Orders, Decorations & Medals - Australian Singles

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Lot 2032    SESSION 8 (2.30PM WEDNESDAY 29TH MARCH)    Orders, Decorations & Medals - Australian Singles

Estimate $6,000
SOLD $6,000

QUEEN'S SOUTH AFRICA MEDAL 1899, (type 3 reverse). Nursing Sister M.Steel. Impressed. Dark toned, a few obverse edge bumps, otherwise good very fine and rare.

In 1900 Nurse Mabel Steel A.N.S.R. (Australian Nursing Service Reserve) of the Benevolent Asylum was selected to go to South Africa. Miss Steel was from Tasmania, and trained at Sydney Hospital. Nursing Sister Steel was one of only fourteen nurses that accompanied the second Australian military contingent to South Africa in the Moravian that departed Sydney on 17 January 1900. Upon arrival, the Moravian unit was to proceed by sea to East London and thence to Sterkstroom and hand over to General Gatacre. As this unit was most urgently needed, the Moravian was turned around within a few hours of arriving at Cape Town and left for East London with all but two Army Medical Corps officers. From the composite Half-Bearer Company and Field Hospital units, two officers and twelve NCOs and men were detailed for special temporary duty at the stationary 100-bedded Field Hospital.

Lt Col Kelly was in command, Miss Gould, Lady Superintendent Army Nursing Service Reserve and three nursing sisters (NSW) were posted to this hospital. Four (NSW) nursing sisters were detailed for duty at the Base Hospital, East London and six nursing sisters went to the General Hospital, Wynberg. In a newspaper report, Principal Medical Officer Col Sommerville-Large RAMC at No.6 General Hospital, Johannesburg situated in the grounds of the Wanderer's Cricket Club stated that the Australian trained nurses including Mabel Steel were the most carefully trained nurses he had under his command. It was reported by The Examiner newspaper that Miss Mabel Steel of Falmouth, who had seen considerable service in South Africa as a nurse had returned to Tasmania in late October 1902. She returned with one of the New Zealand Contingents and after visiting Sydney where she had been living for several years, she went to Launceston en route to the home of her father, Mr John Steel of Falmouth.

There were only 14 Nurses (Women) in all the Military Contingents sent from NSW.

With research.

Estimate / sale price does not include buyer's premium (currently 22% including GST) which is added to hammer price. All bids are executed on the understanding that the Terms & Conditions of sale have been read and accepted. For information on grading and estimates please refer to the Buying at Auction advice.

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