Staff Nurse Ione Grace Evelyn Nowland
[Listed on RSL Honor Board as I. C. Nolan, but correct name is Ione Grace Evelyn Nowland]
Ione Nowland was born in 1887 at Penrith in NSW to Edward Joseph Byrnes Clare Nowland and Marie Louisa Maguire.
The family were living at Ryde in Sydney in September 1897, when her father applied for a patent, concerning improvements to the driving wheels of cycles.
Ancestry.com – NSW Government Gazette, September–October 1897.
Before enlisting in the A.I.F., Ione Nowland was working in Sydney as a Nurse.
Ione Nowland enlisted in the A.I.F. at Sydney, on 24 May 1917.
At the age of 29 years, she embarked on 9 June 1917 from Sydney, per R.M.S. Mooltan, as a member of the Nurse contingent. After crossing the Indian Ocean, they disembarked at Suez on 19 July 1917.
After almost one month, on 8 August 1917, she embarked at Alexandria per Huntsgreen and sailed to Salonica, or Thessaloniki, [located on the Thermaic Gulf of the Aegean Sea] to join the R.A.M.C. British Salonika Force.
The British Salonika Army was a field army of the British Army during the Great War. They arrived in Salonika (along with French Troops) in October 1915, and remained in place until they withdrew in 1921.
On arrival at Salonika, she joined the 60th General Hospital at Hortiach, and served with them until 16 October 1917, when she transferred to the 50th General Hospital, also at Salonika.
There is a photo of the nurse's tents/quarters at Hortiach, on the A.W.M. web site.
On 2 November 1917, she returned to the 60th General Hospital at Hortiach.
After serving there for 10 months, on 7 September 1918 she was transferred to the 52nd British General Hospital (B.G.H.) at Kalamaria. Conditions for the nurses were so bad, with no fresh food or local drinking water. Winter was especially severe, with the wind known as "the Varder", being almost a blizzard. There were heavy snow falls and extremely low temperatures. Many of the nurses were affected by carbon monoxide poisoning, as they tried to keep warm using charcoal burning braziers. Wards could sometimes flood to halfway up the bedsteads. Then in summer the heat brought on dysentery, insects and malaria.
On 20 September 1918, Staff Nurse Nowland succumbed to the bad conditions, and was admitted as a patient to the 43rd General Hospital, suffering from a (N.Y.D.) Not Yet Diagnosed condition.
She was diagnosed with Nervous Debility, and her case was investigated at a Medical Board held on 4 October 1918 at SAWRIKA. They concluded that she was:
- Unfit for General Duties, Home Service or Light Duties.
- Required three months course of treatment.
- Her disability was not caused by military service, but aggravated by general service conditions in a sub-tropical climate.
The recommendation of the Medical Board was that she be invalided back to Australia.
On 12 October 1918, Staff Nurse Nowland was discharged from the 43rd General Hospital, to the 52nd General Hospital at Salonika, to await evacuation by ordinary transport “Nervous debility”.
Staff Nurse Nowland embarked for Egypt per Kasligar on 3 November 1918, and disembarked at Port Said on 6 November 1918. On arrival in Egypt she was admitted to the 14th A.G.H., and remained there until 22 December 1918, when she embarked from Suez per H.T. Leicestershire, to return to Australia.
On the homeward voyage she was excused duty, of caring for the injured soldiers on board.
She disembarked at Sydney on 23 January 1919, and her A.I.F. appointment was terminated on 31 May 1919.
Ione Nowland married Lt. William Charles O'Toole M.C., at St. Phillip's, Church Hill, on 27 April 1920.
The bride was given away by her cousin, Colonel F. A. Maguire, D.S.O. (late A.D.M.S., 3rd Division, A.I.F.)
The Richmond River Herald and Northern District Advertiser, 21 May 1920, p.2.
She didn’t have a long marriage, and the couple divorced on 20 June 1923. After the divorce she retained her maiden name.
In 1928, she was living at Guveshe in Challis Avenue, Turramurra, when she applied to have her two war service medals sent to her. She nominated the unit in which she served as the No. 3 Unit, A.A.N.S. Mediterranean Expeditionary Forces, A.I.F., Salonica.
The 1930 Electoral Roll records Evelyn Grace Ione Nowland, as a nurse, residing at Euresne, Challis Avenue, Tarramurra, Sydney. She has now changed the order of her Christian names.
In 1936, Ione had moved to Lane Cove House, Penrose Street, Lane Cove, North Sydney.
The Electoral Roll 1954 records her at The Lodge, Merrigang Street, Bowral, and she was in retirement. Her final listing was in 1958, and she had moved again, this time to 1 Sutcliffe Flats, Owen Street, Ballina, NSW.
Evelyn Grace Ione Nowland died on 4 November 1974 in New South Wales, aged 87 years.
Death Certificate 19150/1974
Death Index -https://familyhistory.bdm.nsw.gov.au/lifelink/familyhistory/search/result?3
Her burial place is unknown.
Medals and Entitlements:
- British War Medal - No.73703
- Victory Medal - No.70575
There is no WW1 Embarkation Roll entry, or a Service file, matching the name Nolan I. C.
There is however a match on the WW1 Nominal Roll. This reads – “Staff Nurse Nolan, Ione, A.A.N.S., embarked 12/6/17, R.T.A. 23/12/18”
A Staff Nurse, Ione Grace Evelyn NOWLAND (different spelling) did serve in the Great War, and her embarkation and return to Australia dates match those for Staff Nurse Ione Nolan.
It is believed they are the same person.
There is a short biography and a portrait photo of Nurse Nowland on the Australian Nurses in World War 1 web site.
The name on the Werribee Shire Oak Board is : NOLAN, I.C.
The name "Nolan, - , Werribee' first appeared in the Roll of Honor, Werribee Shire Banner, 13 February 1919, p.3.
A Mr B. Nolan is recorded in Werribee in 1919.
Werribee Shire Banner, 5 June 1919, p.2.
Patrick J. Nolan was the Werribee Shire Engineer circa 1870s to 1880s.
No one with the name Nolan, I.C. married in Victoria between 1914 and 1920
Victoria Great War Index CD, 1914-1920
or between 1921 and 1942.
Victoria Marriage Index CD, 1921-1942
Only one person named “I. Nolan” was born in Victoria, between 1889 and 1901.
That was: Ilene Cecilia Nolan, birth registered at Glenrowan in 1901, to Michael Nolan and Annie May English, but she is too young to have enlisted.
Victoria Federation Index CD, 1889-1901
Unit War Diary
Pioneer Index 1837-1888 CD
Federation Index 1889-1901 CD
Edwardian Index 1902-1913 CD
Great War Index 1914-1920 CD
Marriage Index 1921-1942 CD