MAKEPEACE, Mary Ridley

Biography

Mary Ridley Makepeace was born on the 7th January 1860, in Newcastle-on-Tyne. She was privately educated and entered nurse training at the London Hospital in August 1890. She completed a two-ryear certificate and then had a short spell as a staff nurse at the Throat Hospital, before moving to a post at Croydon General Hospital1.

Nursing in the Victorian Wars

Mary Ridley Makepeace joined the Army Nursing Service in October 1894. She was posted to the Royal Victoria Hospital Netley and then moved to the Shorncliffe Military Hospital in March 18971.

Nursing service in the Boer War

In October 1899 she was posted to the Hospital Ship Spartan, and then to the Hospital Ship Avoca from February 1900 to October 1901. She then had several postings in the Orange River Colony1.

The crew, Medical Officers and Sisters on the Hospital Ship Spartan.
The crew, Medical Officers and Sisters on the Hospital Ship Spartan. Mary Ridley Makepeace is numbered ‘5’2.
A ward on the Hospital Ship Spartan, Sister Makepeace in charge
A ward on the Hospital Ship Spartan, Sister Makepeace in charge2.

Nursing service after the Boer War

In February 1903 she was accepted into the newly formed Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service as a Sister3. She came back from South Africa in 1905 and returned to the RVH Netley for a short while before being posted to the Military Hospital Cork. During her time in Cork she passed her examinations to become a Matron.

She was next posted to the Military Hospital Devonport in November 1909, where she remained until being sent to Malta as Matron in June 1914.

Nursing service in WW1

Matron Makepeace was serving in Malta at the outbreak of war and remained their until being invalided home in July 1916. She was placed on retired pay on account of her ill health on the 21st April 1917, having served over 22 years as an Army nurse1.

References

  1. The National Archives: War Office 399/ 5554
  2. Black and White Budget January 6th, 1900 pp. 22-23
  3. London Gazette May 26th, 1903 p.3365

PAGET, Annie

Biography

Sister Annie Paget trained at the Royal City of Dublin Hospital in Dublin. She joined the Princess Christian’s Army Nursing Service (Reserve) on 30th September 19001.

Nursing Service in the Boer War

During the Boer War Sister Annie Paget served at the Military Hospital, Aldershot1, and in the lines of communication, Cape Town2.

References

  1. War Office (1900) Nominal Roll of Princess Christian’s Army Nursing Service (Reserve) as at 30th September
  2. The National Archives: WO 100/229 QSA Medal Roll p187 created at Lines of Communication, Capetown; August 13, 1901

O’LOUGLIN, Annie Margaret

Bibliography

Miss Annie Margaret O’LOUGHLIN trained at the Bucknell Hospital, Stoke-on-Trent, 1931-1999 and the Smithdown Road Hospital, Liverpool, 1939-1941.

Nursing Service in WW2

Sister Annie Margaret O’LOUGHLIN Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Nursing Service (Reserve) (QAIMNSR) was killed in action when HMHS Newfoundland was bombed off the Salerno beaches, in the Mediterranean1 2.

References

  1. The British Journal of Nursing, March 1944, p.29
  2. Cassino Memorial Plaques in the Cassino Cemetery, Italy

NUTTALL, Phyllis

Nursing Service in WW2

274639 Sister Phyllis NUTTALL Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service was killed at sea on the 12th February, when the SS Khedive Ismail was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in the Indian Ocean 1 2 3.

She is commemorated on the Brookwood Memorial, Panel 22. Column 2 4.

References

  1. Smith, AK (2002) Gender & Warfare in the twentieth century: Textual representation. Manchester: MUP. p112.
  2. Worsley, P.(Ed) (2010) SS Khedive Ismail. Maritime Heritage Association Journal Vol. 2 (12). p7.
  3. Crabbe, B. (2014) Beyond the call of duty [WWW] http://www.briancrabbmaritimebooks.co.uk/beyond-the-call-of-duty
  4. Commonwealth War Graves Commission http://www.cwg.org

MORGAN, Sarah

Nursing Service in WW2

274164 Sister Sarah MORGAN Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service was killed at sea on the 12th February 1944, when the SS Khedive Ismail was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in the Indian Ocean1, 2, 3. She is commemorated on the Brookwood Memorial Panel 22. Column 24.

