Bellingen Sister Margaret Augusta de Mestre Memorial

Bellingen St Margaret's Anglican ChurchBellingen Sister Margaret Augusta DeMestre Memorial, left sectionBellingen Sister Margaret Augusta DeMestre Memorial, middle sectionBellingen Sister Margaret Augusta DeMestre Memorial, right section
Description

This memorial is dedicated to Sister Margaret Augusta de Mestre. It is a wooden plaque divided into three sections: a central section with the name MANUNDA, flanked by a photograph of Sister de Mestre on the right and details of her war service on the left.

The plaque to the left outlines in detail the service record of Sister de Mestre. As written on the memorial, under a glass pane:

Sister Margaret DeMestre

The first A.N.C. Nurse serving in the 2nd Australian Imperial Forces to be killed-in-action during World War II.

Sister DeMestre was born in Bellingen on St Margaret's Day, 16 November 1915.

She grew up in Bellingen and trained at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney in 1939. In 1940 she enlisted in the [Royal] Australian Nursing Corp and made two trips to the Middle East on the 2/1st Hospital Ship, H.M.A.H.S. Manunda. Whilst the ship was being reconditioned in 1941 she served at the 113th A.G.H. Concord. She rejoined the ship in January 1942.

At 10.05am on the 19th February, 1942 Japanese forces bombed Darwin [243 killed, 350 wounded, 8 ships sunk] and the Manunda was badly damaged with 12 killed, including Margaret.

Sister Margaret DeMestre is buried in the Darwin War Cemetery.

Above the memorial are crossed flags; to its right, the Bellinger World War I Roll of Honour.

Materials
  • Timber
Inscription

Left section of plaque:

[see in description]

 

Middle section of plaque:

2nd/1st H.M.A.H.S "MANUNDA"

103 C.D.

 

Right section of plaque:

[photograph of Sister DeMestre]

Veterans listed on this memorial

Rank Given Name Family Name Conflict/s Fate Service No. Service Unit Campaign Link
Sister Margaret Augusta de Mestre Second World War, 1939–45 Killed in action (KIA) NX70211 Australian Army - Second Australian Imperial Force (2nd AIF) 2/1 Hosp Ship view
Address
St Margaret's Anglican Church
100 Hyde Street
Bellingen NSW 2454
Local Government Area
  • Bellingen Shire
Setting
  • Building – inside
Location/surrounding area
The memorial is located on the eastern side remembrance wall within the church.
Memorial type
  • Board/plaque/tablet
Recorded by
Graham Wilson OAM
Conflict/s
  • Second World War, 1939–45

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