Norma Violet MOWBRAY

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MOWBRAY, Norma Violet

Service Number: Nurse
Enlisted: 11 November 1914, Brisbane, Queensland
Last Rank: Nursing Sister
Last Unit: Australian Army Nursing Service (WW1)
Born: St. George, Queensland, 20 October 1883
Home Town: Brisbane, Brisbane, Queensland
Schooling: Mrs Boyle's High School for Girls, Bundaberg and Brisbane Technical College
Occupation: Nurse
Died: Died of Illness (pneumonia), Cairo, Egypt, 21 January 1916, aged 32 years
Cemetery: Cairo War Memorial Cemetery
Memorials: Australian Military Nurses Memorial, Kapunda Dutton Park Memorial Bullwinkel Memorial, Maryborough Nurses HB, Queensland Australian Army Nursing Service Roll of Honour, Toowoomba Roll of Honour WW1, Toowoomba War Memorial (Mothers' Memorial)
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World War 1 Service

11 Nov 1914: Enlisted Australian Army Nursing Service (WW1), Nursing Sister, SN Nurse, Brisbane, Queensland
21 Dec 1914: Involvement Australian Army Nursing Service (WW1), Nursing Sister, SN Nurse, 1st Australian General Hospital
21 Dec 1914: Embarked Australian Army Nursing Service (WW1), Nursing Sister, SN Nurse, 1st Australian General Hospital, HMAT Kyarra, Brisbane
21 Jan 1916: Involvement Australian Army Nursing Service (WW1), Nursing Sister, Australian Army Nursing Service (WW1)

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Biography contributed by Karen Standen

Sister Norma Violet Mowbray, was among the first twelve Sisters and nine Staff Nurses, appointed to the No 1 Australian General Hospital in 1914. Chief Matron, Miss Wilson, provided the offical list to the press on the 28th October. Two weeks later, Norma commenced the A.I.F. enlistment attestation process. The small group of women embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A55 Kyarra on 21 November 1914.  

"DEATH OF MISS NORMA MOWBRAY.

A very wide circle of friends will learn with deep regret of the death of Miss Norma Mowbray (second eldest daughter of the late Mr. John [sic Thomas] Mowbray and Mrs. Mowbray, Albion), which occurred on January 19, at Heliopolis, Egypt, after a brief illness. Nurse Mowbray was one of the first noble girls who offered their services for the Front, and she left Brlsbane on November 21, 1914, and was stationed at the 1st Australian Hospital, Heliopolis, until October 1, 1915, when she returned to Brisbane to visit her mother and sister in consequence of the death of her brother-in-law, Dr. Guy Luther, who, it will be remembered, was killed at the Dardanelles. The late Nurse Mowbray returned to Queensland on a transport ship, on duty, having come over with a number of wounded and invalided Australians. She also returned by transport again, being on duty. She had only arrived at Heliopolis a few weeks, when she contracted bronchitis. Mrs. Mowbray received an offical cable on January 17 stating that Nurse Mowbray was suffering from an attack of mild bronchitis, and in reply to a cable sent by her the following day she received a second cable stating that her daughter had died from pneumonia on the 19th instant. Nurse Mowbray was very popular amongst her fellow workers, and her unselfish nature had endeared her to a large circle of friends, who will sincerely mourn her death, and who will extend their warmest sympathy both to her mother and her sisters. She received her training in the Brisbane General Hospital, and later she was a charge nurse at Warwick, whence she went to Charleville as matron of the local hospital. At the time of offering her services to her country she was private nursing in Brisbane, and was one of the most successful nurses in the profession, but her wish to help in alleviating the sufferings of others at the Front made her put her career on one side, and offered the extreme sacrifice." - from the he Brisbane Courier, 03 February 1916 (nla.gov.au)

Norma's sacrifice was acknowledged as early as 1917, when Brisbane's then St. Luke's Church, unveiled a Nurses Honour Board in their War Chapel. In 1924, Nurse N. Mowbray, was one of the 48 names included on the St. Andrew's lychgate memorial, dedicated in memory of members from the Lutwyche parish who had fallen in World War One. 

Memorials however were not limited to Brisbane. Norma was included on the Roll of Honour unveiled in 1925 at the rededication of the York Minster's, Five Sisters Window, in England. This was also the same year the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital, in London, proposed the building of a Memorial Nurses' Home, as a memorial to members of the overseas nursing services who gave their lives in the war. Norma V. Mowbray, was among the Australian Nurses recorded in the hospital's boardroom. The Home was eventually opened in 1938.

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