Marian Winifred CROLL

Rank Reg/Ser No DOB Enlisted Discharge/Death Board
Nurse / Sister 28y 11 Nov 1914 1916 2

Sister Marian Winifred "Winnie" Croll (1886-1954)


Dr Croll’s wife, Marian Winifred [Winnie] Croll joined the AANS1 No 1 Australian General Hospital on 11 November 1914 at the age of 28.   She embarked for Egypt on 21 November 1914 on the SS Kyarra. This ship contained a vast medical contingent – the staff and equipment of the 1st Australian General Hospital, the 2nd Australian General Hospital, Numbers 1 & 2 Australian Stationary Hospitals and Number 1 Australian Casualty Clearing Station.

The Kyarra arrived in Egypt on 14 January 1915, and the 1st Australian General Hospital was quickly established in the palatial Heliopolis Palace Hotel a grand building on the north-eastern edge of Cairo with rooms of marble and alabaster. On 24 January 1915 the hospital opened, and began to receive patients of every rank, ailment and injury.

Planned as a 520 bed hospital, by June 1915 it held nearly 2,500 patients.   On 21 January 1916 a medical Board at Heliopolis found that Winnie had extensive dry pleurisy on both sides of the chest due to infection and strain, and said that she ‘be sent to Australia as permanently unfit for active military Service.’ While in Egypt Sister Croll took many photos, 180 of which are now located in the State Library of Queensland.

Winnie Croll was killed at the age of 67 in the BOAC Lockhead Constellation plane crash at Kallang Airport, Singapore on 13 March 1954. She was on her way to Japan to join her sister for a six-week tour.  Colonel D. G. Croll, CBE, VD, mid, MB (Syd), (1885-1948), served in both World Wars, was an eminent Queensland doctor-soldier, and his wife Winnie served in Egypt.   

Dr and Mrs Croll bequeathed their Sherwood family home and surgery to the Sherwood sub-branch of the RSL in 1954. The building became the sub-branch headquarters and was dedicated as The Croll Memorial Centre. In 1967 this name was transferred with the sub-branch to new premises at Corinda.

From 6 August 2006, after various changes over the years as the sub-branch altered its property, the Croll name is attached to the site in front of The Harry Dalziel VC Centre, this site being now designated The Croll Memorial Precinct.



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