Eva Robinson from Buraja NSW is one of at least three First World War nurses with that name whose lives and careers are recorded in the archives of Australia and Great Britain. Buraja, located in a region of scattered farms served by small rural villages, has largely disappeared. The history of the place, its people and their contributions to national life, has been gathered into the collections held in larger centres such as Corowa. Eva Robinson’s diary and photograph album are preserved at the Corowa Federation Museum and the Historical Society has included her story in its displays to mark the centenary of the First World War.
Eva left the family farm to train as nurse in Melbourne, graduating in 1906. She worked in hospitals there for several years before enlisting in the Queen Alexandria Imperial Military Service in 1915. For twelve months she nursed in hospitals in Cairo and Alexandria. In the middle of 1916 she transferred to the hospital ship Salta, carrying wounded from the battlefields of France and Belgium, and ferrying men from Le Havre to Southampton. Her diary records her alarmed response to the brutishness of war. Later in 1916, she worked on the converted cruise liner Aquitania, which carried more than 5000 wounded.
Her photograph album includes pictures taken in York, where she nursed for a time in the Military Hospital before being posted to hospitals at Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, and at Durban in South Africa. Towards the end of 1919 she returned to Australia and eventually settled on the family farm at Buraja.
Sister Eva’s service is celebrated in several communities. She is listed in honour rolls for Buraja Public School and Lowesdale Public School and in a second fine photographic Buraja Honour Roll now in the Public Hall at Lowesdale. (A Lowesdale Great War memories site will include further information about Sister Robinson.)
Corowa Federation Museum exhibition of First World War stories from Corowa and the surrounding region.
Lowesdale Honour Rolls:
Thanks to Corowa and District Historical Society and Corowa Federation Museum, especially Alan and Leslie New, and also Glenda Campbell. Thanks, also, to Dale Sharp of Lowesdale School.
For further information
Corowa Federation Museum
managed by Corowa District Historical Society Inc
56 Queen Street (Cnr Queen and Mary St)
Corowa NSW 2646
Phone: 02 6033 4041