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Knox, Hilda Mary (1883–1917)

Hilda Mary Knox, n.d. photographer unknown

Hilda Mary Knox, n.d. photographer unknown

Benalla Standard, 6 March 1917, p 3

On Sunday evening, 4th inst., Holy Trinity Church, Benalla, was crowded, the occasion being a memorial service to the late Sister Hilda M. Knox, who died from meningitis in London on February 17th. The church was filled in every part, and extra seating accommodation had to be provided. On either side of the choir stalls were hung the Union jack and Australian flags; on the stand at the rector's pew was a beautiful wreath, and the pulpit and chancel were suitably draped in black and purple, with the badge of a Red Cross nurse in the centre. The anthem, "Crossing the Bar," was sung by the choir, also the hymns, "Now the Laiborer's task is O'er," "Nearer, my God, to Thee," and "Abide with Me." The sacred solo; "He Wipes the Tear from Every Eye," was beautifully rendered by Miss Edwards. At the conclusion of the service the "Dead March" was played by the organist, Miss Walter.

The Rev P. J. Edwards commenced his discourse with the quotation from Sir Walter Scott:—

When pain and anguish wring the brow,
A ministering Angel thou.

He said it was their pleasing duty to bear tribute to the women, especially to one who had played a great part in the terrible war now raging. The courage and resourcefulness displayed by the women had been wonderful. They had to bear a large portion of the burdens of this war, and their heroism called forth adoration. Seldom had the call for women been greater. In spirit they were on the battlefield. During this war we had read of many heroines—some widely known, others less known. The story of Nurse Cavell was well known; she fell a victim to a net cunningly set, and she died a heroine. Reference was made to the hardships endured by nurses in Serbia, their heroism was beyond all praise. Then there was Sister Knox, whom they honored because of her beautiful and loving character. She had added glory to womanhood, and the story of her life could never fade. Love was her watchword. Indeed she was devoted to cause of love—her great love of her parents, her love of her sisters and brothers. It was her loving influence which induced three of her brothers to enlist in the great cause of freedom, and it was her love for her country and sympathy for the wounded and dying when in that solemn moment she offered her services. Her life was spent in succouring those who had need of it. She stood ready and waiting to answer the call, and of the Christian reward she was indeed sure. She was born in the present residence of her parents on December 29th, 1883. Many of those present went to school with her, and had known her in the Sunday school and choir. In the Sunday school she was an apt scholar and teacher, and distinguished herself by winning many prizes. In the choir site was a valued member also. She was endowed with a beautiful disposition, and was in every way suited for the noble profession she adopted. After a successful course she left the Homoepathic Hospital, a duly qualified nurse. Shortly afterwards she received an urgent call to return to her dear home at once, where her skilful services were required to nurse those who in her infancy had nursed her. In 1914, when war broke out and there was a call for nurses, Sister Knox was amongst the first to volunteer, and she left these shores in the Kyarra. Her sterling worth—and character and good nature was soon carried to all parts of the Empire. She returned for a rest, and when she returned to the war again she took her beloved brother, and when he passed away she did not leave her post of duty, and a telegram was received from her telling the sad news. She worked very hard, and the authorities decided to send her to England. She had been in England a fortnight, and then there came a message, not from Hilda, but from the Defence department, that Sister Hilda Knox had gone to her well earned reward. Her parents had received hundreds of letters from all parts of Australia. One lady wrote to Mr Knox that her only son was in the 4th L.H., and was in the ward in a hospital in Egypt of which Sister Knox had charge. He had been nursed by her, and spoke of the unfailing attention which they had received. He said, "We used to watch the door for her to come in. Every man of us loved her, and called her 'Our Daughter of the Regiment.' " Her noble life and sympathetic influence was nobly bestowed on all. What comfort they got out of this great sacrifice! Surely they could say their brave men and women had done their duty. Their great joy was that these men and women, when the call came, could not ask if it would pay but they only asked if it would be right, and for the right they went.

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'Knox, Hilda Mary (1883–1917)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/knox-hilda-mary-22022/text31992, accessed 16 December 2018.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2018

Hilda Mary Knox, n.d. photographer unknown

Hilda Mary Knox, n.d. photographer unknown

Benalla Standard, 6 March 1917, p 3