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Eleanor Dagma Gjedsted


Australian Army Nursing Service


Eleanor Dagma Gjedsted - Information

Eleanor Dagma was born in Campbelltown in 1881 to Edward and Eleanor Gjedsted. Eleanor was a qualified nurse, and at the age of 33 enlisted in the Australian Army Nursing Service on the 26th of April 1915. Eleanor was assigned as a Staff Nurse to the No. 1 Australian General Hospital, and departed Sydney Harbour on the 15th of May 1915 upon the RMS Mooltan.

Eleanor arrived in Egypt, and in August commenced her nursing duties. In February 1916, she was attached to the 1st Australian General Hospital. The following month, Eleanor became part of the nursing staff of the HMAT Argyllshire, before being detached to the 3rd AGH in June. On the 10th of July, Eleanor set off for Australia, escorting wounded troops home onboard the Clan McGillivray. After a short furlough, she proceeded back overseas for her new assignment. By the start of 1917, Eleanor was in England detached to a hospital in Southall. In April, Eleanor proceeded overseas to France to the 3rd Australian General Hospital. Throughout this period, Eleanor witnessed first hand the devastation of modern weapons and carnage of the battlefields. The dangers of working so close to the front, became very real when she was temporarily detached to the 3rd Australian Casualty Clearing Station in late July. Often with inadequate supplies and an over abundance of wounded, nurses at casualty stations worked all day and all night. They were even targeted by enemy fire. Due to her devotion to duty and hard work, she was promoted to Sister on the 1st of September. By December, Eleanor was again working at the 3rd Australian General Hospital, and by January 1918 became ill being in close proximity with patients. When she was discharged from hospital in March, she was posted to the 1st Australian General Hospital at Rouen. By July, Eleanor was caring for troops back at the 3rd AGH in Abbeville, where she remained until the end of the war. Throughout her time in Egypt, England and France, Eleanor witnessed the cruelty and pain of modern warfare, soldiers with amputations, victims of gas and horrendous mutilating wounds from shrapnel. After the war ended and most of the wounded left France, thus, Eleanor was stationed to the AIF Headquarters in London in March 1919. Here, she requested leave to attend a variety of health courses. Eleanor then completed her war service and began her journey home from England on the 28th of October 1919.