• Lily Mclaren

  • British War Medal
  • Victory Medal
Stories and comments
    • McLAREN, Lily – Staff Nurse, BRCS & OSJJ / AVH / QAIMNSR
    • Posted by FrevFord, Thursday, 10 November 2016

    Born on the 17th August 1877 at Armagh, South Australia – the daughter of Donald McLAREN and Emma WARD – who married on the 8/8/1864 at the Wesleyan Chapel, Carracalinga, SA Donald, a Grazier – died 7/7/1915 at the Grosvenor Private Hospital, Fremantle, age 74 Emma was living in Henry St, East Cannington, WA in 1916 – where she died on the 1/7/1933, age 90 Siblings: Charles Donald b.1865; William b.1867; Kate b.1869 (Mrs Hersey); Agnes (Mrs Folland); Frederick James b.1873; Joseph Henry b.1875 – Boer War – WW1: Cpl, Wireless Section of the Royal Engineers, German East Africa; Gilbert b.1879 (Rev) – marr Dorothy Annison MAY 11/4/1906 Subiaco – WW1: Hon Lieut, Military work with the Y.M.C.A. in France 1917 – RTA per Nestor 1/11/1919; Margaret b.1881 (Mrs Robertson); Walter b.1883 (Town Clerk); Alexander John b.1887 (Customs Clerk) *Religion: Methodist *Educated: Spalding Public School, SA *Trained in nursing at Fremantle Public Hospital, WA from December 1897 to May 1901, and continued on as Sister in Charge until December 1901 Coolgardie Hospital Charge Nurse, Kalgoorlie Government Hospital Matron, Southern Cross Government Hospital 1907 – 1908 Matron, Cue Hospital from February 1908 Matron, Bunbury Government Hospital from February to September 1909 Living with her mother in Salisbury St, Subiaco in 1910 Matron, Northam Public Hospital [Matron, Lake Way Hospital, Wiluna] In Tasmania in December 1913 Living with her mother at Pipe Track, East Cannington in 1914 Home address in 1915: 120 Mary St, Fremantle, WA “Prior to leaving Australia she held the position of matron at several of the country hospitals in this State [WA], including Southern Cross, Day Dawn and Wiluna.” WW1: In 1915, paying her own fare of £20 she proceeded from Fremantle to Adelaide on a Coastal vessel, and then sailed to the UK on the ss Beltana, leaving Adelaide on the 20/5/1915 and arriving at Plymouth 2/7/1915 *Served first with the British Red Cross from 1/8/1915 to 31/12/1915 at the Headquarters of the Red Cross Society, Boulogne, France *Joined the Australian Voluntary Hospital (AVH), Wimereux, France in February 1916 and served until the end of June 1916 “I thought the winter was going to finish me. It was not so bad in Boulogne as it is fairly warm there, but I had only been out here about three weeks when I got bronchitis and had to be sent away to another hospital where they nurse sick sisters and officers. I spent three weeks in bed and have been back on duty about a month. When I was convalescent I went out to Princess Louise’s convalescent home for sisters at Hardelot, and while there visited some very interesting old places.” *Transferred to Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve (QAIMNSR) when the AVH was taken over by the War Office 1/7/1916 and renamed the 32nd Stationary Hospital, where she continued to work 14 days Leave in the UK from the 3/1/1917 to the 17/1/1917 – a week of which she spent in Sligo, on the west coast of Ireland To Etretat 19/8/1917 – 30/8/1917, and then to the 2nd General Hospital on the 30th To the 52nd Stationary Hospital 10/10/1917 14 days Leave from the 23/10/1917 Admitted as a patient to the 2nd General Hospital with measles 23/11/1917, and discharged back to duty 6/12/1917 Admitted as a patient again on the 2/2/1918 with mumps – returning to duty on the 22/2/1918 Returned to the 52nd Stationary Hospital 1/3/1918 – transferred to the 37th Casualty Clearing Station (CCS) 31/5/1918 – then to the 8th General Hospital, Rouen 14 days Leave from the 26/6/1918 Report from Matron M.A. Forbes, QAIMNSR, 52nd Stationary Hospital, 6/8/1918: “This lady has served under me in this Unit from 10th October, 1917 to 31st May, 1918. She has been in charge of acute medical wards (infectious) has shewn tact and management in training of orderlies, devoted to care and treatment of patients. She is very capable, painstaking, and thorough in discharge of her duties. I consider her professional efficiency above the average, recommend her for advancement.” Report from A/Matron K Roscoe, No.8 General Hospital, 20/11/1918: Joined 31/5/1918 – 8/11/1918 “Since joining this Unit, Staff