This blog is a companion to the Database of Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Private Frank Archer, husband and father, died in April 1917

The twenty-six year-old blacksmith had a wife and two children to support and care for, and the initial rush to enlist after war broke out in 1914 suggested that there were plenty of eager and single young men to fill the ranks.  By 1916, however, things had changed.  News of the diasters at Gallipoli had led to a significant reduction in the numbers enlisting, and a commitment by the Huges Labor goverment to provide an extra 50,000 troops on top of those who had already enlisted led to a substantial propaganda campaign across the country. It may have finally persuaded Frank that he had to go and do his bit.

Rod Martin takes up the story of this young husband and father, and the anguish caused to his family due to a mistaken identification.  See the story here.  

Saturday, April 17, 2021

The sterling qualities of Staff Nurse Margaret Leonard


Nurse Leonard on her graduation. Table Talk 21 Oct 1909 p 21

Graduating at the end of 1909 from the Homoeopathic Hospital, St Kilda Road, Margaret nursed for six years before enlisting in the AANS in 1916.  After a 4 month training in military nursing, Margaret was appointed Staff Nurse and embarked for overseas.  She nursed in France and Italy in British military hospitals before returning home.  Her devotion to the members of the AIF saw her continuing on at the Caulfield Military Hospital for the rest of her working life.  Newspaper paragraphs about Margaret inevitably commented on her kindness and other sterling qualities.  You can read more about Margaret's training at the Homoeopathic Hospital and her nursing experiences in Europe on the Time Travellers website.