• 1914–1915 Star
  • British War Medal
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  • Royal Red Cross (2nd Class) (ARRC)
Stories and comments
    • JOBSON, Isabella Kate (Belle) – Sister (ARRC), QAIMNSR
    • Posted by FrevFord, Wednesday, 19 December 2018

    Born in 1878 at Clunes, Vic – the daughter of Christopher JOBSON and his second wife Elizabeth Cameron McCOLL, who married in Clunes on the 10/12/1870 Christopher’s first wife Mary (nee Trewick) had died in 1868. Christopher died on the 19/11/1897 at his home in Middle Park, aged 70. Elizabeth was living in New Zealand during the war years, she died on the 16/10/1926, aged 81. Half-siblings: Mary b.1855; Christopher b.1858 – d.7/10/1914 WA; John b.1862; *Jane (Jeanie) b.1865 – d.Apr 1926 Spezzia, Italy (Senior Mistress, Ballarat High School / well-known author of ‘open letters’ to the Aussie troops) Siblings: John Blyth b.1871 – d.17/10/1914 Pretoria; Dugald b.1873-d.1874 (10M); *Alexander b.2/4/1875 Clunes – WW1: Brigadier- General (DSO), 9th Bde, AIF – Accountant – marr Madaline R. McFARLAND 1905 NSW – d.7/11/1933 Sydney; Nancy 1880-1964 (Principal, Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Pymble); Son b.&d.1885 (1D) Educated at South Melbourne College, winning a special prize as Most Popular Girl in 1892, and matriculating in 1893 Trained in nursing at the Alfred Hospital (as did Leah Rosenthal) Towards the end of 1910, in partnership with Leah Rosenthal, she took over the running of Windarra Private Hospital at 262 William Rd, Toorak, and they continued there until enlisting in 1915. WW1: Having applied to join the Australian Army Nursing Service, Isabella and Leah were instead offered positions with Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve Having accepted, they embarked on the Karoola 18/12/1915, arriving England 10/2/1916 First posted to the Military Hospital at Bagthorpe Embarked for duty with the B.E.F. in France 4/4/1916, and joined the 13th Stationary Hospital, Boulogne 5/4/1916 – during her time there Isabella had charge of a Surgical Ward for 2 months of night duty To Abbeville 29/10/1916 16th General Hospital 3/11/1916 – back to Abbeville 16/11/16 33rd Casualty Clearing Station (CCS) 2/12/1916 – special duties included four months in charge of the Operating Theatre Leave 15/3/ to the 23/3/1917 21st CCS 19/11/1917 33rd CCS 30/11/1917 Nurses Home, Abbeville 12/12/1917 Spent some time in Dec 1917 at The Convalescent Nursing Sisters’ Home, situated in the Hotel de L’Esterel at Cannes, in the south of France (with Sr Rosenthal) To the 24th General Hospital 3/1/1918 – 26th General Hospital 191/1/1918 – 54th CCS 17/3/1918 – 6th CCS 24/3/1918 – 4th Canadian CCS 16/4/1918 – 6th CCS 18/6/1918 – 1st Canadian CCS 3/7/1918 – 6th CCS 31/7/1918 – 30th CCS 23/8/1918 – 33rd CCS 25/8/1918 – 30th CCS 26/9/1918 – 22nd CCS 24/10/1918 – 30th CCS 27/10/1918 Confidential Report, Sister-in-charge 30th CCS, 25/11/1918: “Miss Jobson has done anaesthetic duty only during the above period, working with the Senior Surgeon of this unit, to his entire satisfaction. I have always found her good tempered, tactful and reliable.” To Boulogne 20/11/1918 4th Stationary Hospital 25/11/1918 To the Matron, No.4 Stationary Hospital, Longuenesse, 28th Nov 1918: Madam, I have the honour to request that you will forward this my application for the withdrawal of my recently signed contract for six months, for the period 18th December 1918 to 18th June 1919, and the acceptance of my resignation from service at the termination of my current contract on the 17th December 1918. My reasons for resigning are attached under confidential cover. I have the honour to be, Madam, Your obedient Servant Isabella Kate Jobson “My reasons for tendering my resignation are urgent private and financial affairs in Australia which have become complicated during my prolonged absence, have left Australia 17/12/15. My financial and business interests are vested in a private hospital in which I am joint owner with Nurse Rosenthal. Any further continued absence will, I feel, entail serious loss.” Confidential Report, Matron 4th Stationary Hospital, 21/12/1918: “Sister Isabella Kate Jobson Q.A.I.M.N.S.R. is capable and thorough both in regard to her nursing duties and the management of her ward. She is thoroughly