Sarah Melanie De Mestre

First Name: 
Sarah
Middle Name: 
Melanie
Last Name: 
De Mestre
Date of Birth: 
Thursday, February 8, 1877
Mother's Name: 
Augusta nee Noice
Father's Name: 
Andre De Mestre
Date Enlisted: 
Monday, April 26, 1915
Rank at Enlistment: 
Sister
Rank at Discharge: 
Sister
Unit: 
Australian Army Nursing Service
Service: 
Australian Nursing Service
Awards: 
Royal Red Cross 2nd Class
1914/1915 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Date of Death: 
Sunday, April 23, 1961
Place of Death: 
Burwood
Details: 

Sarah De Mestre was born in the Shoalhaven, NSW and trained as a nurse at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, Australia. In August 1914, after the outbreak of the war, she enlisted and sailed with the Navy as Matron on the first Hospital Ship Grantala, serving at Rabaul and Suva. She returned to Sydney and was discharged after 6 months. She enlisted in the AIF at age 38 as a nursing sister.

She embarked with AANC reinforcements on RMS Mooltan on 15th May 1915. After arriving in Egypt she was quickly sent to Lemnos and served at the hospital caring for Gallipoli wounded. Sarah returned to Egypt in January 1916 and served there till she was sent to England in July 1916, having been posted to 3rd Australian General Hospital. In April 1917 she went to 2nd Stationary Hospital in France and in July 1917 was attached to 46th Casualty Clearing Station.

Sarah returned to England in 1918 and on 4th June 1918 received her Royal Red Cross award from the King at Buckingham Palace, for her service in France and Belgium. She returned to Australia in June 1919 and was discharged from the AIF on 3rd October 1919.

Sarah returned to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital for a short time but resigned and went on to run her own Nursing Home.

This impressive lady is one of the longest serving members of the AIF, serving from August 1914 till October 1919 and in every theatre of that conflict.

Sources: 
NAA: B2455, DE MESTRE S M

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