ROBINSON, Frances Alice

  1. Service Details
  2. Personal Details
  3. Unit and Rank Details
  4. Commemoration
  5. Notes
  6. Sources

Service Details

Branch of Service
Army
Conflict
World War I
Date of Enlistment
13/10/1915
Date of Discharge
21/09/1918
Place of Enlistment
Sydney NSW

Personal Details

Gender
Female
Date of Birth
01/08/1882
Place of Birth
Pompapiel, Victoria
Address (at enlistment)
Alice Street, Queanbeyan NSW (previously Duntroon ACT)
Occupation
Nurse
Next of Kin
William Robinson (father), Malmsbury, Victoria

Unit and Rank Details

Final Rank
Staff Nurse
Final Unit
2 Australian Auxiliary Hospital AIF

Commemoration

Queanbeyan RSL Wall of Remembrance, Crawford St, Queanbeyan NSW (as 'Robinson, N')

Notes

Alice Robinson came from the Bendigo district in Victoria where she began her nursing career, training at Bendigo Hospital from 1904 to 1907. In 1908 she became a staff nurse at Warrnambool Hospital and was appointed as matron at Jerilderie Hospital in April 1909. She arrived in Queanbeyan from Jerilderie on 13 February 1913, beating six other women for the appointment as matron at Queanbeyan Hospital. In August 1914 she offered to join the expeditionary forces as a field nurse and was described as "a good shot with the rifle". She resigned as matron in April 1915 to enlist but apparently did not as she worked at the hospital at the Royal Military College, Duntroon as a staff nurse from May to July 1915. Her replacement at Queanbeyan Hospital resigned and the hospital board offered her £90 per annum for her to return, which she did on 30 July. The Queanbeyan Hospital Board report in January 1914 referred to "The Matron, Nurse Robinson, since she has taken charge, has given every satisfaction. She has not spared herself day or night at all in the execution of her duties and the medical officers wish to record their appreciation." She appears on the 1915 electoral roll for Eden-Monaro giving her address as the hospital on Alice Street.

Sr. Robinson served on troopships, at hospitals in Egypt (2nd Australian General Hospital at Choubra and the 3rd Australian General Hospital at Abbassia), in England (3rd Australian General Hospital at Brighton, 2nd Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Southall, 3rd Auxiliary Hospital at Dartford), at the Garrison Hospital in Sydney (1916) and the 4th Australian General Hospital at Randwick (1917). In January 1918 she again was detached to the 2nd Australian Auxiliary Hospital but became ill and returned to Australia shortly afterwards suffering from debility. After the war Robinson gave up nursing and ran a Manchester and haberdashery business in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne. She married Harvey White on 18 June 1930 but he died seven years later. Apparently she lived in Brisbane, Queensland for a few years where she ran a confectionery and grocery business but returned to Melbourne. She died at an aged care home in Kew in Melbourne on 17 March 1973 aged 90 years.

Description - height 5 feet 4 inches, weight 114 pounds, dark complexion, brown eyes, brown hair, Church of England, had a scar on her right hand and four vaccination marks on her left arm.

Sources

Rex Cross, 'Bygone Queanbeyan', 1980
Ross Howarth, 'Civilians employed at the Royal Military College of Australia, Duntroon, from 1911 to 1931', RMC Duntroon, November 2000
Narelle O'Rourke, 'A Country Nurse and Midwife', 1989

Patricia Clarke, 'Canberra Women in World War 1', Canberra Historical Journal (Sept. 2015), pp.29-31, Canberra & District Historical Society
NAA RecordSearch - Series B2455 (First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920)
Our Queanbeyan 'Boys', Howard & Shearsby, Yass (postcard)
Queanbeyan Age - 28 January 1913, 18 February 1913, 11 March 1913, 20 January 1914, 28 August 1914, 30 April 1915, 20 July 1915, 10 August 1915, 19 October 1915, 9 November 1915, 3 April 1917
Queanbeyan Observer - 9 November 1915
Queanbeyan/ Canberra Advocate - 1 June 1916
Eden-Monaro 1915 electoral roll
Information provided by Dr. Kirsty Harris

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Image from Our Queanbeyan 'Boys', Howard & Shearsby 191?, provided courtesy of Patricia Hardy.

Image from Our Queanbeyan 'Boys', Howard & Shearsby 191?, provided courtesy of Patricia Hardy.

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