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Great Flinders Football League
& Great Flinders Netball Association

ANZAC Round - Netball @ Tumby Bay

Tumby Bay vs Eyre United

EJ Eagle & EEM Doepke AANS ANZAC Spirit Shield

In the netball, both clubs will be wearing special bibs and competing for the EJ Eagle & EEM Doepke AANS ANZAC Spirit Shield. The netball club who wins the most games will be presented the Shield.

Recognising the women who served overseas and at home, whose dedication and spirit influences the role of women today. They embraced and shared the ANZAC spirit yesterday, today and tomorrow. Their services in war and post war resulted in more respect for women in many professions. The strong impact behind the scenes of local women is often forgotten and rarely showcased.

Sister Effie Jean EAGLE AANS

Effie Jean Eagle was born 4th May 1891, Wandearah (Crystal Brook) to Herbert Albert Eagle and Minna Jessie Eagle (nee Joyce). She is the second of eight children. The family moved to Stokes circa 1906. The Eagle Family donated the land the church is on. On March 25th 1912 the trust applied to Miss E. Eagle for her services as Organist. Effie played the church organ, taught Sunday School. She completed her civilian nursing at a Private Hospital in North Adelaide for 2 ½ years and Broken Hill for 1 ½ years. Enlisting with the Rank of Staff Nurse to AANS serving in the Australian Imperial Force 11th May 1917, aged 26 years at Keswick naming her mother as Next of Kin. On 14th June 1917 embarked on RMS Mooltan, Adelaide. On 8th August embarked for Salonika on the “Huntsgreen” ex Alexandria, 13th August 1917 departed Egypt. Regimental Number 1891 AANS served Kobo Salonika June 1917-1919, Cario 14 Australian General Hospital (AGH). On 4th December 1918 had leave in the UK. 13th February 1919 to British Red Cross from 50th General Hospital. 25th February 1919 embarked for Egypt ex Red Cross. Disembarked 13th March 1919 at Alexandria ex Salonika. Retired from leave in UK on 25th January 1919. She was promoted to Sister on 15th July 1919. Date of AANS termination 2nd October 1919 on Cessation of Hostilities. Sister Eagle returned to Australia ex “Delta”, disembarked 31st August 1919. She was the “cover girl” for the “Digger” magazine for Families and Friends of the First Australian Imperial Force. The Eagles’ were a closely, knit family. Brothers F.H. Eagle Service Number 5985 of 10th & 27th Infantry Battalion, W.R. Eagle both returned, had families and are buried at the Lipson Cemetery. Following the war, Effie returned to Australia “to be married”. Research shows Effie never married. Once home, she dedicated her life to Midwifery and Adelaide’s Repatriation Hospital using her training and focusing her care for veterans of the Returned Services League until her retirement. Her name is on the Keswick South Australian Army Nurses Roll of Honour, Wanderah East Broughton Plains Region War Memorial and Tumby Bay Sub-Branch Honour Board. She was awarded the 1914/15 Star, British War & Victory Medals. She passed away in South Australia on 1st May 1973, aged 81 years and is on the RSL Wall at Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia and is a true Local Hero.


