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Oppenheimer M. Barnes, Kathleen Hope (1909-1981). 2006.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/8369
Barnes, Kathleen Hope (1909-1981)
Kathleen Hope Barnes (1909-1981), nurse, was born on 19 May 1909 at Cottesloe, Perth, fifth daughter of James Barnes, an Irish-born storekeeper, and his wife Agnes Kirkwood Burns, née Patrick, who came from Scotland. Educated at Methodist Ladies' College, Kathleen was head prefect in 1925. She commenced her nursing training at the Children's Hospital in July 1928 and graduated as a general nurse in February 1932. On 20 December 1939 Barnes joined the Australian Army Nursing Service, Australian Imperial Force. The army recorded that she had blue eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion. Posted to the 2/2nd Australian General Hospital as a staff nurse, she embarked for the Middle East in April 1940. She served at Gaza Ridge and Nazareth, Palestine, where she was seconded to a British hospital. Later rejoining the 2/2nd at Kantara, Egypt, she nursed casualties from the fighting in Greece, Crete and North Africa. From October 1941 to January 1942 she was attached to the 2/4th Field Ambulance at Tripoli, Syria. She returned to Australia in March and initially worked at the 109th AGH, Adelaide. Sent to Port Moresby in October 1942, Barnes served with the 105th Casualty Clearing Station. A talented and experienced nurse, she was appointed lieutenant in March 1943 and promoted to captain in August. In February 1945 she took charge of the nursing contingent at Jacquinot Bay, New Britain. For her 'outstanding devotion to duty and solicitude for soldiers' she was appointed (1947) an associate of the Royal Red Cross. She was also mentioned in despatches. Back in Australia in September 1945, Barnes worked at the 110th Military Hospital, Perth. After five years of continuous active service, she was placed on the Reserve of Officers on 27 March 1946. She was a prominent member of Western Australian war-nursing organisations, including the returned sisters' sub-branch of the Returned Sailors', Soldiers' and Airmen's Imperial League of Australia. Treasurer of the War Nurses' Memorial Association from its formation in 1958 until her death, she was involved (from 1979) in the establishment of the war nurses' gallery in the Army Museum of Western Australia.