Lucy Compson DAW

DAW, Lucy Compson

Service Numbers: Not yet discovered
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Not yet discovered
Last Unit: 3rd Australian General Hospital - WW1
Born: Mt Barker, SA, 18 July 1883
Home Town: Mount Barker, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Nurse
Died: Myocardial Degeneration (1 1/2 years) Arteriosclerosis with Cerebral Vascular Lesions (5 years) and Chronic Myxoedema (years), Unley Private Hospital, Unley, SA, 4 December 1958, aged 75 years
Cemetery: Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia
Derrick Gardens Path 21 Grave 600
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
Show Relationships

World War 1 Service

20 May 1915: Involvement 3rd Australian General Hospital - WW1, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '23' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: RMS Mooltan embarkation_ship_number: '' public_note: ''
20 May 1915: Embarked 3rd Australian General Hospital - WW1, RMS Mooltan, Adelaide

Letter from Nurse Daw

The following interesting notes on the voyage to England are taken from a recent letter to her parents at Mount Barker by Nurse Lucy Daw, who was one of the South Australian nurses to join the 3rd Australian Hospital. Writing at sea aboard the S.S. Mooltan on June 4, she says:—We're having a very smooth passage, I almost forget I'm on a boat sometimes. So far the voyage has been quite uneventful, just the usual ship entertainments, which I'm afraid I haven't troubled much about. The heat at present is intense, almost unbearable (We're in the Red Sea), so Nurse Ried and I are inclined to laze all the morning in the coolest spot we can find. In the afternoons we attend lectures and classes for physical drill to keep us in form for strenuous times ahead. Until now I haven't been able to tell you anything of interest, our letters have been so terribly censored. This attempt will probably be mailed at Marseilles. I was only able to send you a short note from Colombo. We berthed early in the morning, couldn't wait to have breakfast on board, but simply rushed the first launch, and one of our nurses having been in Colombo quite recently, led the way. She took us to a hotel for breakfast, for which we paid 2 rupees (2;8), and got very little to eat; the waiting was shocking. However, we didn't mind that much. There were riots in the city, so getting about was difficult, and we were told, dangerous. We managed to procure rickshaws (in which of course we had our photos taken) and were taken along the sea wall about a mile to the Galle Face Hotel—a very fine place.
From there we hired garries and guides and did the city. Enjoyed every moment of the day. The tropical growth and the flowers are simply gorgeous. On returning to the hotel in the afternoon we were confronted with the fact that owing to the riots few rickshaws were available. Eventually Nurse Ried and I managed to get one between us, and as we drove through the streets the natives everywhere stopped to laugh and point at us. They seemed highly amused at two people riding in a rickshaw. Our next port was Bombay. We had 24 hours in port, consequently we were able to see a good deal of the city. We visited the military hospital - a magnificent building erected for a museum, but on completion converted into a hospital for the wounded soldiers. The matron is English, but the sisters and staff nurses all Indian—such sweet, gentle girls, and speaking perfect English. The doctors are Indian too. There were 300 patients in hospital - poor fellows, it was dreadful to see them. The Sister showed us X-ray plates of their wounds. The bullets are far larger than I ever imagined, and the wounds so big. There was also a ward full of Turks in the hospital, who are treated exactly the same as the Indian soldiers, of course they are guarded. After leaving the hospital we went into a Mahomedan Temple. Had to take off our boots and leave them outside. We were deadly afraid we might lose them, I tried to carry mine, but that was immediately objected to. The marble floor of the Temple had just been hosed, so that our stockinged feet were slightly damp when we came out.
To our great relief our boots still awaited us on our return to the street, and also a crowd of natives who swarmed round us, bowing, clapping their hands and gesticulating loudly. We wondered whatever had happened and began to feel jolly frightened till we discovered they were all murmuring in their broken English " Australians." We couldn't get rid of the crowd until we struggled into hired motors and drove off. At Aden Nurses Reid, Rogers and I went ashore, hired a motor and drove to see the city tanks, supposed to have been built in the days of King Solomon. The primitive way of drawing the water is amusing. Boys stand on the platform and lower vessels about the size of a dipper, on a huge rope, then empty the water into a barrel in which it is carted into the town and sold. Water, as you can imagine, is a somewhat valuable commodity. As we steamed out of Adena French boat with 700 French soldiers on board went into port. These soldiers were reservists from French Pacific Islands and were on their way to the front. As we drew near their bands played "God Save the King " and " The Marsellaise," and the soldiers, drawn up on deck, cheered and cheered until we were out of hearing, I am afraid none of us were dry-eyed when the last sounds died away. This was the first little bit of war we had seen since we left Australia—it was dreadful. On board of our own boat we have the crew of a French boat (Zelec) which they sank themselves rather than let the Germans take, as their guns were valuable. Also some Indians, returning to the front, who got on at Aden. These, in addition to our 400 orderlies, 180 nurses and all our Australian doctors, two British generals boarded us at Bombay, one of whom i believe is to take General Bridges' place.
June 15—At 6 a.m., arrived in Suez. A terrible morning! The R.A.M.C. nurses went off, also those for First General Hospital in Egypt and the orderlies. The nurses went off in batches of 20, then the doctors. The orderlies were towed in two big barges by the steam launch the doctors were in. The're fine fellows, always cheerful and wonderfully amuseing. While loading themselves on the barges they cheered everyone they could think of, from the barman to the King.
They were continually asking Who are we?" Then would come the answer from the whole 400 "Australians." Many of these are university students, and from wealthy homes, but if you could only see them living in steerage! They have their meals wherever they can find clear spot—A plate of rice, large piece of meat, and a hunk of bread, and they eat with as great relish as though it were a dainty dinner, daintily served. At Fremantle they subscribed and bought piano, and they're getting their money's worth out of it! They give concerts in the steerage and have great fun. We've been to several of them.

