Gallagher, Janet Isobel(1880 – 1957)
Army Nurse, Nurse
Janet Isobel Gallagher was one of three female members of the Gallagher family who served overseas with the Australian Army Nursing Service during World War I. She was a niece of Flora Gallagher and Evelyn Gallagher and like them was born at Browns Flat, a farming settlement near Burbong between Queanbeyan and Bungendore in New South Wales, now within the eastern border of the Australian Capital Territory. She enlisted in 1916 and spent most of the War nursing in India with service also in Egypt and England.
Lindsay, Ruby(1887 – 1919)
Artist, Cartoonist, Graphic designer, Illustrator
Ruby Lindsay is perhaps Australia’s first female graphic designer. During the early twentieth century, Ruby illustrated books and also hand drew posters and black-and-white illustrations for newspapers such as The Bulletin and Punch.
Mayo, Florence Josephine(1886 – 1965)
Single mother, War widow
During World War I, Queanbeyan citizens, at a public meeting held soon after news that her husband, Private John Charles Mayo, had been killed in action at Bullecourt in 1917, decided to provide a home for Florence Mayo and her two young daughters. Raising money proved more difficult than expected and Florence, described as ‘a plucky woman’, partly financed her land and weatherboard cottage by taking out a mortgage. She lived in Queanbeyan for the rest of her life.
Read a longer essay on Florence Mayo in the online exhibition War Widows of the ACT: A Forgotten Legacy of World War I.
Love, Glenora Clara(1887 – 1963)
Mother, War widow
On 27 April 1915, two days after the landing, Glenora Clara Love’s husband, Corporal Alfred Herbert Love, 14th Battalion AIF, was killed in action at Gallipoli. Glenora had had a troubled marriage but when she eventually received her husband’s diary, she read his last words to his ‘Dear Wife’. He wanted her to know, he wrote, that his ‘last thoughts were of her and of Essie my darling daughter’. Glenora’s marriage had been marked by two episodes when her husband had deserted her but once he began his diary on the day that he sailed from Australia he wrote only loving words of their relationship. The couple had a daughter, Esther, aged 8, and in 1912 had lost a son soon after birth. Glenora remarried two years after his death but the concerned letters she wrote to the Repatriation Department testify to her devotion to furthering her daughter Esther Love’s future.
Read a longer essay on Glenora Love in the online exhibition War Widows of the ACT: A Forgotten Legacy of World War I.
Bridges, Edith Lilian(1862 – 1926)
Mother, War widow
Lady Bridges was the initial president of the Friendly Union of Soldiers’ Wives and Mothers, set up by her friend Lady Helen Munro Ferguson, wife of the Governor General, early in World War I to provide support for families of soldiers of the first AIF. The shock of the death of her husband, Major General Sir William Throsby Bridges, Commander of the first AIF, less than a month after the landing at Gallipoli and the prolonged and very public commemorative ceremonies associated with the return of his body to Australia and his reburial in Canberra, affected her health to the extent that the following year she retired from public life.
An adopted child, Edith’s life was punctuated by tragedy including the loss of her first-born son soon after birth, the drowning of one of her seven-year-old twin girls in a boating accident on Sydney Harbour and the death of a 17-year-old son at boarding school in England. During World War I in addition to the loss of her husband, she worried constantly about her son Major Noel Bridges DSO, who fought at Gallipoli and the Western Front and was wounded in Flanders in 1918. Born Edith Lillian Francis in 1862 near Moruya, Lady Bridges died in Melbourne in 1926, aged 64, and was buried in St John’s Churchyard, Canberra.
Read a longer essay on Lady Bridges in the online exhibition War Widows of the ACT: A Forgotten Legacy of World War I.
Bassat, Nina(1939 – )
Campaigner, Chairperson, Community activist, Community advocate, Community Leader, Jewish community leader, Lawyer, President, Solicitor, Teacher
Nina Bassat is a Holocaust survivor and former lawyer who was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2004 Australia Day Honours List ‘for service to the community as an executive member of a range of peak Jewish organisations and through the promotion of greater community understanding’. The first woman to be president of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, she also served as president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry – the first Holocaust survivor and first woman lawyer to attain that position.
Marginson, Betty May(1923 – 2015)
Activist, Councillor, Mayor, Teacher, Volunteer
Betty Marginson was a pioneer in many fields as a teacher, a student and community activist, local Councillor and advocate for citizens’ and women’s rights. Her academic career spanned the World War II years as an undergraduate student to 1985 when she took her Diploma in Public Policy at the age of 62. As well as raising four children with her husband Ray Marginson, she taught at various State Schools from 1943 to 1982. She was the founding President of the Hawthorn Chapter of the University of the Third Age, becoming President of the Victorian network in 1993. The first woman appointed Mayor of the City of Hawthorn from 1976 to 1977, she was a Council Member from 1972 to 1981. In the wider world, Betty Marginson was President of University College, University of Melbourne from 1986 to 1991, and was a voluntary worker in many fields, including at Heide Park and Art Gallery.