A collection of coins and medals from the Great War and WWII awarded to Principal Matron Ida Walden has sold at Fellows’ Coins and Medals auction for £2,500.
The Lot included: The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, O.B.E., Military, Royal Red Cross, 1st Class R.R.C., dated 1945, India General Service Medal, Waziristan 1921-24 clasp, named to ‘N. Sister. I. Walden. Q.A.M.N.S.I.’, 1914-15 Star, 1914-20 British War Medal named to ‘S. Nurse. I. Walden T.F.N.S.’, General Service Medal 1918-62, Iraq clasp, named to ‘S. Nurse. I. Walden.’, 1939-45 Star, Burma Star, Defence Medal, War Medal 1939-45, corresponding miniatures, badges and a folder of supporting documentation.
Ida Walden was born in October 1889 and went on to a career as an Army Sister that saw her start service on the SS Brittanic, sister ship of The Titanic, sailing back and forth to Gallipoli during the WWI campaign of 1915-1916 to collect the wounded.
She was then sent to various postings around the world, such as Iraq, Kurdistan, Persia (modern-day Iran) and Burma (Myanma), where she gained numerous awards and commendations for her work.
After leaving the army in 1948, Ida continued her nursing career and collected testimonials of her service (which were included in the Lot) in a bid to find a senior post in nursing. She went on to become the assistant matron of Nakuru War Memorial Hospital in Kenya in 1948, and then Matron of the Mombasa and Coast European Hospital in Kenya. In a letter dated 7th June 1961, the Chairman of the Mombasa & Coast European Hospital Association recommended to the Board of Management that Ida should receive a sum of £1,000 at the time of her retirement from their services.
After many years of loyal and devoted service, Ida came to live in the Mayfair Hotel in Worthing in 1973. She died in June 1979, a few short months before her 90th birthday.