Two WWI Nurse’s personal photo albums, ANZAC hospital in Egypt, 1915-18

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Two cardboard photo albums, with 6 double-sided pages each, containing a total of 24 amateur photographs taken by a nurse in Egypt with the Australian forces in World War 1, with locations in Alexandria, Cario, and Heliopolis, including medical facilities, street scenes, and one with two soldiers, a nurse, and a large stone Sphinx.

Inscribed inside covers with an indistinct name, and ‘Egypt 1915’ .

 

 

Inscriptions include:  ‘1st A.S.H.’ (Australian Stationary Hospital)

‘Palace Hospital / Heliopolis’

‘1st Australian General Hospital / Heliopolis’

‘No 19 B.S.H. Ras-el-Jin’ (British Stationary Hospital)

The first photograph in album A is titled ‘The Little Sphinx Alexandria / Captain Parker (NZ) Lt Heming (SA)’ , on the reverse it has ‘The Catacombs / Alexandria / Sep 14th 1915’ .

‘Lt Heming’ is Hector Roy Heming, one of three Hemming brothers who enlisted in the AIF. One brother, Captain Leslie Duncan Heming, died in Gallipoli in early August, 1918. The other, Major Thomas George Heming, survived, but was described as ‘medically unfit’ and discharged in 1917, after making the rank General.

Hector ‘Long Tom’ Heming was known as the tallest officer among all the officers of his Battalion. He was appointed a 2nd Lieutenant in the 10th Battalion, and landed at Gallipoli on April 25th, 1915. By the end of the day, he was the only officer still standing in his division; the first & second Officers in Command were killed, a Platoon commander killed and the other two seriously wounded and evacuated. When his sector was finally relieved 4 days later there were just 20 able men left.
He was evacuated from the peninsula with enteric fever in early August, 1915; the records state he was in Wandsworth Hospital, London, but the photo album shows he spent some time in Egypt first – at least until September 14th, 1915 when he went on a delightful expedition to the Catacombs of Alexandria, stopping by the ‘Little Sphinx’ for a photo. On his arm was the nurse who put together these albums….
The rest of his story takes him to France in 1917, where he once again survived, and was promoted to Captain. On returning to Australia he settled as a farmer on the Murray.

 

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