Reconstructing a life from the archives – presentation at Newcastle Writers’ Festival 20 March 2015

Reconstructing a life from the archives

Thanks to all who attended my session on the biography of Matron Ida Greaves.  Please find attached a copy of my presentation.


3 thoughts on “Reconstructing a life from the archives – presentation at Newcastle Writers’ Festival 20 March 2015

  1. Marlene Davidson

    I enjoyed your Cup of Tea Inside History in November and now..
    What a wonderful presentation Christine on-line from the Writers Fwestival.
    Thank you for sharing this with us on-line.
    At Central Coast Family History Society we are having a special WW1 Memories day and I’ll certainly mention this presentation.
    Our meetings are the 1st Saturday of the month.
    Could I chat to you later about being a guest speaker?

  2. Guy Anstiss


    Very interesting to read you posts. I am massively interested in Ida Greaves as she was Matron of 4th CCS at Dozinghem near Proven in Flanders prior to and during the third battle of Ypres. She and sister Mary O’Dowd nursed my great grandfather 24168 Private Alfred Houldcroft from when he reached the CCS on 10th August 1917 having been hit by shrapnel from shellfire until his death at 0450 on the 13th. At the time he was serving with C Company 6th Ox and Bucks Light infantry carrying up stores and ammunition just prior to the intended H hour on 12th August. I have a number of letters written by people he came into contact with and one of those is the letter written by Matron Greaves in pencil to my great grandmother informing her of the circumstances of his death. It has always been a treasured article in our family. I have a dream that one day i would write a book that weaves together a biography of all the people from whom the family received a letter that starts before the war and leads to when they are in contact with my great grandfather and to what happened to them afterward. Probably it will have to wait until I retire. are you writing a biography of matron Greaves? To me she has always been an angel in a grey uniform. Very good to hear she is quite famous. She always has been to my family. please contact if you wish

    1. Great War Nurses from Newcastle & the Hunter Region Post author

      Good to hear from you, Guy, what a lovely story about the letter from Matron Greaves. I have always thought that such letters from nurses would be treasured by the family, and this confirms it. I certainly am writing a biography of Matron Greaves, though proceeding quite slowly as is the way with such projects. Your idea for a book about your great grandfather sounds like a winner. As he was in a British regiment, I assume you are not from Newcastle, NSW? Will contact you in the next day or two. Cheers, Christine


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