• A E Betts

Stories and comments
    • BETTS, Annie Elizabeth – Sister, QAIMNSR, AARC
    • Posted by FrevFord, Thursday, 1 February 2018

    Born on the 26th of March 1877 in Vic – daughter of Frederick Vincent BETTS (Miner / Mining Engineer) and Annie EVANS, who married in Vic in 1875 Annie died in 1877, aged 20 (possibly due to childbirth complications) Vincent remarried to Isabella Michell CONROY in 1891 in Tas – he died on the 4/9/1920 at Hurdle Flat, Beechworth, Vic, aged 73 Educated in Tasmania Trained in nursing at the Hobart General Hospital 1900 to 1903 – appointed Sister Jan 1904 – resigned as Senior Sister in Aug 1906 to accept an appointment in Sydney Dungog Hospital Private Nursing, Victoria Appointed Sister at the Sick Children’s Hospital, Brisbane in 1908 until 1910, and again from 1911 to 1913 Sister, Royal Alexander Hospital, Sydney from June 1913 to January 1914 Together with her friend Alice Hall, she embarked at Sydney 18/2/1914 on the SS Ceramic for England – arriving Tilbury Docks, London 13/4/1914 – and travelled through England, part of Scotland, France, and Switzerland, etc WW1 Service: Still in the UK when war broke out, she served for 6 months from October 1914 to April 1915 at the British Military Hospital, Netley (Netley Huts) She then applied to join the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve (QAIMNSR) on the 12/5/1915 (listing both her parents as dead and her NOK as her Aunt Annie, Mrs Howard Betts of Leichardt, Sydney) – and was posted to the Military Hospital at Gibraltar 3/6/1915, where she served throughout the rest of the war Annual Confidential Matron’s Report, Gibraltar, 30/10/1915: Sister Betts has served under me since June 1915. Her general professional ability is up to the standard of her rank. She is a good practical nurse and her ward is always well kept in good order; she looks after the upkeep of all equipment in her charge. She is very good at instructing orderlies theoretically; but does not find it very easy to work with them. She is energetic …………. and finished in her work; interested in her patients and attentive to their wants. She has not acted in a rank higher than she at present holds. I consider that with the necessary experience she would be fitted for promotion. Annual Confidential Matron’s Report, Gibraltar, 7/11/1916: Sister Betts has worked under me for 18 months and I have found her a most capable Sister and Ward Manager. She is most reliable, punctual and takes a keen interest in all she undertakes. She is most tactful with her orderlies and trains them well. Her administrative capacity is very good. She has not acted in a higher grade, but I can recommend her for promotion in due course. Awarded the Royal Red Cross, Second Class in 1919 Returned to England from Gibraltar on the RMS Arzila, arriving 12/7/1919 Posted to the Military Hospital at Colchester 15/7/1919 for temporary duty pending repatriation Having travelled to the UK pre-war at her own expense, it was determined that she was not entitled to repatriation at the British Government expense, and the Matron-in-Chief directed that her temporary engagement with the QAIMNSR be terminated She wrote to her Matron at Colchester: “I cannot understand why I am not eligible for repatriation at the Governement expense, Sister A.M. Hall came from Australia with me on 18-2-14, for the same purpose, joining the Q.A. (R) the same date, and has done the same length of service, and she was repatriated July last. As I have no friends in England can I be temporarily employed with the Q.A. (R) till such time as I can get a passage.” Letter from the Matron to the O.C., Military Hospital, Colchester, 24/9/1919: “I have the honour to request that the undermentioned lady may be continued to be employed on temporary duty on compassionate grounds, till such time as she can arrange a passage to Australia. Sister Betts has not any friends in England, and would be obliged to keep herself until she sailed. Lodgings are difficult to obtain, and the cost of living is very high. She is of course debarred from taking up a civil post here, as she may get her sailing orders at any time.” The request was accepted and she remained at Colchester until the 26/12/1919 Repatriated under the “Overseas Settlement” scheme, she returned to Australia on the HT Ulysses embarking 27/12/1919 and arriving Sydney 20/2/1920 Staying with her Aunt at Leichardt, NSW, in March 1920 and then with friends in Tasmania in April 1920 Married Michael John BARRY on the 2nd of July 1930 at St Mary’s Church, Waverley, Sydney [From Co. Limerick, Ireland, he was the son of James and Mary BARRY] Following their marriage the couple lived at 1 Howard, St, Lindfield, where Michael (who had been listed as having no occupation) died on the 13/1/1939. Annie Elizabeth stayed on in their home until at least 1954, and was possibly living at 345 Penshurst St, Chatswood between at least 1958 and 1963 She was a resident of Dynnyrne, Hobart, Tas at the time of her death in 