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kjharris

Decoration for nurse?

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kjharris

Dear all,

 

Would appreciate if anyone can tell me what decoration (if, in fact, it is one) is being worn by the nurse sitting on the ground in the photo at the link below. This photo was taken in Australia in 1919 at a military camp.

 

https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/PRG+1638/2/108

 

I have searched all the different types of decorations received by members of the Australian Army Nursing Service which included British, French, Belgium and Indian awards but no luck.

 

Any suggestions appreciated.

 

regards

 

Kirsty

 

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depaor01

It has a striking resemblance to an Iron Cross second class on the wrong ribbon. Highly unusual and unlikely I know but that's all I see.

Dave

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kjharris

Thanks, Dave. What about this - do you think it could be the Order of St John of Jerusalem?

 

image.jpeg

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ForeignGong

It could be a Russian Cross of St George

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RNCVR
Posted (edited)

Not a Cross of St George, they came in silver, not blackened. & wrong shape for OSJ.

 

Agree with Dave, it certainly looks like an EK2.

Edited by RNCVR

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kjharris

Thank you - so you think this is it - the Iron Cross, 2nd class

Iron Cross Second Class - 1914 from Hessen Antique

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RNCVR

It certainly looks like EK2 to me, perhaps she is a German Nurse, but did they qualify for the EK2 & what is she doing in an Australian Quarantine camp ?

 

Best....Bryan

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depaor01
Posted (edited)

Personally yes. An EK2. Why a presumably Allied nurse would wear one is beyond me though.

I know iron crosses were used ironcally - pardon the pun - as propaganda. Cheap ones were made by Allies with things like "Kultur" in relief.

Putting my neck on the block here, but the ribbon looks black - could be another colour - and it should have broad vertical white bands.

Maybe a deliberately inappropriate use of an iconic German decoration?

Best I can come up with. A very interesting photo.

Dave

Edited by depaor01

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kjharris

This was a Spanish flu military quarantine camp in South Australia in 1919. There were 11 nurses there, the nine I've found so far were all Australians serving either with the Australian Army Nursing Service with the AIF, or on Home Service so presume the other two were as well. They were there to nurse soldier patients if the flu broke out in the camp - which it didn't.

 

So we did have nurses who served in Germany at the end of the war but they were still in Europe when this photo was taken.

 

 

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depaor01

If it was a legitimate wearing of an Iron Cross by a nurse I'd expect it to be suspended on the non combatant ribbon which had the colours of the one pictured above reversed making it look almost white which it doesn't. 

Curiouser and curiouser.

Dave

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kjharris

Here is a photo of 10 of the nurses, no ribbons

 

e5c9-013f-57b8-90da-bccf88e34034.jpg

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TEW

The ribbon could be red to dark orange which would show as black in the photo. No white stripes visible though.

 

Although there is either a blemish on the photo or something attached to the ribbon.

TEW

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kjharris

The medal does look like it is pinned on with something else.

 

The only German connection I can find is that one nurse was of German heritage - in fact, she changed her surname so she could enlist!

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kjharris

thanks everyone for your suggestions

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TullochArd

The photo mentioned in the OP is labelled Quarantine Camp, Jubilee Oval .......... which is in Adelaide.  The photo comes from page 17 of a publication entitled "Normal" A souvenir of the quarantine camp, Jubilee Oval, Adelaide, Feb. 26th – Mar. 5th, 1919" (Adelaide Camp Publication Committee 1919) and is entitled "The Medical Staff" 

 

Although this dosn't help in identifying the medal or the reason for wearing it confirms this was not taken in a military camp.  It was one created to enable the "forced isolation" of "South Australians returning to Adelaide from Melbourne were required to endure at the outbreak of the the Spanish Influenza on Australian shores in 1919."  This not being a military camp it follows that the staff might not be military and therefore not under strict dress codes. 

 

Possibly we are just looking at someone wearing a "souvenir" sent over from Europe.  I have seen stranger souvenirs.

 

Life in Jubilee Oval was all quite a hoot apparently .......and with no fatalities.  (Photo - Adelaide Camp Publication Committee 1919)

 

Normal p.17.jpg

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topgun1918

More likely to be the cross of the Royal Red Cross, awarded in two classes, Member, with the post-nominal letters RRC and Associate, with the post-nominal letters ARRC.  The ribbon for either was red, blue, red ribbon, so would appear dark in photographs of the period.  Awards can be verified in the London Gazette.

