Connection to the Hunter Valley – Sister Minnie Mears ARRC was born at West Maitland and attended West Maitland Public School. She trained at Maitland Hospital and was night sister there before enlisting. Her sister, Sarah Mears, also served with the AANS. Minnie was invited to an official welcome home at Oakhampton in 1919. The five nurses who attended were each presented with a cheque for £30. Returned nurses were treated with respect and great appreciation by returned men and their communities at the time but were largely forgotten by succeeding generations.
Training and experience – Minnie graduated Maitland Hospital and qualified for membership of the Australian Trained Nurses’ Association in 1913.
Service – Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS)
Service location – Egypt, Salonika and UK
Medals and awards – 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal and Associate Royal Red Cross (gazetted 1 January 1919). The Associate Royal Red Cross recognised Minnie’s service at No 60 British General Hospital in Salonika in 1917 and 1918.
Click here to read a letter from Sister Mears thanking a Maitland lady for a parcel of “comforts”.
National Archives of Australia B2455 MEARS MINNIE VICTORIA
Nominal Roll of the First AIF Australian War Memorial (AWM) 133, 36-052
Embarkation Roll of the First AIF AWM 1 Australian General Hospital – 1 to 6 and Special Reinforcements (February 1915 – April 1916)
Supplement to London Gazette, 1 January 1919, p.78
Sydney Morning Herald, 25 June 1913, p.10, retrieved from Trove 1 September 2011; 30 June 1919, p.10 & 17 June 1920, p.9, retrieved from Trove 27 July 2010.
Newcastle Morning Herald, 2 October 1919, p.6
Maitland Mercury, 18 March 1916, p.9 & 18 August 1919, p.2
Esme Meehan, Maitland Hospital, the way we were, the author, Largs NSW, 1996, pp.8, 60, 67
Do you know more?
© Christine Bramble 2013
Hi Christine. I’m researching Minnie Mears and was wondering of you had any further information or images of her? I’m quite keen to connect with any of her descendants as I’ve recently determined that she and her husband were the initial owners of our current home. I’d be very grateful for any additional information you may have and would like to purchase your book. Is it available still? Thanks
I believe that after the War she worked for a time as a midwife. Newcastle Museum or the Hunter Photobank (Newcastle Library Local Studies) may have more photos. The NSW Register of War Memorials has a photograph of the Maitland Congregational Church honour roll, which includes Minnie’s name – http://www.warmemorialsregister.nsw.gov.au/content/congregational-church-roll-honour
Hi Kellie. It is some time since you left your message but I have Minnie’s signature on the back of a Karoola Souvenir from June 1915 when she travelled over there. Pearl Corkhill was on the same ship.
Thanks for tagging me in this response. I’d be thrilled to see Minnie’s signature on this document. Would you like to post here or send privately?