Monthly Archives: May 2013

No ordinary set of medals …

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 43 Australian women during the course of the War but because this particular one was the first to be awarded to an Australian. Matron Greaves received the award for outstanding service as matron of one of the first field hospitals (Australian Voluntary Hospital) to arrive in France at the outbreak of war.

Medals of Matron Ida Greaves, RRC.  Photo courtesy Greaves family archive.

Medals of Matron Ida Greaves, RRC. Courtesy Greaves family archive.

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.

 

Purchasing copies of “Sisters of the Valley”

Visitors to this website have enquired regarding buying a copy of “Sisters of the Valley – First World War Nurses from Newcastle and the Hunter region”.  You can download an order form from the website of the Royal Newcastle Hospital Graduate Nurses’ Association –  www.rnhgna.com or call in to Local Studies at Newcastle Public Library, Laman Street, Newcastle.