 

In design it was similar to the Iron Cross and per the statutes of the award (the Royal Warrant appears in London Gazette number 25225, 27 April 1883), was to be worn on a ribbon, tied in a bow, on the left shoulder.  I would imagine in informal moments, simply pinned to the uniform would be more practical/acceptable.

 

Graeme

 

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kjharris

Thanks TullochArd for the connection to the publication. I was unaware of it. And you were right it wasn't a military camp per se.

 

This was the information I was given:

part of this spanish flu pandemic story in Australia is that of the SA Government setting up a one week quarantine camp on the Jubilee Oval in Adelaide for 670 South Australians stuck in other states. Returning to SA by train, the camp opened on 26 Feb and closed 5 March with no cases of flu developing. Nine nurses were included in the 670 and there were an additional two 'nurse matrons' appointed to look after the whole train load coming from Victoria. The photo of the 11 women show them all wearing an AANS uniform.

One other 'resident' of the camp Jack Kaines took wonderful photos of the nurses and these are held at the State Library of South Australia and online digitally at https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/PRG+1638/page:2 Stories mention the nurses playing cricket against other ladies in quarantine.

From a list published in the paper, the nine were:
Couston, Sister J. H. AANS Home Service Interstate on trains
Crabb, Sister E. M. AANS
Love, Sister G. L. AANS
McConville Sister M. A. AANS HS Int on trains
Ringwood, Sister A. M. AANS HS Int on trains
Ronayne Nurse G.L. AANS
Solly, Sister A. AANS
Watts, Nurse F. H. AANS HS Int on trains
Wilson, Nurse C. E. QAIMNSR/Stobarts/AANS HS

I was unable to find out who the other two were.

1919 'ISOLATED.', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 1 March, p. 8. , viewed 01 Dec 2018, ISOLATED. - PEOPLE AT THE JUBILEE OVAL. - The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929) - 1 Mar 1919

 

I consulted other experts who rejected the award as being the RRC or ARRC - image.png.7027c5960489be0200738e4fd2753faf.png hence why I came to this site!

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TEW

Trove newspaper website to check names against awards?

TEW

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RNCVR
Posted (edited)

I consulted other experts who rejected the award as being the RRC or ARRC - image.png.7027c5960489be0200738e4fd2753faf.png hence why I came to this site!

 

 

  • Its deffo not an RRC or ARRC, 
Edited by RNCVR

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headgardener
Posted (edited)

Agree with the other comments about it being an EK. In my experience, the 'ironic' Allied versions were very crudely made and were all black, unlike the one in the picture which appears to have a silver metal frame. In my opinion, it's an original EK being worn by an allied nurse as a joke of some kind. 

Edited by headgardener

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TullochArd
Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, headgardener said:

Agree with the other comments about it being an EK. In my experience, the 'ironic' Allied versions were very crudely made and were all black, unlike the one in the picture which appears to have a silver metal frame. In my opinion, it's an original EK being worn by an allied nurse as a joke of some kind. 

 

Agreed.  There seems to be nothing vaguely similar awarded within the Allied military or associated nursing profession.  Reading between the lines regarding events at Jubilee Oval at this time it certainly all seems quite jolly and light hearted.  I too feel it is a genuine EK, probably given to the rather pretty nurse by an admirer, being worn as part of a long lost caper or distraction.

Edited by TullochArd

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RNCVR

Perhaps her boyfriend(or whatever they were called at that time), he may have obtained EK from PoW when in France or Flanders, then upon his return home gave it to his lady friend.

 

Like many other things we are only speculating & may never know....

 

Best to all....

Bryan

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kjharris

Thanks everyone,

 

Yes, I had checked all the nurses that were named for any honours awarded to them but none given.

And RRC had moved from the shoulder to a normal chest pin by WW1.

 

I will put this down as a interesting mystery.

 

regards to all, stay save, wear a mask etc etc. Kirsty

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royalredcross

Looks very much like the Marianer Cross of the Teutonic Order,.  They do have sisters. 

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headgardener
30 minutes ago, royalredcross said:

Looks very much like the Marianer Cross of the Teutonic Order,.  They do have sisters. 

 

But isn’t that in the form of a Latin cross (with an elongated lower leg)? The one in the photo doesn’t seem to have that, and appears to be more in the form of an EK (‘Cross Patee’, or whatever it’s called!)

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