- Date/Place of Birth: 6 Jan 1885, Penrith , NSW
- Date of Death: 17 May 1972
- Australian Army Nursing Service
Enlisted: 31 July 1915
Discharged: 25 March 1917
Constance Margaret Neale was born on 6 Jan 1885 the daughter of Henry James Fulton Neale and Jane Graham (nee Robbins). She was baptised at St Stephen’s Church of England, Penrith on 8 February 1885. After leaving school, Constance completed her nursing training and at the outbreak of war, was employed at the Prince of Wales Hospital.
Constance Neale’s trunk. This trunk is now in the care of Penrith City Library, and can be viewed in the Library’s Research Room any day from 2-5 PM. Constance’s son Ross donated his mother’s trunk to the Library.
Military Service with AANS
Once war had been declared, Constance volunteered to serve on the Hospital Ship Grantala, along with two other Penrith nurses: Rachel Clouston and Stella Colless. The Grantala served with the Australian Naval and Military Expedition Force in the former German possessions of New Guinea and Rabaul between September and December 1914 before the ship was paid off and returned to its owners. After returning from Rabaul, the nurses were discharged from their duties. The first two Australian General Hospitals had sailed for Egypt and the nurses were told that it was improbable that any more nurses would be sent as the war would soon be over, however Neale enlisted as a Staff Nurse with the Australian Army Nursing Service on 31 July 1915 and was allocated to No 1 Australian General Hospital Reinforcements.
Along with Ada Morehead Neale embarked on the RMS Orontes which left Australia on 15 July 1915. After arriving in Egypt she was attached to No 3 Australian General Hospital in Abbassia, near Cairo. In July Neale travelled to England and in August reported for duty at No 2 Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Southall England. In September 1916, Neale was attached to Queen Mary’s Military Hospital at Whalley, Lancashire. On 14 January 1917, Neale was attached for duty to the hospital ship HT Kanowna which was returning to Australia, which arrived in Sydney on 10 March. Neale’s military appointment was terminated on 25 March 1917, ‘due to marriage’.
Neale embarked on the Orontes which left Australia on 15 July 1915. Her military file provides no details of her service until May 1916 when Staff Nurse Neale was attached to No 3 Australian General Hospital, Abyssia Egypt. On 3 June, she reported for duty at No 2 Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Southall England and was transferred to Headquarters on 16 June 1916. In July, Neale was briefly taken on strength at No 3 AGH and on 13 August 1916, returned to England as a passenger aboard the Kanowna. In September 1917, Neale was attached to the Queen Mary’s Military Hospital at Whalley, Lancashire. This facility had been completed in 1914 as the Whalley Asylum and was requisitioned for use by the military from 1915 to 1922. On 14 January 1917, Neale was attached for duty on the hospital ship Kanowna which was returning to Australia. Neale arrived in Sydney on 10 March 1917 and her military appointment was terminated on 25 March 1917 ‘due to marriage’.
Constance Neale married Henry Alston Stanley Holliday, son of Reverend Henry Thomas Holliday on 3 April 1917 at St Stephen’s Anglican Church, Penrith. Stanley, as he was known, had served with 56th Battalion between 2 July 1915 and 16 October 1916. There are three children from this union: Lloyd Henry (17 June 1918- 7 March 1942), Eric Stanley (26 September 1919 – 14 September 2007) and Ross Neale (19 August 1922-30 May 2017). Lloyd was killed on 7 March 1942 at Kempsey and is buried at the Northern Suburbs General Cemetery. Constance Margaret Neale died on 17 May 1972, and is buried with her husband and son in Macquarie Park Cemetery in North Ryde.
Stanley Holliday and Constance Neale
- NAA: B2455, Neale, C M staff nurse
- Holliday family