1964 Died in Hobart, Tas in July 1964, aged 87 Cremated 29/7/1964 and her ashes interred in the Cornelian Bay Cemetery – Derwent Gardens, Niche Wall, Sect 1, No.4, Row G The Mercury (Hobart, Tas), Sat 14 Jul 1900 (p.6): HOBART HOSPITAL BOARD ……………………………and Miss Betts came on trial duty on the 11th instant. The Mercury (Hobart, Tas), Sat 11 Jan 1902 (p.5): HOBART HOSPITAL ……….second year’s training: Nurses Betts, ………………………. The Mercury (Hobart, Tas), Sat 18 Apr 1903 (p.2): HOBART HOSPITAL The House Surgeon reported on the 7th inst that Nurses Betts, Clarke, and Wheeldon had passed their final examinations with great credit. The Mercury (Hobart, Tas), Sat 12 Dec 1903 (p.8): HOBART GENERAL HOSPITAL It has been decided to promote senior staff nurse Betts to be a “sister,” the appointment to take effect on 1st January next. The Mercury (Hobart, Tas), Sat 11 Aug 1906 (p.8): HOBART GENERAL HOSPITAL In connection with the nursing staff, the committee regrets very much having to report the resignation of the senior sister, Miss A.E. Betts, who has received an appointment in Sydney, ………………….. Dungog Chronicle: Durham and Gloucester Advertiser (NSW), Fri 28 May 1915 (p.2): Australian Nurses Mr W.O. Skillen has shown us a copy of “The Nurse,” a magazine which contains a letter from Nurse Gertrude Faddy, late of Paterson, who is at present in Netley, Hants, England, together with Nurse Betts, who was at one time in Dungog Hospital. There are 65 nurses at the hospital, in addition to 25 Japanese nurses and two doctors who have signed on for the duration of the war. There are many other Australian nurses in England and France doing good work. The British Journal of Nursing, June 2, 1919: The King has been pleased to award the Royal Red Cross to the following ladies in recognition of their valuable service in connection with the war:- Royal Red Cross, Second Class GIBRALTAR Miss A.E. Betts, Sister, Q.A.I.M.N.S.R., Military Hospital, Gibraltar. The Mercury (Hobart), Tue 19 Aug 1919 (p.6): PERSONAL The friends of Miss A.E. Betts, who trained in the Hobart General Hospital, and has been one of the nursing sisters at the Military Hospital, Gibraltar, for the last four years, will be pleased to learn that she has been mentioned among the Birthday Honours, and been awarded the Royal Red Cross, which will be presented to her upon her return to England with the military nursing staff to be disbanded. After finishing her training at the Hobart General Hospital, Sister Betts took up private nursing for a while in Victoria, and from there went to the Brisbane Children’s Hospital. She was there two or three years, and went from there to the Children’s Hospital in Sydney. While there she and Sister Hall decided to take a trip to England. They left Australia in February 1914; travelled through England, part of Scotland, France, and Switzerland, etc. When the war started they applied for positions as nursing sisters with the Australians. They were at Netley Huts for six months, and from there they went with Q.A.I.M.N.S.R. to Gibraltar, where she has been ever since. While there she has often been into Spain, across to Algiers, etc., seen many places and people, taken many snapshots, and written many interesting letters. She is a niece of the late Mr J.R. Betts, and grand-daughter of the late Richard Allwright, Sydney Cottage, Broadmarsh. [Great grand-daughter] The Mercury (Hobart), Mon 12 Jan1920 (p.4): PERSONAL Friends of Nursing Sister A.E. Betts have received a cable, intimating she is returning to Australia by the Ulysses, which left England about December 27. The Australasian (Melb, Vic), Sat 10 Apr 1920 (p.37): THE HOBART SEASON Miss A.E. Betts came from Sydney last week, and is staying with friends in the country after over five years’ work as a military nurse in Gibraltar and England. A few days before leaving England, in December, Sister Betts received the Royal Red Cross from the King at Buckingham Palace. The Mercury (Hobart), Tue 5 Aug 1930: MARRIAGES BARRY – BETTS – On July 2nd, 1930, at St Mary’s Church, Waverley, Sydney, by the Rev Canon Riley, Michael John Barry, of Co. Limerick, Ireland, to Annie Elizabeth Betts, daughter of the late Vincent Betts, Broadmarsh, Tasmania. [ANA MT1487/1 file – Letter from Irish soldier 8/8/1934, Newbliss, County Monaghan] To the Chief of Police, Sydney, NSW Sir, Would I be asking too much of you in seeking the whereabouts of Miss A.E. Betts (as per address on enclosed letter) and if possible to hand her this letter. I was one of the first who got knocked out at Mons and she was the nurse who nursed me back to health. I desire to again get in touch with her. The enclosed letter is to be handed to her. Thank you. Yours very truly, (Sgd) Thomas Farrell She belonged to Sydney, that is all I know of her home address. The Sydney Morning Herald, Mon 16 Jan 1939: DEATHS BARRY – January 13, 1939, at Howard St, Lindfield, Michael John, beloved husband of Elizabeth Barry. Privately cremated. Tasmanian paper (“Mercury”) please copy.