• J M Denson

  • Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
  • British War Medal
  • Victory Medal
  • Royal Red Cross (2nd Class) (ARRC)
Stories and comments
    • Irene Denson QAIMNS-R
    • Posted by ResearchBuff, Sunday, 7 February 2021

    J. May Denson, known as Irene to family, was born c1891 to Henry Edward Denson and Eleanor N. Denson. Henry and Eleanor spent time in North Sydney, but by 1907 had taken up residence in Kalgoorlie Western Australia, and later Carnarvon where Henry served on the council. The family moved from Carnarvon in 1910 (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/74884184) to South Perth. Described variously as a merchant, manufacturer, agent, auctioneer and attorney, Henry established several Carnarvon and Perth based business partnerships but found himself facing bankruptcy in 1910 and again in 1914. (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/38362921; https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/80081833; https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/26900513). The Denson family seemed to enjoy travelling together although individuals also travelled alone. In September 1907 the entire family arrived in Fremantle per RMS Orotava from London. Possibly after the sale of his assets, Henry relocated to Victoria but when on a return visit to Perth in October 1927 (1471) he suddenly died. He is buried in the Karrakatta Cemetery. (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/32059491; https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/93998168). Irene's Siblings: Major Herbert (Reginald) D.S.O. 14Light Horse Reg b27/6/1888 Hong Kong, m1922 Olive May Stewart d1965; 5/12/1922 son premature Malcolm Reginald (Vic) [alive 1927 (only grandchild) when Henry Edward Snr died] Doris: 1914 – 1915 Principal South Perth Ladies College; 1920 Scotch College, Claremont. Winifred (Winnie) Nora Henry Edward born 5/6/1897 North Sydney (25761/1897), became engaged in 1921 to Rene Stewart, the seventh daughter of a Perth family (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/87023542). He worked for the Commonwealth Bank Perth until at least 1933 and was trustee for the Cottesloe dog home. Eleanor returned to live in Surrey, England where she died in February 1945 aged 84. (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/51743047). In 1912, Irene was on the nursing staff of the Perth Public Hospital, possibly in a probationer role, and in 1914 it was recommended that she be appointed staff nurse (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/79924060). Irene sailed from Perth Christmas Eve 1915 arriving in London early 1916, she promptly enlisted in Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve. She would have been about 23 years old when sent to Warnecliffe Military Hospital, Sheffield for military training. By April 1916 she had been posted as Sister-in-Charge Operating Theatres in a field hospital in France (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/26977270). During the 1916 Winter, Irene contracted bronchitis and once fully recovered returned to work at 25 General Hospital, France. By June 1919 she was back in England at the Lord Derby War Hospital, Warrington, Lancashire (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/81388625). She was Mentioned in Despatches (25/12/1917 London Gazette 30448, p13568) and awarded the Royal Red Cross (3/6/1918 London Gazette no 6475; https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/ 27481122). Initially scheduled to return to Australia May 1919 per RMS Osterley, she left England the following month per ss Brenan (https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/ 81387762). Irene returned to England and in 1920 married Gerald Whittington (b1857) at Reigate, Surrey. They had two sons and three daughters: Henry E. was born in 1921 at Reigate; Aileen E. born 1929 in Perth; Roger b1932 Reigate. Irene died in Surrey England in 1967 age 75 years.

    • DENSON, Irene May – Sister, MID, ARRC, QAIMNSR
    • Posted by FrevFord, Tuesday, 9 February 2021

    Born c1891 (Hong Kong?) – the daughter of Henry Edward and Eleanor North DENSON The family first travelled from England to Australia in August 1896 on the Damascus – their destination, Sydney. Having returned to England in April 1901 on the SS Wilcannia, they sailed for Australia once more on the RMS Orotava in August 1907 – this time settling in Western Australia. Henry, (Merchant, Manufacturer, Farmer, Gentleman) suddenly collapsed and died on the 19/10/1927 on arrival at the Albion Hotel in Perth, WA Eleanor died on the 18/2/1945 at Irene’s home Toongahra in Reigate, England Siblings: Herbert Reginald b.27/6/1888 Hong Kong – (Electrical Engineer) – WW1: Major, DSO, 28th Bn, ICC, 14th LH – (Farmer) – marr Olive May Johnston (nee Stewart) 1922 – WW2: