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Nurse Edith JOHNCOCK RRC


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#1 Neil Clark

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 12:29 PM

I'm investigating this Nurse. She MAY be entitled to be commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. I'm afraid I'm not very experienced with Female Non-Coms and therefore was wondering if anyone who specialises in this area might be prepared and able to help me pad the case out a bit. I presume I will need to locate her Death Certificate at some stage which will be difficult as she died and is buried overseas!

I found her by someone providing a photo of her parents headstone in Dover. The headstone clearly shows that this lady did exist and that she died in Palestine whilst tirelessly working as a nurse. In my opinion she deserves her sacrifice to be recognised...

My email is clarkneil(at)live.co.uk

Many Thanks.
Neil

JOHNCOCK E

Matron (Nurse) Edith JOHNCOCK Royal Red Cross (RRC). Matron of the FHMS Hospital, Nazareth, Palestine. Died 5 December 1920 at Nazareth, Palestine. Daughter of Edward and Elizabeth Johncock of 67 Barton Road, Dover, Kent.

During the Great War Edith was Matron of a British Military Hospital in Palastine. At some stage Edith was captured by the Turks and interned in a Prisoner of War (POW) camp in Palastine. The Turks took her to Megiddo at some stage where Edith nursed sick and wounded Turkish soldiers. After the Great War ended the Turks released Edith and she returned to her parents in Dover. For some reason Edith then returned to work in Palastine with British soldiers. Edith became Matron of the FHMS Hospital in Nazareth where she continued to nurse ill British military personnel. It was here that she died aged 49 years on 5 December 1920.


This lady (recorded by CWGC) was related to Edith –

JOHNCOCK F.M

Nurse 24919 Florence Minnie JOHNCOCK. Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps (QMAAC).
Died 5 November 1918 aged 23 years. Daughter of John Henry and Clara Johncock of 6 Odo Road, Dover, Kent. Buried Dover (Charlton) Cemetery, Dover, Kent. Grave reference – I.H.16.

Probably also related to this man who died during the Second World War and is recorded on the CWGC index for WW2 civilian deaths –

JOHNCOCK E.A

Private Ernest Albert JOHNCOCK. Home Guard The Buffs (East Kent Regiment). Died 18 November 1941. Resided 12 High Street, Sturry, Canterbury, Kent. Son of Albert E and Minnie Johncock of Nelson Crescent, Napier, New Zealand.

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  • Johncock_Edith_Charlton.jpg


#2 Tonym

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 02:51 PM

posted this on your other thread -

Neil

Florence Minnie Johncock's rank/status was 'Worker' not nurse.

Regarding Matron Edith Johncock unless you can prove that the cause of her death in December 1920 was related to her war service I think that you will have a problem in having her accepted as by the MOD as a war casualty.

Tony

#3 Sue Light

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 02:54 PM

Neil

There are several mentions of her in the British Journal of Nursing, which are quite enlightening - just search on the surname:

British Journal of Nursing

She had worked for many years for the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society, and in one of the pages of the BJN there is a picture of her in nun's dress. Whatever the circumstances of her work and her death, it seems that Miss Johncock was a civilian, and not working for one of the recognised women's organisations who qualify for commemoration. So I don't think there would be any hope of her case meeting the criteria.

Sue

#4 Neil Clark

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:27 PM

Tony M,

Thats helpful thanks. Yes I suspect this ones going to be a very difficult one, I need to prove "on the balance of probability" that she died as a result of her war service. Bearing in mind the was was over when she died this might prove too difficult? With regard to her status rank as a mere worker, are you sure because the London Gazette does clearly show she was Matron -

London Gazette 4th April 1919


Awarded the Royal Red Cross 2nd Class. Miss Edith JOHNCOCK. Matron, British Hospital Nazareth

With regard to the story on the RCN ARCHIVES, I seem to be doing something silly. When I search for Johncock I just get a message saying link failed. Am I doing something wrong or do I need to register before searching?

