Frances Mary Deere trained as a nurse at the Adelaide Hospital, South Australia, graduating in 1912 at the age of 33.
Her war service started with her enlistment on 25th November 1914. Staff Nurse Deere travelled with Adelaide Hospital nurses by train from Adelaide to Melbourne, joining the HMAT Kyarra with the 2nd Australian General Hospital. (AWM8 26/66/3 – 2 Australian General Hospital – 1 to 16 and Special Reinforcements)
The ship departed from Melbourne on 5 December 1914. Of the 40 nursing staff listed on the nominal roll of the Kyarra, 20 nursing staff were from the Adelaide Hospital, including Matron Margaret Graham. Unfortunately Nurse Deere contracted an illness while on the Kyarra and spent a month in recuperation in England before moving onto join her group.
Frances Mary Deere’s war service collection includes the 1914-1915 Star, Allied Victory Medal and British War Medal, the Services Rendered badge and Australian Army Nurses Service 1916 badge. The Services Rendered Badge was first issued in September 1916, indicating that the recipient had been honorably discharged due to ill health and had not avoided active duty. Each badge was uniquely numbered on the reverse. The sterling silver lapel badge was intended to be worn in civilian clothes on the right side chest, it was forbidden to wear on a military uniform.
Frances Deere is noted in the diaries of Olive Haynes and Lucy Daw. Souvenirs brought back with Francis include four silver spoons, now in the Heritage Office collection.