A MEMORIAL in recognition of a Gunnedah woman who served as a WWI nurse providing treatment to returning veterans and civilians at the North Head Quarantine Station in Sydney is soon to be unveiled in Gunnedah.
Chief Planner of Operation Pilgrimage Group Allan Miles OAM, himself an Australian Army veteran, has taken up recognising Australia's early explorers, pioneering families and military history.
Annie Egan's story captured his attention, and he successfully approached Gunnedah Shire Council for its support of a local memorial.
Annie Egan is a daughter of a pioneering family, and the memorial unveiling will write another chapter in the history of Gunnedah, Mr Miles said.
"The memorial is a fitting remembrance to Annie Egan and a reminder to this and future generations of the debt we owe those that have given so much so we can live in such a wonderful place as Gunnedah," he said.
Supported by many local businesses, plans for a memorial at Anzac Park beside the Gunnedah Water Tower Museum have been underway for over a year.
A ceremony will be held at 11:30am on Sunday, August 22, 2021, when the memorial will be unveiled by former Governor General of Australia General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK CVO MC.
"Reveille will be sounded and a military guard will form around the memorial. The unveiling will be made at precisely midday," Mr Miles said.
The date is significant as it is Annie Egan's birthday.
"Egan family members from around Australia will be in attendance and residents of Gunnedah Shire are invited to join in this memorial event to celebrate the life of this brave young woman and commemorate her service to her country and sacrifice in the performance of her duty," he added.
Annie was born on August 22, 1891, and lived at Emerald Hill after her family moved to the property "Rosewood" from Gundagai.
Annie contracted Spanish flu while nursing soldiers with the Australian Army Nursing Service and died on December 3, 1918, at the age of 27.
Her death caused national outrage after the devout Catholic was refused the Last Rites as at the time, only clergymen were permitted into the hospital.
She was buried with full military honours at North Head's Third Quarantine Cemetery in Sydney.
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