Alice Tryphena Le Messurier
Army Nurse WW1
1881 - 1970
Alice was born at Hill End NSW in 1881. Her mother was a well-known bush-nurse and Alice and her sister Harriet would have been taught the skills needed to nurse under the harsh conditions of a mining town and rugged bush surrounds from an early age.
Alice (R. seated) with her parents and siblings
(Left) Alice moved to Manly with her sister Harriet, also a nurse, in 1911 as joint proprietors of St. Ronan’s Hospital at North Steyne, Manly. (Manly Library Local Studies)
Learning of the tragedy at Gallipoli Alice signed up and by September 1915 had joined the Australian Army nursing service (above)
(L): Commencing duty at the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, “Harefield House” near London in September 1915, she found it staffed by only one doctor and 5 nurses caring for 362 severely injured Australian patients.
Alice and many nurses like her in dozens of army hospitals, toiled night and day, often sleeping near the soldiers as under resourcing often meant very little pain relief.
Working night and day, out of the 556 days she was on duty, Alice enjoyed only 7 days leave.
(R): Patients at “Harefield House”
(Below) Alice eventually returned home on an army ship the H.M.A.T. A37 ‘Barambah’ in 1917 with 5 other nurses caring for over 900 patients.
Once home she continued nursing repatriated soldiers at her little Manly hospital.
Alice died at her home at Collaroy in 1970, she was 89.
On the 100th Anniversary of Anzac, a bust of Alice was unveiled in Jacka Park, Freshwater, N.S.W.
The memory of her service in this area will not be forgotten
Written and prepared by Wendy Mazoudier Machon for the Harbord Diggers RSL sub-Branch