Roslyn Rutherford: Wartime adventures

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Roslyn Rutherford in uniform

My mother, Roslyn Newel Rutherford, was born on the 18th of October, 1893, at Murrumbidgerie, New South Wales. She was the grand daughter of James Rutherford, of Cobb & Co fame, who was the head of the syndicate that had bought out a small provincial coaching line, and converted it into a national institution. Her father, also James, managed the families extensive pastoral holdings, and the family was well to do.

When the First World War broke out she was determined to take part in it, but found she could not do so unless she had a professional qualification. She did some research, and decided that the only qualification she could hope to get before the war was ended was a Diploma of Massage from Sydney University.

She completed her studies in 1916, and eventually arrived in England late in May 1917. She joined the Almeric Padgett Military Massage Corps at a military hospital in Leeds, but was very unimpressed with them, and in 1918 she joined the Scottish Women's Hospitals Auxiliary, a feminist group operating a military hospital in the Abbey Royaumont, an old monastery which had been abandoned, and then converted into a spinning mill, before being requisitioned as a hospital. She arrived early in June, and stayed until the end of the war.



The trip over

Intro to letters

Letters 1

Leeds 1917-18

Letters 2

Royaumont 1918

Index to letters

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 © Roger Riordan 2004-2019