References

  1. Smith, AK (2004) Gender & Warfare in the twentieth century: Textual representations. Manchester: MUP. p112.
  2. Worsley, P. (Ed) (2010) SS Khedive Ismail. Maritime Heritage Association Journal Vol 21(2). p7.
  3. Crabbe, B. (2014) Beyond the call of duty [WWW] http://www.briancrabbmaritimebooks.co.uk/beyond-the-call-of-duty
  4. Commonwealth War Graves Commission. http://www.cwgc.org

MOORE, Isabella

Nursing Service in WW2

215107 Sister Isabella MOORE Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service was killed at sea on the 12th February 1944, when the SS Khedive Ismail was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in the Indian Ocean1 2 3. She is commemorated on the Brookwood Memorial, Panel 22. Column 2. Daughter of Thomas and Mary Moore4.

References

  1. Smith, AK (2004) Gender & Warfare in the twentieth century: Textual representations. Manchester: MUP. p112.
  2. Worsley, P. (Ed) (2010) SS Khedive Ismail. Maritime Heritage Association Journal Vol 21(2). p7.
  3. Crabbe, B. (2014) Beyond the call of duty [WWW] http://www.briancrabbmaritimebooks.co.uk/beyond-the-call-of-duty
  4. Commonwealth War Graves Commission. http://www.cwgc.org

McMILLAN, Marion Lennox

Biography

Prior to going into the military she was employed at Gartloch Emergency Hospital as a sister, receiving her early training at Belverdere Hospital and Royal Infirmary, Glasgow1.

Nursing Service in WW2

Sister Marion Lennox
Sister Marion Lennox

266937 Sister Marion Lennox McMILLAN Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service was killed at sea on the 12th February 1944, when the SS Khedive Ismail was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in the Indian Ocean2, 3, 4. She is commemorated on the Brookwood Memorial, Panel 22. Column 2. Daughter of Samuel Mitchell McMillan, and of Marion McIntyre McMillan, of California, Falkirkshire. S.R.F.N., S.R.N.5.

References

  1. Twinspire (2015) Polmont Old Parish Church Newsletter Issue 61.
  2. Smith, AK (2004) Gender & Warfare in the twentieth century: Textual representations. Manchester: MUP. p112.
  3. Worsley, P. (Ed) (2010) SS Khedive Ismail. Maritime Heritage Association Journal Vol 21(2). p7.
  4. Crabbe, B. (2014) Beyond the call of duty [WWW] http://www.briancrabbmaritimebooks.co.uk/beyond-the-call-of-duty
  5. Commonwealth War Graves Commission. http://www.cwgc.org

McGIBBON, Rose Anne (Rosa)

Biography

Rose Anne (known as Rosa during her nursing career), was born in Lurgan, Co. Armagh on August 10th 18861. Following a period as a book keeper she trained as a nurse at the Mater Infirmorum, Belfast, between January 1909 and January 19131. She than trained as a District Nurse at St Lawrence’s House, Dublin, which was the training institution for Catholic nurses at that time1. She enlisted into the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Nursing Service (Reserve) in June 19152, as a Staff Nurse.

Nursing Service in WWW1

Nurse McGibbon embarked on the Aquitania for Suez, leaving Southampton on the 9th November 1915 and arrived in Egypt on the 27th November. In Egypt she joined 18 Stationary Hospital. In November 2016 she joined 21 General Hospital in Alexandria, and in December 2017 she was appointed an Acting Sister. In June 1918 she was admitted to 19 General Hospital and had an appendicectomy. She appeared to recover but then became very unwell and was readmitted. After investigations she was invalided back to the UK on the Hospital Ship Wandilla. She was sent home on sick leave, and died at home on 6th March 19192.

