Sister Edna Gilbert

Sister Edna Gilbert

Ipswich Hospital trained nurse, Edna “Gillie” Gilbert is recognised for her exceptional service at Mt Lamington, in the Oro Province of Papua New Guinea, after the eruption in 1951. She is remembered for her dedication and devotion to duty in improving Public Health in PNG. Gillie commenced her nursing career as a student at the Ipswich Hospital in 1925. From 1937 – 1941 she was on the staff of the Baby Clinics in Queensland. These baby health centres and mothercraft homes were introduced into Queensland in 1918 and dramatically decreased the mortality rate of mothers and babies. Sister Gilbert then took the position of Matron of the Thursday Island Hospital. When Japan entered the war, the Australian Army took over the hospital, she joined the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS), an Australian Army Reserve unit, and remained on Thursday Island until 1944. She was then transferred to North Queensland where she was demobilised and returned to Thursday Island until 1946. Gillie joined the Department of Public Health in Papua New Guinea in 1948. She was solely responsible for all the infants under 5 years amongst the 4,000 displaced persons following the eruption of the Mt Lamington volcano in January 1951. Over 4,000 people died in the eruption. Sister Gilbert worked in the refugee camps under the most appalling conditions, having to shift camp several times due to torrential rain. In the hardships of massive evacuation, Sister Edna Gilbert turned chaos into order under army tents and rough buildings. She established the first infant welfare training centre in Saiho and assisted in establishing centres at Sohana (a small island of...
Rose Jane Langford

Rose Jane Langford

A truly gallant World War I nurse who was recognised for her bravery and distinguished service during the Gallipoli Campaign. Rose Langford was born in Hull, England, and came to Australia with her parents at an early age. She received her training as a nurse at the Ipswich Hospital, after which she was matron at Mt Perry, Mt Morgan and Mackay hospitals, and head sister at the Bundaberg Hospital. When the World War 1 broke out, she immediately enlisted and was on the first ship bound to 1st Australian General Hospital in Egypt. The hospital received the wounded soldiers who fought in Gallipoli. She was then transferred to the Casualty Clearing Station in Flanders on the western front in France. She was struck down with Diphtheria in 1917 and admitted to hospital. She was discharged from her unit and returned to England. In 1917 she returned to Australia as matron of a hospital ship but owing to ill-health was unable to return to the front. Rose was made matron of a sanatorium at Stanthorpe in 1919 and in the following year sub-matron at Rosemount Hospital – at the time a Brisbane repatriation hospital. Three years later she was appointed matron of the hospital, but resigned that position in 1927, when she married Mr. R. J. Walker. She passed away in 19351. Nurse Rose Langford was “Mentioned in Despatches” (MiD), the oldest Imperial form of recognition for bravery or distinguished service, during the “August Offensive” at Gallipoli. The offensive included the Battle of Lone Pine. Rose Langford was mentioned in a despatch by Brigadier-General Frederick Hugh Gordon Cunliffe on March...