne, and afterwards was chosen for hospital barge work on one of the canals, being frequently under fire. Subsequently she received an appointment to the 14th General Stationary Hospital at Boulogne, and still later was selected for duty at casualty clearing stations in the danger zone. On May 15, 1919, Sister Abell was decorated with the Royal Red Cross by his Majesty the King at Buckingham Palace. A farewell party was tendered Sister Abell at the Lady Davidson Home on Monday night. Dr F.R. Featherstone, medical superintendent, on behalf of the patients and staff, presented Sister Abell with a travelling clock and a wallet of notes. He eulogised her splendid war services, and said she had given 18 years of life serving the interests of the Digger. He had never heard her say a word to the detriment of the Australian soldier, and he viewed her going as a personal loss. The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 13 Jan 1934: PERSONAL Sister L. Abell, R.R.C., who recently retired from the postion of second-in-charge at the Lady Davidson Home at Turramurra, was yesterday presented with a travelling clock by members of the T.B. Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Association. Mr L.V. Spence, vice-president said that Sister Abell had rendered splendid service during her many years’ association with the home. Notes: The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 10 Mar 1920: THE LADY DAVIDSON RED CROSS HOME With the consent of the president of the New South Wales division of the Red Cross (Dame Margaret Davidson, D.B.E.), and with the approval of the Defence Department, it has been decided to name the new sanatorium for consumptives The Lady Davidson Red Cross Home. The home is about six miles from Turramurra railway station, near the entrance to Kuringal Chase. The executive committee of the New South Wales division of the Red Cross Society desired that the name of Lady Davidson should be permanently associated with a prominent Red Cross institution in this State, as a token of their appreciation of the great interest taken by her in all the activities of the Red Cross during the war period and since the conclusion of peace. There is at present accommodation for 75 T.B. patients in The Lady Davidson Red Cross Home, but this will subsequently be increased to make adequate provision for at least 100 patients. The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 21 Apr 1928: MR J.W. ABELL Mr John William Abell, who for more than30 years had been an officer of the Department of Education of New South Wales, died suddenly on Thursday at his home in Durham-street, Stanmore. Joining the department in 1895, Mr Abell was appointed ……… Mr Abell, who is 53 years of age, …………… Sister L Abell, RRC, of the Lady Davidson Home, Nurse Jane Abell, and Mrs Lockley, of Gordon, are sisters. The funeral took place yesterday at the Rookwood Crematorium.