Men aren’t the only ones who should be remembered this Armistice Day.
The women who served during World War I are too often forgotten among the camaraderie and tales of heroic men.
Creswick Museum’s Margaret Fullwood has researched and recorded the stories of the seven women who are commemorated in the Kingston Avenue of Honour.
She says these women weren’t treated as well as their male counterparts, and were given little or no support upon their return to Australia.
This is the story of Smeaton’s Ella Madoline Redman. Born in 1887 to Alfred John and Barbara Redman, she trained as a nurse at Creswick Hospital for three years before moving to the metropolis to further qualify herself.
On August 4, 1915, she embarked from Australia as part of the Australian Army Nursing Service. She reported for duty at the 3rd Australian General Hospital on Lemnos Island, Greece, on September 4, where she worked as a nurse assisting wounded troops from Gallipoli.
Abroad, Sister Redman befriended photographer Albert William Savage. She kept an album of about 70 photographs recording her time in the war until her death.
Ms Fullwood said Sister Redman had her photographs developed in the hospital’s X-Ray unit.
On January 27, 1916, Sister Redman travelled on the ‘Oxfordshire’ with many sick and wounded from Mudros Bay to Egypt. She was admitted to the 3rd Australia General Hospital (AGH) in Abbassia with dyspepsia for four days in August. She was transferred to the 3rd AGH stationed at Brighton, England, where she was granted leave for 23 days in February,1917. Upon her return to duty, she was sent to join the AGH at Abbeville in France. On March 22, 1918, Sister Redman was one of five staff nurses who were detached from the No 3. Australian General Hospital to the 38th CCS during the German advance. During the spring offences, as the Germans advanced on Amiens and Paris, the nurses worked in horrendous conditions with a lack of medical supplies and basic food and water.
- Sister Redman’s full story and artifacts can be viewed at Creswick Museum until November 11.