|Nurse Violet Duddy's new memorial plaque. Photograph Ange Kenos 2015|
It was a great pleasure today to attend the commemorative service and unveiling of the memorial plaque for Queenscliffe Nurse Violet Duddy. The Committee was represented by myself and Mr Ange Kenos.
Born in Hastings, New Zealand Nurse Duddy served in the First World War - at Lemnos, Egypt, England and in France. She arrived on Lemnos in August with the rest of the 3rd Australian General Hospital nurses under Matron Grace Wilson. She served here until the evacuation of the peninsula and the hospital to Egypt in January 1916.
As Maggie Stowers said at the unvieling:
"Conditions were somewhat primitive, with limited medical supplies and the tent hospital exposed to strong winds. A nurse colleague of Violet's wrote in her diary..."our thoughts are constantly with the boys on the
Peninsula...last night we heard distinctly the bombardment...and this morning preparations are being made to take in another thousand wounded." Violet was one of 96 Australian nurses whoserved with this hospital on Lemnos. Today we have representatives from the Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee here to honour her."
She was trained at Melbourne's Alfred Hospital. She was 29 when she joined up to the Australian Army Nursing Service on 20 July 1915. She was one of three sisters. For her service she was mentioned in despatches by Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig. After the war, she lived with her sisters at Mt Eliza.
The memorial plaque including the refurbishment of Violet's grave at Queenscliffe Cemetery, the plaque being placed on the headstone.
The local Queenscliffe Historical Museum has showcased items, documents, medals and photographs from Nurse Duddy. A very good display and worth seeing.
Below are some photos of the commemorative service and the Museum display.
The campaign to commemorate Nurse Duddy was led by Maggie Stowers of the Queenscliffe Historical Museum, and received support from the ANMF and the Alfred Hospital Nurses League. Ms Lisa Fitzpatrick, Secretary of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Victorian Branch) attended the unveiling.
The event was well attend - with many former Alfred Hospital nurses in attendance.
Congratulations to Magge Stowers and all who supported this new memorial grave site. This will ensure that another Lemnos nurse is not forgotten.
To read Maggie's speech at the unveiling click here.
Note Maggie Stowers will be visiting Lemnos later this year along with a number of nurses.
Lest we forget.
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee
|Alfred Hospital nurses pay their respects.|
|Rev Peter Martin, St George's Anglican Church Queenscliff, Maggie Stowers and Gretel James, the family representative|
|Committee Member Ange Kenos pays his respects.|