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Kathie

margaret smith dewar

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Kathie

My attention has been drawn to the name of Staff Nurse Margaret Smith Dewar on the Germiston War Memoirial outside Johannesburg in South Africa.

I know that she was considered a Scottish nurse, was a QA, was killed in Salonika in 1917 when her hospital was bombed and was awarded the Croix de Guerre.

What I havent yet had time to hunt up is - what was her South African connection???? I havent been to look at local churches etc to see if she worked at a local hospital, grew up or schooled there or if her family lived there.

Anyon know anything?

Thanks

Kathie

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ForeignGong

Hi

Here is her CdG London Gazette in case you do not have it

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/32022/supplement/8552

The following is from Page 51, 28 July 1917, British Journal of Nursing

MENTIONED IN DESPATCHES.

The Secretary of State for War has received a

dispatch from Lieut. General G. F. Milne, C.B.,

D.S.O., Commander in Chief, British Salonika

Force, in the following terms :-

MY LORD,-~ have the honour herewith to

submit a list of the names of the Officers, Warrant

Officers, Non Commissioned Officers, Men, and

Nursing Staff whose services I wish to brinq to

notice for distinguished service rendered during

the past six months in this theatre of operations.

Amongst those mentioned are the following

trained nurses, and British Red Cross workers :-

QUEEN ALEXANDRAI’SM PERIMAILLITA RY

NURSINGS ERVICE.

Humphreys, Matron E. C.

QUEEN‘ ALEXANDRA’ISM PERIMAILLIT ARY

NURSINGS ERVICER ESERVE.

Lumsden, Sister (acting Matron) R. E. ; O’Curran,

Sister (asst. Matron) P, ; Gardiner, Sister S. S. ;

Griffith, Sister P. M. ; Linton, Sister W. ; %binson,

Sister.C. M. ; Storey, Sister M. P. ; White, Sister R.;

Morris, Sister J. M. ; Rapson, Sister F. H. ; Ross,

Staff Nurse E. ; MacFadden, qtaff Nurse E. M. L. ;

Stacey, Staff Nurse K. E. ; SByell, Staff Nurse F.

E. ; McLeod, Staff Nurse A. T. ; Grant, Staff Nurse

D. E. ; Marshall, Staff Nurse M. B. (killed) ; Dewar,

Staff Nurse M. S. (Killed).

Peter

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Jim Strawbridge

Her next of kin was Mrs Dewar, P.O. Box 386, Germiston, Transvaal, South Africa. This is, presumably, her mother.

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Guest

My wife, Melanie, is the grand-niece of Margaret Smith Dewar. Melanie's mother was the niece of Margaret Smith Dewar and was given the same name. We have a picture of Margaret before she was killed, we have her diary signed my many of the men that she nursed at Brighton hospital and the letter that was written to her mother explaining her death and her burial. Her story is also told in in a book on Heroes of South Africa.

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Jim Strawbridge

My wife, Melanie, is the grand-niece of Margaret Smith Dewar. Melanie's mother was the niece of Margaret Smith Dewar and was given the same name. We have a picture of Margaret before she was killed, we have her diary signed my many of the men that she nursed at Brighton hospital and the letter that was written to her mother explaining her death and her burial. Her story is also told in in a book on Heroes of South Africa.

I would very much appreciate a copy of the photograph of Margaret Smith Dewar for my project on WW1 serving females died on service. I am happy to provide a photograph of her headstone if you would like it. (jimstrawbridge AT coinsale.fsnet.co.uk)

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Kathie

How fascinating that your are related.

I have sent you a message and hope you receive it. I would love to see whatever you have on Margaret - unfortunately I have nothing to share but my interest in her.

I have looked in the SA defence force archives and there is no card or personnel folder for her - yet she is on the Germiston memorial just outside Johannesburg and Jim says that her mother lived there.

Kathie

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SteveDewar

Margaret Smith Dewar was my great aunt and I have the medals she was awarded posthumously, including the French Croix de Guerre.

I am Steve Dewar, son of the late, John Douglas Dewar, and my grand parents were 'Jack' John and Anne Dewar. I was born in South Africa and immigrated with my wife, Sandra, to the U.S. in 1990 - our children are Callum and Amy.

I look forward to hearing from you and making contact with anyone interested in our heroic aunt, Margaret Smith Dewar.

Thank you and best regards,

Steve Dewar 

Edited by SteveDewar

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Guest CuanHedley

Hi Jim

Could you post a picture of the Margaret's headstone at Mikra please?

I will send a picture of Margaret.

Regards

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Rusty57

Margaret is also commemorated on a plaque in the Elder Memorial Chapel, Western Infirmary, Glasgow.  See post below on The Scottish Military Research Group forum.

 

http://warmemscot.s4.bizhat.com/warmemscot-ftopic6493.htm

 

I believe she also served with the Scottish Women's Hospitals (SWH) at Abbaye de Royaumont, France from 16 August 1915 - 5 Feb 1916.

http://www.scarletfinders.co.uk/137.htm

 

She appears on the medal roll for the British Committee, French Red Cross - SWH [British & Victory medals] on Ancestry.com, but it is noted that medals were awarded from the QAIMNSR.

 

Alison

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Jim Strawbridge
8 hours ago, Guest CuanHedley said:

Hi Jim

Could you post a picture of the Margaret's headstone at Mikra please?

I will send a picture of Margaret.

Regards

 

DewarMS.jpg

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Paul Sulter

Good day

 

I'm editing a short article on Margaret Dewar and can't seem to find two important dates: when she was born (I have three possible dates - 1873, 1879 and 1883, but none seems authoritative) and when her family came out to South Africa.

 

Thank you

 

Paul Sulter

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Moonraker

Hi Paul

 

Welcome to the Forum. Steve Dewar (post 7 above) would appear to be one person who might know. He hasn't visited us in more than three years. but I've sent him a private message that he may or may not pick up. However, he has posted several contact points, including his email address (something that we advise against lest it be harvested by spammers).

 

Good luck.

 

Moonraker

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SteveDewar

Hi - I'll get you the information as soon as possible. Steve

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SteveDewar

Margaret Smith Dewar was born on September 25, 1883 at Harthill, Linlithgowshire (known as such to 1921, thereafter as West Lothian), Scotland. It is unknown when her family went to South Africa. 

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Jim Strawbridge
12 hours ago, SteveDewar said:

Margaret Smith Dewar was born on September 25, 1883 at Harthill, Linlithgowshire (known as such to 1921, thereafter as West Lothian), Scotland. It is unknown when her family went to South Africa. 

 

Interesting, and I have no reason to dispute the birth date and place given. I have her as being born in 1879 in Alyth, Perthshire which I think came from the 1881 Scotland census (daughter of John and Catherine Dewar). Have I got the wrong woman?

Edited by Jim Strawbridge

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SteveDewar

Margaret, our late aunt, appears to have been born on September 25, 1883 in Harthill, Linlithgowshire, Scotland according to a certificate issued by the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve.

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Jim Strawbridge

Steve, I am not getting into a dispute but I would rather rely on census details provided by a parent than the source that you have provided. There are many instances where a nurse gave a false date of birth to get into the QAIMNS. There were age limitations, minimum age 25 and single as I recall and there would have been an upper age limit. Massaging the date to fit was not unusual. Are Scottish birth certificates purchasable?

Edited by Jim Strawbridge

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