References

  1. The Wellcome Trust; London, England; Roll of Queen’s Nurses; Volume: 20; Reference: SA/QNI/J.3/20
  2. The National Archives: War Office: WO/399/5187 McGibbon, Rosa

MACLAREN, Jean Noel

Nursing Service in WW2

238130 Sister Jean Noel MACLAREN Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service was killed at sea on the 12th February 1944, when the SS Khedive Ismail was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in the Indian Ocean1 2 3. She is commemorated on the Brookwood Memorial, Panel 22. Column 2. Daughter of James Anderson Maclaren, K.C., and of Margaret Yule Maclaren (nee Young)4.

References

  1. Smith, AK (2004) Gender & Warfare in the twentieth century: Textual representations. Manchester: MUP. p112.
  2. Worsley, P. (Ed) (2010) SS Khedive Ismail. Maritime Heritage Association Journal Vol 21(2). p7.
  3. Crabbe, B. (2014) Beyond the call of duty [WWW] http://www.briancrabbmaritimebooks.co.uk/beyond-the-call-of-duty
  4. Commonwealth War Graves Commission. http://www.cwgc.org

LOW, Harriet Isabella

Bibliography

Harriet Isabella Low was born in Blairgowrie, Perthshire on April 3rd 19061,2. She trained at Ruchill Hospital in Glasgow, sitting her final examinations in 19343. She joined the Territorial Army Nursing Service as a Staff Nurse before the outbreak of WW2. She was commissioned as a Sister on May 30th 19414.

Nursing Service in WW2

Harriet Isabella Low
Harriet Isabella Low

Harriet gave an interview in 1989 where she recorded some of her memories5:

Through the blood and thunder of the Normandy landings, nursing officer Harriet Fisher, in boots, leggings and helmet fought to save the lives of countless wounded men.

At 83, she now lives a quieter, but active life in Canterbury, where she has been for 43 years, working as a district nurse and midwife, and supporting many voluntary organisations.

Harriet was called up for action in September, 1939, at home in Scotland, where she was a member of the Dundee Territorial Army.

In the following months, she was installed on a huge floating hospital, which was to voyage through treacherous waters to visit war zones all over the world.

The three ships sailed first to India, then to Africa, and were constantly in danger of attack.

Despite the danger, Harriet has happy memories of that time. On board ship was a young soldier just back from Singapore, called Bill Fisher, who she was to marry a few years later.

“Anything could have happened to us – ships were being torpedoed all the time, but we didn’t have time to think of the dangers. I was very happy,” said Harriet.

After a stop in India, they set up a hospital in Cairo and nursed convoys of soldiers who had been fighting in the desert.

Although she saw some horrific injuries, Harriet remembers the characters she met and the jokes she shared with the soldiers.

“When they saw me coming up the ward, they used to say to each other, ‘Lie down Jock, the battleaxe is coming!’ and as they got better, they used to help me do the tea in the mornings.”

In 1944, with invasion preparations intensifying in Britain, Harriett was anxious to get on the front line. “We didn’t want to miss that.”

She remembers landing on the Normandy beaches and all the excitement and noise, but, armed with her nurses’ instruments in dangerous territory, her first thought was to help the wounded.

A casualty clearing station was set up in nearby Bayeux, and injured soldiers flooded in.

“I will never forget the bombing while we were there. At night, I used to lie on my tummy and watch the gunfire lighting up the sky,” she recalls.

She has been awarded several medals for bravery. The sense of discipline she learned on the front lines and her staunch love of the nursing profession have stayed with her.

After her marriage to Bill Fisher, the soldier she met at sea, she came to Canterbury and worked as a district nurse and midwife. She is now the vice president of the East Kent Normandy Veterans and is always busily engaged in voluntary work.”

There are some slight inaccuracies in this report. Harriet did not receive medals for bravery, but was ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ twice for her service in North West Europe and the Normandy landings6,7.