I need a copy of that report as it may contain helpful data.

I fear that Sue may be correct though. It was worth looking at that's for sure...

A great BIG Thank you to you all.

PS Sue, I forgot this was your own particular area of expertese, next time I will come straight to you!
Neil

#5 Pighills

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:33 PM

Am trying to locate her on the overseas deaths for you, but nothing is showing up so far apart from a reference to her in 1911 living at 111, St Georges Road, St George The Martyr Southwark, which seems to be some form of Salvation Army hostel/house - there are ten people living there the Adjutant, Captain and Lieutenant plus one cadet, the rest are just living there.

Will continue looking for a death reference for you.

#6 Neil Clark

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:34 PM

Searching for JOHNCOCK I just get this -

Advanced search results

Your search for johncock johncock returned 0 results.



EDIT: Thanks Pighills.

I forgot just how good this forum was.....

#7 Sue Light

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:34 PM

QUOTE (Neil Clark @ Apr 9 2010, 04:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Tony M,

Yes I suspect this ones going to be a very difficult one, I need to prove "on the balance of probability" that she died as a result of her war service. Bearing in mind the was was over when she died this might prove too difficult?
With regard to the story on the RCN ARCHIVES, I seem to be doing something silly. When I search for Johncock I just get a message saying link failed. Am I doing something wrong or do I need to register before searching?


Neil

As a civilian, there's nothing that you can prove or disprove - she just doesn't qualify. During the Great War the RRC was awarded to many more civilians than to 'military' nurses (i.e. those working under the auspices of the War Office.). But like other civilians, however great the deeds, they are not considered 'worthy'.

If you click on the BJN link above you should get a page up with three search links on it. Choose the middle one 'Search Journals' and then put 'Johncock' in the top box on the next page.

Sue

#8 Neil Clark

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 03:37 PM

Oh dear what a pity. I guess all we can do is remember her here on these pages?

Worth looking at I'm sure you will agree Sue.

I have just managed to pull that data from the Nursing Journal. Thanks for the pointers Sue.

I will give all this helpful information to Maggie Stephenson-Knight from the Dover War Memorial Project. I'm sure she will find it interesting as Edith had solid Dover connections.

Thanks
Neil

#9 Sue Light

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 04:09 PM

Neil

If you'd like a copy of the page in the RRC Register where she appears, let me have an email address.

Sue

#10 Tonym

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 05:28 PM

Neil

Quote "Thats helpful thanks. Yes I suspect this ones going to be a very difficult one, I need to prove "on the balance of probability" that she died as a result of her war service. Bearing in mind the was was over when she died this might prove too difficult? With regard to her status rank as a mere worker, are you sure because the London Gazette does clearly show she was Matron"

I think that you are confusing yourself - I was referring to Florence Minnie Johncock who you stated as Nurse, QMAAC. there were no nurses in QMAAC and she is recorded by CWGC as Worker.

Tony

#11 Jim Strawbridge

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 02:05 AM

Just a little spark of hope. Edith has a Medal Information Card. I have not checked it to see what the medal(s) was but she is shown as Matron, British Hospital, Nazareth. If this is a BWM (and or victory) there can be no doubt that she would have been under one of the qualifying agencies. What would remain for you is to ascertain whether she died of a wartime cause. The BNJ articles show that little food was provided by the Turks to the three nurses so this may have been a contributory cause.

#12 Sue Light

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 03:08 PM

Is it the case that BWM/Victory medals were issued only to members of the recognised civilian organisations? For instance, I don't think the Serbian Relief Fund was one of those recognised organisations, but there are many members awarded service medals.

Sue

#13 Neil Clark

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 04:44 PM

I'd like to know one way or tuther.....

It appears she worked for this mob -

Matron (Nurse) Edith JOHNCOCK RRC (Royal Red Cross). Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society. Matron of the FHMS Hospital, Nazareth, Palestine.

I shall PM Terry Denham for a definative answer. Wait out.