reliable in every way. Miss I.K. Jobson is a trained and experienced anaesthetist.” Arrived back in England on the 19/1/1919 and granted 3 weeks Leave until the 9/2/1919 Queen Mary’s Hostel, 40 Bedford Place, 29/1/1919 Dear Miss Beecher I greatly regret that you should think we are asking more than we deserve and while you feel like that about us it makes things very difficult. Our points of view are so different – our future which, before the war, we had every right to believe well assured – is now in the most precarious state – and only by getting back as soon as possible can we hope to straighten things out. Had we not this very definite reason we should certainly not have worried you in the matter but have waited the ordinary course of events. Yours sincerely, Isabella K. Jobson I am enclosing the application you directed me to put in writing. Queen Mary’s Hostel, 40 Bedford Place, 29/1/1919 The Matron in Chief Dear Madam I have the honor to inform you that we have applied to the Heads of the Repatriation Department re transport and they have promised to arrange for our passages as soon as the Officer in Charge Repatriation Records at Winchester applies for them. This so far he has not done doubtless because of the numbers already on the list. As we have before explained to you the urgent necessity of our speedy return to Melbourne we would ask you if you could hasten the application from the British Repatriation Officer to the Australian authorities for our passages. As we have a definite promise from the A.I.F. that once the passages are asked for we shall be given the passages you will be doing us the greatest favour if you will move in the matter. I have the honor to be, Madam, your obedient servant Isabella K. Jobson Together with Leah Rosenthal, she returned to Australia on the St Albans, embarking 3/4/1919 and arriving Melbourne 21/5/1919 Resident of 47 Dickens St, St Kilda in 1920 1924, 1931, 1936 Electoral Rolls: 25 Queen’s Rd, Melbourne – nurse Matron of Vimy House Private Hospital, 25 Queens Rd, Melb Conducted the Vimy House Private Hospital (previously known as St Luke’s) in partnership with Leah Rosenthal from Aug 1920 until Leah’s death in 1930, she then continued on until her own death in 1943 Alfred Hospital Nurses’ League: 1931: Miss Jobson, the lifelong friend of Miss Rosenthal, presented a prize to be known as the Leah Rosenthal memorial Isabella died on the 6th of July 1943 at Vimy House Private Hospital, 25 Queens Rd, Melbourne, aged 63 She is buried in the Melbourne General Cemetery Stonnington History News, Newsletter No.62, Feb-Mar 2006: Hospitals for Rich and Poor ………………………………………………………………………… ‘Windarra’ was established by Florence McDowell and Miss Lock in 1910 in a 10-roomed brick house at 274 Williams Road, Toorak, which belonged to the Methodist Church. Florence left for Europe later in the year and two Alfred graduates, Leah Rosenthal and her friend, Sister Isabel Jobson took over. Then they both left to serve in World War 1 and Sister Edith Tait carried on until the 1940s. ……………………………………………….. The Sun (Sydney, NSW), Sun 26 May 1918 (p.17): NURSES ON ACTIVE SERVICE [Photos] Between two Australian nurses now on service in France there is a loyal bond of friendship that has been strengthened by the danger and hardships which they have shared together. Miss Leah Rosenthal and Miss Isabel Jobson, who became friends in their probation days at the Alfred Hospital (Melbourne), determined to share each other’s fortunes when their period of training was finished. They entered upon their professional career together, and kept closely in touch with one another, ultimately taking possession of the private hospital in Williams-road, Toorak, known as “Windarra.” Two and a half years ago they left for the front in the same nursing unit, and have never separated since. Miss Isabel Jobson has secured the Royal Red Cross. They were both recommended for honors by their commanding officer and matron for heroic conduct under fire at a casualty clearing station, but only one was decorated. Miss Rosenthal took the disappointment philosophically. “I had the bad luck to be passed over in the honor list,” wrote Miss Rosenthal to her mother, Mrs M. Rosenthal, Dickens-street, St Kilda, “but I am glad that both of us were not