GREENAWAY, Sybil Mildred
(Service number S 1122)
|Aliases||Birth registered as Sibylla Mildred Greenaway; death registered as Sybilla Mildred Greenaway. Known & enlisted as Sybil Mildred Greenaway.|
|First Rank||Nurse||Last Rank||Sister|
|Date||12 September 1877||Place of Birth||Timaru, New Zealand|
|Date||21 April 1915||Age||37 years 9 months|
|Address at Enlistment|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||Isaac McNaughton GREENAWAY (father), Hagerston, Queensland, Australia.|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Medical Information||Height 5 feet 7 inches. Weight 11 stone. Chest measurement 35 inches. Complexion fair. Eyes brown. Hair brown. Vaccination mark (left arm). Two moles back of neck.|
|Served with||Australian Imperial Force||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||Reinforcements to 1st Australian General Hospital, Heliopolis - 1 M.D.|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||Royal Army Nurses|
|Date||15 May 1915|
|Embarked From||Sydney, Australia||Destination||Heliopolis|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With||2 M.D.|
|Service Medals||British War Medal; Victoria Medal|
|Military Awards||Mentioned in Desptaches|
Award Circumstances and Date
“For conspicuous services rendered while serving with the Australian Imperial Force” (London Gazette, 11 July 1919; Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No. 124, 30 October 1919)
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
|Date||13 December 1919||Reason|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
19 February 1919 - sent to 39th Stationary Hospital - sick; 25 February admitted to No. 24 General Hospital, France - follicular tonsilitis; 6 March discharged to Convalescent Home.
|Date||10 October 1972||Age||95 years|
|Place of Death||Sunset House Nursing Home, Montrose, Victoria; of Upwey, Victoria|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Cremated; ashes interred Springvale Botanical Cemetery, Dandenong, Victoria, Australia|
|Memorial Reference||Plot: Banksia, Wall C, Niche 866|
|New Zealand Memorials||Toowoomba Soldiers' Memorial Hall WW1 Roll of Honour|
Sybilla Mildred Greenaway was born on 12 September 1877 at Timaru, the second daughter of Isaac McNaughton Greenaway and Mary Ann née Younghusband. She was often known as Sybil and enlisted as Sybil Mildred Greenaway. Isaac Greenaway who was from Northern Ireland, came to Canterbury, New Zealand in 1861. He married Mary Ann Younghusband in 1873. Nine children – one son and eight daughters - were born to Isaac and Mary Ann, all in South Canterbury. Little Enid died at Orari in 1885, aged eight months. From 1870 till 1890 Isaac farmed some 1600 acres near the Orari River in South Canterbury. His name appeared regularly among the sheep-owners returns at Rangitata and Bulmer in Geraldine County. In August 1882 at the Temuka Court, Isaac Greenaway was charged with failing to comply with the Act in not having his child vaccinated. He said that he did not believe in vaccination and would not have it performed on the child. “He would leave the country or send the child away.” He was fined 40 shillings and informed that further failure would entail another fine (£40). Along with her only brother and some of her sisters, Sybil was educated at South Rangitata School (first known as North Orari School). In April 1887 at South Rangitata School, Sybella Greenaway and her older sister Elsie Greenaway were awarded prizes for 1st equal in Standard I, while their brother Leonard Greenaway was awarded 2nd prize in Standard III.
In 1890 Isaac purchased a larger property at Glenoroua, in the Manawatu district, which was used as a bullock-fattening farm. It appears that he also retained an in interest in South Canterbury. So, in July 1890 Sybil and her sisters transferred from Rangitata to Manchester Street School at Feilding. Sybella and her older sister Elsie were admitted to Rongotea School in September 1891 after a brief stint in Dunedin. With family settled at Glen Oroua, they transferred to Carnarvon School at the beginning of the 1893 school year and left there for home instruction in May 1894. Mr Isaac Greenaway was on the move again when he purchased Felton Station, on the Darling Downs, Queensland, in 1901. His well-known property near Temuka went to sale early in 1902. Both Sybilla and Elsie were with their parents at Rongatea in 1899 and 1900, Elsie a schoolteacher. Most of the family followed to Australia but not all. Leonard Hesketh Greenaway married Margaret Davis Beale, late of Palmerston North, in 1904 in Queensland. Thereafter, Leonard and Margaret lived in New Zealand, Leonard a farmer. They are buried at Waikanae. Miss Olive Greenaway, of Glenoroua and Felton Station, Queensland, left New Zealand for London in early March 1909 to start her duties there, having been appointed a staff nurse in the Imperial Military Nursing Service. Mary Olive Greenway, known as Olive, married Arthur August Ellis Flohr on 22 August 1913 at Manchester, England. It was Arthur’s second marriage. Arthur Flohr who was born in 1880 in Manchester, England, enlisted with the New Zealand Forces in 1915. He was an ex-Imperial Army officer. He was appointed camp adjutant at Tauherenikau Camp (11/1615) where Mrs Flohr (née Greenaway) was matron. Both were gone from the camp by 1916. Olive and Arthur lived for a few years in New Zealand before moving to Australia where they anglicized their name and where both died.
