At the time that war broke out, a call for recruits was made and they came from far and wide. The Australian War Memorial has the statistics for enlistments during WW1.
The lists below show:-
World War 1 Nurses who enlisted in Kiama
- Soldiers born in Kiama
- Soldiers born in Gerringong
- Soldiers born in Jamberoo
- Soldiers born in Greater Kiama
- Nurses enlisted in Kiama
Gathering information about these brave women is difficult to come by, but then that is the same for many people involved in World War 1.
The names of the nurses, and their military records, mentioned here can be found on the Kiama Memorial Arch (at the bottom of H-Z side of memorial arch.)
Two were born in Kiama, one lived and worked in Kiama, and one happened to be here at the time of her recruitment.
Carrie Whittingham was born in 1872 at Gordon, Sydney. She enlisted in Sydney aged 43 and was single at the time.
She embarked from Sydney on the HMAT Orsova on 10 November 1915 as a trained Staff Nurse. Her father was manager of the ANZ bank, Kiama.
In 1910 she applied for a job as nurse at Kiama Cottage Hospital. She was promoted to matron in 1910.
After which she volunteered for service in WW1.
Returned to Australia 20 May 1919.
Married Ivan Francis McCarthy in 1926
Died 20 March 1952 in Mosman, aged 82.
Rita Ahern (Fuller)
Born Rita Ahern in 1894 at Inverell, NSW. Up until enlistment she was a trained nurse.
It appears Rita was in Kiama at the time of enlistment, as her name is on the Kiama Memorial Arch, but seems to have had no further contact in Kiama as no further information can be found as to why she was here.
At the age of 25 years she enlisted on the 10 May 1917, embarking on the 9th June 1917 from Sydney on “Mooltan”.
While serving in Egypt, she contracted malaria and returned to Australia 0n 22 January 1919 on the “Leicestershire”. She was medically discharged as unfit on 15th February 1919.
Married to Captain Justin McCarthy, R.A.M.C in early March 1919.
Shortly after she moved to Dubbo and other centres in the state to eventually settle in Goulburn. She had five children William, June, Robert, Justin and John.
She died in Goulburn 27 February 1942 aged 48 years.
Mary MacAnene was born in Kiama in 1880. For the years leading up to her enlistment, she was a nurse.
Mary enlisted on 19 June 1915 as a staff nurse and embarked on the “Orsova” on 17 July 1915, aged 35.
She served her time in England.
She returned to to Australia 29 March 1918 on the “Balmoral Castle”.
On the 23 December 1918 she was discharged as medically unfit.
Bacame the matron of Camden Hospital.
She died a spinster from the effects of war service 25 August 1924 aged 43 and was buried at Faulconbridge Cemetery.
Kate Isobel Gallen
Kate Gallen was born in 1881 at Kiama.
Aged 30 when she enlisted in 24 July 1915, she embarked 31 July 1915 on the Orontes”.
She served her time in Egypt and France.
In April 1917 she suffered a severe bout of Rubella.
She resigned her appointment on 15 June 1917 to be married to Walter Harold Head.
This marriage ended in divorce in 1929.
She died 24 February 1940.
WW1 Project Resources
Information available from this website
- Kiama Memorial Arch
- Gerringong Soldiers Hall (Inside)
- Gerringong Soldiers Hall (Outside)
- Jamberoo Honour Roll
- Dead Man's Penny
- Commemorative plaques, scrolls, honour rolls and laid stones
- Post Cards from WW1
- Where Australians Rest
Stories about soldiers from the Kiama District that can be downloaded.