Lenny (Ellen) Melville (
My mother's sister) trained as a Nurse at the Melbourne Hospital for four
years before she enlisted in the Australian Army Nursing Service on 2nd June 1917.
A Staff/Nurse carried the rank of lieutenant.
10 days later she embarked on the "Mooltan"
to travel to Port Said, arriving on the 19th June 1917 then transferred to the "Chagnes"
to travel through the Suez Canal to arrive at Salonica, Greece on the
30th July 1917, where she was posted to the 66th General Hospital.
After more than 6 months continuous service she embarked on the ship "Carisbrook"
for Marseilles and later leave in the UK. 10th February 1919 saw her posted to
3 Australian Army Hospital, Dartford.
She started on the trip home on 19th June 1919 to return to Australia from Plymouth on the
"Miltiades" on 5th August 1919.
She was discharged on 4th October 1919
Lenny Melville continued nursing back in Australia and spent many
years caring for the sick and wounded soldiers, one of which was my father, Ivor Williams. Of course this was long before he met my mother,
Lenny's sister Jean.
Her caring nature continued throughout her life as the rest of the family for three
generations referred to her if there was any illness.
She married Chris Moller who was also a sick digger she had nursed after the war and their
daughter Jean Moller continued in her mother's footsteps and became a nurse serving in the
Royal Australian Airforce during World War Two. Her father John
Melville played a big part in the formation of the AFL football team, Carlton and the
formation of the VFL.
|On the 10th November 1919 she received the
following letter from
'BASE RECORDS OFFICE'
|Staff-Nurse E. C. Melville,
North Carlton VICTORIA.
I have much pleasure in forwarding hereunder copy of extract from Fifth
Supplement, No 31385, to the London Gazette, dated 5th June 1919, relating to the
conspicuous services rendered by yourself whilst serving with the Australian Imperial
"A dispatch has been received by the
Secretary of State for War from Lieutenant-General Sir G. F. MILNE, K.C.B., K.C.M.G.,
D.S.O., Commanding-in-Chief, British Salonika Force, submitting the name of the
under-mentioned Lady whom he desires to bring under notice for her distinguished and
gallant services during the period from 1st October, 1918 to the 1st March, 1919:-
Staff/Nurse E.C. MELVILLE
The above has been promulgated in
Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No. 113, dated 6th October, 1919.
Signed Officer i/c Base Records.
A SISTERS STORY
Sister Lenny was nursing wounded soldiers in Salonica,
Greece and one day she was standing at the door of one of the tent hospitals when a young
soldier came up to her and pointed to a nearby road and told her that it was the road that
"Saint Paul" of Biblical times had walked along, that very road!.She was
thrilled to bits as she was a Christian and really believed in the Bible. Later Sister
Lenny was relating this same story to another sick soldier and he replied "Well it
must of been recently as we only built the road a few months ago!
Then there was the time a "British Doctor, who of
course was an Officer" came into the ward and expected the sick soldiers to get out
of bed and stand to attention as was the British custom! Sister Lenny said to the Doctor
that there were men to sick to do this and would it be O.K for them to return to their
beds?. The Doctor reluctlanty said "All right" and the Sister Lenny said
"O.K boys you can all hop back into bed!" The British Doctor
was not impressed and went crook at her. She replied "These men would not be in
hospital if they were not sick". The British Doctor did not answer.
A sad story she also told was that the cemetery was very
close to the Hospital and all day long, one could hear the "Last Post" being
played over and over.
Return to My Hero, My Dad
Compiled by her very proud nephew, Hugh Williams