|Edith and her sister Milly|
This was the first evidence of her strong will and she survived, while unfortunately her twin brother who was born a strong and healthy 9lbs died five months later.
When Edith was seven years old, her father, age 43, caught a chill and died from pleurisy, leaving a grief stricken widow with 8 fatherless children (3 children had already predeceased him) with Edith's youngest sister Lilly being born 2 months after her father's death.
"The Lord Provided" and 10 months later, on the 5th July 1878, the family were on board the barque Oaklands for the voyage to Australia. According to information handed down through the family, the Oaklands was becalmed near the equator for several days and drinking water was rationed, with the younger children nearly perishing in the heat. Additionally, the newspapers reported that there were several cases of whooping cough on board and many children died from various infantile diseases. However the Bound family arrived safely at Port Adelaide on 21st September 1878. Edith was now eight years old.
The family initially resided at Macaw Creek in South Australia and were initially frightened by the aboriginals but this changed as the aboriginals provided them with rabbits and birds for the cooking pot. Little is known about Edith's childhood but we can only imagine that it was quite tough without a father to support the family. The older boys became farmers and supported the family, moving across the border to North Western Victoria.
When she was nearly eighteen years of age, Edith married Edward Ernest Edmund Geyer at Miram Piram, Victoria and their first child, my great grandmother, was born soon thereafter. The family grew steadily and by 1898 Edith and Edward Geyer had six children with another on the way.
Back: Art, Mel, Lloyd & Ern
Front: Soph, Edith, Lil & Mabel nursing my grandmother, Eva
At age 29, Edith who was two months pregnant, was left a young widow with six children to care for. One month later on the 8th June 1899, Edith made "an application to the justices to be relieved of the care of five of her six children (the eldest 11 and the youngest 18 months), she being without means, and quite unable to support them."
6 Feb 1914
My great grandmother, being Edith's eldest child, left school at age 11 to help her mother with the younger children. The family moved to Mildura in 1901 with her brother. You can read more about their remakable journey here. Edith took in washing and picked fruit to provide an income.
By 1908, when Edith was 38, she was back in Nhill and taking in boarders. With the help of her doctor, she had become a registered mid wife. My grandmother wrote "I think she brought all her grandchildren into this world - and there were many." She was also quite handy with a hammer and nails and from donated timber she built additional rooms on the house.
17 May 1949
Although she wasn't registered as a "maternity & medical nurse" until 1915, she established her first private hospital in 1914. She operated several private hospitals in Horsham, Victoria;
1914 "River View" McPherson Street
1916 "Harlington House" Wilson Street
1920 "Liscard" Baillie Street
1924 Temporarily relocated to "Weymouth" Baillie Street
1925 "Liscard" Baillie Street
"Liscard" continued to operate until 1931 when Edith, who was 61, became the matron at the Goroke hospital for several years before her death in 1937 at age 66.
Nursing was a saviour to Edith Geyer. She saved many lives and brought even more into this world but medicine could not save her.
|Nurse Edith Geyer with baby Lay, Mrs Reid, Mrs Hobbs with baby Hobbs, Soph (Edith's sister), Mrs Heard and baby Heard and Esther and Little Stan Walter|
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