• S Mciver

  • British War Medal
  • Victory Medal
Stories and comments
    • Sarah Jane McIver, QAIMNS-R
    • Posted by ResearchBuff, Wednesday, 5 January 2022

    Sarah was born in Scotland (possibly Glasgow) c1867 to parents Patrick and Elizabeth McMenemy. Spouse (no marriage certificate found) Dr Francis Alphonsus MACIVER who studied at Edinburgh University and by 1986 had a medical practise in Bendigo (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/88543898). He was also vice-president of Sandhurst football club (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/88887027). Francis died on 8/8/1889 aged 41 at Sandhurst (Bendigo) Victoria, leaving Sarah with an infant son, Leo Aloysius MacIver, born on 12/6/1889 (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/88588079). As Mrs McIver, Sarah was acting matron at the Nhill Hospital ‘for some years’ (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/59993061 (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/129551503; https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/72890980) leaving to take up the Matron position at the hospital in Waratah, Tasmania in early 1915. By mid-October she had returned to Melbourne, stating her address as the luxury temperance hotel ‘Victoria Coffee Palace’ Collins Street (NAA 30230335). She enlisted in the QAIMNS-R from Melbourne on 12/12/1915 and set sail for England via Suez six days later. After arriving in England on 10/2/1916, Sarah was posted to Wharnecliffe Hospital, Sheffield. She was granted 10 days leave that was spent in Scotland possibly visiting her sister in Glasgow, and also Redcar Yorkshire (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/129558808) where her niece was a religious sister at the Dominican Convent. Arriving in France in April 1916, she commenced work at 16GH Le Treport, France and on 13/6/1917 took charge of a medical ward in 47GH Dieppe. Acting Matron E. M. Lang RRC described her as ‘... a very capable nurse’ and ‘manages her ward and patients well.’ On 29/3/1918, Sarah was posted to 8SH Wimereux, remaining until May 1919 when she was sent to the Kitchener Hospital in Brighton, England. She resigned at the end of her contract and set sail for Melbourne 9/7/1919 per SS Friedrichruhe. Meanwhile, in February 1915 Leo enlisted as a Private in the 22nd Battalion AIF. He stated that he was 26, born in Edinburgh (probably Tasmania) (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/88588079) and worked as a surveyor’s assistant (his discharge papers state he was a school teacher). Leo initially served in Egypt and whilst recovering from neuralgia (service record) was able to meet up with Sarah for some sight-seeing. Perhaps to avoid any perceived stigma associated with neuralgia, Sarah wrote that Leo ‘...had just got over the bile’ (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/129558808). Leo later served in France where he was buried and wounded from an explosion, and experienced severe shell-shock. After being invalided to England he was treated in 2AAH Southall, 3AAH Dartford and 4SGH Glasgow. In May 1917 Leo embarked for Australia and was discharged from service on 9/8/1918 subsequent to debility and severe shell-shock. Leo never married and died suddenly on 24/9/1931 age 42. He is buried in Fawkner Cemetery (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/204329865). In 1931, Sarah was residing at 12 Hickford Street, Brunswick. She died aged 74 on 11/8/1941 and is also interred in Fawkner Cemetery, RC G section, plot 644 (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/205173122).