Nurse McLarens work has been most satisfactory. She has been in charge of Officers wards on night duty & has managed them very well, showing tact in dealing with patients, nursing staff & orderlies. Her professional qualifications are also of a high order.” In July 1918, Lily requested to be allowed to resign her appointment in the QAIMNSR, as she didn’t wish to renew her contract as a Staff Nurse – however, she was persuaded to withdraw her request. War Diary – Matron-in-Chief, Maud McCarthy 19.07.18 S/Nurse L. McLaren, QAIMNSR: Sent memo to DDMS Rouen with reference to the resignation of S/Nurse L. McLaren, QAIMNSR Australia, 8 General Hospital, on the grounds that she does not wish to sign on again as a Staff Nurse, asking if this lady is resigning solely on account of her desire to be promoted. If so, she should be informed that her name has been noted as suitable for promotion in due course, but that no date can be fixed. Posted to the 41st Stationary Hospital 9/11/1918 – then the 7th Stationary Hospital 25/11/1918 – followed by the Military Hospital Barges 27/11/1918 Admitted to the 14th General Hospital 15/2/1919 with Bronchial Catarrh, and transferred to the Convalescent Home at Hardelot on the 17/2/1919 Posted for duty to the 12th Stationary Hospital 1/3/1919 Left France for England 30/6/1919 to be demobilized and posted to the Birmingham Special Military Surgical Hospital for temporary duty 1/7/1919, pending repatriation to Australia Embarked in London 9/1/1920 on the Megantic – returning to Fremantle, WA Matron of the Gnowangerup Cottage Hospital from June 1920 Living in Williams, WA in 1922 On staff of the Williams District Hospital 1922 – 1923 Appointed matron of the Cue Hospital April 1923 Matron of the newly re-opened Southern Cross Hospital from June 1924 – serving for 9 years until November 1933 Took up the duties of District Nurse at Northcliffe in September 1937 1943 – living Northcliffe, WA Died on the 5th November 1945 at Pemberton Hospital, WA, aged 68 Buried in the Northcliffe Pioneer Cemetery, WA on the 8th November – Methodist section, Grave 67 Coolgardie Miner (WA), Mon 19 Aug 1907 (p.2): PERSONAL The appointment of Lily McLaren, charge nurse at the Kalgoorlie Hospital, to the position of matron of the Southern Cross Hospital has been gazetted. [both Government Hospitals] Coolgardie Miner (WA), Mon 18 Nov 1907 (p.3): PERSONAL The engagement is announced of Mr E.E. Heitmann, M.L.A., to Nurse Maclaren, matron of the Southern Cross Hospital. Coolgardie Miner (WA), Mon 25 Nov 1907 (p.3): PERSONAL It has been publicly stated by the press (on several occasions recently) that the member for Cue (Mr E.E. Heitmann) and Nurse MacLaren, of the Southern Cross Hospital, have “become engaged.” We now have it on the authority of at least one of the parties that such is not the case, and the report lacks foundation in fact. Murchison Advocate (WA), Sat 1 Feb 1908 (p.3): Miss M’Laren, from the Southern Cross Hospital, arrived by Friday nights’ train to fill the position as matron at the Cue Hospital. Miss M’Laren is a sister of the Rev Mr M’Laren of the Methodist Church, Cue. The Sun (Kalgoorlie, WA), Sun 7 Feb 1909 (p.7): Chats with the Cats Mrs Miller has taken up the duties of Acting-Matron at the Southern Cross Hospital, in the stead of Matron Lily Maclaren who has been transferred to the Matronship of the Bunbury Government Hospital. Bunbury Herald (WA), Tue 7 Sept 1909 (p.3): Social and Personal Nurse M’Laren, who has acted as matron of the Bunbury Hospital for a considerable time, left for her home at Subiaco last Saturday. The Black Range Courier and ……. (WA), Sat 13 Dec 1913 (p.2): General News At the special meeting of the Cue-Day Dawn Hospital committee held at Cue on Wednesday night to deal with the applications for the positions of matron and……………… The second preference for the position of matron fell to Matron M’Laren, who was also at one time matron of the Cue Hospital, but is at present in Tasmania. Northam Courier (WA), Fri 6 Nov 1914 (p.3): Personal Miss Lily McLaren who, several years ago, was for some months relieving matron at the local public hospital, is at present on a visit to Northam, and is staying with her brother, the Rev G. McLaren. The Sydney Morning Herald, Tue 4 Jan 1916 (p.6): MILITARY NURSES AUSTRALIANS’ ON ACTIVE SERVICE …………………………………………………………. We have only six Australians and myself on the Red Cross in France now, and, strange to say, three of them are Coast Hospital nurses; and one of the staff at the headquarters is Miss Lily McLaren, from Fremantle. ………………………………………………….. The Daily News (Perth, WA), Fri 17 Mar 1916 (p.3): Mainly About People Sister L. M’Laren of W.A., who has been for some time at the headquarters of the Red Cross Society at Boulogne, is now on service at the Australian Voluntary Hospital at Wimereux. Sunday Times (Perth, WA), Sun 2 Jul 1916 (p.9): Somewhere in France Pte E. St Ives Bilston, a Doodlakine soldier, writes from France, on May 8: – “Dear ‘Sunday Times,’ – Just a little news hoping I am not treading on forbidden ground as regards censorship. ……………………………………………………………… It turned out that my destination was the Australians Voluntary Hospital, Wimereux, Boulogne, right on the Channel, commonly known as Lady Dudley’s hospital, being under the personal supervision of Her Ladyship, who is constantly amongst the boys like a ministering angel. There I stayed 12 days, and was passed on with a mob to No. 5 Convalescent Camp, Wimereux, to make room. ……………………………………………….. “I cannot speak too highly of the treatment one gets at these hospitals from the entire staff at each, as well as visitors. Nothing but kindness and sympathetic consideration everywhere, and I am proud to say my friends are many, who seem to understand. ………………….. “Amongst the West Australian visitors I noticed Dr Hope (or his double), whilst Sister McLaren, formerly matron of the Southern Cross and other hospitals in W.A., is on the staff there – simply an angel without wings. The night I was admitted she was on the steps and asked me where I came from. On learning that it was W.A., she said, ‘See you later.’ I was taken to No. 3 floor (upstairs), and on the following morning she appeared with a later copy of ‘The Sunday Times’ than I had seen, also a ‘Western Mail,’ and used to come every morning to see me immediately after coming off night duty, which had a most cheering effect. The last I heard from her was per medium of a letter, in which she asks me, in the event of needing a friend or anything done, to apply to her, also to tell the boys to do so likewise. She is without doubt a noble lady; in fact, the Red Cross sisters are all noble. The ‘Western Mail’ contained the photos of one of her brothers (town clerk of Geraldton). The Rev. Gilbert McLaren, of Northam, is another brother, whilst a third is well known in Fremantle as twice mayor (past or present). …………………………………………………….. http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/58014766 The Northam Advertiser (WA), Wed 12 Jul 1916 (p.3): West Australian Nurse in France The following extracts are from a letter written by Nurse McLaren, sister to the Rev G. McLaren, and formerly Matron of the Southern Cross Hospital, but now a member of the nursing staff at the Australian Voluntary Hospital, Wimereux, France. She writes: – “It is a year all but a few days since I left Australia, and it seems almost a lifetime. Sometimes I wonder if there ever was really a time of peace. It certainly seems very far back in the past. Haven’t had any home letters for a long time, so am always wondering how things are out there. We are getting Australians here now, and have already had some. I know one I have at present; used to be my orderly at Bunbury. Another was an old Greenoughite. We celebrated Anzac Day here, and gave the patients all as good a time as possible. They – the original Anzacs – have some stories to tell, though strange to say none of them bear any ill-will towards the Turks. They all speak of them as good fellows and clean fighters. I wonder if you could ask any of your friends that take weekly papers if they would send them to me for the troops, or rather wounded, after they have read them. There are so few W.A. papers to give them, so I thought it a good idea to ask people to send them here. I myself haven’t seen half a dozen W.A. papers since I left. So I know how the patients feel when they get them. There is certainly a lot of news in them that is not true, but it is the actual home news that we want. We are having nice weather now, and the whole countryside is a picture. I have heard a lot about the English spring; if it is like the French, then