#14 Neil Clark

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 06:03 PM

Looks like this case may be worth going forward with afterall. Terry has very helpfully set out the facts and I re-produce them here for sake of clarification. I must say I agree with everything he says here. I wonder if Terry might consider taking this one off my hands? I normally only get involved with soldiers, sailors and airman so this is a first for me. I'd prefer to hand the case over to someone that produce a convincing case for commemoration. -
________________________________________________________________________________
_______
Terry's guidance here -

Only a few of the many voluntary organisations qualify for commemoration.

The rule for those serving overseas is stated to be "where death occurred overseas whilst serving with or attached to the Commonwealth military forces". A subsequent death in the UK as a result of such overseas service also counted.

The cut-off date for such cases is 11.11.18 but death due to a wound/illness sustained before then but by 31.08.21 can also qualify.

Thos that have had members recognised so far are

British Red Cross Society
Order of St John
Church Army
Friends Ambulance Unit
Friends War Victims Relief Committee
Salvation Army
YMCA
Voluntary Aid Detachments
Scottish Women's Hospitals
Scottish Churches Huts


That is not to say that another organisation could not qualify if they were working alongside the military. Maybe none of the others suffered a death. I understand that the organisation would have to have some official standing with the military rather just be a Fred Karno outfit that just turned up.

If your lady was working with military acceptance (eg if it was a military hospital rather than a civilian one), she may well have a claim to commemoration. However, it has to be a Commonwealth military unit. Remember that Edith Cavell does not qualify because she was working with the Belgians.

A few members of the Serbian Relief Fund have also qualified but, although they were working with the SRF, they were actually members of other units which did qualify.

The status of the overseas volunteer females (and some men) has always been confusing and CWGC has a review of the situation currently in hand. There is a fairly fixed rule now in operation but this seems not always to have been the case and the War Office/MoD has on occasions made some 'odd' acceptances. The review is an attempt to try to clarify matters for the future (It is unlikely that any past decisions would be altered).

IFCP has one case going through at the moment for a previously non-accepted female organisation so we shall see how MoD looks upon that. Your lady could be another.

Just be sure that she was working for an official British organisation attached to a Commonwealth force at death overseas. If you can say 'yes' to all that, I see no reason why the case should not go forward.
________________________________________________________________________________
___

I'd say this case has a fair chance of being approved seeing that she was captured by the Turks and endured cruel condtions of captivity including it would seem not much food. I will PM Terry and ask him if he would take this one over...

There are plenty of (quasi-offical) Royal College of Nursing accounts proving (on the balance of probability) that Edith bravely nursed British and Turkish soldiers including one which clearly states she saved countless lives...

First problem - To find out how she died in Palestine of all places!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#15 Neil Clark

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 06:19 PM

Matron (Nurse) Edith JOHNCOCK Royal Red Cross (RRC). Matron of the FHMS Hospital, Nazareth, Palestine.

Can anyone tell me what F.H.M.S (as in hospital) stands for? I need it to really show a military connection.

Forces/Friends Hospital ....... Service?????

Can a Mod kindly delete the same thread on NON-COMS and replace it with this link? It now belongs on Non-Coms. Sorry to cause so many problems, I posted it twice in order to appeal to the right specialists - non-coms and Women.

#16 Sue Light

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 02:39 PM

QUOTE (Neil Clark @ Apr 10 2010, 07:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Matron (Nurse) Edith JOHNCOCK Royal Red Cross (RRC). Matron of the FHMS Hospital, Nazareth, Palestine.
Can anyone tell me what F.H.M.S (as in hospital) stands for? I need it to really show a military connection.
Forces/Friends Hospital ....... Service?????

Can I suggest that the initials are wrongly transcribed from a ?headstone (not sure where they came from originally) and should read E.M.M.S. or Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society.

Sue

#17 Jim Strawbridge

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 03:00 PM

In your very first posting you mentioned that Edith Johncock was related to Florence Minnie Johncock, another WW1 casualty. Although both were from Dover I have not seen any evidence of this. I am assuming that Johncock is a common name around that part of Kent for a third casualty, Margaret Amelia Johncock of the Women's Forage Corps, was from nearby Broadstairs.

