Bush Nurses

There was great concern about the lack of medical facilities so Amiens ladies formed the Pikedale Settlement Ladies Hospital Committee with Mrs Clark as president. In support of requests for help, dramatic stories were told of ninety births in the settlement – a father riding fifteen miles for a doctor and getting back too late and of a baby born on a corn sack on the floor of a hut.

The Bush Nurse Association Amiens Surgery and residence (Sister Hurley in photo)
The Bush Nurse Association
Amiens Surgery and residence (Sister Hurley in photo)

 

Soon a branch of the Bush Nursing Association opened at Amiens, the first in Queensland at a Soldier Settlement. After World War I the British Red Cross made a generous gift to Australia. The Queensland share being £15,000. A three roomed cottage for the Bush Nurse was built by voluntary labour. The Association supplied the sister and the local people provided accommodation, food and medical supplies.

Sister Francis Hurley took up duties in September 1920. At first she was a guest of Mr and Mrs Fred Thorpe and Mr and Mrs Clark until the centre was completed at the end of October. Prior to her arrival, Fred Thorpe was the self-appointed curer of all ills. Sister Hurley, a tall slender lady, had a rush of patients but when it was learnt that her first cure was a stiff dose of castor oil, Thorpe had patients call again. Sister Hurley walked on most of her rounds. She covered an estimated 117 miles in the first few months.

 

Sister May Hughes, Amiens C.1930 Stanthorpe Museum Red Cross display contains a number of items donated by her niece Eva Creed, now part of the Jean Harslett Collection
Sister May Hughes, Amiens C.1930
Stanthorpe Museum Red Cross display contains a number of items donated by her niece Eva Creed,
now part of the Jean Harslett Collection