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Staff/Nurse Lt. Ellen (Lenny) Christina Melville. M.I.D.
'Mentioned in Dispatches'

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
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 Forces.


"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.


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