England must be a Paradise in spring time. The fields are just carpeted with buttercups and daisies, the woods with daffodils, primroses, bluebells, and violets. It makes up to a certain extent for the awful winter. I thought the winter was going to finish me. It was not so bad in Boulogne as it is fairly warm there, but I had only been out here about three weeks when I got bronchitis and had to be sent away to another hospital where they nurse sick sisters and officers. I spent three weeks in bed and have been back on duty about a month. When I was convalescent I went out to Princess Louise’s convalescent home for sisters at Hardelot, and while there visited some very interesting old places. Went to see the historical chateau d’Hardelot. It is an old fortified castle. Wallflowers are growing in all the cracks of the ramparts and walls, and ivy is climbing all over it. Violets and primroses grow on the top of the battlements. We used to go into the Foret de’Hardelot and gather armsful of daffodils. I got some bulbs which I intend to take with me when I go back home. I shall have to call them “Souvenir a la Guerre.” I haven’t seen an English-speaking child since I came here. It will seem strange to hear children talking anything but French after this. When we had the Tommies here one of them remarked that the French were pretty smart at learning languages. He said, “Why, even the tiny little children that have never been to school can speak French.” Another one, when I told him I was a native of Australia, was surprised that I could speak the language so well. He asked if English was taught in all schools. But a Frenchman, when I told him I was not Anglais, but Australian, got quite excited and said I was “pas bonne” (no good). He thought I said Austrian, and when he found his mistake said, “Australien soeur trez bonne” (Australian sister very good). Please don’t forget to ask some people about papers as they are badly wanted.” Sunday Times (Perth, WA), Sun 15 Oct 1916 (p.13): Perth Prattle This comes from Wimereux, France, to the Editor: “Sister M’Laren wishes to thank all her friends who have been so generous in answering her appeal for newspapers for the wounded. She very much regrets that she has been unable to write and personally thank them, but hopes they will realise that this is not from any lack of appreciation on her part, but rather from lack of time. She is sure that, could they see the way the boys enjoy them, they would be more than repaid for their kindness.” The Northam Advertiser (WA), Sat 7 Apr 1917 (p.3): A Nurse’s Letter Nurse McLaren, sister of the Rev. G. McLaren, who has just completed her furlough after a lengthy period of service in France, writes to her brother as follows: – “Have just returned after a fortnight’s leave in the United Kingdom. I spent a week in Sligo, on the west coast of Ireland, and had a most delightful time. I have been staying with a Miss Wynne, who was my voluntary helper here for some time. She lives in a most beautiful spot amongst the lakes and mountains, in a house much larger and finer than Perth Government House. Had some lovely drives in carriage, motor and jaunting cars, and saw as much of the country as it was possible to see in the time. The lakes are beautiful. They are supposed to be equal to Killarney, and the mountain scenery is fine. I got into a bog, picked shamrocks, sat over a peat fire, and visited an old woman who has lived in a hovel with her pigs and hens for 70 years, and is still hale and hearty. Of course they were not the same hens and pigs all the time. I guess she reared a few generations of each in her time. One of the hens was busy laying on her bed while we were there. The hovel, which was most picturesque from the outside, with its thatched roof and moss-grown walls, consisted of one room. I think the hens slept on the mantelpiece and foot of the bed, and the other members of the family probably slept under the bed. The old lady addressed us as pretty ladies so often that I was quite conceited by the time we left. I didn’t spend much time in Dublin. The notorious Sackville-street is a sight to behold. It is nothing but a pile of ruins. They say that there is still an undercurrent of unrest amongst the Sinn Feiners. I had fairly good weather all the time I was away, but came back to snow and frost