overlooked.” These two Australians worked for a year at once casualty station that was shelled frequently. Miss Rosenthal and Miss Jobson were among the first Victorian nurses entrusted with the administration of anaesthetics. The authorities asked for names of sisters willing to be taught to give anaesthetics. The course included two months at a base hospital and one month at a casualty clearing station. Hundreds of names were recorded, and these two Australian girls were fortunate in being placed among the 75 selected. They are now engaged in this class of work. At the beginning of the year they got a short furlough and spent their holiday in the south of France. ……………………………………………………… https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/221947354 The Inverell Times (NSW), Fri 9 Aug 1918 (p.2): TANK RAMS TANK – BILLYGOAT STRIFE AT FRONT AUSTRALIAN NURSE’S BREEZY STORIES Miss Isabel Jobson, a sister Brigadier-General Jobson, who is a sister on the western front, sends along some interesting notes of her experiences in France: – “I am on night duty, but as there was a lull we went to bed, and I have been out most of the day. The woods here are lovely – the ground is covered with violets, cowslips, and a deep blue flower that they call periwinkles. The country is lovely, hills and valleys covered with trees just bursting into life, and shows greens and browns, and wonderful shades of purple, as the light changes, and we are able to gather beautiful bunches of flowers with very little exertion. “We have had so many moves lately that we live in hourly expectation of another. Things are pretty unsettled. It is hard to think of all the Australians went through, and now for the line to be where it is. “We are feeling very bucked about Zeebrugge; then, the tanks ramming each other must have been a fearsome thing. I have been twice in a tank, and am only just beginning to think what the crew must have felt when the tanks were converted into battering rams. The O.C. of the Tank Battalion was a cavalry man, a most charming Irishman, who was badly wounded in the early part of the war. When he was fit for service he was offered the command of these tanks. “The officers paid a visit to Amiens the other day, and bought some of the most beautiful crockery. It cost them a lot, but it is lovely. A teapot, of elongated melon shape, was white with carmine spots, with a great blotch of red on the lid. It looked like a pierrot, and almost winked at you. The cups were white and green, white and red, white and flaring blue, and you simply had to laugh when you looked at them, but not so as to hurt the owners’ feelings, for they were inordinately proud of them. The sisters must not take tea in the officers’ mess – army orders – therefore I cannot tell you what tea out of such cups tasted like. Imperial sisters also must not dance – this is absolutely imperative. The Canadian sisters, however, dance at every opportunity. They clear the floors and put on the gramophone, and dance till all’s blue. They only dance a one-step or a fox-trot, but it keeps them very happy. They are very nice, jolly girls, and take life very easily. I don’t think they take the ernursing part quite as seriously as the Imperial sisters do, for the British know how to run a hospital – not that the Canadian hospitals are not run well, for they are, but things are different from what we have got used to. “We went for a walk to one of the Chinese camps. They have a miniature Joss House, which is the quaintest bauble. The C.O., a R.E., told us the Chinese are the best workers possible, though, of course, there are some scoundrels among them. Their camouflage is of the most artistic variety, not just daubs of tan-colored paint. They get a franc a day, and every month 10 francs are paid to their account in China. They work eight hours a day, and have one whole holiday every week. They are just like many children, and play games and have wrestling matches when not working. “We came up from the base a month ago, and went to what we used to consider a back-water in casualty clearing stations. Of course Fritz started to shell and bomb the place at once. As we were near a railhead things were rather unhealthy. I don’t fancy H.E. at 7 a.m. when you are in bed in a marquee. This went on for a week, and then we