Theophilus George Allen (1890-1963)
Dorothy Mary Feneley (1882-1955)
Dorothy Mary Feneley was born at Allynbrook in 1982, the third oldest of Patrick Charles Feneley & Ellen Mary White. In 1899 the family moved to West Maitland where her parents ran the Metropolitan Hotel.
Dorothy attended the Dominican Convent at West Maitland where she excelled as a musician. She won many awards for piano; indeed, on Sat 20 Aug 1910, The Maitland Weekly Mercury reported on a recital that she and others performed in, saying these young ladies now rank as solo performers of concert standard.
She decided, however, to train as a nurse, graduating from St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney and passing the examination for membership of the Australian Trained Nurses’ Association (ATNA) in 1915. She then decided to enlist, doing so on 14 May 1917 with the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS). She served at Salonika, winning the British War Medal and Victory Medal. Her progress was reported in various newspapers.
From the Daily Observer, Wed o6 Jun 1917
… Miss Dorothy Feneley, of West Maitland, who has been connected with the operating theatre at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, for the past three years, and where she received her training, leaves for the front shortly. Miss Feneley has offered her services twelve months ago, but only received her call a few weeks back. She has been most successful in her course, and very popular with all the staff of St. Vincent’s. She carries with her excellent references from Sir Alexander McCormack, and other leading surgeons. Miss Feneley spent her final leave with her parents in Maitland, and expects to leave for the front shortly.
From The Maitland Daily Mercury, Thu 27 Mar 1919:
SISTER DOROTHY FENELEY.
Returned Australian Nurse
Returned Australian nurse Sister Dorothy Feneley, of West Maitland, returned to Sydney by the Delta, and was released from quarantine on Saturday, after putting in ten days at North Head. She was a trainee of St Vincent’s hospital, where she was theatre sister before enlisting in 1917 for military service. For almost two years she had been in Salonika, attached to the 50th General Hospital, No 2 unit, an English hospital staffed from New South Wales, with Matron Beryl Campbell in nursing command. Whilst on duty, Sister Feneley met many well-known Australians, among them Sergeant Olive Kelso King, whose work for the Serbs has been stupendous, and who was at the time visiting her friend, Sister Duffy, at the hospital mess. The Greeks, Sister Feneley says, are wonderful sufferers, and endure pain with stoical patience, and the way in which they fought in the big “stunt” just before the signing of the armistice made up for any previous indetermination on their part. Salonika itself, she says, is a quaint old place, the streets paved with cobble-stones, and stalls punctuating the highways, in addition to the big bazaar. Old Olympus, in the distance, covered with eternal snow, makes the Greek gods seem near and more than mythical, and from the top of Kotos Gallipoli could be seen in the distance. Home colours appear monotonous after the exuberance of brilliance in the fields surrounding the town. Nothing could describe the hue of the sky nor the changing tints of the sea, where the bathing was one of the joys of existence. In the early mornings the nurses would go into the fields and return with arm-loads of poppies and cornflowers, and the brilliant blooms of the native cactus. In spite of the frequent vanrah, the terrible wind which made life a misery for the three days it lasted, the hard conditions, strenuous work, and the few pleasures available, the nursing staff of the 50th spent the time happily enough – they were famous for unity and good fellowship. Salonika, like the rest of the world, went mad when the armistice was signed. The cosmopolitan population crowded the streets, singing its many native songs, and using tin cans as instruments. Every “tin Lizzie” [Model T Ford] and lorry in the place was requisitioned, and for a while pandemonium reigned. Sister Feneley came home via “Blighty”. She travelled by “rapide”. En route she spent a short time in Rome and Paris, and was a month in London before embarking on the Delta for Australia. She is a daughter of Mrs. A. J. Lindsay and the late P. Feneley, of Maitland. Two of her brothers, Cecil and Paul, enlisted with the A.I.F., the former, who was killed in France last year, just after passing his final law examinations. Paul is still on service. Mr. Lindsay is also at the front.
On board the Delta was another nursing sister from Wollongong, Alice Jane Thompson. Alice had married Dr Theophilus George Allen (on 16 Jan 1919) in London, a fact reported in The Daily Telegraph on Mon 24 Mar 1919:
IN THE THRONG.
Mrs. Theo Allen returned to Sydney by the Delta, and was released from quarantine on Saturday, after 10 days at North Head. Mrs. Allen was, before marriage. Sister Thompson, a Wollongong girl, and a trainee of the Balmain Hospital. She was married in “Blighty” recently, after nearly two years’ service at the 50th General Hospital, No. 2 Unit, in Salonika, to Captain (Dr.) Theo Allen, R.A.M.C., who has returned to duty in France.
Also from Melbourne’s Table Talk on Thu 22 May 1919, it would appear that Alice had with Dorothy in Salonika:
Mrs. Thos. Allen, who as Nurse [Thomas] was on active service in Salonika for over two years, returned to Sydney by the Delta shortly after her marriage to Dr. Theo. Allen, who is a captain in the A.I.F. Since her arrival in Sydney she has been nursing influenza patients, and has successfully pulled through a number of serious cases. Her husband, who is still on military duty in France, hopes to return home in the course of the next few months.worked with Dorothy in Salonika:
Theo was born in Auckland in 1880, his parents being George Josiah Allen (a wholesale saddler) & Mary Hanlon. The lived at Allendale, Sydney Rd, Randwick. Theo graduated as a doctor from the University of Sydney in 1916 and worked at Balmain Hospital, the hospital where Alice did her training.
