Dame, DBE, OBE
- 3 July 1856
Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia
- 31 May 1954
- Superintendent and Charity worker
Alice Chisholm, who was born in country New South Wales, was known for the provision of canteen services for soldiers in the middle east during World War I. On travelling to Egypt to be near her son who was wounded at Gallipoli, she was concerned at the inadequate amenities for soldiers in Cairo and subsequently, using mainly her own resources, established canteens in Heliopolis, an outer suburb of Cairo, and at Kantara, on the west bank of the Suez Canal. Ably assisted by Verania McPhillamy and Miss Rout, they developed Kantara into a soldiers' club. Known as 'Mother Chisholm's', it provided hot showers and competent, caring service to the thousands of soldiers who spent their leave there. At the end of the war the women insisted that the profits from the canteens be used to provide canteen facilities on the troop ships which were carrying the men home. In recognition of her work in Egypt, Alice Chisholm was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1918 and Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire on 3 March 1920 for organisation of canteens for the troops. Her later work included the presidency of the Cumberland branch of the Country Women's Association from 1923-1927, and a commitment to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Sources used to compile this entry: Hill, A J, 'Chisholm, Dame Alice Isabel (1856-1954)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A070652b.htm.