World War 1, Adelaide Hospital Nursing Staff: Sister Fannie Herring

As a probationer nurse, Fannie Herring was intent on a course of nursing and study that would see her achievements acknowledged with the Honours Medal, awarded for the first time in 1902. First class pass in all four subjects, Medicine, Surgery Ophthalmology, Gynaecology had to be obtained,  the Adelaide Hospital Board of Management awarded one nurse as the recipient. The first medal was made of sterling silver, the centre inlaid with a red enamel cross.

inaugural Honours award for nursing examinations, 1902

Sterling silver award for First class passes, nursing examinations, 1902, with Nurses Certificate. The picture is of Adelaide Hospital, Frome Road and North Terrace intersection.

Shortly after graduation, Nurse Herring was employed as Head Nurse at Port Augusta Hospital, then furthered her training with a Midwifery certificate from the Women’s Hospital Melbourne, in 1907.

Herring, along with Matron Margaret Graham and other South Australian nurses, embarked with the Australian Imperial Forces, Second General Hospital, from Port Melbourne on the HMAT Kyarra, 5th December 1914.

 The next two years of the war service were of mixed fortune for Nurse Herring, invalided home in 1916.    Her work prior to her return was recognised by ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ the London Gazette 20th June 1916, for conspicuous services rendered in Egypt. Nurse Herring was awarded the Royal Red Cross medal for her AIF nursing services.  South Australian newspaper articles in 1917 recognise the support of Nurse Herring and Matron Graham at community events which supported serving and returned service personnel.

 Family notices in ‘The Register’ newspaper during the 1920’s to 1930’s, thank Sister Herring for her kind and unremitting service, suggest that her career after war service was in the private nursing sector.

Posted in Courage and Compassion - War and Peace, Histories