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    Matron Evelyn Conyers, 1920, courtesy of Australian War Memorial.
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Conyers, Evelyn Augusta (1870 - 1944)

CBE, RRC

Born
1 March 1870
Invercargill, New Zealand
Died
6 September 1944
Occupation
Matron and Servicewoman

Summary

Evelyn Conyers was appointed to the Order of the British Empire - Commander (Military) on 22 March 1919 for nursing service with the army during World War I. She had previously been awarded the Royal Red Cross on 3 June 1916.

Details

Born and educated in New Zealand, Evelyn Conyers migrated to Victoria, Australia in the 1890s. After training at the Children's (1894) and Melbourne (1896) hospitals she became matron of a private hospital in Melbourne in 1901.

Active in professional nurse's organisations, in 1903 she helped found the Victorian Trained Nurses' Association. When the Queen's Memorial Infectious Diseases Hospital at Fairfield was established in 1904, Evelyn Conyers became the first matron. In 1907, she and Sister Jessie MacBeth opened a private hospital in Kew.

An original member of the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) in the Third Military District, Evelyn Conyers sailed on the Shropshire on 20 October 1914. Aged 45 years, she was appointed matron-in-chief, Australian Imperial Force (AIF) on 12 January 1916. She held this position until she was discharged on 6 March 1920. During this time she worked closely with the Matron-in-Chief of the Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Service (QAIMNS) British Expeditionary Force (BEF) Miss (Dame from 1918) Maud McCarthy.

Evelyn Conyers was appointed to the Order of the British Empire - Commander (Military) on 22 March 1919 for nursing service with the army during World War I. She had previously been awarded the Royal Red Cross on 3 June 1916.

After the war Evelyn Conyers returned to 'Lancewood' Private Hospital in Kew, Victoria. She was appointed to the board set up under the provisions of the Nurses' Registration Act (1923), was made a Life Member of the Royal Victorian College of Nurses, was a founder and director of the Victorian Trained Nurses Club Ltd, and a member of the Victorian branch of the Australian Nursing Federation. Evelyn Conyers also was a member of the board of management of the Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospital, a trustee of the Edith Cavell Trust Fund, and belonged to the Returned Nurses' Club.

On 6 September 1944 Evelyn Conyers died at Epworth Private Hospital, Richmond and was buried with full military honours in Boroondara cemetery, Kew.

Sources used to compile this entry: Bassett, Jan, Guns and brooches : Australian Army Nursing from the Boer War to the Gulf War, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1992, 261 pp; Burchill, Elizabeth, Australian nurses since Nightingale 1860-1990, Spectrum Publications Pty Ltd, Richmond (Vic.), 1992, 258 pp; Reid, John, 'Conyers, Evelyn Augusta (1870 - 1944)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A080104b.htm.

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Digital resources

Title
Matron Evelyn Conyers
Type
Image
Date
1920
Control
ART03561
Source
Australian War Memorial

Details

Anne Heywood

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