Elsie Greenaway married Henry Godfrey Hammond in 1901 in New Zealand. They, too, remained in New Zealand, raising a family and dying here. Gertrude Greenaway, who was living with her sister Elsie from 1905 until 1911, married Francis Campbell Raikes in 1911. Gertrude lived to 102 years, her ashes interred at Foxton Cemetery. Sybil and her other sisters – Cecily, Margaret and Dorothy had gone with their parents to Australia. There at Felton Station in 1903 were Isaac and Mary Anne, and Cecily and Mary. Cecily married Francis Prentice in 1907 in Queensland, raised a family and died there in 1956.
Meanwhile, by 1903 Sybil was stationed at the District Hospital in Toowoomba. Her father’s property, Felton Estate, was handy to Toowoomba. She trained in medical and surgical nursing at Toowoomba Hospital; In July 1906, “Nurse ybil Greenaway, a very popular nurse at the Brisbane General Hospital”, left there to reside with her family at Felton. By 1908 was superintendent at St Mildred’s Private Hospital, Bundaberg, a hospital which she herself opened. Later she moved back to Toowoomba, all the while nursing. Mr I. M. Greenaway disposed of Felton Station in 1911, making a very substantial increase on the price he paid ten years earlier. Although it was reported that he would probably return to New Zealand to reside permanently, he and Mrs Greenaway lived in retirement at Warwick, Queensland.
Sybil Mildred Greenaway enlisted with the Australian Army Nursing Service on 21 April 1915 in Brisbane, Queensland. Her file is marked NURSE S 1122 in lieu of a service number. 37 years 9 months old, single and of Church of England affiliation, she named her father as next-of-kin – Isaac McNaughton Greenaway, Hagerston, Warwick, Queensland, Australia. She was 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighed 11 stone and had a chest measurement of 38 inches. She was of fair complexion with brown eyes and brown hair. She was vaccinated in the left arm and had 2 moles on the back of her neck.
Nurse S. M. Greenaway embarked from Sydney, Australia on 15 May 1915 per the “Mooltan”, with Reinforcements to the 1st Australian General Hospital at Heliopolis. On 29 March 1916 she was posted to the No. 1 Australian General Hospital in France. Having disembarked from Alexandria at Marseilles, she was detached from the 1st Australian General Hospital at Rouen on 14 April 1916 and reported for duty with the Isolation Hospital at Etaples. Detached again on 10 May 1916, she reported for duty with the No. 18 Ambulance Train. On 3 October 1916, she re-joined her Unit at Rouen. She was appointed Matron in Chief to the No. 1 Australian General Hospital in France on 12 January 1917, and in February enjoyed ten days leave. Nurse Greenaway was promoted to Sister to Complete Establishment at the hospital on 1 September 1917, and a few weeks later, after leave in the UK, was posted to the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station. Sister Greenaway was herself sent to the 39th Stationary Hospital, sick, on 19 February 1919, and admitted to No. 24 General Hospital in France on 25 February, suffering from follicular tonsilitis. She was discharged to the Convalescent Home on 6 March. From the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station she was attached to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital for duty on 28 July 1919.
Sir Douglas Haig’s Despatch of 16 March 1919 mentioned Sister S. M. Greenaway in Despatch, “for her conspicuous services rendered while serving with the Australian Imperial Force”. It was not until December 1919 that Sister Sybil Greenaway of Toowoomba received information from the military authorities in Melbourne that she had been mentioned in despatches. The official notification set out: Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence, Base Records Office, A.I.F., Melbourne, December 5, 1919; Sister S. Greenaway, c/o I. M. Greenaway, Warwick: - “I have much pleasure in forward hereunder copy of extract from eighth supplement No. 314448 to the London Gazette dated July 11, 1919, relating to the conspicuous services rendered by yourself whilst serving with the Australian Imperial Force. Mentioned in despatches: The following is a confirmation of Marshal Douglas Haig’s despatch of March 10, 1919, submitting names deserving of special mention: Sister S. Greenaway. The above has been promulgated in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No. 24, dated October 30, 1919. (Signed) Major H. McLean, Officer in Charge of Base Records.” After nearly 4½ years of service in Egypt and France, Sister S. M. Greenaway returned to Australia from England on 22 August 1919 per “Anchises”, disembarking on 13 October. After serving in France for more than three and a half years, she nursed on the troopship when returning home. Her appointment in the A.I.F. was terminated on 13 December 1919. Sister Greenaway, AANS, AIF, received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal in August 1932. She had received two oak leaves (one large and one small) – Mentioned in Despatches emblem, in October 1920, and a Certificate for Mention in Despatches, in July 1921.