#18 CGM

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 03:07 PM

QUOTE (Sue Light @ Apr 11 2010, 03:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Can I suggest that the initials are wrongly transcribed from a ?headstone (not sure where they came from originally) and should read E.M.M.S. or Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society.

Sue


If the entry on this link is correct the letters FHMS are not on the headstone. They are included in the information written about Edith, however.

CLICK HERE

(Florence Minnie is also listed here.)

#19 Sue Light

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 03:34 PM

As I said, I don't know the original source of the initials - obviously not the headstone. Hopefully the person who wrote the Dover War Memorial Project notes will be able to confirm where they came from, and can review them.

Sue

#20 CGM

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 03:54 PM

Neil, today there's still a hospital there. It mentions Edith in its history.
Have you thought of contacting them for information about her death and where she is buried?

link to history page here

#21 Neil Clark

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 04:58 PM

Sue,

A simple transcription/typo error by Dover War Memorial Project. Their star player Maggie Stephenson-Knight gave me this lady's name and asked me to look into the situation. I was provided with her name and the hospital in FMHS Nazerath. We have all done it.....

Thanks for pointing it out.


Good find CGM, I honestly thought it wouldn't exist now considering the Israel - Palastine problems.

I have decided to pass this case over to Terry Denham who has experience with female and nurse non-coms. I will give him everything I have.

I imagine the UK part of the operation would be a good place to start -

Head Office

The Nazareth Trust Head Office
Laurel Gables,
Claude Street,
Hetton le Hole,
Tyne & Wear,
DH5 0AU
England

Telephone: + 44 (0)191 645 0643
Fax:
Email: info@nazarethtrust.org
Key personnel
Name: Joseph Main
Position: CEO
Email: ceo@nazarethtrust.org
Name: Vincent Acheson
Position: Head of Programmes - UK
Email: vincent@nazarethtrust.org
Name: Sue Westhead
Position: PA to Chief Executive/Administrator
Email: sue@nazarethtrust.org

Israel Office

The Nazareth Trust Israel Office
Nazareth Hospital EMMS
P. O. Box 11,
Nazareth 16100,
Israel
Telephone: +972-(0)4-602-8888
Fax: +972-(0)4-657-5912 (administration office)
Email: Christine@nazarethtrust.org
Key personnel
Name: Mrs. Christine Farah
Position:
Email: Christine@nazarethtrust.org

#22 MaggieSK

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 03:54 PM

Thank you for pointing out this thread to me, Neil.

It was wonderful to see a picture of Miss Johncock in the BJN, and to read the warm words about her.

"FHMS" was info from the Dover Express, dated 10 December 1920. We can recheck.

"Johncock" according to the Surname Profiler was in 1881 very much a Kent name (East and North) By 1998 it had spread a bit, including up to Scotland.

Echoing Neil .. great forum. Thank you. thumbsup.png

#23 Sue Light

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 12:51 PM

Bringing Miss Johncock up to the top again. I've just added to my website a transcription of a post-war report she wrote about her time caring for British prisoners of the Turks while they were in hospital in Nazareth and Damascus. She was also interned by the Turks at the time.

Edith Johncock report on the care of British prisoners of the Turks

Sue

#24 michaeldr

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 05:00 PM

I was in Nazareth today and working (returning a favour to a friend) in the cemetery where the remnants of this headstone caught my eye.
It has been most interesting to read Edith Johncock's story above: thank you to all the contributors.
It is my understanding that any allied PoWs who died at the hospital here were buried in Nazareth during the war, and were then transferred to Haifa War Cemetery after 1918.
The photograph below is the copyright of Mr. Michael Gottschalk and it is used here with his permission

Posted Image

#25 Tonym

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 03:29 PM

Would be interested to know if there was a case for her commemoration by CWGC presented and was there a response.

Tony



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