Five Queensland women who served in the First World War

For International Women's Day 2016 we reflect on 5 of the many Queensland women who chose to serve in the Great War.

5. Eleanor Elizabeth Bourne

 

Portrait of Doctor Eleanor Elizabeth Bourne, 1878-1957. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 168869

Eleanor Bourne holds the distinction of being the first Queensland woman to study medicine. She was one of 15 female doctors in Australia who volunteered during the First World War. State Library is fortunate to hold some of her personal papers, which have been digitised for online viewing. You can find more information about Eleanor Bourne on our Queensland World War 1 Centenary blog.

Eleanor Elizabeth Bourne Papers. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

 

4. Annie Cuskelly

 

Photograph of Sister Annie Cuskelly in her A.A.N.S. uniform. From Annie Cuskelly Papers. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Annie Cuskelly trained as a nurse at a private hospital in Toowoomba, and enlisted as a staff nurse in the Australian Army Nursing Service in August 1915. She embarked on the Themistocles in December 1916 and was posted to the 7th General Hospital in France. After transfer to various casualty clearing stations and the Nurses' Home in Boulogne, Annie was posted to the 3rd Australian General Hospital. State Library of Queensland holds digital copies of Annie's autograph book and photographs documenting her wartime experience. You can find more information on Annie Cuskelly in our World War 1 Centenary blog.

3. Annie Grant Sim

 

Annie Grant Sim. From Peirce Collection. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Twenty-six year old, Ipswich born nurse Annie Sim enlisted in the Australian Army Nursing Service on 19 May 1917. A week later she sailed from Sydney for service in India, along with 53 other nurses. A photograph album documenting her time in India is held by State Library. You can find more about Annie Sim's story on our Queensland World War 1 Centenary blog.

2. Jane "Jinny" McLennan

 

Jane McLennan Collection. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

After completing nursing training at the Bundaberg General Hospital in 1914, Jane enlisted in the Australian Army Nursing Service on the 28 May 1917. Just over a week later she embarked on the RMS Mooltan from Sydney with 300 army nurses. They arrived at Port Suez on the 19 July 1917 and journeyed by train to Cairo and then on to Alexandria before travelling to Salonika, Greece. There she joined nursing staff No. 3 Unit, 60th British General Hospital. Jane's memoir written in 1936 about her experiences as a nurse during World War I at Salonika in Greece is held by State Library. The collection also contains numerous photographs. You can find more information about Jane McLennan and her memoirs via the Queensland World War 1 Centenary blog.

From Jane McLennan Collection. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

 

1. Marion Winifred 'Winnie' Croll

 

Sister Winnie Croll. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Winnie and her husband Colonel David Croll served in Egypt during the First World War. Winnie enlisted on the 11 November 1914 and embarked on the SS Kyarra for Egypt on 21 November. As part of her duties, Sister Croll attended to A.I.F. soldiers wounded in the various desert operations of the Sinai Campaign, and along with her colleagues, she braced herself in the face of horrific wounds and debilitating illnesses suffered by those shipped back to Egypt from the Gallipoli Peninsula. During her leisure time in Egypt, Croll took numerous photographs. A collection of 180 photographs taken by Marion Croll has been acquired by State Library of Queensland. You can find more information about Sister Croll and her photographs on the Queensland World War 1 Centenary blog.

Marion Winifred ‘Winnie’ Croll's collection of photographs. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

 

You can find a curated gallery of historical images on Historypin, Her Noble Share, which honours the contribution of Queensland women during the First World War, both at the home front and the war front. We invite you to contribute your digital images to this gallery.

SLQ has also compiled a gallery of images called World War I Women, which can be found on Flickr Commons.

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