Australian Army Nursing Service
Date of Birth: 1885 Place of Birth: Waverley, NSW
Biographical details: Esther Edith Coggins was born about 1885 at Waverley NSW, the daughter of Thomas and Clara Sara Coggins. Esther’s mother was living at the York Estate Penrith at the time of Esther’s enlistment. No other details are known of Esther’s early life.
Military Service with AANS: Coggins enlisted on 4 December 1916 and was appointed as a Staff Nurse. She left Sydney aboard the RMS Mooltan on 12 June 1917 and disembarked at Suez on 19 July 1917. On 25 July 1917, Coggins along with other Australian nurses embarked aboard the Chagres for the trip to Salonika Greece arriving on 31 July 1917. On arrival Coggins was appointed to the 60th General Hospital before being transferred to the 52nd General Hospital on 23 August 1917 and 50th General Hospital on 29 August 1917. Coggins remained at this hospital until 27 April 1918, when she was admitted to the Sisters Convalescent Camp suffering debility before being discharged to duty at the 50th General Hospital on 11 May 1918. On 7 July 1918, Coggins was transferred to the 42nd General Hospital before being transferred back to the 50th General Hospital on 9 September 1918. Coggins was hospitalised a week later with influenza and returned to duty at the 50th General Hospital on 26 September 1918. Coggins was granted 21 days leave to England in November 1918 and on 15 November, she entrained for Bralo and then embarked for Taranto on 22 November 1919. Coggins returned to Salonica aboard the Eckatina on 16 January 1919, resuming duties at the 50th General Hospital on 25 January 1919. On 25 February 1919, Coggins left Salonika aboard the Gorgon for the brief trip to Alexandria, and her eventual return to Australia. On 13 March 1919, Coggins embarked on the HT Ulmarra as part of the nursing staff. When the ship arrived in Sydney, it was placed in quarantine due to the worldwide influenza epidemic. During this period of quarantine, Coggins suffered an acute attack of appendicitis and was transferred to the 4th Australian General Hospital at Randwick where her appendix was removed. Coggins left the Australian Army Nursing Service on 13 September 1919.
In 1924 Esther Coggins married Reginald Massey in Sydney and by 1930 was living at St Paul’s Rectory Ipswich Queensland. A letter in her army file lists her address in 1951 as Sherwood, a suburb of Brisbane. Esther’s date of death is not known.
Australian War Memorial World War 1 Nominal Roll
NAA: B2455, COGGINS E E