Olivia May DEANE

DEANE, Olivia May

Service Number: Staff Nurse
Enlisted: 20 November 1915, Keswick South Australia Australia
Last Rank: Staff Nurse
Last Unit: Sea Transport Staff
Born: Balaklava South Australia Australia, 4 January 1886
Home Town: Mount Gambier, Mount Gambier, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Nursing Sister
Died: Heidelberg, Vic., December 1976, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Springvale Botanical Cemetery, Melbourne
Ashes Scattered
Memorials: Adelaide Treasurer and Chief Secretary Roll of Honour, Keswick South Australian Army Nurses Roll of Honor
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World War 1 Service

20 Nov 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Keswick South Australia Australia
25 Nov 1915: Involvement Australian Army Nursing Service (WW1), Staff Nurse, Staff Nurse, Sea Transport Staff, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1,

embarkation_roll: roll_number: 24 embarkation_place: Sydney embarkation_ship: HMAT Beltana embarkation_ship_number: A72 public_note:

25 Nov 1915: Embarked Australian Army Nursing Service (WW1), Staff Nurse, Staff Nurse, Sea Transport Staff
20 Nov 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, HMAT Beltana
28 Jun 1919: Discharged AIF WW1

Help us honour Olivia May Deane's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.


 Olivia was born on the 4th of January 1886 in Balaklava, country South Australia.  She had trained as a nurse at Port Augusta Hospital for 4 years before moving to Mount Gambier in May, 1915 as a volunteer member of the Australian Trained Nurses Association. 

It was while working as a nurse at the Mount Gambier Hospital she met and fell in love with the young Dispenser, John Morris McInerney (/explore/people/6959)

After Jack’s enlistment, Olivia joined the Australian Army Nursing Service in Adelaide on the 20th of November, 1915. 

Olivia was 29 years of age at the time of her enlistment.  Olivia’s enlistment papers described her as 5 foot, 2 inches in height, weighing 9 stone, 2lbs with a dark complexion and black hair. 

Her address at the time of enlistment was shown as the Royal British Nurses Home Dequetteville Terrace Kent Town.

Her next of kin was listed as her sister Mrs D Bald of Brown Street Kadina.

Despite her enlistment for overseas service and Jack’s frequent references to her imminent arrival in Europe, it wasn’t to be until the 25th of November 1916 that Olivia finally departed Australia on the ‘Beltana’ for service with the AIF in Europe.

On arrival in the UK she was detached for duty to No 2 Australian Hospital Southall.

She was re-assigned to a ship for return to Australia as a nurse accompanying casualties.

She re-embarked on the 23 June1917 on HMAT Borda A30 from Port Adelaide.  On arrival in the UK she was once again attached to a number of hospitals between August and October, including St Albans Hospital.  It was during this period that she was able to meet up with Jack McInerney on leave from the Front.  See his records for letters to relatives describing their meeting.

She returned twice more to the UK and similar periods of attachment to land-based hospitals.

By the time she embarked for the third time in July 1918 Jack McInerney had been killed.  Whether she was aware of this or not is unclear but there is little doubting that her eventual dismebarkation in the UK was a melancholy time.  She would not meet up with her fiancee again.  

She remained in the UK for three months during which time she herself was admitted to hospital with influenza.  Given that by this time the influenza epidemic was sweeping Europe and killing thousands of people she was perhaps lucky to have survived.

She returned to Australia on the Suevic arriving on 6 January 1919.

Although not corroborated in her service record, it is believed that she moved to Melbourne 


British War Medal  18365 / 4MD  An additional medal issued in error 24208

Victory Medal not issued