Family of Joseph & Henrietta Best


Edith Henrietta

Edith Henrietta was born November 1882 at Nowra, NSW. She had a fair complexion with hazel eyes and light brown hair.

She trained as a nurse at Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and joined the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) in July 1916 and enlisted in August. She embarked on the Kaiser-I-Hind on 9th December, arrived Suez on 10th January 1917 and was taken on strength by the 14th Australian General Hospital as Staff Nurse the same day. The war against the Turks in Sinai, Palestine, Syria and Macedonia was a long war of attrition, with the toll through sickness constant gastroenteritis and malaria being common. At one stage after heavy fighting around Gaza the bed-state of 14 AGH shot up to 1,140 but mostly it was routine nursing.

Edith was promoted to Sister in March 1918 and remained with 14 AGH until May 1919. Following her service she was granted one month's leave in London with fees paid to attend a course of instruction in French Language at Hugo's Language Institute, 33 Gracechurch Street London EC from 8th July to October 4th. Her course was cancelled on 19th September when she had the opportunity to return to Australia aboard the Port Sydney after news of her father's death, but her report states that she made very good progress and attained very satisfactory results. She returned to Australia and was discharged on 28th November 1919.

In London, Edith also took organ lessons from the organist at St Margaret's Westminster, who she believed was one of the best in Britain. These lessons also came to an end prematurely when she returned to Australia. (from 1957 letter to Dick Blomfield) She lived at No. 2 Flat, 25 Daisy Street Chatswood from (at least 1947) until her death in 1962.

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