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My great grand aunt Eleanor Bessie Stacy (1879-1925) was a World War I nurse with Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS) and later the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS).

I have a copy of her QAIMNS service record (WO/399/7869) from The National Archives and a small excerpt from that is pictured below.

enter image description here

Using several sources I am confident that she travelled from Australia to Egypt on the Marwa, embarking in Adelaide on 8 Apr 1915 and disembarking at Cairo on 1 May 1915.

This was only 6-7 days after the ANZACs landed at Gallipoli, Turkey and the Chronicle of 18 May 1918 supports my understanding that she would have attended to many of the wounded from that nine month long event.

enter image description here

Her service is recorded on an Army Form B. 103 which seems to be designed for another purpose and I am having trouble understanding the entry with:

  • Date: 26.6.15
  • From where received: 17 Gen Hp ["17" is hard to read]
  • Joined for duty
  • Place of Casualty: Alexandria
  • Date of Casualty: 30.6.15
  • Remarks: B.213

I think this is saying that she joined the 17th General Hospital at Alexandria on 26 Jun 1915 but I am not clear what the second date represents.

In any event there seems to be a gap from her disembarkation on 1 May 1915 at Suez to 26 Jun 1915.

Does anyone have experience reading such a form and be in a position to enlighten me on where she is likely to have been serving in that period 1 May 1915 to 26 Jun 1915?

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B103 forms are, as you say, used in strange ways that might not be expected from the printed columns. I can't read this example sufficiently well, but other B103s that I have seen have, in effect, two sets of dates. One set refers to the dates of events in the person's career. The other set refers to the date that the information was generated by the Army's clerical system. There may be no consistency between that usage, either, so you may need to work it out from other documents in the file.

However, this blog posting by the estimable Paul Nixon on B103 shows me an example that suggests to me that it is the left-hand columns that refer to the dates of the clerical reports and the right-hand columns that refer to physical events. That being so, the interpretation of your query would be that she joined the Alexandria facility on 30.6.15, and the report that she would be doing that was dated 26.6.15.

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  • The example used in that blog posting certainly looks very similar to the one I am looking at, and I think will be a great help in interpreting it. I think my next step will be to see whether I can locate her on B213 forms as mentioned in the last column which I believe are a "Record of promotions, reductions, transfers, casualties, etc., during active service, as reported on Army Form B. 213". – PolyGeo Apr 12 '15 at 23:44
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It is likely to be Manchester. The press cutting indicates service in England.

The 2nd Western General Hospital was set up in Manchester for wounded ANZACs, including those from Gallipoli. It was staffed primarily by Australian and New Zealand nurses. Evacuations to Manchester took place from the field hospitals in Egypt and Malta.
There is some information here.

It is where my grandparents met - he an ANZAC, she a nurse.

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  • I don't think it was likely to be Manchester in May/Jun 1915 but further down her record it says that she was in the UK 20/10/15 to 8/11/15 with what looks like (HR ex 31 Gen Hp) next to it. The shortness of that trip suggests to me that she may have been doing transport duty by accompanying wounded to England. I am not aware of any other time she spent in the UK. – PolyGeo Apr 10 '15 at 9:31
  • 31 General Hospital was in Port Said. You could be right about transport duty. – Chenmunka Apr 10 '15 at 9:56
  • She has multiple entries for Port Said so that fits well with 31 Gen Hp. – PolyGeo Apr 10 '15 at 10:31

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