and slush, to say nothing of the cold. It was certainly a cold welcome home as far as the weather was concerned, but was worth it to have the warm one, I got from my family, as I call my patients, nurses, and orderlys. I was so delighted to get your letter and know there was possibility of your coming over. It will be lovely if you come to the Calais or Etaples Base. We are between the two.” Sunday Times (Perth, WA), Sun 25 Jan 1920 (p.9): Advice has been received that Staff Nurse Lily McLaren is returning to Australia by the ss Megantic, due about February 12. Sister McLaren has been on active service with the B.E.F., and has been absent from the State for the past five years. During her period of service she has been in France, Belgium, and Italy [sic] as a member of the Queen Alexandra Nursing Reserve, and has also, since last June, been at the special military hospital in Birmingham. Prior to leaving Australia she held the position of matron at several of the country hospitals in this State, including Southern Cross, Day Dawn and Wiluna. Tambellup Times (WA), Wed 9 Jun 1920 (p.2): Personal Nurse McLaren has taken over the conduct of the Gnowangerup Cottage Hospital from Sister Couper. Nurse McLaren has had wide experience in her profession. The Southern Districts Advocate (Katanning, WA), Mon 26 Jul 1920 (p.3): Gnowangerup Notes Social Matters – Sister McLaren the new matron of the local cottage hospital, was welcomed at a public social in the agricultural hall on the 15th. Gnowangerup Star and …….. (WA), Sat 12 Feb 1921 (p.2): GNOWANDERUP HOSPITAL – A public meeting was held on Saturday evening last to consider the raising of funds to make additions to the Cottage Hospital. The need for further accommodation is apparent to all who have taken an interest in this fine institution. At the present time Sister McLaren is working under extreme disability through insufficiency of accommodation, and has to vacate her own living rooms to admit other than maternity cases. ……………………………………………………….. http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/157087229 Great Southern Leader (Pingelly, WA), Fri 23 Jun 1922 (p.3): WILLIAMS WIRELESS The Williams Road Board have completed the purchase from Mrs J. Hancock of her residence in Roselotty street, which is to be turned into a cottage hospital for the district. The building is a commodious brick structure of six fine rooms, surrounded with verandahs, tanks, windmill, beautiful flower garden in front and three acres of orchard at the rear. Nurse MacLaren is already installed and from all reports, anticipates a busy time. The Daily News (Perth, WA), Wed 18 Apr 1923 (p.5): Mainly About People Nurse M’Laren has been appointed matron of the Cue Hospital. Miss M’Laren is at present on the nursing staff of the Williams District Hospital. The West Australian (Perth, WA), Tue 3 Jun 1924 (p.6): COUNTRY NEWS The Southern Cross Hospital, which had been closed for some time, was re-opened recently, Sister McLaren having been appointed matron by the Department of Public Health. The Southern Cross Times (WA), Sat 18 Nov 1933 (p.6): A FAREWELL TO MISS M’LAREN OF SOUTHERN CROSS HOSPITAL On the lawn at the residence of the manager of the Bank of New South Wales on Monday night, a number of the friends of Miss M’Laren, who for over nine years was matron of the Southern Cross hospital, met to bid her farewell. Miss M’Laren was given a surprise when she arrived, by the guests who were assembled on the lawns with the lights ablaze and welcomed her with “For She’s a Jolly Good Fellow.” With competitions, games and musical items, the evening passed quickly and enjoyably. Misses Howlett and ………………………………. After supper, Mr Hanton distributed the prizes won in the various competitions. He then, on behalf of those present, presented Miss M’Laren with a handsome clock as a memento of the respect and admiration felt for her by her many friends. In doing so, Mr Hanton said that he was at school with the Rev. Gilbert M’Laren, a brother of the guest of the evening, when they had developed a firm friendship which had grown with the passing years. Many years ago, before their marriage, Mrs Hanton had been associated with Miss M’Laren at the Coolgardie Hospital. He stressed the lady’s war service as a sister in England, France and Belgium; and the fine work she did here