Nurses, WWI, Infirmary and Books

Sr Olive Laura THOMASAdditions to the Geelong and District database are quite a mixture but it would be hard to go past the story of one of our local nurses who served during WWI – Sr Olive Laura THOMAS.  Looking at the Geelong Infirmary and Benevolent Asylum WWI Roll of Honour [Visions & Realities: A history of the Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum], the list of nurses includes Nurse M J THOMAS and Nurse O THOMAS.

It is possible that the first should be Nurse M R THOMAS as two siblings – Margaret Rosetta THOMAS and Olive Laura THOMAS – left Melbourne on 6 December 1916 on the ship Orsova.  Margaret, aged 31, enlisted 24 August 1916 and Olive, aged 25, enlisted 8 September 1916.  Both girls served in France.  Olive returned to Australia 26 November 1918 and resigned 19 December 1918 “due to family reasons” – perhaps to support her recently widowed mother.  Margaret returned 4 January 1920.  Both siblings ended up marrying.  Margaret died in 1957 and Olive in 1968.  The beautiful photo of Sr Olive Laura THOMAS is from the State Library of Victoria Collection.

We now have 1,525,764 records in the Geelong and District database.  This is what’s been added since the last major update on 14 June 2014:

  • Geelong District: Nurses from the Victoria Government Gazette 1952-1956 – 625 entries
  • Geelong Infirmary & Benevolent Asylum: Annual Report 1898 – 2,889 entries
  • Lemnos 1915 – a nursing odyssey to Gallipoli [Book] – 97 entries
  • Linton Cemetery Notes [Book] – 125 entries
  • Forever Home: a history of the Yaugher Cemetery (Forrest-Otway Region) [Book] – 782 entries
  • Forrest Region Voters: Forrest, Yaugher, Kaanglang & Henry’s No. 1 Mill (compiled from Victorian Electoral Rolls 1903-1960) [Book] – 1,743 entries

Details on these indexes can be found in the Geelong & District Potpourri pages and the Geelong & District List of Books.

And don’t forget to search again for your ancestors in the Geelong & District Database – they could have been in the last load of additions!

Latest additions to database

Jane FRANCISIt seems that people are still fascinated with Midwives which again feature in the latest additions to the Geelong and District database.  Unlike teachers who had to give up their job if they married, midwives could be single women, married women or widowed women.  Women of any status are traditionally difficult to trace and perhaps that is one of the reasons for the popularity of this index in our database.  There are still some years to be indexed from the Victoria Government Gazettes and when they are finished we’ll start extracting Geelong District women from the Registers of Nurses in the Gazettes.

Pictured is Jane FRANCIS, a midwife in our district.  Jane PIPER was the daughter of John and Grace PIPER.  On 8 April 1830 Jane married Joseph FRANCIS at Bradworthy Parish Church in Devon, England.  The couple had 10 children in England.  In 1853 they emigrated to Geelong where their married daughter, Mrs Elizabeth PRICE, had settled.  Jane FRANCIS is recorded as the midwife on birth certificates from 1867 to 1884.  Jane died 2 December 1891 aged 82 and is buried in the Geelong Eastern Cemetery.  [photo and information provided by Pam Jennings]

This is the list of additions since 23 June making a total of 1,405,236 entries in the database:

  • Geelong District: Midwives – 1940, 1941, 1943 & 1945 – 177 entries
  • Bush Nursing at Forrest & District: accidents & recoveries – book – 671 entries
  • Barrabool: Shire Rate Books [GRS 877] – 1908, 1913 & 1853 – 3,885 entries

Details on these indexes can be found in the Geelong & District Potpourri pages.

And don’t forget to search again for your ancestors in the Geelong & District Database – they could have been in the last load of additions!

Bush Nursing at Forrest and District

Bush Nursing at Forrest & DistrictA new book has been published by the Forrest & District Historical Society Inc – Bush Nursing at Forrest & District: accidents & recoveries.

It tells the story of the Bush Nursing Association in Forrest, formed in 1914, through to 1940 and includes sawmilling and district accidents & deaths.

The book is available from the Geelong Family History Group – $15.00 plus $4.00 postage.

The index contains 671 entries and has been included in the Geelong & District Database.

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