Lieut, Puckapunyal – living Essendon, Vic 1954 – d.1965 Macleod, Vic – bur 24/11/1965 Fawkner Memorial Park. Doris Nellie b.c1892 (school mistress), Elsie Harold (baptized Muswell Hill, Eng 14/6/1896); Winifred Annie b.c1894 (baptized Muswell Hill, Eng 14/6/1896) (school teacher), Nora Elsie b.1896 – d.11/11/1954 Surrey; Henry Edward b.1897 NSW (baptized Stroud Green, Eng 14/7/1905) 1910-11 Electoral Roll: Princess Rd, Claremont, WA [with her mother Eleanor] 1912, 1913 ERs: Perth Public Hospital (nurse) Trained in nursing at the Perth Public Hospital Member of the Australian Trained Nurses Association WW1 Service: Having applied to join the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) for overseas service early in 1915, she was one of many turned away due to lack of vacancies. However, later that year following a request from the British War Office, she was successful in gaining a place among the Australian nurses who were being sent to join Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve (QAIMNSR). As one of 7 nurses from Western Australia she embarked on the HS Karoola on the 24/12/1915, joining the nurses who had embarked in Melbourne, bringing this quota of QAIMNSR nurses to 43. Disembarking at Suez on the 20/1/1916, they travelled on a hospital train to Cairo, and after a week were transported to Naples on the NZ HS Nevassa to join the HS Britannic which transported them to the UK, on duty. Arriving at Southampton on the 9/2/1916, she was one of 10 nurses posted to the Wharncliffe War Hospital at Sheffield. After a few days there they were given 10 days Leave, and visited either London, or as far afield as Scotland. Early in April when arrangements were finally made for the nurses to be posted to France, Irene and three of her fellow nurses, Mary Bray, Jane Crisfield and Nellie Saw, were posted to the 26th General Hospital at Etaples on the 3/4/1916. She served there until the 13/2/1917 and during that time worked chiefly in the “Dakin” ward, and also did holiday duty (fourteen days) in charge of the Operating Theatre. It was noted by the Matron that she was a “quick, extremely capable surgical nurse and a good ward manager.” She also had a few stints in hospital as a patient during this time: being the 9/8/1916 – 21/8/1916, the 31/10/1916 – 3/11/1916 and the 18/11/1916 – 29/11/1916. These were obviously not dangerous ailments, as she requested that her mother not be notified due to her having a Cardiac disease. She was then given Leave from the 30/11/1916 to the 13/12/1916 On the 15/2/1917 she was transferred to the 47th Casualty Clearing Station (CCS), but was soon back in hospital again on the 19/2/1917 before being sent to the Convalescent Home at Hardelot on the 10/3/1917. She then rejoined the 26th General Hospital on the 19/3/1917. During her time at the 26th GH in 1917 she was sent to to Paris for 14 days from 18/4/1917 to 1/5/17, which was classed as both Leave and “on duty”, there were also other periods of Leave and another stint in hospital. Mentioned in Despatches (London Gazette 25/12/1917) In 1918 she was posted to the 12th Stationary Hospital on the 5/3/1918 – the 6th CCS 8/3/1918 – and then the 10th Stationary Hospital 17/4/1918 Admitted to the 2nd Stationary Hospital on the 14/5/1918 with a fever (P.U.O) before being discharged to the Convalescent Home at Hardelot on the 19/5/18 Awarded the Royal Red Cross (2nd Class – ARRC) June 1918 Joined the 8th General Hospital on the 1/6/1918 where she served with Mary Ward, a fellow nurse from the Perth Public Hospital – and her future husband Capt (Dr) George Whittington. Was rested at the Convalescent Home, Michelham from the 9/11/1918 – and then the Nurses Home, Abbeville 16/1/1919 – before rejoining the 8th General Hospital on the 11/2/1919 Admited to Hospital with Influenza on the 26/2/1919 until the 10/3/1919 No.8 General Hospital, A/Matron K. Roscoe, 3/4/19 “This lady has served under my supervision from 1.6.18 to 8/11/18 & from 10.2.19 to present date. I have found her work during these periods excellent. She is a very good surgical & medical nurse & a capable ward manager. She is bright, good-tempered & tactful; maintaining good discipline & order in her wards She manages & trains the orderlies well, & her influence in general is good. She is fitted for promotion to a higher rank in due course.” On the 30/4/1919 she was sent to England to be demobilized, and served at the Lord Derby War Hospital in Warrington whilst awaiting repatriation home (also with her was Mary Ward) Prevented at the last minute from sailing on the Osterley on the 21/5/1919 with her friend, Sister Mary Ward, she was instead invested with the Royal Red Cross (2nd Class) by His Majesty the King at Buckingham Palace on 23/5/1919 She then returned to Australia on the Bremen, embarking 4/6/1919 – her appointment terminated 10/7/1919 – and arrived