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Remembered Today:

Scottish nurse awarded Leopold medal for work with Belgian Red Cross.


barriea
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Dear Forum,

I am researching the life of my grandmother, Margaret MacKenzie, a Scottish-born nurse, who was involved as a civilian in the Great War in two main areas:

(1) She was awarded the Order of Leopold by Prince Albert of the Belgians for her work with the Belgian Royal Red Cross in London, in 1915-1917. I would be grateful for any advice as to where I might search for more information about why Margaret MacKenzie was awarded this medal. (I am New Zealand-based, but am coming to Europe in 2010).

(2) Later Margaret MacKenzie worked in hospitals in England that were receiving wounded servicemen from France. It was here that she met and later married my grandfather, who was serving with the New Zealand forces. I see from my grandfather's war records that he spent periods in 1917-1918 in both Walton-on-Thames hospital and in Hornchurch, so my grandmother will have worked in one or both of those places. Does anyone know if there are records available of nurses, who worked in these two establishments, and where I might find them? (I have seen the book "Hornchurch during the great war", but this is does not include lists of nurses).

I would be very appreciative of any information,

Ann Maree

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Are you sure it's Leopold. I would have thought that Leopold II would have been more likely and even that unusual.

There was a large distribution of Belgian medals to British subjects for services in the UK to Belgian refugees. Over 900 Medailles de la Reine Elisabeth were awarded and large number of the Palmes, which is the 6th class of the Order of the Crown. A Leopold for Red Cross services in 1914-15 would have been unusual.

A lot of awards, including the ones mentioned above were not gazetted but reference can sometimes be found in the National Archives under the Foreign Office records. FO 378 is worth checking.

Norman

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Jim Strawbridge is the resident expert on women in the Great War. Try him.

Aye

Malcolm

Very kind of you to say so, Malcolm. But my research only pertains to female casualties. Sue Light is the person who is likely to pop in and answer the question.

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Dear Forum,

I am researching the life of my grandmother, Margaret MacKenzie, a Scottish-born nurse, who was involved as a civilian in the Great War in two main areas:

(1) She was awarded the Order of Leopold by Prince Albert of the Belgians for her work with the Belgian Royal Red Cross in London, in 1915-1917. I would be grateful for any advice as to where I might search for more information about why Margaret MacKenzie was awarded this medal. (I am New Zealand-based, but am coming to Europe in 2010).

(2) Later Margaret MacKenzie worked in hospitals in England that were receiving wounded servicemen from France. It was here that she met and later married my grandfather, who was serving with the New Zealand forces. I see from my grandfather's war records that he spent periods in 1917-1918 in both Walton-on-Thames hospital and in Hornchurch, so my grandmother will have worked in one or both of those places. Does anyone know if there are records available of nurses, who worked in these two establishments, and where I might find them? (I have seen the book "Hornchurch during the great war", but this is does not include lists of nurses).

I would be very appreciative of any information,

Ann Maree

G'day Ann

My data base of Gazetted WW1 foreign awards would have to be very close to 100%, but sorry I have no record of a Margaret MacKenzie.

But I did find a Margaret MacKenzie awarded a RRC 2nd Cl under this

http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/301...upplements/5488

You will see she is listed as Mrs, Margaret MacKenzie, Nursing Service. Could be worth researching as this sounds like a Civilian award.

Sorry I can not be more help

From across the Tasman

ForeignGong

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Have you tried searching the BJN (via http://rcnarchive.rcn.org.uk/)? That is where I found reference to my Great Aunt (Evelyn Faulder MM) receiving the Ordre de la Reine Elisabeth. There look as if there are two refs to a Margaret McKenzie (but was McKenzie her maiden name?).

BTW - does any one have a good reference for finding out more about the Ordre de la Reine Elisabeth?

TIA

David

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Are you sure it's Leopold. I would have thought that Leopold II would have been more likely and even that unusual.

There was a large distribution of Belgian medals to British subjects for services in the UK to Belgian refugees. Over 900 Medailles de la Reine Elisabeth were awarded and large number of the Palmes, which is the 6th class of the Order of the Crown. A Leopold for Red Cross services in 1914-15 would have been unusual.

A lot of awards, including the ones mentioned above were not gazetted but reference can sometimes be found in the National Archives under the Foreign Office records. FO 378 is worth checking.

Norman

Thank-you, Norman. The medal is with my aunt (Margaret's daughter) in Florida. I have left a message requesting her to describe it to me. My aunt has always called it the Leopold medal, but she might well be mistaken... There is also a fine head-and-shoulders portrait in oils of Margaret MacKenzie in her nurses uniform (I have this portrait). The caption on the surround/picture mount reads 'Miss M. McKenze. Services in London Belgian Royal Red Cross 1915-1919.' The signature on the painting is, I think: 'Rae' with 'Dn' beneath... Thank-you too, for the suggestion about Foreign Office records. Ann Maree

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G'day Ann

My data base of Gazetted WW1 foreign awards would have to be very close to 100%, but sorry I have no record of a Margaret MacKenzie.

But I did find a Margaret MacKenzie awarded a RRC 2nd Cl under this

http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/301...upplements/5488

You will see she is listed as Mrs, Margaret MacKenzie, Nursing Service. Could be worth researching as this sounds like a Civilian award.

Sorry I can not be more help

From across the Tasman

G'day Foreign Gong, Thank-you for checking your database. She was a Miss Margaret MacKenzie (became Margaret Herbert when she married in May 1919)... Ann Maree.

ForeignGong

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Have you tried searching the BJN (via http://rcnarchive.rcn.org.uk/)? That is where I found reference to my Great Aunt (Evelyn Faulder MM) receiving the Ordre de la Reine Elisabeth. There look as if there are two refs to a Margaret McKenzie (but was McKenzie her maiden name?).

BTW - does any one have a good reference for finding out more about the Ordre de la Reine Elisabeth?

TIA

David

*

Thank you for this tip David. I have just visited the BJN - it looks a great resource - and you can search by keyword too. (MacKenzie was her maiden name). Ann Maree

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