Harriett also gave talks on her experiences in the Second World War and her family have some of her notes made for these. What follows is the first 12 pages from her notebook8:

I was called up in September 1939 & mobilised at Cruden Bay Hotel, Aberdeenshire, a beautiful golf course in a lovely setting. I left Aberdeen by train for Liverpool, on 22nd July, 1940. We then left Liverpool on the Aquitania on the 24th July 1940. Also with us was the Mauritania. We were escorted by two cruisers & three destroyers. We picked up the Queen Mary on the North West coast of Ireland. Altogether we were three large General Hospitals – the 15th (Scottish) General Hospital, the 23rd (Scottish) Peebles General Hospital, and the 19th General Hospital (Ormskirk).

It was a lovely morning when we set sail for an ‘unknown destination’. On the way out we danced, played deck quoits, chess, bridge, whist drives, had concerts & parties. The cabins were wonderful, 1st class & in ours there were three beds, WC & a bathroom (three nursing sisters). We had a wonderful shop where one could buy sweets, cigarettes, cosmetics etc. & there was also a hairdressers salon & we had our special stewards who did us well.

The Dining Saloon was exquisite, small tables which we had to keep too, all the way across, dressing for dinner etc. according to the climate. Meals were served at regular hours & the same stewards at every meal & they really were exceptionally nice. We went to church every Sunday a.m. having three padres, Church of Scotland, Church of England & Roman Catholic. We also had evening services, comunity singing & communion. Of course, in the evening on the ship, we had complete blackout, and one of the stewards, his duty was to go around all of the cabins, shut up all the windows & port holes & then they were opened again in the morning, same procedure. All the doors leading to, & out on to the deck, were covered inside by large black heavy curtains, as blackout was absolutely necessary & we were always having lectures to this effect, even the cigarettes were not allowed by anyone on the deck after blackout time. Two or three times every day we had boat drill, all at our special boat stations.

We danced nearly every night & as we were an all Scottish unit we danced every Scotch dance possible, Eightsome Reels, Quadrilles, Two-steps, Strip the Willow, Brown’s Reel, Waltzes, Flowers of Edinburgh, Dashing White Sergeant, The Gay Gordons, Highland Scottish etc. & even crossing the equator we danced Eightsome Reels with all the usual formalities. We used to get up every a.m. very early & walk around the deck six r seven times before breakfast. The meals were really wonderful, & of course, there were many fish courses & the bar as usual. Several of the Sisters were very sick for a few days, but it never affected me one bit.

We even played tug-of-war, Sisters & officers, & mixed teams etc. There was every possible regiment Royal Engineers, Royal Artillery, Tank Corps, Guardsman, Pay Corps, RAF, RASC, RAOC, RAMC, Hussars, Military Police, SIB & Intelligence etc.

The 1st port of call was Freetown on the East coast of Africa, a very nasty climate indeed, a highly malaria area. We stayed here only one night, but never were allowed ashore. We sailed from Freetown to Cape Town, as the ships being too big, we went on to the Naval art of Simonstown. We anchored & were taken ashore in small boats, having to climb down the rope ladders, which was really great fun. We stayed here for six nights, being allowed ashore every day. We had a wonderful reception & a really lovely time. One feature was the ‘darkies’ who used to jump in & out of th water from their little punts to find the English money we threw in from deck of our ship. We visited all the places of interest possible, at our disposal, the Table Mountain, hospitals etc. & enjoyed trips all  around.

We sailed from Simonstown to Columbo, the capital of Ceylon. We stayed here for 4 days & from there transhipped, sailing to Bombay on a ship called the Talamba, an Indian boat, having curry & rice nearly every day & served by the Indians. We went ashore at Bombay, where we stayed for 6 days in the Empress Hotel, & I was lucky a nurse friend of mine awaited us & took us to visit her hospital. We did all the sight seeing possible, visiting places of interest & had trips all around on the rickshaws pulled by the natives, also visiting a Regular Army hospital. Our troops were stationed at the stadium, where they had a well-earned rest & further training. When we left Bombay there were 13 ships in our convoy, when we sailed on to the Suez Canal through the Red Sea, & the heat was absolutely terrific.