at Fremantle on the 15/7/1919 Following is a copy of her letter received by the Defence Department, Melbourne in December 1919: “I volunteered to join the A.I.F. Nursing Service early in 1915, but was told that there were no vacancies at the time. Later on, volunteers were asked for to join Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nursing Service, and I was one of the seven accepted by the authorities in this State. I embarked in December 1915, and proceeded to England, then to France where I served in several hospitals, including No. 26 General, and No. 6 C.C.S., for three years and two months. I received the R.R.C. from His Majesty the King for services in France. After the Armistice I, amongst others, was asked to sign on until peace was signed and did so. This was in March of this year and in April I received sudden orders to proceed to England for demobilization, this after having provided myself with kit to use during extra period of duty. Just prior to returning to England I received £7.10.0 of my gratuity. On arrival in England I was attached to the Lord Derby War Hospital until my embarkation for Australia on June 3rd, and arrived at Fremantle on 15th July on the H.M.T. “Breman.” Since arrival here I received an envelope from the War Office enclosing a Money Order for £10.11.4. As there was no covering letter I do not know whether this was on account of pay or gratuity. With the exception of the abovementioned two accounts I have to received any pay or allowances since April for this year nor gratuity and had to borrow money from a relation in England for expenses on the way home. Pay is due to me for May, June and half of July. Uniform allowance from December 1918 to June 1919 and Gratuity for three and a half years service less the two sums already mentioned above. Might I ask that you will forward this matter on through the proper channels to the authorities concerned with a view to having it adjusted satisfactorily.” In 1920 she returned to England with her sister Winifred, travelling on the Osterley and arriving in London on the 3/9/1920. She married Gerald WHITTINGTON on the 5th of October 1920 in the Parish Church at Betchworth, (near Reigate), Surrey, England Gerald Whittington was born c1884 London – Son of Charles J. and Mary – Doctor – died Mar Qtr 1964 Surrey. WW1: Lieut, 8th Gen Hosp – Capt, RAMC / also served in Serbia Feb-Jun 1915 (Order of St Sava, 5th Class) and on the HS Neuralia at the Dardanelles in Sept 1915 Addresses: 1921, 1927: “Morningside”, Pilgrims Way, Reigate, Surrey 1928, 1939: Toongahra, Castlefield Rd, Reigate, Surrey 1967: Toongahra, St. Albans Road, Reigate, Surrey Irene died on the 6th of February 1967 in the East Surrey Hospital, Redhill, Surrey, England, aged 75 The Daily News (Perth, WA), Tue 31 Mar 1914 (p.3): ROUTINE WORK The Chairman (Mr G. Taylor, M.L.A.) presided at the monthly meeting of the Perth Hospital Board yesterday afternoon. …………………………… The House Committee recommended ……………………………; that Nurses Parker and Denson be appointed to positions of staff nurses; ………………………. The Daily News (Perth, WA), Sat 18 Dec 1915 (p.5): Mainly About People Miss Irene Denson (nurse), of South Perth, will be leaving by the Karoola next Thursday on medical service at the front with the R.A.M.C. The Daily News (Perth, WA), Tue 15 Feb 1916 (p.3): Mainly About People Sister I.M. Denson, A.T.N.A., has arrived in England, and been appointed to the R.A.M.C., Warnecliffe Hospital, Sheffield. The West Australian (Perth, WA), Sat 1 Apr 1916 (p.8): PERSONAL Sister I.M. Denson, A.T.N.A., has been appointed to the Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve. After a training in the Warnecliffe War Hospital, Sheffield, she will be stationed somewhere in France. The West Australian (Perth, WA), Tue 18 Apr 1916 (p.7): MISCELLANEOUS A cablegram received yesterday states that Sister I.M. Denson, A.T.N.A., recently appointed to the Wharncliffe War Hospital, Sheffield, as a member of the Q.A.I.M.N.S.R. has been sent to France to take charge of the operating theatre in a field hospital there. Western Mail (Perth, WA), Fri 17 Nov 1916 (p.32): PERSONAL Sister I.M. Denson, Q.A.I.M.N.S.R., has recovered from a slight attack of bronchitis, and has resumed her duties as Charge Sister at No. 26 General Hospital, France. The Daily News (Perth, WA), Wed 16 May 1917 (p.3): Mainly About People The engagement is announced of Sister Irene May Denson, Q.A.I.M.N.S.R., now on active service in France, eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs H.E. Denson, of South Perth, to Lieutenant Clive William Firth, South Staffordshire Regiment, of Kenwood Park, Sheffield, England. Northern Times (Carnarvon, WA), Sat 2 Jun 1917 (p.2): LOCAL AND GENERAL AN ENGAGEMENT Old Carnarvonites will be interested in the following announcement which appeared on the Perth “Daily