moved to another camp south of our last year’s haunt, not very far off. Bright moonlight, and of course Fritz was busy. He was really after the roads, trying to keep troops from going down to the awful stunt down south. “I’m so sorry for the French people – the poor French people – with their few belongings, trundling along in the dust, old and young, prams and hand-carts, bundles containing everything they can carry. Women with a baby under one arm and a mattress under the other staggering on and on, and in an unending procession. People in England don’t know what war really is – what it means to leave their homes and all the things they have toiled to obtain. We have sent our trunks to England, and are ready to travel light any moment. We have our Canadian cousins behins us, so feel as if there is something definite waiting to make some impression on the Hun hordes. They really are hordes, as thick as flies the boys say, and with as much regard for life as those pests have when they venture on a sticky fly paper. “The fortunes of war move us about these times. We have moved our camp again, and are at present at a forward C.C.S., helping with the rush there – some rush, too. We have had to suspend our anaesthetic work for the present, as sisters are scarcer than anaesthetics, and I am on night duty. This is temporary, and we hope that our next change will bring us back to our new work as anaesthetists, at which we were beginning to feel our feet. The Huns got Merville, and behaved in their Belgian fashion there, but at the present moment they are getting it in the neck at Givenchy, Guinchy, etc. All around Givenchy and Guinchy the German dead are uncountable.” The Mercury (Hobart), Sat 1 Feb 1919 (p.10): With the Army into Flanders ………………………………………………………………………………………….. Sister Rosenthal is a trainee of the Alfred Hospital, and before volunteering for active service with Miss Isabel Jobson, sister of Brigadier-General Jobson, of Sydney, managed Windarra private hospital, Williams-road, Toorak. She and Miss Jobson enlisted on the same date, and have never been separated all the time they have been on active service. Miss Jobson was awarded the Royal Red of Cross last year. Weekly Times (Melb, Vic), Sat 31 May 1919 (p.39): THE SOCIAL CIRCLE Army Nurse Return After three and a half years’ of active service, Sister Leah Rosenthal, R.R.C., and Sister Isabel Jobson, R.R.C., have returned to Melbourne. They have had exceptional experience in military nursing, having been in the danger zone for the greater part of the time. For many months they were on duty at Bethune, four and a half miles behind the firing line. One of Sister Rosenthal’s souvenirs is a shell cap that landed, in a bombardment, a few yards from where she was sitting. There was not only the strain of the bombardment to be endured on these occasions. The nurses’ routine was disorganised, and they had to remove their patients and hospital equipment to underground rooms and cellars. When buildings were of three stories the continual moving place a severe strain on the strength and endurance of the nurses. These two nurses were in France at the time of the Mons retreat [sic – incorrect], and declare that one of the saddest sights in all their war experience was that of refugees struggling along the road to safety with their household treasures. A familiar figure in these sorrowful procession was the grandmother of the household perched on the top of a hand-cart loaded with bedding. Sister Rosenthal and Sister Jobson were among the first army nurses selected to administer anaesthetics. The training course included two months at a base hospital and one month at a casualty clearing station. They are both trainees of the Alfred Hospital, and, before enlisting, managed the private hospital known as “Windarra,” Williams road, Toorak. Miss Rosenthal is a daughter of Mrs Rosenthal, Dickens street, St Kilda, and a sister of Lieutenant Sam Rosenthal, who was killed in action. Miss Jobson is a sister of Brigadier-General A. Jobson, D.S.O. (Sydney) and a relative of Miss Jeanie Jobson, whose letters to the soldiers at the front have been so much appreciated. Table Talk (Melb, Vic), Thur 19 Aug 1920 (p.35): Sister Jobson, R.R.C., and Sister Leah Rosenthal, R.R.C., have settled down to peace-time