These are the Great War medals of Matron Ida Greaves of the Australian Voluntary Hospital, Wimereux France. Left to right, they are the Royal Red Cross 1st Class, 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. This set of medals is exceptional not only because the Royal Red Cross 1st Class was only awarded to approximately 44 Australian women during the course of the War but because this particular medal was one of the first two to be awarded to an Australian. Matron Greaves and Matron Nora Fletcher BRCS of Sydney received their awards at Buckingham Palace on 12 July 1915.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported the award on 25 June 1915, p5, with the comment that “Nurse Greaves is a native of Newcastle and is very well known here.” What a pity that the memory of this exceptional woman seems to have faded, unlike that of the Hunter’s Victoria Cross recipients.