Sister Elfrieda Ethel May DOEPKE AANS

Elfrieda Ethel May Doepke was born 30th May 1883, Mannum, South Australia to Albert Julius Doepke and Gesina Elizabeth (nee Rundle ) and had a brother A.R. Doepke. Obtained her First Medical Certificate and Second Surgical Certificate, five months as Charge Nurse all at Adelaide Hospital. Four years of Private Nursing, a member of the Royal British Nursing Association. Enlisted 1st May 1915 in AANS, 31 years of age, naming her mother as Next of Kin. On 20th May 1915 embarked on RMS Mooltan, Adelaide with 1st Australian General Hospital to Egypt on Lemnos during the Gallipoli Campaign. The hospital just 50 miles from the front lines. She featured in Kirsty Harris’ book “More than Bombs and Bandages”. She also wrote on patient nutrition whilst on Lemnos and the front lines (Somme), other letters are at the AWM in Canberra. Her records read 14th April 1916 detached 1st AGH Rouen and reported for duty with No 1 General Hospital Etreat. On 24rd May 1916 Temporarily on duty with 6th Hospital. Rejoined 1 AGH on 1st August 1916. Sick to Hospital in France 6th August 1916. 17th August 1916 rejoined 1st AGH. Staff Nurse proceeded overseas to 1st AGH France from London 1st March 1917 overseas to 1st AGH France ex Furlough. 23rd March 1917 sick – Measles. Rejoined unit 31st March 1917. Promoted to Sister 1st AGH France 1st September 1917. Embarked RM Mooltan 20th May 1918 and arrived Australia 22nd August 1918. 21st December 1918 embarked England to report to Sutton Veny for duty. Serving with 1 AGH and No. 1 General Hospital in Egypt, Belgium, France and England. Demobilised from 1st AGH 4th M.D. on 24th October 1919. On her return to South Australia, Sister Doepke was relieving Matron at the Port Lincoln Hospital. She subsequently accepted a permanent position as Matron of Tumby Bay Hospital, holding this position for 24 years after being approached by Dr Brian (Bill) Wibberley. They established a very well run hospital with many benefits for the whole community. She assisted Doc Wibberley with surgeries, delivering babies, was on duty at all times night and day. Everyone loved her but she was very strict and could have both staff and patients in tears. Night Nurses worked 7pm to 7am during the night, were expected to make jam (if fruit available), cakes and other jobs - washing and ironing. Dr Bill asked her only once if the surgical sheets had been sterilised, Doepke replied “Of course they are, I have just finished ironing them”. The kitchen was always a hub and hive of activity. Sterilising was done with boiling water on the wood stove, babies were bathed in the kitchen, kept there overnight. Newborns were wrapped in nappies, placed in wicker baskets on chairs until the nurse had time to bathe them. Life at the hospital was like a big happy family. It was her family. In the Nurses’ home male visitors had to leave by 10pm. A couple of times staff were told Doepke was coming - there was a great rush with boys jumping fences in all directions. Staff were allowed to go the the pictures on Saturday nights, accompanied by Sister Doepke who walked them home ensuring lights out by midnight. Some Nurses snuck out to the dance that was held after the pictures. During her 24 years service Doepke saw the hospital grow from a small cottage to a modern 20 bed hospital. Tumby Hospital had the reputation of the cheapest run hospital for miles, lights were turned off at 11pm, then kerosene lamps were used. Doepke dislike being called “Matron” and preferred to be addressed as “Sister”. Nothing was ever too much trouble for “Sister” or “Dr Wibb”. One of her local legacies is many “Wibberley/Doepke Babies”. Approximately 2,000 babies were born. Her work ethic was second to none and was able to amaze the younger generations – cooking, washing, milking the cow (early days) cleaning and was excellent as a Nurse – a lifetime of service to her Country and Community. Whilst at Tumby Bay she held many positions in the local community, Right Hand to the Hospital Board, Vice President of the local CWA Branch, was a keen amateur golfer winning many events. During February 1944 she resigned her position as Matron of Tumby Bay Hospital due to failing health. Doepke was given a well-attended farewell by hospital staff, along with a public farewell at the Tumby Bay Soldiers Memorial Hall. Her name is on the Keswick South Australian Army Nurses Roll of Honour, her framed photo is in the Tumby Bay Hospital in WWI AANS Uniform. She was awarded the 1914/15 Star, British War & Victory Medals. She is a true local hero both overseas and on Eyre Peninsula. Elfrieda died at a private hospital in Adelaide on 23rd January 1945 after being quite unwell. She was buried in the North Road Cemetery, Nailsworth, Adelaide. On June 4th 1950 a bronze plaque was unveiled at the entrance of the Tumby Bay Hospital in dedication to her by Dr B.W. Wibberley Service Number 3871 WWI and S85151 (WWII) 88th F/Ambulance, 56th Brigade, 19th Div MC, MBBS, BSc. MC The plaque reads “In Memory of Elfrieda E.M. Doepke, and in recognition of her services as Matron of this Hospital 1920-1944”. Alongside the brass plaque, on a wooden pedestal was a photograph of the late Matron in her WWI Sister Uniform. The Chairman of the Hospital Board Service Number There is also an Elfrieda Drive and Doepke Street in Tumby Bay named in her honour. Matron Doepke served in Lemnos, (Greece), Belgium (France), England before returning to Australia.

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