Christina Gordon MCLEAN

MCLEAN, Christina Gordon

Service Numbers: Not yet discovered
Enlisted: 5 May 1915
Last Rank: Nursing Sister
Last Unit: 1st Australian General Hospital
Born: Hill River Cattle Station, Clare, South Australia , 30 September 1876
Home Town: Not yet discovered
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Nurse
Died: Marryatville, South Australia , 1 April 1963, aged 86 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: West Terrace Cemetery (General)
Barker, Path 1, Aspect W, Plot 60. Her grave is unmarked, no headstone
Memorials: Adelaide Royal Adelaide Hospital WW1 Roll of Honour, Adelaide Treasurer and Chief Secretary Roll of Honour, Keswick South Australian Army Nurses Roll of Honor
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World War 1 Service

5 May 1915: Enlisted Australian Army Nursing Service (WW1), Nursing Sister
20 May 1915: Involvement 1st Australian General Hospital, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '23' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: RMS Mooltan embarkation_ship_number: '' public_note: ''
20 May 1915: Embarked 1st Australian General Hospital, RMS Mooltan, Adelaide
30 Jun 1919: Discharged Australian Army Nursing Service (WW1), Nursing Sister

Help us honour Christina Gordon McLean's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Paul Lemar

Christina Gordon MCLEAN was the daughter of Angus MCLEAN & Mary Ann GORDON and was born on the 30th of September 1876 on Hill River Cattle Station, Clare, SA.

Her father was born on the 19th of April 1839 in Harris, Outer Hebrides, Scotland and was the son of Hugh MCLEAN & Catherine MCLEOD.

Her mother was born on the 6th of January 1839 in Little Parra, SA and was the daughter of Hugh GORDON & Ann MACKAY.

Angus & Mary Ann were married on the 15th of July 1862 at the residence of Mary Ann’s parent’s, Hill River, SA.

Christina was the eighth child born into this family of 14 children, 9 boys & 5 girls.

Her father was the manager of Hill River Cattle Station, which he occupied for 41 years.

Her sister Selina decided to become a nurse and was trained in the Adelaide Hospital.

Christina decided to follow in her footsteps and on leaving school became a trainee nurse at the Adelaide Hospital and gained her Medical & Surgical Certificate.

By May 1899 she was a probationary nurse at the Adelaide Hospital.

She was a Member of the Royal British Nurses Association and in 1903 was appointed as Charge Nurse of the medical & surgical ward at the Adelaide Hospital.

She received her Nurse’s Medal in 1904.

In 1906 her father retired and her parents purchased a home 27 Dudley Road, Marryatville in February 1907. Then in 1912 he purchased the home next door at 25 Dudley Road, Marryatville.

On the 31st of December 1914 Christina completed her questionnaire prior to her enrollment in the Australian Army Nursing Service.

At the age of 38, Christina enlisted into the Australian Army Nursing Service on the 5th of May 1915 in Adelaide and listed her father, of Dudley Road, Marryatville, as her next of kin.

Family and friends held a farewell for her on the 15th May 1915.

Christina embarked from Adelaide on board the P & O RMS Mooltan on Thursday the 20th of May 1915 as a South Australian Reinforcement for the 3rd Australian General Hospital, under the command of Thomas Henry Fiaschi.

Also on board were the well known Adelaide surgeons; Lieutenant Colonel’s Cudmore & De Crespigny and Captain’s L Hayward & E.A.H Russell.

They disembarked in England on the 27th of June, expecting to be posted to France.

However, on the 1st of July, the commanding officer was informed that they would instead be deployed to Mudros, on the Greek island of Lemnos, where they would nurse the sick and injured troops fighting in the Gallipoli campaign.

Lemnos was only 50 miles from the fighting, whereas the hospitals in Egypt were over 650 miles away, a journey of 1½ days.

When they first started admitting patients, the majority were wounded men from the August offensive, and it was these patients the hospital had been set up for, with operating theatres and surgeons on the staff. In later months, nearly all the patients were ill with either dysentery or paratyphoid.

The staff of the hospital also fell ill, though the nurses suffered less, probably by practising better hygiene.

In late November and December, the casualties changed again as the troops were caught in freezing weather on the Peninsula without adequate clothing, and many were admitted to the hospitals on Lemnos suffering from severe frostbite.

The last Australians were evacuated from Gallipoli on the night of 19/20th December 1915, and many spent Christmas on Lemnos while waiting for further orders. The whole evacuation of allied troops took three weeks. In spite of earlier predictions that up to half the remaining forces could be killed, the evacuations were so well planned that there were minimal casualties, which was a relief to Christina and the hospital staff who had been prepared for casualties.

With the end of the Gallipoli campaign, the hospitals on Lemnos were disbanded.

Christina and the nurses boarded the hospital ship Oxfordshire on the 14th of January, and sailed out of the harbour at Mudros on 17th of January, bound for Egypt.

The 3rd Australian General Hospital was re-established at Abbassia in Egypt in early 1916 in an old harem.

On the 23rd of March Christina was attached to the 3rd General Hospital in Le Treport, France.

She was then attached to the 1st Australian General Hospital in Rouen, but the initial size of the hospital in Rouen only required 75 nurses so the balance of 42 nurses were detached to British units.

Christina was one of these nurses and was detached to the 6th Stationary Hospital in Havre and then the 7th General Hospital in Saint-Omer. 

She was later posted back to the 1st Australian General Hospital in Rouen and on the 1st of September 1917 Christina was promoted to Sister.

On the 1st of July 1918 she was transferred to England, sick and unfit for further service, and admitted to 12 Southwell Gardens Convalescent Home for Nurses.

After Christina recovered from her illness she was attached to 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital in Dartford on the 18th of July and in charge of the infectious disease ward.

Christina embarked from England for Australia on board HT Ascanius on the 9th of February 1919, and arrived at Torrens Island for 7 days of quarantine on the 21st of March.

On the 28th of March they were landed at Outer Harbour by the tug Vigilant and “Welcome Home” banners were erected everywhere, for their disembarkation.

Christina was discharged from the Australian Army Nursing Service on the 30th of June 1919.

After the war she returned to the Adelaide Hospital and was appointed to the Medical & Surgical wards and lived in the family home with her parents and sisters.

In 1922 she gained the position as Matron of the Myrtle Bank Sanatorium, which she held for 3 years.

When her father died on the 19th of November 1925 both the homes in Dudley Road, Marryatville was transferred to Christina, Fanny & Selina.

In February 1925 she was gained the appointment as Matron at the Lady Galway Convalescent Home at Henley Beach and 12 months later she had relocated as Matron to the Bedford Park Sanatorium.

Her mother died in their home on the 5th of September 1927 and then her sister Selina died in the family home on the 21st of March 1929.

Christina and Fanny buried her in the West Terrace Cemetery.

Christina spent 10 years as Matron of the Bedford Park Sanatorium until she retired in September 1936.

A farewell was given to her on the croquet lawn at Bedford. She received a rug from the patients and the Buffalo Lodge presented her with an inscribed silver & marble inkstand.

In 1950 Christina & Fanny transferred 25 Dudley Road, Marryatville to their nephew, Ronald Winpenny PETERS & his wife Caroline.

Christina and Fanny remained in the family home and then Fanny died on the 10th of February 1957 and Christina buried her with Selina.

Christina died at her residence, on the 1st of April 1963 and was buried in the West Terrace Cemetery; Barker, Path 1, Aspect W, Plot 60 with her sisters.

When Christina died her home at 27 Dudley Road, Marryatville was transferred to her nephew Ronald Winpenny PETERS & wife Caroline.

Her name does not appear on the headstone.