• B G Cheeseman

  • 1914–1915 Star
  • British War Medal
  • Victory Medal
Stories and comments
    • CHEESMAN, Beatrice Graham – Sister (MID), QAIMNSR
    • Posted by FrevFord, Wednesday, 26 January 2022

    Beatrice was born on the 30th of March 1874 at Kingstown, St Vincent, West Indies – the daughter of Robert Suckling CHEESMAN and Emily Louisa BREEN, who married in Kingstown 8/10/1872. Robert, born London, was a member of the Legislative Council of the West Indian Parliament – [he first married Emily A.J. CREAGH in 1868] – was living in Rockhampton, Qld 1893 – but died 28/6/1913 in Kingstown, W.I. Half sibling: Robert St Clair b.17/10/1869 Kingstown – marr R. REEVE 18/9/1901 Brisbane – WW1, Capt 2nd LH – d.1940 Melb https://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/browse/person/118188 Full siblings: Louisa Lenore b.18/6/1875 Kingstown, W.I – marr Wm T. SADLER 1895 Sydney – d.1944 Sydney; Henry Percy b.23/7/1877 Richmond, Surrey – marr Ada M BATCHELOR 30/12/1903 Sydney – d.1952 Sydney Educated at All Hallows Convent Trained in nursing at The Lady Lamington, and the Brisbane General Hospital (with Wilhelmina Dods and Myrtle Wilson) – all three passing their final exam for membership of the Australian Trained Nurses Association in December 1909 Matron of the Peak Downs Hospital, Clermont, Qld – took charge 1st Jan 1913 Matron of the Lady Chelmsford Hospital, Bundaberg, Qld – pre enlistment, Mar 1915 WW1 Service: In March 1915 Beatrice received a telegram from the Imperial Service Committee advising her to hold herself in readiness to proceed overseas, having been accepted for a position with Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve (QAIMNSR). She was one of 28 nurses to be sent to England in this contingent of QAIMNSR nurses that had been requested by the British War Office, and together with the other Qld nurses (including Dods and Wilson) she embarked in Brisbane on the Orontes on the 4/4/1915. The nurses from the other States were embarked as they travelled around the coast, and they finally sailed from Fremantle on the 21/4/1915. The Orontes arrived in London on the 26/5/1915 following some excitement in the English Channel when three German submarines were reported to be in the area, and everyone sat up all night, fully clothed and with their lifebelts at the ready. Beatrice was posted to France on the 10/6/1915, where she was serving at the 7th General Hospital with Evangeline Clerke, Wilhelmina Dods and Myrtle Wilson. Myrtle wrote in a letter that they were “in tents, surrounded by fields of barley and buttercups and daisies, and it is very cold.” “They were nursing Belgian refugees (men, women, and children, medical cases), but they were preparing for wounded.” Beatrice was Mentioned In Despatches in 1916 She joined the 19th Casualty Clearing Station (CCS), France on the 29/10/1918 Report from the Sister-in-Charge of the 19th CCS, 23/2/1919: “A/Sister B.G. Cheesman QA Reserve has worked under me for 6 weeks, her work in the wards has been most satisfactory. She is a very capable sister and most reliable in her work and care of the patients. The discipline and management of her ward is good.” Further report 13/4/19: “Miss Cheesman was working with me for about two months. I found her reliable and punctual in her work, even tempered; a good nurse and a capable ward Sister. She was also quiet in her manner and well behaved in every respect.” Medical Board 17/3/1919 (Debility after measles) – granted sick leave to 16/4/1919, at which time she was passed fit for general service Posted to the Fargo Military Hospital 30/4/1919 pending repatriation to Australia Beatrice embarked 21/5/1919 on the Osterley for Return to Australia – disembarked Sydney 7/7/1919 and then travelled overland to Brisbane 1921 Matron Peak Downs Hospital, Clermont – left at the end of 1929 Attended 1932 Returned Nurses Reunion in Brisbane 1936 Nurse – Rosemount Hospital, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane 1943 Home duties – “Carinya”, Nellie St, Nundah, Qld Beatrice died on the 5th of December 1948 in Brisbane, Qld, aged 74 She was cremated at Mt Thompson Crematorium and her remains interred in the Memorial Gardens ATNA 1909: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/19604037 The Brisbane Courier (Qld), Tue 23 Mar 1915 (p.4): BUNDABERG, March 22 Matron Cheesman, who received her training in Brisbane, and was recently appointed matron of the Lady Chelmsford Hospital, Bundaberg, has received a telegram from the Imperial Service Committee advising her to hold herself in readiness to proceed overseas. Similar telegrams have also been received by Sister W. Dods (St Andrew’s Private Hospital, Bundaberg), and Sister M.E. Wilson. Gympie Times and Mary River………. (Qld), Thur 25 Mar 1915 (p.3): Personal Matron Cheesman has resigned the matronship of the Bundaberg Lady Chelmsford Hospital, and with Sister Dods, of St Andrew’s Private Hospital staff, also in that city, is proceeding to England to join the nurses who are to accompany the British troops to the front. The Queenslander, Sat 4 Sept 1915 (8): [Excerpt from a letter from a Qld Nurse in Egypt, 10/7/1915] “I had a letter from Wilson yesterday, from France. She says she, Dods, Cheesman, and Clerke, are in tents, surrounded by fields of barley and buttercups and daisies, and it is very cold. I wonder how they would like to exchange it for a little sand and heat. They were nursing Belgian refugees (men, women, and children, medical cases), when she wrote, but they were preparing for wounded.” The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Wed 5 Jan 1916 (p.11): MENTIONED IN DESPATCHES NURSE CHEESMAN Miss Beatrice Graham Cheesman, who was recently mentioned in despatches by Field-Marshal French for distinguished service in France, was born in St Vincent, West Indies, arriving in Australia with her parents when quite a young girl. She was educated at All Hallows Convent, and was trained at the Lady Lamington and the General Hospital, Brisbane. Before leaving for France she was matron of the Bundaberg Hospital, Queensland. She is the eldest daughter of the late Mr Robert Suckling Cheesman (who was related to the Sucklings of Lord Nelson fame), and who was for many years a member of the Legislative Council in the West Indian Parliament. [From another similar report in a Qld paper: “According to the “Peak Downs Telegram,” Miss Cheesman was at one time matron of the Peak Downs Hospital, Clermont.”] https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/53420759 The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld), Mon 6 Dec 1948 (p.6): FUNERAL NOTICES CHEESMAN – The Funeral of Miss Beatrice Graham Cheesman, late of Nellie St, Nundah, and formerly of Clermont, will leave the Funeral Parlour, 45 Adelaide St., City, This (Monday) Morning, after a service commencing at 11.15 o’clock, for the Crematorium, Mt Thompson.