Left Suez at 12 o'clock. Didn't go ashore. The journey through the Canal was most interesting. Large military encampments lined the side of the Canal, Indians and Territorials principally, evidently no Australians for our "Cooee" met with no response. One Indian regiment came to the water's edge and played "Bonnie Dundee" on bagpipes as we passed along.

The Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser Friday 27 August 1915 page 2

Showing 1 of 1 story

Biography contributed by Cornerstone College

Lucy Daw (1883-1958)

Born on the 18th of July 1883 lived in Mt Barker in the state of South Australia, Lucy was the eldest daughter of Clara Elizabeth Daw and Alfred Compson Daw. Lucy Daw trained at the Adelaide Hospital to become a nurse, she started her training under the matronship of Miss Margaret Graham. She completed her training 1907 and then in 1915 she was granted leave for WW1 for active service.

Lucy documented her journey in her two diaries from 1915-16, she set of on the 20th of May 1915 on the RMS “Mooltan”. She served in Dardanelles, Egypt, Belgium, England and France. She also served in the 3rd Australian General Hospital and Reinforcements. On July 18th in her first diary she wrote on her journey “The 30 sisters and Matron in charge, Colonel Dick, have gone on one boat and Major Kent Hughes, Sister Hoadley in charge of 50 of us, are on a captured German boat, our cabins are beautiful, superior to the Mooltan, but nothing to compare in lounge and music rooms, it has been converted into a transport boat, it’s very large. Reid, Donnell and I have a cabin together”.

Then on the 21st of March 1919 Lucy returned to Australia on cessation of war hostilities and then resumed her job at the Adelaide Hospital. And then to her role as assistant matron, acting matron and was promoted to matron from 1931 to 1943. With her war service and her six months at the Queen Victorian Hospital as a trainee midwife, Daw spent all her nursing years at the Adelaide Hospital. As Matron, this then included latter years of great depression which she then had to cope with.

Sister Daw Appointed Matron Sister Lucy Daw has been appointed matron at Adelaide Hospital in succession to Miss E. Harrald, who will retire tomorrow. Miss Daw is a daughter of Mrs. and the late Mr. A. C. Daw, of Mount Barker. She was trained at Adelaide Hospital and has been engaged continuously at that institution with the exception of four years on active service. She served in Lemnos Island until the evacuation at Gallipoli, and afterwards in Egypt, England, France,and Belgium. Since 1923 Miss Daw has been assistant matron at Adelaide Hospital. Her duties as matron will begin on Thursday.

News Tuesday 30 December 1930 page 4



Biography contributed by Kathleen Bambridge

Awarded a medal for her services in WW1 by the Governor Sir Archibald Weigall 1921.