Provenance & history Of Nurse Clementina Marshall 101 year old Diary

Provenance & Typing and proofreading notes for the Author/Researcher/Editor

Clementinas  handwriting is at times difficult to decipher, which is understandable given the age of the diary and the dark photocopied paper.  In order to ensure the integrity of her diary the sole amendment is replacement of the symbol ‘+’ which she used extensively, with the word ‘and’.

Whilst on the whole her spelling and punctuation is good, there are notable lapses which remain uncorrected. For example, ‘there’ when it should be ‘their’, ‘Ras-el- teu’, which should be ‘Ras-el-Tiu’, and ‘Menah House’ which should be ‘Mena House’ (sometimes she wrote this with one spelling and sometimes with the other); and times when apostrophes are missing and shouldn’t be, or vice versa.

Where it is impossible to decipher words, or there is clearly a spelling or punctuation error, a post it note remains attached to the margin of the photocopy with a pencil mark around the word or phrase in question, and on the electronic copy the corresponding word or phrase is highlighted in red font.     Ismailia is correct , ( not Somalia)

When reading this transcript, please remember Clementinas tiredness & exhaustion, as Clementina worked  up to 22 hours a day 7 days a week on board HOSPITAL SHIP HS Gascon, and the ship is Rolling, Yawing, whilst being shot at,   ( Bombed ) Violently whilst she is writing, this causes many difficult to decipher words…….GREAT CARE & ATTENTION TO TYPING DETAILS, PAGINATION &  TRIPLE READING OF THE HAND WRITTEN DIARY GOOD WORK,  PIP SOREL,  MANY THANKS DONALD & SONIA MARSHALL.



Imagine  the stories this little handwritten exercise book would tell, for sure it has been  on three   war time hospital ships, HS Cecilia & HS Gascon & USS HS Pakeha.

Starting in Sydney in 1914 across the Indian ocean on the First convoy of ANZAC soldiers towards England, through the Suez canal,  During WW1 Nursing Sister Clementina Hay Marshall  travelled with this little diary throughout Egypt, on travels & tours,.  Then onto the Mediterranean sea towards Gallipoli, during the German /Turkish battleship bombings, after Gallipoli, CHM took this little exercise book diary , into  war torn England into various war Hospitals, Harefield, Wandsworth, & Australian general Hospital # 2,& #3  then various travels into Scotland, central England, to Wales & Then off to the battle zones of France , Boulogne Wimeruex.

Then after the end of WW1 Clementina was Matron on 4 return trips from England to Australia to return wounded ANZAC soldiers to Australia, on board HS Ormonde & Medic & Asconia treating thousands of wounded soldiers.

Certainly when Clementina was Assistant matron at Sydney hospital 1920, 1921 the diary travelled back & forth by steam  train from Sydney to Clementinas  family Island home on the Bellingen river at Urunga.  Whilst CHM mother lived in Belleview hills  Sydney & north Bondi & Boral, CHM also took this 128 page diary to show her sometimes suitor Sydney solicitor Mr. Fred Sherman.

During the period 1922 to about 1940 CHM  worked as nursing sister & assistant matron at Randwick , Royal prince Alfred & Concordia Hospitals throughout Sydney, this diary survived the entire ordeal of being handed around to CHM closest of family & friends.

The steam train trips to Coffs harbour & Urunga Northern NSW where CHM lived out her life on the rural fishing farming Island at Urunga where about each 5 years this  famous little diary escaped many Floods.

One such flood in 1950  come over the island to a height of 3 metres covering every house & shed & in fact swept off 3 families. The mystery of how fortunate we are to have saved this rare book is delightfull.

After Clementina`s death in 1968,  I know the diary has been passed around the Marshall family, being looked after in various ways in draws, cupboards, & shelves by

Mrs Margaret (Marshall)Yatich,…Sydney,.. during one persons reading of the diary about 20 years ago the diary was leant to a school teacher for `histories sake`, then the diary was LOST for about 5 years, somehow returning to Margaret unbeknown to her……Margaret kept safe the diary for about  45 years.

Mrs Joan ( Marshall ) Mullins also kept safe this diary,…..

Then During a 100 year commemoration of ANZAC day 2015 organised to gather together all the Marshall family members at Urunga Northern NSW by Donald Marshall, where we all celebrated Clementinas  life, Mrs Joan Marshall gave the diary to  Donald Marshall, asking me to arrange a book publishing, display & expansion of Australia’s knowledge of Clementinas honourable nursing life. Donald, Realising the uniqueness, & historic importance of this diary, contacted Susanna de Vries, writer of Australian Heroic Women in WW1, a history story book.

Donald & Sonia Marshall with help from Pip Sorel, transcribed the diary, triple checked every word,  added a thousand hours of work in scanning, typing,  adding photos to tis website,  paying for the copyright process, & writing these stories.

Donald also interviewed four authors to  write & publish a book for Clementina Marshall, however in this digital age of eBooks & websites, &  computer self publishing the enormous costs of printing & publishing were far out of reach of just Donald & Sonia Marshall, we asked every family member & many other involved associations , people,  to contribute towards this project, but we were the only people willing to put in money to continue this vital historic story.

Donald & Sonia Marshall arranged a visit from Melbourne to the NSW State (MITCHELL) Library, MACQUARIE STREET, SYDNEY, with the diary to explore the options for the best place to keep the diary. It is very important that we are now satisfied the NSW state library, where the diary has been sent to keep safely on public display, for restoration, research. Copyright has been claimed  then approved to Donald Marshall & all Marshall  family members who wish to contribute towards the financing of this Book Publishing project. Thereby  expanding, explaining, & protecting  Clementinas historic WW1 diary as a rare, unique part of WW1 Australian  Army Nursing Service.





Click here to read the official ABC news article on Clementina.