Effie Jean EAGLE

EAGLE, Effie Jean

Service Number: Nurse
Enlisted: 22 May 1917
Last Rank: Sister
Last Unit: Australian Army Nursing Service (WW1)
Born: Wandearah, South Australia, 4 May 1891
Home Town: Crystal Brook, Port Pirie City and Dists, South Australia
Schooling: Wandearah and Chiminna
Occupation: Nurse
Died: Mitcham SA, 1 May 1973, aged 81 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia
RSL Walls 116/A006
Memorials: Keswick South Australian Army Nurses Roll of Honor, Wandearah East Broughton Plains Region War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

22 May 1917: Enlisted Australian Army Nursing Service (WW1), Staff Nurse, SN Nurse, Australian Army Nursing Service (WW1)
14 Jun 1917: Involvement Australian Army Nursing Service (WW1)
14 Jun 1917: Embarked Australian Army Nursing Service (WW1), RMS Mooltan, Adelaide
2 Aug 1919: Involvement Australian Army Nursing Service (WW1), Sister

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Biography contributed by Geoffrey Stewart

Effie was born on 4 May 1891 at Wandearah (near Crystal Brook) to Herbert Albert Eagle and Minna Jessie Eagle (nee Joyce).  She was the second eldest of 8 children in the family, 3 boys and 5 girls. Her father was a farmer at Wandearah before moving the family to Tumby Bay and farming at Stokes in 1906 (Hd of Stokes, Sect 5). Her father gave the land free of charge on which the Stokes Methodist Church was built in 1909. Effie was a talented musician and played the organ at the opening.   

She started her schooling at Wandearah and completed it at Chiminna. She then assisted at home before leaving to undertake her nursing training in the Broken Hill District Hospital for 2 years; on completion she moved to Adelaide and nursed in the Rua Rua Private Hospital in North Adelaide for 3 years, before applying for the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS).  On her application she gave her occupation as Nurse, her mother as next of kin and her address as Tumby Bay.

After acceptance/enlistment as a Staff Nurse in AANS on 22 May 1917 she was sent to Keswick before embarking aboard HMAT “Mooltan” on 14 Jun 1917 for Suez, disembarking at Alexandria on 19 Jul 1917.

Three weeks after arrival (8 Aug 1917) she embarked aboard RMS “Huntsgreen” bound for Salonika (Greece), disembarking there on 13 Aug 1917; she was taken on strength by her new unit, 60th British General Hospital (BGH), on the same day at Salonika. On 8 Aug 1918 she was admitted to 61st BGH at Salonika with a stomach infection and remained in hospital for 6 weeks before being released back to her unit: because of this illness she was given leave to UK on 8 Dec 1918 to convalesce, returning to 60th BGH on 26 Jan 1919. There were more than a dozen General Hospitals at Salonica at this time.

On 25 Feb 1919 she embarked aboard RMS “Gorgon” bound for Alexandria, disembarking there on 1 Mar 1919; she was taken on strength by 14th Australian General Hospital (AGH) at Abbassia a few days later. A month later she was admitted to her own hospital with an ear infection, where she remained for five weeks before returning to duty on 20 May 1919. On 15 Jul 1919 she was promoted to sister, remaining at 14th AGH.

On 2 Aug 1919 she embarked aboard HMAT “Delta” at Kantara for return to Australia, disembarking in Adelaide on 31 Aug 1919.

Her appointment in the AANS was terminated on 12 Oct 1919; this equated to discharge. The nurses were still not officially members of the AIF, nor did they hold a commission; their appointment was in the AANS.

 After “discharge” Effie went home to her family at Lipson, but did not stay long, before returning to Adelaide and resuming her nursing career.

Effie gained her Midwife’s Certificate and then devoted her life to nursing, especially the nursing of veterans within the Veterans’ Hospitals of Adelaide at Keswick and Glenelg. She finished her nursing career in the Daw Park Repatriation Hospital in Adelaide after it opened in 1942.

Effie died on 1 May 1973 whilst she was residing at Mitcham and is buried in the RSL Section of Centennial Park Cemetery in Adelaide.

Two of Effie’s brothers, 5985 Franklin Horace Eagle (27th Battalion) and 55825 Walter Raymond Eagle (43rd Battalion), also served during WW1; they both returned and are buried in Lipson Cemetery. Her fiancée was killed in action during WW1.

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