Nurse Edward's Private Hospital

Penrith City Council Logo

On this location stood Nurse Ethel Edward’s private hospital residence. Nurse Ethel Edward served in the hospital at the beginning of the 20th century.

Nurse Edwards

Download the Nurse Edward's Private Hospital poster (pdf 287kb)

In September 1920 the St Marys' branch of the Red Cross Society surprised Nurse Edwards with a farewell party as she was leaving the district and about to marry Arthur Wilson Evans.

Nurse Edwards Private Hospital

Beryl Field outside Ryan family home in Queen St
Photo from Rodney Field circa 1945-49

Image from Rodney Field private collection

They recognised of her valuable work on behalf of the Red Cross and other organisations in the town and of her sterling personal qualities. The President of the local branch of the Society on behalf of the members presented Ethel with an inscribed silver-mounted oak tray and a silver afternoon tea service, referring to her splendid work done as a member of the branch since its inception.

The inscription on the tray was "Presented to Miss E. Edwards from her fellow members of the St Marys branch of the Red Cross Society -. October 1920.

In June 1949 Ethel died in Strathfield where she had been living since leaving St Marys.

Beacrofts House

Beacroft’s House was on Station Street St Marys (now Queen Street), the house was at one time used as a private hospital (Nurse Edward’s Private Hospital St Marys)
Unknown photographer, date and source

Eric Anderson Store

Eric Anderson Store was on the site of the Beacroft’s home – Nurse Edward’s hospital
Unknown photographer, 1959, photograph from Penrith Library Collection

Interview with Lyn Forde

Video Transcript

My name’s Lynette Forde, I call myself Lyn. I’m with the St Marys District and Historical Society.

I’m the research officer, I write the books, I do the research for the Nepean News History Page and I do the research for the Historical Society.

I lived in St Marys with my grandmother and my mother and father near Victoria Park and that was where my playground was where I was growing up. I’m 7th generation, district person and my ancestors came over as convicts in the first fleet. Ropes Crossings were named after them which they would be really chuffed if they were around now knowing that a suburb was named after them, you know.

It’s 54 Queens Street now but it was probably a lot then, you know lot number is not an actual number for this street. It was the sign of the Nurse Edwards, that was her private hospital in the early 1900s and the hospital was a home as well, not a proper hospital. She was a nurse who looked after the district residents and district soldiers who came back from the First World War who were injured or mental scarred.

When a lot of the nurses came back from overseas, working overseas in the First World War, if they weren’t married they did use their expertise working even in their own home.

Penicillin in the World War l hadn’t even been invented, you know nobody was treated with penicillin at that time. Poor soldiers, they died because if they had any very bad wounds and that, nobody couldn’t do anything for them.

Nurse Edwards was also a member of the Red Cross here in St Marys. When she left to get married, they gave her a nice present. She married in 1920 to Arthur Wilson Evans who was a soldier in the AIF and she moved away from St Marys then. The house and hospital then went onto to be the home of the Big Rock family and the Ryan family so over the years, and it was later knocked down for the new shops that were built and apart of the back of the house. I think it’s the second house, the one next to Precision Specs that was part of the hospital at the back so there’s still a little bit of it in St Marys.

Of course everything’s changed, you know. I mean if you go into some of the hospitals that have museums and you see the instruments and what they worked with back then, they would be out of their mind if they see the stuff we have today.

Researcher: Lyn Forde St Marys & District Historical Society Research Officer

Lyn Forde

Lyn Forde is 56% English/Scottish, 19% Irish and 25% European.  She is a 7th generation Australian with two First Fleeters connected to Ropes Crossing. Lyn was born in Penrith, lived in St Marys, Kingswood and now lives in Werrington. She went to St Marys Public School, St Marys High School and Penrith Business College. Lyn retired in 2005 working in administration. 

Lyn is divorced and a great grandmother of four. She has researched local history since the 1970’s and she is a contributor of the History Page in the local Nepean News. Lyn was a Secretary of the first St Marys Historical Society and currently a Research Officer & Vice-President. She is also a member of Encore Historical Sewing Group at St Marys Corner.  Lyn has researched and self-published several books on local history, it is the area where she feels at home and where she can research her earlier family and community connections.

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