Connection with the Hunter Valley – Sister Blanche Cresswick ARRC was born in Newcastle and trained at Newcastle Hospital, graduating in 1905. In 1926 Blanche was appointed Head Sister of the new Convalescent Home at New Lambton, an off-shoot of Newcastle Hospital. A memorial to Blanche in the form of a fountain was erected in the gardens of the Home.
Nursing experience Blanche worked at Newcastle and Marrickville Hospitals and was Matron of Grafton Hospital before she enlisted.
Service Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS)
Service location Egypt, France and UK
Medals – 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal and Associate Royal Red Cross. The latter was awarded to Blanche for her service at a Casualty Clearing Station in France.
National Archives of Australia B2455 CRESSWICK B
Nominal Roll of the First AIF Australian War Memorial (AWM) AWM133, 12-027 (‘Creswick Blanch’)
Embarkation Roll of the First AIF AWM 1 Australian General Hospital – 1 to 6 and Special Reinforcements (February 1915 – April 1916)
Newcastle Museum collection – 1995/108.1-3; 1995/106.1-4
Sydney Morning Herald, 17 April 1917,p.5 retrieved from Trove 19 May 2010; 16 August 1918, p.8 and 18 February 1919, p.7 retrieved from Trove 17 May 2010
The Sydney Mail, 28 August 1918, p.24
Supplement to the London Gazette,3 June 1918, p.6475
Newcastle Morning Herald, 25 April 1946, p.7 (obituary)
Australasian Nurses’ Journal, Vol XVII No 3 March 1919, pp.82-83
Audrey Armitage, A Golden Age of Nursing, Royal Newcastle Hospital Graduates’ Association Book Committee, Newcastle, 1991, pp.95-95 & 195
Photo of memorial to Sister Cresswick in the grounds of Newcastle Private Hospital.
© Christine Bramble 2013
Thank you for this wonderful detailed record of Sr Blanche Cresswick. Blanche is my maternal grandmother’s great Aunt. My mother and daughter have also been delighted to find this information while researching my daughter’s history assignment on nurses of the Great War.
Thank you for your comment, Kate. You have an ancestor to be proud of. Hope the assignment goes well. It is so important for people to understand the experiences of those who had to deal with the human damage of the War, whether they were nurses, doctors or stretcher bearers. Best wishes, Christine
Hi Kate. Maybe we could correspond. I am similarly related through my mums line and am happy to share what I have. Can send you a photo of one of her medals and a photo of Blanche with some soldiers.
Anna Lucas here. My son is also doing an assignment on Blanche Cresswick also and I am similarly related! We even have one of her medals and a photo of her with some soldiers. Would love to see what you have found Kate if there is any way to correspond. I am having trouble retrieving some of the articles though.
Hi Anna, What a great coincidence. I would love to correspond and share what we have found. Although I suspect you may have more details than us! It would be fantastic if you could share photos of Blanche’s medals and with the soldiers. What would be the best way to correpsond? ?email
We have been able to retrieve most of the articles, and are very happy to share.
Do you know if Blanche kept a diary?
Hi Kate and Anna,
I also have a connection with Blanche Cresswick… Her oldest sister was Jane Burdette Cresswick and she was my Great Grandmother…We are only in the last week finding out about the family connection to Amelia Blanche Cresswick( always liked to be known as Blanche Cresswick) Any information you would like to share.. Would be very exciting…
My name is Evelyn Gibson and I’m a newcomer to Family History research. Blanche is also my Great Grand Aunt!! I’m a great granddaughter of Fanny Ellen Cresswick (third eldest). There is a drinking fountain at John Hunter Hospital which was dedicated to Aunty Blanche’s memory – my Aunt made several efforts to have it restored, which I would like to follow up – any one interested in assisting?
Hi Evelyn, back in the ‘nineties when I was working at the then Newcastle Regional Museum I drew the condition of the fountain to the attention of Newcastle Private Hospital (I think they were the owners then, probably still are). They made an effort to clean up the vegetation round it but not much more. Happy to support you with a statement of the significance of the memorial.
Thank you Christine. My Aunty Betty wrote a few letters a while back now – I felt I’d like to pursue it before it’s too late
Hi Evelyn.. I too have the family connection with Blanch.. Have you seen the fountain at the Hospital, I could not find it and would like to go over and try again to find it..
Regards Wendy parkes
I would like to support you in your efforts to restore the memorial fountain for Blanche Cresswick. I agree with Christine’s comments that it is a significant and important memorial.
I have not seen the current state of the fountain and have only seen a photo of the dedication. My Mother and aunts tried to visit the fountain 2 years ago and had some difficulty finding its location. My grandmother Beryl Cresswick was Blanche’s great niece. Her grandfather was Blanche’s brother Ernest Cresswick.
What do have in mind to restore the fountain?
Hi Kate – thank you for your reply. I’m delighted to hear from you.
Initially, I think permission needs to be sought, then to consult with an appropriate tradesperson, then funding. I was just thinking to restore it to a servicable drinking fountain. If you are up at Newcastle Private Hospital and walk a direct line to Croudace Cafe; the fountain is between the two.
The memorial is between the two buildings of Newcastle Private Hospital. An easy landmark is the Croudace Tea House (the original convalescent hospital) which is an interwar building and stands out between the more modern buildings. When you drive into the John Hunter campus from Croudace St, turn right at the roundabout instead of going straight ahead towards the public hospital. There is open air parking and covered parking in the basement of the private hospital Kingston building. I will post a photo of the memorial taken about 3 years ago on this page.
Thank you for the details of the memorial fountain location. I am happy to write in support of the restoration and request permission in support of your request Evelyn. Do you know the relevant body to approach?