Sybil resumed her nursing profession. While she was at the Red Cross Home at Corinda, Queensland, in 1921, she moved to Victoria shortly after and lived there until her death. Her father, Isaac Macnaughton Greenaway – “formerly of Glenoroua and Orari, Canterbury”, died on 4 November 1922, at his residence, Warwick, Queensland. The Timaru Herald and the Temuka Leader noted that he would “be remembered by many of the old identities of South Canterbury.” He was survived by his widow, one son and seven daughters. “Litigation in connexion with the estate of the late Isaac Macnaughton Greenaway, of Warwick, pastoralist, who died on November 4th, 1922, at the age of 83 years, was concluded in the Supreme Court at Brisbane recently . . . , when Mr Justice Shand sanctioned a compromise arrived at by all parties concerned with regard to the residue of deceased’s estate. . . . . Deceased, in his will, made certain provisions, but five of his daughters were not provided for. The residue of the estate was left to the British and Foreign Bible Society, London.” [Press. 16 January 1925.] The parties on one hand were Gertrude Raikes, Sybil Mildred Greenaway, Margaret Lilian Greenaway, Olive Mary Flohr, arid Dorothy Elizabeth Greenaway; while those on the other hand were L. H. Greenaway, Elsie Mountford Hammond, and Cecily Prentice, and the British and Foreign Bible Society. Fortunately, all parties consented to a compromise. Probate was granted and the compromise sanctioned. “[The late Mr Greenaway was for many years a well-known and successful farmer in South Canterbury, and subsequently in the Manawatu district.]”
Mary (Marian) Greenaway (nee Younghusband) – “relict of the late I. M. Greenaway, of Felton Station, Darling Downs and Orari, South Canterbury” – died on 21 October 1929 at Warwick. “A family of seven daughters — Mrs John O’Dwyer (Rio de Janerio [sic]); Mrs A. Flohr (Sydney); Mrs F. Prentice (Darling Downs); Misses Dorothy and Sybil Greenaway (Melbourne); Mrs Raikes (Orona Downs); Mrs E. M. Hammond (Waverley) — and one son, L. H. Greenaway (Waikanae), are left to mourn their loss.” [Timaru Herald. 31 October 1929.] It appears, but is not confirmed, that Mrs John O’Dwyer was Margaret Lilian Greenaway, who was at Felton in 1908. Leaving Australia for Canada in mid-1981, Margaret arrived in England from Canada in February 1919.
Sybil never married, and sometime in the 1940s she went to live with or near her youngest sister, Dorothy, at Upwey, Victoria. Dorothy Elizabeth Greenaway had married Norman Fowler Kenderdine in 1930 in Victoria. Norman who had come out to Australia from England in 1926, died in 1936. Dorothy and Norman had a son John Ashton Barrington Kenderdine, known as Barry. In the 1970s, Barry married Betty May Pottle (known as Bobbie), the widow of Alan Frederick Pottle. Dorothy Kenderdine died in 1982 at the age of 93 and joined her husband at the Springvale Botanical Cemetery. Sybil Mildred Greenaway made application to the Victorian Branch of the Repatriation Department in June 1966 for benefits under the Repatriation Act. Sybil died on 10 October 1972 at Sunset House Nursing Home, Montrose, Victoria, of Upwey, aged 95 years. She was cremated, her ashes being interred at the Springvale Botanical Cemetery, Dandenong, Victoria. Sybil Mildred Greenaway’s name is inscribed on the Toowoomba Soldiers’ Memorial Hall WW1 Roll of Honour.
A relative commented in February 2022 that: “Sybil’s service file was marked as NURSE S 1122 in lieu of a Service Number. She enlisted in Queensland. Military service: She served in Etaples, France and the Rouen , France with AANS No 1 AGH . . . According to my stepfather, who looked after her, she and his mother (her sister) Dorothy, lived together in the family home in Upwey, Victoria. Sybil died in Sunset House Nursing Home in Montrose, Victoria.”
