• E Hunter

  • British War Medal
  • Victory Medal
Stories and comments
    • HUNTER, Elizabeth Jane (Lila) – Sister, QAIMNSR
    • Posted by FrevFord, Tuesday, 9 January 2018

    Born (Eliza Jane) on the 9th of November 1871 at Winchelsea, Vic – daughter of Thomas HUNTER and Catherine LOUGHRON, who married in Vic in 1866 Thomas, a farmer of Gherang and Murgate, Wurdi Boluc (near Winchelsea), later retired to Geelong, and died there on the 8/8/1923, aged 78. Catherine died 21/6/1934 Geelong Siblings (born Winchelsea and Wurdi Boluc): Annie b.1867; James b.1868; John b.1870; Catherine b.1874 – d.1876 (age 2); Mary Ellen (Nellie) b.1875 – marr Luke MONKOVITCH (Pte4086, 29th Bn – KIA 13/10/1917 Belgium) – d.1945; Catherine (Kitty) b.1878 – marr ERWIN; Gilbert b.1880; Albert Ernest (Ernie) b.1882 – d.11/4/1926; George Thomas b.1884 – WW1: Pte 260, 13th LHR; Victoria Adeline (Addie) b.1886 – marr TAYLOR – d.1971; William Butler b.1888 – WW1: Appl to enlist 1918 – d.1945; Ruby Eveline b.1891; Roy Vivian Leslie b.1894 – WW1: Dvr 2490, 12th FCE – marr Mary DEVITT Oct 1919 Religion: Church of England Educated at the Winchelsea Public School and a Private School in Geelong Trained in Nursing at the Geelong Hospital from the 10/3/1900 to the 10/3/1903, at which time she left Member of the Australian Trained Nurses Association (ATNA) Post Graduate course at the Women’s Hospital, Melbourne 7/8/? to 7/2/? Sister and Acting Matron of the Royal Women’s Hospital, Sydney from 16/6/1907 to April ? Owner of a Private hospital in Honolulu from June 1910 to May 1913 Private nursing in Vancouver and New York from June 1913 to May 1914 – Lila then travelled to the UK with a patient in June 1914, leaving again in the July, with the intention of returning to Australia via the USA. Still in the USA when war broke out at the beginning of August, she felt it was her duty to return to the UK to serve the war effort, and remaining in the USA, she wrote to various authorities to offer her services – receiving replies that they were burdened with applications. Finally in April 1915 she received word from the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve (QAIMNSR), and left the US at the beginning of May, arriving in the UK 8/5/1915 WW1: On the 12/5/1915, wiping 6 years off her age (giving her date of birth as 9/11/1877), Lila filled out her application to join the QAIMNSR and was posted to the Military Hospital at Gibraltar, her appointment taking effect from the 3/6/1915. Confidential Report, Gibraltar 28/10/1915, Matron E.C. Humphreys: “Sister Hunter has served under me since her appointment with the QAIMNSR in June 1915. Her general professional ability is very good and she has had a varied experience of nursing. She has found it a little difficult to adjust herself to the methods of administraion of military hospital wards but has now mastered the routine of ward management and understands her responsibilities in this connection. She is very energetic and ready to meet any emergency, self reliant and resourceful. Her patients are her first consideration and are thoroughly well nursed and cared for. She has not during this period acted in a rank higher than that she at present holds. I consider her fitted for promotion in due course.” Posted to Imtarfa Hospital, Malta 23/2/1916 Due to personal reasons Lila applied to resign her appointment at the end of her contract 3/6/1916, and embarking in Malta on the hospital ship Galeka, arrived back in London on the 2/6/1916. Managing to sort out her private affairs on her return to the UK, she then renewed her contract with the QA’s, and following her Leave from 3/6/1916 to 24/6/1916, was posted to the 1st Birmingham War Hospital, Rubery Hill, Birmingham Contracting a Septic finger from dressing wounds – she was transferred from ‘Milleault’ to the Royal Free Hospital Medical Board 8/1/1917 – (Axilliary Abscess): “she is suffering from debility following an operation for an abscess in the right axilla performed on the 17th November 1916. A sinus persisted for some time but has now healed. She is unable to lift her arm quite fully, but in all other respects has recovered.” Returned to duty from sick leave 4/5/1917, following 3 months at Miss Rendels Convalescent Home, Brighton – returned to the 1st Birmingham War Hospital until 23/5/1917 Sister in charge of the Officers’ Convalescent Hospital, Hawarden Castle, Chester, England from 23/5/1917 to 16/9/1918 6 month Medical Board 27/10/1917 – Axillary Abscess, quite healed, and general health good – still some limitation of extension movement at right shoulder joint Ordered to France 24/9/1918 Posted to the 8th General Hospital, Rouen 27/9/1918 Transferred to the 10th Ambulance Train 30/1/1919 – 6th General Hospital, Rouen 1/2/1919 – back to the 10th Ambulance Train 12/2/1919 – 6th General Hospital 29/6/1919 Leave to Paris 11th to 25/7/1919 Demobilized from France 4/8/1919 and returned to the UK