Bessie Christina Ellen Muldoon
From Our Contribution
Nursing staff of 13th Australian General Hospital Singapore Sister Muldoon (Taylor) is the 5th from the left, back row.
|Date of Birth||18 Dec 1912|
|Place of Birth||East Coolgardie, Western Australia|
|Age at Enlistment||28 years, 7 months|
|Description||5'5½" (1.66m) tall ; ; fair complexion ; brown eyes ; brown hair|
|Address||3rd road, Armadale, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Foster Mother , Mrs Agnes Taylor|
|Date of Enlistment||6 Aug 1941|
|Unit/Formation||13th Australian General Hospital|
|1st Departure from Australia|
|Journey Dates||2 Sep 1941 ‒ 15 Sep 1941|
|Transport Details||AHS2 Wanganella|
|Return to Australia|
|Journey Dates||12 Feb 1942 ‒ 23 Feb 1942|
|Transport Details||SS Empire Star|
|Post War Details|
|Fate||Returned to Australia|
1939-45 Star |
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45
Prior to enlisting in the 2nd AIF she was a reservist (V9259) posted to 108th Australian General Hospital from 23 Jul 1940 until 6 Aug 1941. From 8 Aug 1940 until 30 Nov 1941 she was a Staff Nurse, but on 1 Dec 1941 she was promoted to Sister. On joining the AIF she was appointed Lieutenant. From 12 - 17 Aug 1941 she was granted pre-embarkation leave.
On 1 Sep 1941 she was transferred to the 13th Australian General Hospital at Caulfield racecourse, Melbourne, and the next day boarded AHS2 Wanganella for Singapore, arriving there via Fremantle on 15 Sep 1941. In Singapore she had short periods detached to other units - i.e. 1-21 Oct 1941 to 10th Australian General Hospital at Malacca, and 14 - 23 Nov 1941 to the 2/4th Casualty Clearing Station. On her return from the 2/4th CCS, her unit had moved to the Malay mainland at Tampoi. In December as a result of the rapid Japanese advance the hospital had more than 900 patients, and was effectively operating as a Casualty Clearing Station. On 23 Jan 1942 the hospital was forced to move back to Singapore.
In Singapore the hospital was subjected to Japanese bombing, with a complete black out at night, and with mounting casualties, many were treated on the lawns outside the buildings. With the situation looking hopeless, Bessie was one of the nurses evacuated, boarding on 11 Feb 1942 the SS Empire Star which left Singapore in the early hours of 12 Feb 1942. Bombed later that day, with 3 bombs hitting the ship, killing 14 and injuring 17. Another 47 aircraft attacked the ship, which was able to survive and reach Batavia on 14 Feb 1942. Following emergency repairs she sailed on 16 Feb 1942 for Fremantle which was reached on 23 Feb 1942.
There are no entries in Bessie's record after her departure from Singapore on 12 Feb 1942 until 28 Jan 1943, although the next entry would suggest that she ha been employed at 115th Australian Base Hospital at Heidelberg. On 26 Jan 1943 she was reallocated to the 106th Australian General Hospital at Bonegilla before being transferred to the HQs Australian Army Nursing Service on 30 Mar 1943 seemingly to work at Queen Victoria Hospital. On 6 Jun 1943 she returned to Bonegilla.
On 27 Oct 1943 she married Henry Hargraves Muldoon a Sergeant in the Australian Army Postal Corps at Bonegilla. She requested a compassionate discharge and it was granted on 22 Dec 1943 with her name being placed on the Retired List.
Electoral Roll entries: 1949 at Redcliffe road, Kallangur, Qld; 1954 - 1958 at 'Chetwoode', Tocumwal, NSW; 1963 at Denison street, Tocumwal; 1972 - 1977 at 36 Bruton street, Tocumwal.