• M R Boniface

  • British War Medal
  • Victory Medal
Stories and comments
    • BONIFACE, Mabel Rose Mary – Staff Nurse, QAIMNSR
    • Posted by FrevFord, Monday, 27 October 2014

    Born 25/5/1885 Hackney, London – daughter of John Dolphin BONIFACE and Mary ROBINSON John, a Commercial clerk / Private secretary, died in 1912 England and Mary died in 1942 at her daughter Mabel’s residence at Balmoral Beach, NSW Siblings: Gertrude b.1887 England; Sidney John b.1889 England (Brit forces: Pte DM2/168967, ASC) – marr Raie LARTER 1935 Mosman Educated: Girl’s School – Lawley St, Clapton and Clarks Civil Service College, Chancery Lane, London Trained: St Marlyebone Infirmary Mar 1908 – Mar 1911 [also a Certified Massuese] Employment In the UK: Staff nurse, Channing Cross Hosp, Mar 1911 – Mar 1912; Night Sister, 5 months East End Mothers Home. In Australia: St Margaret’s Hospital, Sydney, NSW; St Evins Private Hospital, Melbourne; Bush Nursing, Meeniyan, Vic and Bush Nursing, Jindabyne, NSW 1913 - 1915 Emmigrated to Australia late 1912 WW1 Service Record: NOK, mother – Mrs J.D. Boniface, The Caves, Stanthorpe, Qld – and later, Lupin Lodge, Marius Rd, Balham, London Embarked Brisbane, Qld 26/5/1915 on the Osterley – arriving London 17/7/1915 Joined the QAIMNSR and served at the Royal Military Hospital at Devonport from 7/8/1915 Confidential Report, Matron Cox, Devonport, 17/7/1916: “Staff Nurse Boniface has worked under me since August 1915. Her professional ability is good, she is exceedingly kind to her patients and very reliable. Miss Boniface is good tempered, tactful and self reliant. I consider she is fitted for promotion.” Served in France from 25/8/1916 at the 23rd General Hospital, Etaples – and from 16/11/16 at the 24th Gen Hosp – 7/12/16 at the 12th CCS Resigned from overseas service to return to England 14/3/1917 – due to her mother’s dependence on her at a time of ill health (her mother had travelled to England in 1916 to be close to her and her brother – she apparently also worked at some stage at the Red Cross Depot, helping to make artificial limbs) All Mabel’s kit was lost on the return journey to the UK April 1917 – appointed Night Superintendent at City of Westminster Union Infirmary, Fulham Rd, S.W. Re-applied to join the QAIMNSR, and posted to Parkhurst 19/12/17 – resigned again 11/12/18 in order to return to Australia with her mother RTA 2/1/1919 on the Berrima (free passage in return for service) Sept 1919 – Matron of Scarborough House Red Cross Convalescent Home, Dolls Point, Sandringham, NSW Married Frank Roper CLUETT in 1920 at Gosford, NSW [Frank b.1893 Parramatta, NSW – son of Frank Ernest CLUETT and Ida Amelia GEERTSEN WW1: Sapper 147, 1st FCE, AIF – had his back broken by shrapnel at Gallipoli 30/4/1915 – RTA on the Kanowna 20/10/15 - 20/11/15 (His brother Ernest was KIA 7/8/1915 Gallipoli) Motor cycle accident 1921: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/118917832 Fishing-boat donated to him and another disabled soldier in 1927: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/16403896 Died 30/1/1940 at home in Balmoral Beach, Sydney, NSW, age 46 (Northern Suburbs Crematorium)] In 1921 Mabel queried whether she could be enrolled on the Permanent Reserve of the QAIMNS No children Addresses: 1921: C/- Frank Cluett Esq, Carinya Cottage, Bayview, NSW 1931: “Sunnyside,” Balmoral Beach is the private home of Mrs Cluett, nurse, who accommodates patients convalescing under the Far West Children’s Health Scheme. 1940: 41 The Esplanade, Balmoral Beach, NSW Still living 41 The Esplanade, Balmoral Beach, Sydney in 1967 when she applied for Frank’s Gallipoli Medallion Died 3/5/1974 at her residence, Cardinal St, Mosman, NSW Buried in the Catholic Section of the Northern Suburbs Cemetery The British Journal of Nursing, Apr 21, 1917: APPOINTMENTS NIGHT SUPERINTENDENT City of Westminster Union Infirmary, Fulham Road, S.W. – Miss M.R.M. Boniface has been appointed Night Superintendent. She was trained at the St Marylebone Infirmary, and has been Staff Nurse at Charing Cross Hospital, Night Superintendent and Labour Sister at the East End Mothers’ Home, Sister at a private hospital in Melbourne, and at St Margaret’s Hospital, Sydney, and Bush Nurse at Meeniyan, Gippsland, Victoria. She has also had experience of private and Military nursing and is a certified masseuse. Evening News (Sydney, NSW), Fri 28 Feb 1919 (p.2): Imperial Nurse Returns The uniform worn by the members of the Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nursing Service, with its neat cape bordered with scarlet, is so seldom seen in Sydney that it attracts attention when it does appear. The wearer of one of these uniforms in Sydney this week was Sister Boniface, who returned to Sydney by the steamer Berrima. Sister Boniface, who was trained in London, came to Australia in 1912, and joined the staff of St Evins, in Melbourne. Later, she took up bush nursing in Gippsland, and, coming to New South Wales continued the work at Jindabyne, near Mount Kosciusko. When war broke out she left