|BHS trained nurses league's Trina Jones and Ballarat General Cemetery Trust's Anne De Jong at Westcott family grave, Ballarat Old Cemetery. Photo Ballarat Courier|
The event will be held on:
- Saturday 27 February 2016 at 10.30am-11.30am,
- Ballarat Old Cemetery, Cnr Drummond St Nth & Macarthur St, Ballarat VIC 3350.
|A.M. Westcott as depicted in Melbourne Punch, 2 December 1915.|
Nurse Annie Westcott
Annie Westcott was born at Leigh Creek, with the birth being register at Warrenheip near Ballarat, Victoria. Her parents were Frederick Westcott and Rachel Abrams/Abrahams.
She trained as a nurse at the Ballarat Base Hospital from January 1899 to January 1902. When she enslisted in the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) in 1915, Annie had experience as a Sister at Maryborough Hospital and as a Matron at both Maldon and Inglewood Hospital.
Staff Nurse Annie Westcott was 40 years old when she joined the Australian Army Nursing Service on 16 October 1915, departing Australia on 12 November 1915 at Melbourne on the transport ship Orsova.
She arrived in Egypt just in time for an influx of soldiers evacuated from Gallipoli. She served with the 1st Australian General Hospital. To join the AANS, women had to be unmarried and aged 21-40, so Nurse Westcott’s service was cut short. She returned to Australia on 27 December 1917 aboard the Commonwealth and her appointment with the AANS was terminated on 4 February 1917.
She married Frederick Smith in 1917 and moved to Gippsland, where they unsuccessfully tried to make a life on a soldier settlement block at Trafalgar, Gippsland, Victoria, but it was relinquished in 1926 due to non-payment of fees.
She later returned to Ballarat. Annie Smith died and was buried at Ballarat Old Cemetery on 10 May 1951 (Area F1, 9, Row 1, Grave 26) surrounded by other members of the Westcott Family.
Funding the Memorial
The League has raised funds for a memorial to be placed on Annie’s grave to ensure she will be recognised and remembered for the service she gave to her country during WW1. A donation page has also been set up for the memorial: http://trybooking.com/170527.
The League hopes people can come along and acknowledge and show respect for a past trainee who served her country as a WW1 nurse.
Note that the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (or ANMF) supported the erection of the Lemnos Gallipoli Memorial in Albert Park, as they have other projects commemorating Victoria and Australia's WW1 nurses.
Source: Victorian Anzac Centenary Committee, the ANMF, Federation University Ballarat and the Ballarat Courier.
Ballarat Courier Story
To read the story about Nurse Westcott and the commemorative service, click here to read the story from the Ballarat Courier.
Thanks to Committee Member Arlene Bennett for bringing this event to our attnetion.
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee