Thursday, 10 December 2015

Marjorie Kane Smyth - Australian; VAD in WW1

Viv Newman kindly sent me the following information about Marjorie Kane Smyth: Marjorie was Australian - she lived in New South Wales.  Her father may have been a clergyman because she passed Junior examinations at the Clergy Daughters' School in 1904.   She was one of the earliest Australians to volunteer as a VAD during the First World War.  She arrived in Egypt on 12th October 1915.   92 Australian women served in this capacity.   Marjorie worked at No. 1 Australian General Hospital, 'Heliopolis Palace', a large complex which, according to the Hospital records, was in 'the land of the Pharaohs'.  It was a 750 bed hospital (increasing to 1,040 on arrival in France) from January 1915 to March 1916.  

In Egypt, the hospigtal cared for patients from Gallipoli and then transferred to France.  Marjorie was attached to the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service and served with the hospital until June 1917.  She was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, as well as the War and Victory Medals.  It is possible that she died in around 1935 as that is the last time she appears on the Electoral Roll.

With many thanks to Viv Newman for finding this information out for me.  Dominic Sheridan is currently researching Australian First World War Poetry.  Dominic has a Facebook Page where you will find lots more Australian WW1 poets -