Trove Detective: WW1 Matron Grace Wilson

Trove’s Newspapers, Photographs, Albums, Diaries & More.

RMS Mooltan at Melbourne 18 May 1915 AWMC01009

Started with a search in Trove for newspaper articles and photographs of RMS Mooltan which left Sydney, Australia in May 1915. Unfortunately, there was no mention of Matron Wilson in the newspapers at her departure from Sydney on 15th May, 1915. However, she is mentioned briefly in a ‘Letter from Nurse Daw’ in The Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser where she writes about their journey aboard the RMS Mooltan in June, 1915 before they disembarked at Plymouth and that they expected to sent to France. There was also a wonderful album of photographs which included the Mooltan and Matron Wilson but I’ll have to get permission first to use them here. Here are two photos of Matron Wilson that were found at the Australian War Memorial through Trove.

Matron Wilson 1915 AWM A05331
Matron Grace Wilson 1915 AWM A05332

Don’t forget to check Trove for the Archived websites, people and organizations or lists for a wealth of online resources. There was a link to the Australian Dictionary of Biography entry for Grace Margaret Wilson (1879–1957) which is always a good place to get basic information and dates. In Trove’s Diaries and letters you may find the war diary and letters of Matron Wilson which are part of the private records held by the Australian War Memorial. Nurse Lucy Daw’s Diaries and medals are listed under objects in Trove. There was also a link to the World War 1 Australian Army Nursing Service which is collecting photographs and biographical details which may also be able to assist you or others. They had the following quote that would challenge us all at times.

‘Your qualifications as a nurse must include –

Gentleness, Cleanliness, Truthfulness,

Observation, Order, Courage and Coolness, Tact’

Next we’ll continue Matron Grace Wilson’s  story with more details from Trove’s digitised newspapers.

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