We eventually arrived in the city of Cairo where we started up the 15th (Scottish) General Hospital. It was a beautiful hospital belonging to the Egyptians, situated across the road from the banks of the Nile. The Sisters’ Mess being 3 magnificent houseboats on the Nile, & living accommodation too, Anglo-American houseboats. Each Sister had a single cabin with all conveniences, on one side, the Nile & on the other side the tram cars & traffic etc., & our hospital just across the road. We had a super dining room downstairs, sitting room & lounge upstairs. The waiters were all Sudanese & spoke English very little. They used to dress up elaborately for serving of meals. The food was really wonderful, & we had fresh fruit served every day such as:- bananas, figs, dates, grapes, mangoes. oranges, water melon, sugar melon, & many more foreign fruits. Every cabin had a bell, & if you wished tea in your cabin you ordered it, & the boy brought it to you, beautifully served. We could also have visitors to tea on the top lounge, small tables, & overlooking the Nile on one side, & the busy traffic on the other. We had two small boats, attached to our houseboats, for taking us across the river to the ‘Geizero Sporting Club’, which all Sisters could join if they wished to, payment of course. I used to play squash quite a lot, tennis, & riding, swimming etc. The swimming pool was excellent, & you could have tea by the side of he pool.

We used to visit the pyramids, & have our fortunes told in the sand. The best time of course to visit the pyramids was at twelve o’clock at night, when the moon was shining on them. The camels used to pass our hospital during the night, & all you could hear was the tinkle of the little bell around their necks, & see all the shadows. During my stay in Cairo I was a member of ‘The Services Choral Society’, which gave a performance of Handel’s ‘Messiah; in Cairo Cathedral, which was broadcast home. I was also a member of the Church of Scotland choir in the Scottish Church in Cairo. After the church service we used to help all of the soldiers possible & provide teas free. They also used to run dances for the troops. I also had the pleasure of speaking to my parents over the radio, to my home in Blairgowrie, Perthshire, & to my husband’s mother in Canterbury, & this was a very thrilling experience indeed. I stayed with my hospital for 2 1/2 years, where we worked exceedingly hard indeed, with all the heavy casualties from the western desert, nursing our wonderful & unforgettable 8th Army, having the pleasure of Lord Montgomery, & General Wingate, who used to pay a visit to the troops, the Duke of Gloucester, who paid us an official visit, & Sir Arthur Tedder.

I used to take parties of our patients who had been very badly wounded, to Cairo, by taxi & give them tea, ice cream  & cakes. These were patients who had been badly disabled, perhaps one leg, no hands, shrapnel wounds, face disfigurements etc. I did this on my day off, or on my half day. I booked the same place overtime, which was the TOC-H, and where we received VIP treatment. It was run by a Scottish Matron, and she certainly looked very well after us. It was very private, & if the lads could not feed themselves it was my pleasure to do it, rather than to have the Egyptians watching us, as there was nothing they ever missed.

During my start in Cairo I had a vacation to ‘The Holy Land’, visiting Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Gethsemane, Balbex, & the Wailing Wall, & right up through Syria to Allepo, up to the borders …

References

  1. National Records of Scotland, Statutory Registers: Births, 335/29 Harriet Isabella Low
  2. England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
  3. Royal College of Nursing, Edinburgh: Scotland, Nursing Applications, 1921-1945
  4. Supplement to the London Gazette February 6th 1941, page 607
  5. Canterbury Adscene, Friday 1st September 1989 “Echoes of War – Part Two”
  6. Supplement to the London Gazette May 10th 1945, page 2468
  7. Supplement to the London Gazette November 8th 1945, page 5455
  8. Notebook of Harriet Isabella Fisher (née Low)