Monday, 12 January 2015

Alice Margaret Betheras - Locating a World War I nurse (part 1)

Recently the library where I work was provided with a digital copy of the Roll of Honour for Templestowe Primary School. This publication included information about former students who served during the First World War. Some pages contain detailed information about the soldier while others contain only a name. The name on one of the pages simply reads: Betheras Alice (nurse).
As Alice was the first nurse that we had encountered on the Diggers of Whitehorse and Manningham database I thought we should investigate to locate information about her.

A quick Google search for Alice Betheras brought up some sites with family information which was worth investigating further. Fortunately Betheras is not a common name which made searching easier. The person that I found was Alice Margaret Betheras
Victorian Birth Death and Marriage record -
The next step was to establish if this Alice Betheras had any proven links with the school in Templestowe,  a long way from Castlemaine where she was born. I started searching Trove for the terms "Alice Betheras" and Betheras Templestowe and found a short article mentioning the school and Alice.
Argus Thursday 23 December 1897
Other articles in Trove had shown that Alice's father was a school teacher in different schools in country Victoria. Articles also showed the results of exams he had taken at the University of Melbourne for a Bachelor of Arts degree. The following article in the Bendigo Advertiser provided additional information including that Mr J Betheras was head teacher at the Templestowe School and at the end of 1899 was appointed as an Inspector of State Schools.
Bendigo Advertiser Wednesday 20 December 1899

The Evelyn Observer and South and East Bourke Record Friday 15 October 1897 provides additional information about Mr J H Betheras and his connection with the Methodist Church.
After attending Templestowe State School, Alice was a student at the Methodist Ladies College. A report of a MLC Speech Day held at the Melbourne Town Hall on Monday 15 December 1902 mentions Alice.
Argus Tuesday 16 December 1902
So, from articles in Trove we know that Alice's family lived in Templestowe at the end of the 1890s and that her father was head teacher at the Templestowe State School where Alice was a pupil. We can then conclude that the Alice Margaret Betheras, born in 1887, is the Alice Betheras, nurse, mentioned in the Roll of Honor for Templestowe State School No 1395.

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