Among the passengers on the steamer Monterey when it arrived at Auckland on 30 January 1933 was Miss S. M Greenaway. Was this Sybil? Perhaps visiting family in New Zealand? What better way to remember New Zealand-born Sybilla Mildred Greenaway, than to conclude with the interview with Sybil reprinted by the Auckland Star of 3 May 1933! ‘A New Zealander who sailed with the Australian troops at the beginning of the World War was Miss Sybil M. Greenaway, of Timaru, whom the “Melbourne Herald” recently interviewed. She trained at Toowoomba General Hospital, and joined up in Brisbane in April, 1915. She sailed on May 15, 1915, from Melbourne, on the Mooltan, with the third detachment of Royal Army Nurses, who were going as reinforcements to No. 1 General Hospital at Heliopolis. Sister Greenaway related the following experiences: -
“We disembarked at Suez on June 15, 1915, and immediately entrained for Cairo. En route, we thought we would buy some fruit from the natives. We passed down the money for some juicy oranges and water-melons. The train began to move. The natives kept the fruit. The hospitals were at Heliopolis, some miles from Cairo. We lived in a large house on the desert with the 18th Light Horse camped just beyond. It took us some days to settle down to this new life of heat and flies. At this time there were train-loads of wounded coming in from Gallipoli.
Things had happened so rapidly one could scarcely realise it possible. We settled down to work and took our pleasures as they came, and they were many and varied. Each day was full of happiness, and so the months flew by.
“Days off from hospital were always spent motoring out to see some old temple, village or ruin, or in the native bazaars (always including some Digger able for the trip). Miss M. Graham, of South Australia, our matron, gave the boys who were well enough to get out of hospital for an afternoon many billy picnics.
“Two of us were out riding one afternoon with some friends from the artillery camp in the desert near Matareih, when suddenly—as from nowhere —appeared an Egyptian with his donkey laden with paniers full of ripe tomatoes. Our horses shied, swerved and galloped off into a green oat field, but were soon controlled. The poor old donkey also took fright, quickened his step somewhat, and, in so doing, scattered tomatoes in all directions, much to the disgust of the ‘Gippo.’
“A day off in Cairo was a great lure. It so happened that one day we two were wending our way up to the Citadel and Mosque Mohammed Ali, when in the distance we saw hundreds of Egyptian police, all in white uniforms, lining the road. It was the day of 'The Procession of the Holy Carpet' on its way to Mecca. We hired a 'gharry' and told the driver we wanted to see the procession. He took us down into the native quarter by side streets, and here we sat with natives climbing all over our conveyance, jabbering away all the time. Fortunately we had lots of pennies in our bags, and some sweets to keep them satisfied. We did not sight another white person all day. The day was a holiday as far as the native population was concerned. There seemed to be thousands of them. They were even up on top of the houses and hanging from the windows all along the streets.”’
Australian Imperial Force Attestation Papers (National Archives of Australia) [09 February 2014]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) 25 August 2015]; School Admission records (Feilding & Palmerston North branches NZSG) ; Timaru Herald, 21 August 1872, 15 August 1882, 3 December 1885, 12 July 1901, 25 February 1902, 8 November 1922, 31 October 1929 [x 2], South Canterbury Times, 15 August 1882, Temuka Leader, 15 August 1882, 9 April 1887, 9 November 1922, NZ Mail, 7 September 1904, Otago Witness, 4 March 1908, Evening Star, 23 February 1909, NZ Times, 4 March 1909, Feilding Star, 27 March 1911, Dominion, 18 & 25 November 1922, Press, 16 January 1925, Wanganui Chronicle, 26 October 1929, Auckland Star, 30 January 1933, 3 May 1933 (Papers Past) [25 & 29 August 2015; 23 January 2023]; NZ Electoral Rolls (ancestry.com.au) [25 August 2015; 23 January 2023]; Australian Electoral Rolls (ancestry.com.au) [23 January 2023]; Victoria, Australia, death index (ancestry.com.au); Probate index (ancestry.com.au) [11 February 2022]; Springvale Botanical Cemetery record (Find A Grave & submission) [23 January 2023; 06 February 2022]; SCRoll web submission by A Pottle, 6 February 2022; Toowoomba Soldiers’ Memorial Hall WW1 Roll of Honour (www.trst.org.au/toowoomba-and-district -ww1-roll-of-honour) [25 January 2023]; Queensland Figaro, 19 July 1906, Darling Downs Gazette, 1 June 1915, 23 December 1919, The Queenslander, 13 September 1919 (Trove – Australian newspapers) [26 January 2023]
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