NURSES

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Nurses from Balmoral Shire
Constance Mabel Keys – Head Sister – b. 1886 – d. 1964
Gladys Ivy Echlin – Staff Nurse – b. 1887 – d. 1971
Lavinia Amelia Hardcastle– Staff Nurse – b. 1888 – d. 1965
Janet Ivy Barron– Staff Nurse – b. 1890 – d. 1943

On 1 November 1919 a tree was planted in Bulimba Memorial Park which was reported to be “in commemoration of the service of a devoted nursing sister who left the district to serve at the front”. Also acknowledged was the “splendid services which women had given in the war”. Research has found four World War One nurses had associations with the Balmoral Shire.

Constance Mabel Keys lived at the family home at Galloways Hill. She trained at the Brisbane General Hospital and enlisted as a Staff Nurse in September 1914 embarking three days later as part of the first contingent on the “HMAT Omrah” A5. She served in the Middle East, England and France. Constance was highly decorated being twice mentioned in despatches, as well as receiving the Royal Red Cross Second Class in 1916 and First Class in 1919. The French Republic awarded her the French Medaille Des Epidemies en Vermeil in 1919. She was also entitled to the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. Head Sister Keys returned to Australia 1 November 1919. Two of her brothers also served.

Gladys Ivy Echlin was born in 1887 at Bulimba. She enlisted in November 1914 as a Staff Nurse and embarked on the “HMAT Kyarra” A55 the following month. She served in Egypt, England and France. In 1917 Gladys was awarded the Royal Red Cross Second Class. She was also entitled to the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. Gladys returned to Australia 9 February 1919.

Lavinia Amelia Hardcastle lived in the family home in Hawthorne. She was the daughter of a local Councillor. Lavinia enlisted on 2 June 1917 as a Staff Nurse and embarked a week later on the “RMS Mooltan”. She served in Greece and England before returning to Australia 18 July 1919. Lavinia was entitled to the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Janet Ivy Barron’s family home was in Bulimba. She was working at the Enoggera Camp Hospital when she enlisted in December 1916 as a Staff Nurse. She embarked on 29 December 1916 on the “HMAT Themistocles” A32 and served in France and England. Janet returned to Australia 1 July 1919. Janet was entitled to the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. A brother also served.