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Monday, 5 November 2012

WWI Nurses with a connection to Ryde District

In our research to-date we have found eight Nurses, Sisters or Matrons on our lists for the Ryde Municipality.

Much has been written about Matron (Mary Anne) Bessie Pocock, 
who was born in Queensland and grew up in the Grafton area of New South Wales. Pocock did her general nursing training at Sydney Hospital from November 1890 and continued on the staff as a sister until  she joined the New South Wales Army Nursing Service Reserve in 1899 and enlisted for service in the South African War. She returned to Sydney Hospital in June 1903 until she was appointed matron of hospitals for the insane at Newcastle in 1907-11 and at Gladesville in 1911-14.
In September 1914 Sister Pocock enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force and took up duty as senior sister of the 2nd Australian General Hospital, Cairo, Egypt, she then served as matron at the temporary hospital for the wounded at Ismailia, on the Hospital Ship Assaye and in France & Belgium, the Australian convalescent hospital, Cobham Hall, Kent, England and the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, England before returning to Sydney on 30 October 1919. After the war she resumed her position as matron at Gladesville Hospital.
Bessie Pocock was awarded the Royal Red Cross, 2nd class.

While there are numerous photos of, and lots of published material dealing with Matron Pocock's WWI service, very little is known of the other seven women who served and to-date we haven't found any photos of them.

If you have any information that would add to our research project we would love to hear from you.

Nellie Frances
Charlotte Louisa
Elizabeth Ellen
Emmeline Anne
Mary Anne Bessie
Evelyn Maud

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