EDITH FLORENCE ( QUEENIE) AVENELL
BORN: Gympie, 1890 Died: Brisbane, 1936 Service: Staff nurse, Australian Army Nursing Service ( AANS), No. 1 Australian General Hospital, France and England.
Queenie Avenell trained as a nurse at Mackay Hospital and just two years later, at the age of 25, was appointed matron at Bowen Hospital. She enlisted for the war effort on April 26 , 1915 in Townsville where her family lived.
After working at Heliopolis, Egypt, treating the wounded from Gallipoli, Queenie went on to France to nurse the sick and wounded at the No. 1 Australian General Hospital. She wrote many letters home to her family describing her experiences: “All my boys are either winged or legs off, shoulders blown away, big head wounds, but nearly all healed up and just little pieces of dead bone keeping them from healing up altogether. They are such fine fellows. Some have only had 12 operations.” After the war Queenie nursed at the army hospital at Kangaroo Point, Brisbane and in 1919 married a doctor named Harvey Walsh. Harvey had saved her life the previous year when she fell ill with ptomaine poisoning.