Posted to Kitchener’s Hospital, Brighton on the 6/8/1919 for temporary duty pending repatriation Embarked for return to Australia 20/12/1919 on the Indarra In April 1920 she was on special duty in Bendigo for the Health department Matron of the War Memorial Hospital, Waverley, NSW, from the beginning of 1921 until her retirement at the end of May 1945, during which time she was instrumental in building the hospital up from a comparatively small institution An examiner for the Nurses’ Registration Board, and president of the Council of the Australian Trained Nurses’ Association 1935/36 Received the MBE in 1941 for her services to nursing Lila died on the 7th of December 1948 at Waverley, NSW – late of Bellevue Hill, formerly of Waverley – and was privately cremated at the Northern Suburbs Crematorium Geelong Advertiser (Vic), Sat 19 May 1917 (p.4): NEWS OF GEELONG AND DISTRICT SOLDIERS Miss Hunter, Murgate, Wurdi Boluc, had letters last mail from her brother, Roy Hunter, he is well, and amongst the fighters in France. Her two brothers-in-law from Geelong district are both in camp in England. Sister Lila Hunter, writing from a Rest Home in Brighton, England, says: - “Food is dreadfully expensive, potatoes and sugar hardly procurable. I am not yet back on duty; have to go before the Medical Board first. I thought at the end of May I might come home, but guess I’d better see it through, especially as Roy is here. I can be of some help to the dear boy if he gets sick or wounded.” Geelong Advertiser (Vic), Wed 12 Sept 1917 (p.3): NEWS OF GEELONG AND DISTRICT SOLDIERS Sister Lila Hunter writes from Harwarden Castle Military Hospital to her relatives at Murgate, Wurdi Boluc: - “The air raids are nasty things just now and keep us on the hop. I was shopping in London during the last, but it did not take me very long to get into a safe place. They didn’t come our way with their bombs, but tackled the East End of London where the streets are full of children. A General said to me the other day:- ‘Get your patients back as quick as you can. Men who have been wounded or who know the trenches, are much better than untried troops. It is always the new troops who get “goosed” and ill. The old veterans know how to take care of themselves.’” Geelong Advertiser (Vic), Tue 15 Jan 1918 (p.4): A WURDI BOLUC HERO Under date of November 2nd, Mrs Monkovitch, daughter of Mr and Mrs W. [sic] Hunter, of Murgate, Wurdi Boluc, via Winchelsea, received the following letter: ……………………………….. Matron Lila Hunter, of the Military Hospital, Harwarden Castle, England, a former resident of Murgate, Wurdi Boluc, received the following letter in reference to her brother-in-law, Pte Luke Monkovitch, from Belgium, under date of 3/11/17: “Dear Matron – It is my sad duty to acquaint you of the death of your brother-in-law Pte Luke Monkovitch. I can’t give you the correct date, but think it was about the 13th of October. Luke, who had been acting as a stretcher-bearer for some time past, was killed whilst carrying out his duty. In the last stunt in which we participated his heroism and devotion to duty called for special mention, and it was common knowledge that he had been recommended for distinction; however, his death may alter this, though in my opinion it should not. He was looked up to by all his company – No. 4032, L-Cpl Harold T. Feahan, A Company, 29th Battalion A.I.F. Abroad. (A photograph of the late Pte Luke Monkovitch, with his two boys, will appear in the “News of the Week.”) Geelong Advertiser (Vic), Wed 18 Feb 1920 (p.5): WINCHELSEA Sister Hunter (Wurdi Boluc) has returned from active service. Now that Matron Loughron, R.R.C., Sister Hunter and Gunner J. Kelly are home, the Winchelsea Welcome Home Committee will no doubt arrange for the final welcome home. Geelong Advertiser (Vic), Wed 28 Apr 1920 (p.5): WINCHELSEA WELCOME HOME The last of the welcomes to members of the A.I.F. was held in the Shire Hall last Friday. …………. An apology was sent by Nurse Hunter, who is on special duty at Bendigo for the Health department. ……………………………………………… Sydney Mail (NSW), Wed 9 Mar 1921 (p.22): MISS ELIZABETH HUNTER [Photo] https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/159038587 The Methodist (Sydney, NSW), Sat 24 Nov 1923 (p.12): ARMISTICE DAY AT THE W.M. HOSPITAL Matron Hunter, of the War Memorial Hospital, Waverley, is desirous of forming a tradition in connection with the hospital and of keeping the memorial aspect of this noble institution before the minds of the various “years” of nurses, who are fortunate enough to train there. Anzac Day, for example, is marked by the wreaths of laurel and of rosemary. But Armistice Day, inasmuch as it is regarded as Foundation Day, demanded something more than these. With this object, a special service for the staff was held at the Hospital on Armistice Sunday, at 10 a.m. …………………. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/155259468 The Labor Daily (Sydney, NSW), Mon 7 Apr 1924 (p.8): [photo] https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/236702940 Glen Innes Examiner (NSW), Tue 11 Dec 1928 (p.4): FIRST IN GLEN INNES Nurses’ Registration Board Exam An examination by the Nurses Registration Board was held at the local District Hospital, on November 13 and 14 last. The examination in practical work was conducted by Matron Hunter, of the War Memorial Hospital, Waverley. ………………………….. Matron Hunter expressed delight at the up-to-date equipment and appliances, and congratulated Matron Crommelin on the state of the wards, the efficiency of the staff and the facilities for conducting the examination, stating that “the wards were the best equipped for examination purposes that she had yet visited.” ……………………………………….. The Methodist (Sydney, NSW), Sat 12 Oct 1935 (p.4): War Memorial Hospital MATRON ELECTED PRESIDENT OF A.T.N.A. The Matron of our War Memorial Hospital, Waverley (Matron Hunter), has been elected by the Council of the Australian Trained Nurses’ Association as the President for the year 1935-1936. The Matron has been in charge of the War Memorial Hospital since 1921, and in that period has trained a great number of nurses and sisters who are carrying out their professional duties with great credit to themselves and their Matron. ……………………… https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/155308142 The Sydney Morning Herald, Thur 12 Jun 1941 (p.8): HONOURS LIST OTHER HONOURS MATRON ELIZABETH HUNTER, of Sydney, during the last war was in charge of the officers’ hospital, Hawarden Castle, England, and since 1921 she has been in charge of the War Memorial Hospital, Waverley, which she has been instrumental in building up from a comparatively small institution. Matron Hunter is examiner for the Nurses’ Registration Board, and is ex-president of the Council of the Australian Trained Nurses’ Association. She is highly regarded in the nursing profession for her practical philanthropy and her interest in nurses’ welfare generally. Page 17: Photo: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/17764116 The Sydney Morning Herald, Mon 4 Jun 1945 (p.5): Farewell to Matron NURSES who graduated at Waverley War Memorial Hospital under Matron Elizabeth Hunter, many of them in other States, in country districts of New South Wales, or in the Services, contributed to a farewell gift to Miss Hunter on her retirement after nearly 25 years as matron of the hospital. The gift was made at a party arranged by the Graduate Nurses’ Association, of which Miss Hunter is patron. The presentation was made by Miss Ruby Brown, the first nurse to graduate from the hospital of which Miss Hunter was the first matron. Among those present was Miss Jessie Gould, who succeeds Miss Hunter, who is retiring from active nursing, although she will retain her interest in nursing affairs as a member of the executive of the A.T.N.A. Miss Hunter served in the last war, and received the M.B.E. for her services to the nursing profession. The Sun (Sydney, NSW), Wed 13 Jun 1945 (p.8): What People Are Doing As a farewell to Matron Elizabeth Hunter, MBE, who for 24 years has been matron of the War Memorial Hospital, Waverley, members of the hospital council gave an afternoon tea at Vere Mathews, this afternoon, in her honor. On her retirement, at the end of last month, Matron Hunter was succeeded by Sister J. Gould. The Methodist (Sydney, NSW), Sat 16 Mar 1946 (p.13): Resolution Re Retirement of Matron Elizabeth Hunter The Council records with regret the resignation on the 31st May, 1945, of Matron Elizabeth Hunter after twenty-four years most successful management of the War Memorial Hospital. She was appointed first Matron in December 1920, and ever since she has been blessed with health and strength and with a quiet bearing that was an inspiration to all nurses and probationers. Through the whole of her term as Matron, she has exerted on all who came under her care a sway which brought to patients an assurance that each one was the special care of the sisters, herself and a kind Providence, and this inspired thousands with a courage that stood them in great stead in overcoming their various ills. As over 11,000 babies were born during her matroncy, she had the unusual opportunity of cheering 11,000 mothers (and quite a number of fathers), as well as the thousands of ordinary hospital patients, many of whom were treated by her as non-paying guests, being members of the Christian Ministry. It is hard to estimate the influence for good exerted by her on a great variety of people. She often expressly assured them of the goodness of God in such a way as to banish lurking unbelief. The number of beds has increased during her regime from 19 to 130, and the nurses from 5 to 70, and it is on this ever-changing, forward-moving, company of young women that a great influence for good has been constantly exerted. She knew that “obedience is the bond