• E V Donaldson

  • Royal Red Cross (2nd Class) (ARRC)
  • 1914–1915 Star
  • British War Medal
  • Victory Medal
Stories and comments
    • DONALDSON, Edith Victoria – Sister (ARRC), QAIMNSR
    • Posted by FrevFord, Saturday, 8 January 2022

    Edith was born in 1882 at Avenel, Vic – the daughter of William DONALDSON and Fanny SWAN, who married in Vic in 1870 William, a retired farmer, died on the 10/4/1926; Fanny died a year later on the 29/5/1927 Siblings: (born Avenel) Annie b.1871; William Henry b.1874 (Doctor) – d.1914; Fanny Louisa b.1875 – marr CRAVEN – d.1953; John Thomas b.1877 (farmer) – d.28/3/1922; Elizabeth b.1880 – d.23/3/1943 (UM); Andrew Lindsay b.1884 (farmer) – d.Jan 1910; Florence May b.23/12/1886 (Telephonist) – d.1964; *Mary Beatrice b.9/7/1889 at Spring Vale, Avenal – Nurse – WW1: AANS 1917 – 1919 – d.1972 Heidelberg Gladys Lilian b.1892 – d.1897 (5); *Oliver Ernest b.1894 – WW1 Tpr 89, 8th LH – KIA 7/8/1915 Gallipoli, (Lone Pine Memorial) In 1906, 1909 Edith was living with her parents at Mangalore, and employed as a music teacher She then trained in nursing at the Geelong Hospital passing her final exam for the Royal Victorian Trained Nurse’s Association at the end of 1912 In 1913, 1915 she is listed as living at the family home, 12 Carlisle Ave, St Kilda WW1 Service: Edith volunteered for overseas service with the AANS in August 1914 – but as there were more nurses wishing to enlist than vacancies existed, she was put on a waiting list. So when in 1915 the British War Office requested that the Commonwealth authorities send nurses to join Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve (QAIMNSR), Edith was accepted into the 2nd contingent of 28 nurses that was sent in the April. She embarked on the Orontes 14/4/1915, arriving in England on the 25/5/1915 Crossed to France and joined the 7th General Hospital for duty on the 9/6/1915 Confidential Report, A/Matron, 7th General Hosp, 21/3/16: “Herewith confidential report on the work and efficiency of Staff Nurse Miss E.V. Donaldson, QAIMNSR Australia. Miss Donaldson arrived at this Hospital for duty from England on the 9/6/15 and reported from “Hardelot Convalescent Home” at 25 General Hospital for duty on 25.2.16, having been away from this Hospital since 17.12.15,at 14 General Hospital. She is a most capable nurse, tactful and exceedingly good to her patients, and most thorough at her work. Miss Donaldson has not done A/Sisters duties at this Hospital.” 4th General Hospital, Etaples Medical Board 5/5/1916 – sick leave granted 15/6/1916 13th General Hospital, Bologne 26/5/1916 Medical Board at Bologne 9/2/1917 – 3 weeks sick leave granted 10/2 – 3/3/1917 Joined No. 32 Stationary Hospital, Wimereux (previously the AVH) on the 5/3/1917 She had charge of the Officers Division of 36 beds, as well as the Surgical Division of 88 beds during the Sister’s Leave Appointed Acting Sister 1/7/1917 Crossed to the UK on Special Leave 9/11/1917 – rejoining on the 23/11/1917 Awarded the Royal Red Cross, 2nd Class (ARRC) – 1917 Received her ARRC medal from the King at Buckingham Palace in June 1918 Confidential Report, No 32 Stat Hosp, 29/8/18: “This lady served with this Unit from 5/3/17 to 6/7/18 She is an excellent nurse, her work in every way was exceedingly good. She had charge of the Officers Division – 36 beds – and of a Surgical Division of 88 beds. Her power of administration is very good, she managed those working with her extremely well and kept a happy ..?.. in her division. She performed ..?.. Sisters’ duties for eight months most excellently” Admitted to the 14th General Hospital 29/6/1918 and sent to England 6/7/1918 with Varicose Veins (Thrombosis) Medical Board at Millbank Hospital 11/7/1918 – granted sick leave until 10/8/1918 Passed for general service 13/8/1918 Posted to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley 24/8/1918 for 3 months and then she was put in charge of Ambulance trains from Southampton, taking patients throughout England, Scotland and Wales for some months before being returned to Netley