News,” of May 16: – ………………[as above] Western Mail (Perth, WA), Fri 1 Mar 1918 (p.26): News has been received that Staff Nurse Miss I.M. Denson, of South Perth, who is on active service in France, has been mentioned in despatches by the Field Marshal Commanding-in-Chief. Sister Denson left for the front in December 1915. The British Journal of Nursing, 15 June 1918 (p.416): THE ROYAL RED CROSS The King has been pleased, on the occasion of His Majesty’s Birthday, to award the Royal Red Cross Decoration to the following ladies of the Nursing Services in recognition of their valuable services with the Armies in France and Flanders: – The Royal Red Cross – Second Class ………………….; Miss I.M. Denson, Staff Nurse, Q.A.I.M.N.S.R.; ………………………. The Daily News (Perth, WA), Mon 17 Jun 1918 (p.5): ROYAL RED CROSS – A SOUTH PERTH RECIPIENT Cable news has been received that Sister I.M. Denson, Q.A.I.M.N.S.R., of South Perth, has been awarded the Royal Red Cross. Sister Denson was previously mentioned in despatches by Field Marshal Commanding in Chief for distinguished services at the front. Sunday Times (Perth, WA), Sun 3 Nov 1918 (p.14): PERTH PRATTLE Mr and Mrs H.E. Denson of South Perth, have reason to be proud of their family. Sister Denson, of the Queen Alexandra Hospital, has been awarded with the Royal Red Cross and mentioned in despatches, and their eldest son, Major R.H. Denson, of the Imperial Cavalry [sic] Corps, has now been awarded the D.S.O. The Daily News (Perth, WA), Sat 28 Jun 1919 (p.5): Mainly About People Sisters M. Ward and I.M. Denson, of W.A., are now attached to Lord Derby’s war hospital, Warrington, according to an English paper. The Daily News (Perth, WA), Mon 30 Jun 1919 (p.3): Mainly About People – “Franziska” Charge-Sister I.M. Denson, Q.A.I.M.N.S.R., who left W.A. on December 24, 1915, on nursing service abroad, is returning to Perth by the Bremen, having been prevented at the last moment from sailing with her friend, Nurse M. Ward, who arrived on Saturday by the Osterley. Sister Denson, it will be remembered, was invested with the Royal Red Cross by His Majesty the King at Buckingham Palace on May 23. Sunday Times (Perth), Sun 6 Jul 1919: Charge-sister I.M. Denson, whom King George decorated with the RRC after three and a half years’ war service, is included in the lengthy list of Westralians who sailed by the Bremen recently. The West Australian, Fri 21 Oct 1927: DEATHS DENSON – On October 19, 1927 (suddenly), Henry Edward Denson, dearly loved husband of Eleanor, and fond father of Reginald (Major, DSO), Irene, Sister, RRC (Mrs Whittington), Doris, Winnie, Nora and Henry Edward, and loved grand-dad of little Malcolm. Aged 69 years. English and Eastern States papers please copy. Kalgoorlie Miner (WA), Fri 21 Oct 1927 (p.4): EVENTFUL VOYAGE Perth, Oct 20 Quite a chapter of incidents signalised the latest voyage of the interstate liner Karoola from Port Adelaide to Fremantle. ……………………….. Among the passengers was Henry Edward Denson (69), who came from Victoria to visit his son. While his son was motoring his father to Perth the latter collapsed and died immediately. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/32059491 The West Australian (Perth, WA), Mon 23 Apr 1945 (p.1): DEATHS DENSON – On February 18, 1945, at Toongahra, Reigate, England, Eleanor, widow of Henry Edward Denson of Chester. England and Wales National Probate Calender: WHITTINGTON Irene May of Toongahra St. Albans Road Reigate Surrey died 6 February 1967 at East Surrey Hospital Redhill Probate London 16 June to Phillip Raymond Whittington and John Raymond Whittington members of the London stock exchange. £11117. Notes: [MC: Irene May Denson (now Mrs Whittington)] [SR: Irene Denson – WO 399/2186] 1916 ER (her name not yet removed): “Leura”, Suburban Rd, Sth Perth (nurse) – [Eleanor North, Doris Nellie (schoolmistress), Henry Edward (merchant), Winifred Annie (schoolteacher)] 1896: Mr H. Denson (Merchant, 35) and Mrs Denson (33), with children Master Denson (8), Irene (6), Doris (5) and Winnie (3) arrived in Victoria from London on the 7/8/1896 aboard the Damascus (their destination Sydney) 1901: Mr and Mrs Denson, with children R. (son, 11), Irene (10), Doris (9), Winnie (7), Norah (5) and H. (son, 2), boarded the SS Wilcannia in Sydney – arriving London 25/4/1901 1907: Henry (Farmer, 49) and Eleanor (47), with children Herbert Reginald (19), Irene May (17), Doris Nellie (15), Winifred Annie (14), Nora Elsie (11) and Henry Edward (10), boarded the RMS Orotava 23/8/1907 for Fremantle, Australia 1920: Irene M (nurse, 28) and Winifred A (school teacher, 26), embarked Fremantle on the Osterley - arriving London 3/9/1920 (intending to live in England) [Malcolm Reginald DENSON b.5/12/1922 Heidelberg, Vic – son of Mr & Mrs H.R. Denson] Probate: DENSON Nora Elsie ……………. Administration………to Irene May Whittington……….