occupation, and have taken the private hospital known as “St Luke’s,” Queen’s-road, which will in future be known as Vimy House Private Hospital. The Sun (Sydney, NSW), Sat 7 Apr 1928 (p.8): TOPICS FOR WOMEN The Misses Isabel Jobson and Rosenthal, of Vimy private hospital, St Kilda-road, Melbourne, are spending the Easter holidays with Mrs F. F. Copland, of Drumalbyn-road, Bellevue Hill. The Herald (Melb, Vic), Tue 7 Oct 1930 (p.13): USEFUL LIFE ENDED Death of Distinguished Nurse A lifelong partnership has been broken by the death of Miss Leah Rosenthal, R.R.C. She and her co-partner of Vimy House private hospital, Miss Isabel Jobson, R.R.C., were close friends before they joined the nursing profession. They entered the Alfred Hospital to train together, and got their certificates at the same time. When war broke out they gave up “Windarra,” the private hospital they had established, and joined up for military duty. Together they shared the dangers and hardships of active service for nearly four years with the Queen Alexandra Imperial Nursing Service. …………………………………… https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/242933402 The Argus (Melb, Vic), Wed 19 Sept 1934 (p.6): Miss Adele Catford, daughter of Dr and Mrs H.R. Catford, of Bendigo, who has been on staff of the Alfred Hospital for four years, and who last year won the Leah Rosenthal prize for the most efficient theatre sister, has been appointed to the staff of Vimy House, where she will take up her duties early next month. The Herald (Melb, Vic), Sat 9 Jan 1937 (p.2): HOSPITALS OPPOSE PARK RACE Racing motorcyclists and the trade were enthusiastic today about a suggestion by Cr Disney, of Melbourne City Council, that motor cycle races should be held around the Albert Park Lake, in aid of the Lord Mayor’s Fund, but half-a-dozen private hospitals nearby oppose the proposal, on the score that the noise would be offensive. ………………………………….. Hospital’s Objections The objections of private hospitals nearby were summarised today by Miss I.K. Jobson, of Vimy Private Hospital Pty Ltd, who said – “Motor car or cycle racing in Albert Park would make our hospitals untenable to take patients. “The noise was absolutely unbearable when the track was tried out by light cars just before the centenary and several speedboats on the lake some time ago made a most offensive noise.” ………………………………… The Argus (Melb, Vic), Wed 7 Jul 1943 (p.2): DEATHS JOBSON – On July 6, at Vimy House private hospital, 25 Queen’s road, Melbourne, Isabella Jobson (Matron, Vimy House private hospital). The Age (Melb, Vic), 7 Jul 1943 (p.3): Matron of Vimy House Miss Isabella Jobson, who died yesterday after a long illness, was well known in medical and nursing circles as the matron of Vimy House private hospital, Queen’s-road. For many years Miss Jobson conducted the hospital in partnership with Miss Leah Rosenthal, and after the latter’s death some years ago continued to conduct the hospital herself. Miss Jobson trained at the Alfred Hospital, and served with the Australian Army Nursing Service in France during the last war, when she won the Royal Red Cross. The funeral, which will be private, will leave Sleight’s Chapel, St Kilda-road, for the Melbourne Cemetery, Carlton, at 3.30 pm, following a service at 3.15 conducted by Rev S.L. McKenzie. Daily Advertiser (Wagga Wagga, NSW), Wed 7 Jul 1943 (p.2): MISS I.K. JOBSON The death occurred of Miss I.K. Jobson, at Vimy Private Hospital, Melbourne, early yesterday morning. After training at the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Sister Jobson nursed a private case in Wagga, from which she was recalled to take a position as Sister at the Alfred Hospital, where she was for some years, leaving to open a private hospital, “Wyndara,” with the late Sister Rosenthal. Later Sister Jobson served with the British Imperial Forces in the 1914-18 war, receiving the Royal Red Cross. This decoration she received from the King at Buckingham Palace. Returning to Melbourne after the war Miss Jobson and the late Miss Rosenthal opened Vimy Private Hospital, which Miss Jobson was still matron of at the time of her passing. Miss Jobson was one of a distinguished family, a sister being Miss Nancy Jobson, of Hopewood House, Sydney, and a brother the late General Alick Jobson, also of Sydney.