Medical Board at Vincent Square 24/1/1919 – sick leave granted until 3/3/1919, extension granted until 10/4/1919 – found permanently unfit 25/4/1919 Stopping at Welders House, Gerrards Cross, pending repatriation Permanent address until embarkation: Queen Mary’s Hostel, Bedford Place Returned to Australia on the Osterley, embarking 21/5/1919 and arriving on the 5/7/1919 Staying with her parents in 1920 at “Kenmore,” Carlisle Ave, East St Kilda 1921 Electoral Roll: Edith (student?), Florence (civil servant) and Mary (home duties) were living together at 8 Talbot St, Orrong (St Kilda) In 1922, 1927 Edith (nurse) and sisters Florence (public servant) and Mary (nurse), were still living together at 14a Dalgety St, St Kilda West However, in June 1922 she sent a letter to the Matron-in-Chief of the QAIMNS giving her address as “Craigie,” 8 Talbot Ave, East St Kilda By 1928 the sisters had moved to 245 Balaclava Rd, Caulfield, and were joined by their sister Elizabeth Edith married widower William Matheson on the 17th of November 1928 at St George’s Presbyterian Church, St Kilda, Vic William born 13/7/1872 Winchelsea – Farmer – marr Katherine Grace Gullan 1902 (d.1925) – WW1: Pte 2484, 13th LH / Vet Hosp – Wool Sorter/Classer – WW2: (put his age back 15yrs) Living Sunnyside Court, Orange Grove, St Kilda in 1935; 17 Kent Grove, Caulfield West 1937; Ringwood 1940 Elected president of the local branch of the Comforts Fund (Ringwood) in October 1939 Edith died on the 16th of September 1941 in Melbourne, aged 58, and was cremated at the Fawkner Crematorium the following day William died of a Coronary Thrombosis on the 28/2/1943 at Bonegilla, Wodonga while still serving in WW2, and was buried in the Albury War Cemetery The Age (Melb, Vic), Thur 19 Dec 1912 (p.7): TRAINED NURSES’ ASSOCIATION – EXAMINATION RESULTS Appended is a list of candidates who passed at the examination held on 19th and 20th November, under the auspices of the Royal Victorian Trained Nurses’ Association: – ………………………………………………… COUNTRY HOSPITALS Geelong Hospital – Edith Donaldson, ………………… Geelong Advertiser (Vic), Fri 14 Feb 1913 (p.3): HOSPITAL STAFF Two members of the nursing staff at the Geelong Hospital will be leaving the institution about the end of this month. Nurse Donaldson is going to Western Australia, and Nurse Storrer will go to another Victorian centre. Seymour Express and Goulburn Valley, Avenel… (Vic), Fri 28 May 1915 (p.3): Personal Miss Edith Donaldson, formerly of Mangalore, has gone to the front as a nurse. Seymour Express and Goulburn Valley, Avenel… (Vic), Fri 30 Jul 1915 (p.2): Avenel Notes The very many friends of Mr Wm and Mrs Donaldson will be pleased to learn that Nurse Edith Donaldson, has been selected to join Queen Alexandra’s Hospital for Wounded Soldiers in Northern France. Private Ollie Donaldson, a son of our old townspeople, is also on active duty in Gallipoli, and from late reports was doing well. Geelong Advertiser (Vic), Mon 24 Jun 1918 (p.4): PERSONAL GEELONG NURSE HONORED A cable message received late last night stated that Sisters Edith Donaldson of Geelong, and J.N. Reay, of Melbourne, were invested with the Red Cross by the King at Buckingham Palace, and were then received by Queen Alexandra at Marlborough House. Enquiries at the Geelong Hospital show that Sister Donaldson was a member of the staff there about six years ago. The British Journal of Nursing, 29 Jun 1918 (p.452): THE ROYAL RED CROSS His Majesty the King held an investiture at Buckingham Palace on Saturday last, and bestowed on the following ladies the Royal Red Cross and the Military Medal: – The Royal Red Cross Second Class Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve – ………..; Sister Edith Donaldson, .. Shepparton Advertiser (Vic), Thur 4 Jul 1918 (p.3): Sister Edith Donaldson daughter of Mr William Donaldson, late of Avenel, and sister of Mrs T. Craven, Toolamba West, has been invested with the Royal Red Cross of the Second Class by the King at Buckingham Palace, and was afterwards received by Queen Alexandra at Marlborough House. As