of rule, and without discipline and order chaos and confusion would result. Thus the hospital became a well ordered institution. She made the nurses love the Nurse’s Ideal, and the Nurses’ Pledge was ever kept before them, while honour, purity and love were made paramount in the Nurses’ Home, as Home it really was. These women, as they leave the hospital for their life’s work in the wider world will carry the impress of Matron Hunter to their dying days. She made them want to be good nurses. Her understanding, sympathy, and infectious courage, her commonsense and calm control of many a situation where fussiness would often have meant disaster – these qualities, which she brought back from World War 1, have proved the greatest assests of the War Memorial Hospital during its years of growth up to her present retirement. Her simple faith in the goodness of God, the sense of reverence which she gained from her church, the Church of England, made her life a great contribution to Methodism. Reverently the Methodist Church thanks God for its beloved matron. Age has wearied her, and the years have condemned her to seek in some relaxation from her heavy duties the peace at eventidet that comes to those who have served their country, their fellows and their God. And we all sadly say “Adieu,” and fervently pray “God Bless Matron Hunter!” The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 11 Dec 1948 (p.34): DEATHS HUNTER, Elizabeth – December 7, 1948, of 50 Bellevue Rd, Bellevue Hill) late Matron of War Memorial Hospital, Waverley), daughter of the late Thomas and Catherine Hunter, of Winchelsea, Victoria. Privately cremated December 8. The Methodist (Sydney, NSW), Sat 8 Jan 1949 (p.2): WAR MEMORIAL HOSPITAL MATRON ELIZABETH HUNTER, M.B.E. Matron E. Hunter, was also a product of World War 1., and an example of long and faithful service all her life. When she died at the age of 74 she was actively interested in the War Memorial Hospital, as she had been for many years and was especially proud of its nurses. Matron was one of a family of eleven belonging to Mr and Mrs Thomas Hunter, who carried on grazing pursuits at “Winchelsea” near Geelong, Victoria. After her school days she did her training as a nurse at the Geelong Hospital, and proceeded from there to the Women’s Hospital, Melbourne. From there she branched out on her own and directed hospitals at Corowa, Honolulu, and on the American mainland. When World War 1 broke out she went to England and was the Matron of the late Hon. W.E. Gladstone’s home, Hawarden Castle, which was then a private hospital for English officers. From there she took the field as a Red Cross Matron in France, Malta, and Germany, to which country she evacuated wounded German prisoners. At the end of the war she came home, and in December, 1920, was selected, though an Anglican, as the Matron of the first Methodist Hospital in New South Wales. Several times since then she has surprised her folk in Victoria by refusing the matroncy of her old home town hospital, Geelong, as well as other attractive positions. She, with the Rev. James Green, Mr H.W. Hawkins and Mr E.F. Vickery, was a member of the working executive of the Hospital for the first twenty years of its existence, and was wholly responsible for the solid foundation laid in the organising of the Hospital which has led to its great success. The Hospital started with 19 beds which increased to 130 during her term as Matron, while the number of nurses increased from 5 to 70. It is hard to picture the great assembly of patients and nurses who came directly under her personal influence during those years. Already we have recorded her great work by our resolution on her retirement on 31st May, 1945, after 24 years’ matroncy; every word of that record is what we still feel concerning her work and worth. At her request she was privately cremated at Northern Suburbs Crematorium. Rev. M.L. Layton officiated in the presence of just a few friends, mostly nurses of the Hospital. The late Dr Huff Johnson, a great friend of the Hospital and Matron, wrote in one of her books Dickens’ famous New Year’s greeting: “Many happy New Years, unbroken friendship, great accumulation of cheerful recollections, affection on earth, and heaven at last for all of us.” To which we say Amen. The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 8 Sept 1954 (p.13): ATNA Home Has New Wing Bequests to the Australasian Trained Nurses’ Association have been used to provide housing for three elderly nurses – at weekly rentals of 10/- each. These will be in the form of a new wing, and a new separate unit, which have been added to the ATNA home for elderly nurses at 18 Whitton Road, Chatswood. The wing has been built with £2,500 which was left to the association by the late Miss Elizabeth Hunter. Ex-trainees of the War Memorial Hospital, where she was matron for 25 years, are furnishing one of the rooms. …………………………………………….