Sydney in March 1915, for London, where she joined the Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nursing Service. She was attached to the Royal Military Hospital at Devonport and later at No.23 General Hospital at Etaples, France, and was then then transferred to No. 12 Casualty Clearing Station near Ypres, where she had charge of heart cases for the Second Army and her patients included many Australians and Tasmanians. Sister Boniface left England in December by the Berrima, on transport duty. In addition to her Q.A. badge, she has the Star which signifies that the wearer was on active service before June 1915. Sister Boniface’s mother, although over 60 years of age, went to England in 1916, to take up war work. She has been helping to make artificial limbs at the Red Cross Depot at Plymouth. She will be returning to Sydney shortly. The Sydney Morning Herald, Mon 8 Sept 1919 (p.6): SCARBOROUGH ANOTHER RED CROSS HOME OPENED BY LADY DAVIDSON ‘The Red Cross Society looked after the Diggers and continues to look after them. Its good work will live for ever. My best wishes for the soldiers’ home. Nothing is too good for the Diggers.’ (Signed William Hughes). The foregoing telegraphic message from the Prime Minister was read on Saturday afternoon by Sergeant-major Furay at the official opening of a Red Cross Convalescent Home for Soldiers at Dolls Point, Sandringham, …………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………….. The home is staffed by the V.A.D.s of Bexley, St George (Rockdale), and Cronulla. Their work is carried on under the direction of Sister Boniface, RRC, matron, who, while attached to the Queen Alexandra Imperial Army Nursing Reserve, saw service in France. The sister coadjutrix is Sister H.M. Pierce, of the Australian Army Medical Corps, who served in Egypt. ………………………………………………………………………………….. Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW), Sat 30 May 1931 (p.3): FAR WEST CHILDREN’S HEALTH SCHEME …………………………………………………………………………….. Broken Hill Patients ……………………………………………………………………. No. 48 – Has had surgical treatment for foot. Discharged from hospital 28th May. Convalescing at “Sunnyside,” Balmoral Beach. Leaving for home on June 1. No. 49 – Discharged from hospital May 28, after treatment for knee. Convalescing at “Sunnyside,” Balmoral Beach. Leaving for Broken Hill 1st June. No. 50 – Patient decided not to have surgical treatment as only slight improvement was likely to result. Convalescing at “Sunnyside,” Balmoral Beach. Returns June 1. [“Sunnyside,” Balmoral Beach is the private home of Mrs Cluett, nurse, who accommodates patients convalescing under the Far West Children’s Health Scheme.] The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate (NSW), Thur 28 Jul 1938 (p.7): DIGGER OF BALMORAL And His Fox Terrier (By S.W.) In a cottage facing the Balmoral Beach lives Digger Frank Cluett and his wife. Frank is paying the price of war, being confined to his bed and chair. He is a born gentleman, and is admired by all who know him. His popularity may be judged by the throngs of fine young men who constantly visit him. Any time during the day a group of lads can be seen by his bedside or chair, and his words of advice, his sense of humour and the undoubted love that these lads have for this Digger make one think what a fine example of humanity this man is, and what a wonderful effect he is having on the lives of these youths. (In his early life he devoted most of his time to training of youths in seafaring.) Frank is the owner of a fox terrier which shows his appreciation for his master in the following manner: AN UNPLEASANT AWAKENING During the earlier hours of the morning the foxie leaves Frank’s bedside, and about 8 o’clock returns with a piece of meat (which he has evidently rescued from a garbage tin) and jumps on his master’s bed. If he is asleep the dog drops it on his pillow, but if Frank is awake he places it on his chest. If nothing else wakes Frank, the high odor of his dog’s tribute does. The same thing happens between 12 and 1. Sometimes the dog secures a double supply on his daily search, and in that case he buries the surplus, which is unearthed when the foxie has had a fruitless search. When Frank is enjoying a visit from his friends, the dog runs about the house and barks continuously – but should the Digger be asleep the dog can never be heard. I lived for two weeks in the same house as this soldier and can vouch for the accuracy of this statement. The Sydney Morning Herald, 4 May 1974 (p.56): DEATHS CLUETT, Mabel Rosemary – May 3, 1974 at her residence, Cardinal Street, Mosman, dearly beloved wife of the late Frank Cluett, loved sister of Sidney Boniface and dear aunt of Robert and John Boniface. May she rest in peace. FUNERALS CLUETT – Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of the late MABEL ROSEMARY CLUETT, of Cardinal Street, Mosman, will be celebrated at the Sacred Heart Church, Cardinal Street, Mosman, on Monday May 6, at 10 am. The funeral will leave the church after Mass for the Catholic Cemetery Northern Suburbs.