On 03 Jun 1917 Theo enlisted into the 12th Field Ambulance. His full service record can be read here; a summary of his war movements can be found on page 31. His appointment terminated on 02 Dec 1919. For a time after the war Theo worked as a doctor at Dunedoo, about 350km north west of Sydney.
A daughter, Joan, was born on 23 Jun 1920 at Drummoyne in Sydney (The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 10 Jul 1920). Sadly, just two years later, Alice passed away at Dunedoo. Theo lodged a memorial the following year; from the South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus on Fri 08 Jun 1923:
ALLEN, — A tribute to the memory of my dear wife Alice, who departed this life at Dunedoo, N.S.W., on June 6th, 1922. Inserted by her sorrowing husband, Dr. Theo Allen.
Theo and Dorothy married in St. John’s Cathedral, West Maitland, on 14 Dec 1924 (The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 21 Jan 1925). In the 1930 and 1933 electoral rolls they had show up at 50 Alison Rd, Randwick; from 1935 to 1954 they are at 119 Alison Rd. Dorothy passed away on 29 Aug 1955, aged 63. Theo remained at 119 Alison Rd until his death on 07 Aug 1963, aged 73.
It appears that after Theo’s stint as a doctor at Dunedoo he worked for the Repatriation Department; this article was in the Mudgee Guardian and North-Western Representative on Thu 20 Feb 1936:
DR. Theo. Allen, medical officer to the Repatriation Department, made an official visit to Dunedoo last Thursday. Official business finalised, Dr. Allen spent the time off duty renewing old acquaintances. “There are still a few old hands to be met with,” declared the genial medico, who practised here from 1920 to 1923, but, for the most part, the people are strangers to me. It is safe to say that not one whom Dr. Allen knew missed his hearty handshake nor left without telling the personal story of the intervening years. During the course of a conversation, Dr. Allen emphatically declared himself to be in favor of utilising the money raised by the soldiers’ organisations for the building of a hospital. It was due to the work of Dr. Allen that much of the money was raised for this purpose. Over the week end Dr. Allen was the guest of Mr and Mrs C. M. Blake, of ‘Talbra,’ Cobbora Road, and on Monday left by car for Gulgong.
Theo & Dorothy’s family:
Theo and Dorothy had three children; on Sun 5 Jan 1930 the Sunday Times carried this photo of them:
01. Mary Rosalie (b. 06 Oct 1925, d. 12 Apr 1989)
02. Dorothea Barbara (b. 17 Feb 1927, d. 28 Nov 2008)
03. Theophilus George (b. 17 Feb 1927)
01. Mary Rosalie Allen married James Edward Egan on 04 Feb 1950; from the Catholic Weekly, Thu 19 Jan 1950:
THE marriage of Dr. Jim E. Egan and Miss Mary Allen will take place at the Church of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Randwick, on February 4. A reception at the Pickwick Club will follow. Dr. Egan, who is the elder son of Mr. and Mrs. Cyril Egan, of Waverley, was resident at St. Vincent’s Hospital for some time, and for the last couple of years has been at the Mater Hospital. Bride elect, elder daughter of Dr. Theo G. Allen and Mrs. Allen, of Randwick, completed her nursing training at St. Vincent’s, where she first met her fiance.
Jim worked as a doctor in various places. After their wedding, the couple lived between 1958 and 1968 at 29 Merley Rd, Homebush. Then between 1972 and 1980 they were at 12 Bell Place, Cronulla; two of their four children lived at the same address.
02. Dorothea Barbara Allen married Greig Richard Wallwork in London in 1952. The wedding was reported in the Catholic Weekly on Thu 4 Sep 1952:
AT Corpus Christi Church, London, W.C.2, recently, Sydney University graduate Dorothea Barbara Allen, married Australian scientist, Greig Wallwork. The bride is the twin daughter of Dr. and Mrs. T. G. Allen, of Randwick, and the groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Wallwork, of Gosford. They were attended by two Australians, Leila Kennelly, of Ashfield, and John Cluston, an old Riverview boy. Geoff Molyneaux, of Randwick, escorted the bride. Sixty Australians were among the guests at the reception at Chiltern House, Wendover (Bucks.).
and a couple of months later on Thu 30 Oct 1952:
DR. and Mrs. Theo Allen, of Randwick, have received a cable from their daughter, Dorothea, who married Greg Wallwork decently in London, saying that they will leave London in the Himalaya on November 28 and will arrive in Sydney on Boxing Day. After spending a month in Sydney they will make their home at Adelaide.
The couple had a son, Jeffrey John Wallwork (b. 01 Aug 1960, d. 04 Mar 1997) and a daughter. The couple are buried at the Macquarie Park Cemetery at North Ryde.
03. Theophilus George Allen married Joan Lawler in 1956. We believe the couple had six children.
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