during the nine years. He thought one particularly fine tribute to her was the fact that a number of the young people were often keen to have a chat with her and always left feeling themselves bettered after hearing of her war travels. He assured their guest that all her friends were sorry indeed that she was leaving but they would cherish always very happy memories of her time here. (Applause) Miss M’Laren, in returning thanks, was overcome, and said that she would treasure always their kindly thoughts and their gift. ……………………………………………………………………….. http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/206608021 The West Australian (Perth, WA), Thur 30 Jan 1936: KING GEORGE AND BLIND V.C. To the Editor Sir – The mention in “The West Australian” of yesterday of Sir Ernest Towse the blind V.C. who had to be guided to his post, when relieving a gentleman-at-arms at the catafalque in Westminster Hall last Sunday, calls to mind a meeting I was privileged to witness between His late Majesty King George V and Sir Ernest Towse during the Great War. Captain Towse, who lost both eyes in the Boer War, was expert in the use of the Braille typewriter, and was doing his bit by typing letters to their next of kin for the wounded in the then Australian Voluntary Hospital at Wimereux. During one of His late Majesty’s visits to France he paid a visit to the above hospital. The King, on seeing Captain Towse feeling his way up the drive, on return from a trip to Bologne [sic], said, “Blest if that isn’t my old friend, Towse!” and smilingly made a sign that he intended giving the blind captain a surprise. As the latter approached, His Majesty tip-toed up to him, and, tapping him on the shoulder, said, “How is it, Towse?” The very surprised captain recognised the voice, stood to attention, and saluted, was quickly put at ease, and in a few minutes a very human monarch and a blind V.C. were chatting and laughing at a mutual joke, not unlike a pair of happy school-boys. – Yours, etc., L. McLAREN Late Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve The West Australian (Perth, WA), Thur 16 Sept 1937 (p.7): Nurse for Northcliffe At the last meeting of the Women’s Immigration Auxiliary Council, the general secretary (Mrs C.M. Eggleston) stated that, as a result of representation by the council, the Minister for Health (Mr S.W. Munsie) reported that Sister L. McLaren, a double-certificated nurse, had taken up duties as district nurse at Northcliffe. The medical department had arranged to forward a supply of dressings and medicines. …………………………………….. The West Australian (Perth, WA), Wed 7 Nov 1945 (p.1): DEATHS McLAREN, Lily (District Nurse of Northcliffe) – At Pemberton Hospital, passed away on November 5, 1945, loved sister of Charles (deceased), Will (Adelaide), Kate (Mrs Hersey, Adelaide), Agnes (Mrs Folland, Williams), Fred (deceased), Joe (South Africa), Gilbert (Melbourne), Margaret (Mrs Robertson, Bayswater), Walter (Morawa), and Alec (Perth). Notes: BRC under MacLaren: http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War/Card?sname=maclaren&id=142012 Letter from Joseph to Gilbert 1917: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/211697645 Joseph visits WA 1929: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/70196735 Letters re Gilbert’s troopship work 1917: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/81811581 http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/211868668 Gilbert – RTA on Nestor 1919: http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=6044341 The West Australian (Perth, WA), Fri 9 Jul 1915 (p.1): DEATHS McLAREN – On July 7, 1915, at the Grosvenor Private Hospital, Fremantle, Donald, beloved husband of Emma and father of Charles, William, Frederick James, Joseph, Gilbert, Walter, Alexander John, and Lily McLaren, Mrs J.E. Hersey, Mrs C.W. Folland, and Mrs D. Robertson, aged 74 years. The West Australian (Perth, WA), Mon 3 Jul 1933 (p.1): DEATHS McLAREN – On July 1, 1933, at Henry-street, Cannington, Emma, widow of the late Donald McLaren, and loved mother of Charles (Cannington), William (Adelaide), Kate (Mrs Hersey, South Australia), Agnes (Mrs Folland, Williams), Frederick, Joseph (South Africa), Lily (Southern Cross), Gilbert (Melbourne), Margaret (Mrs Robertson, Bayswater), Walter (Morawa), and Alex (Perth); aged 90 years.