below with photo (poor quality) https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/242586193 Weekly Times (Melb, Vic), Sat 5 Jul 1919 (p.39): GENERAL NOTES Nurse Decorated After four years of military service, Sister Edith Victoria Donaldson, R.R.C, is returning by the Osterley, due here this week. She answered the call for Australian volunteers for the Queen Alexandra Imperial Reserve Nursing Force, and, after serving seven months at field hospitals in France, was sent to the 13th General Hospital at Boulogne, and later to Wimmreeux [sic]. From here she was transferred to Netley Hospital. Toward the end of her service, Sister Donaldson was attached to ambulance trains, travelling through England, Scotland and Wales. In the early days of the campaign she was frequently on duty in bombarded places. For her devotion to duty she has been awarded the Royal Red Cross (2nd class). Miss Donaldson is a daughter of Mr and Mrs W. Donaldson, Carlisle Avenue, East St Kilda. She trained at the Geelong Hospital. Her sister, Nurse Mary Beatrice Donaldson, is at present on military duty at Sutton Veny, England. Her youngest brother, of the 8th Light Horse, was killed in action. The Argus, Wed 14 Mar 1923: NEW FIRST-AID ROOMS, NEWPORT [photos] Minor casualties are unfortunately daily occurrences among the employees at the Railways Workshops, and to provide every facility for the rendering of first aid, the Railways Commissioners have established another room for the treatment of injuries. Modern appliances are installed, including electro-magnets for the removal of steel splinters from the eye. Such a case is shown under treatment while a view is given of an artisan with an injured hand awaiting the attention of Sister Grace Douglas or Sister Edith Donaldson, both of whom are Royal Red Cross nurses, with fine war records. The Argus, Mon 30 May 1927: DEATH DONALDSON – On the 29th May, at her residence, Kin Craig, 245 Balaclava road, Caulfield, Fanny, widow of the late William Donaldson, late of Avenel and Euroa. The Herald (Melb, Vic), Sat 1 Dec 1928 (p.12): A QUIET WEDDING – Former Military Nurse Married Mr and Mrs W. Matheson, whose wedding was celebrated quietly recently, have settled at 44 Sunset avenue, Sandringham. Mrs Matheson formerly Sister Edith Victoria Donaldson, was decorated by the King with the Royal Red Cross in recognition of military service. She answered the call for Australian volunteers for the Queen Alexandra Imperial Reserve Nursing Force in 1915, and gave four and a half years of service. For a long time she was attached to field hospitals in France. Toward the end of her service, Sister Donaldson was attached to ambulance trains travelling through England, Scotland and Wales. She is a daughter of the late Mr and Mrs W. Donaldson, “Kin-craig,” Balaclava road, Caulfield. Mr Matheson has also seen war service. He was four years with the A.I.F. The wedding was celebrated at St George’s Presbyterian Church, East St Kilda, on November 17, and after the ceremony Mrs Craven, of Shepparton, the bride’s sister entertained relatives and a few intimate friends at the Esplanade Hotel. The Argus, Sat 5 Jan 1929: MARRIAGES MATHESON – DONALDSON – On the 17th November, at St George’s Presbyterian Church, St Kilda, Edith Victoria, daughter of the late Mr and Mrs W. Donaldson, of Kincraig, Balaclava road, Caulfield, to William, son of the late George and Elizabeth Matheson. The Argus (Melb, Vic), Fri 27 Oct 1939 (p.8): COMFORTS GROUP RINGWOOD – To prepare comforts for men on service, a war service comforts group has been formed in Ringwood, under the auspices of the Returned Soldiers’ League. Mrs Edith Matheson was elected president, ………. The Argus (Melb, Vic), Wed 17 Sept 1941 (p.4): DEATHS MATHESON – On September 16, Edith Victoria, dearly loved wife of William Matheson, of 16 Burton avenue, Hawthorn. FUNERAL NOTICES MATHESON – The funeral of the late EDITH VICTORIA MATHESON will leave G. Diggle’s Funeral Parlours for the Fawkner Crematorium at 3.30 p.m. THIS DAY (Wednesday, September 17). Private funeral.