Nurse Domrow

Nurse Domrow, Rosewood, Ipswich, 1930s

Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich, Ipswich City Council

Nurse Domrow had a Private Hospital at 67 John Street, Rosewood.

Born: Augusta Wilhelmina Domrow 16 March 1876

Death: 1964

Parents: Frederick Wilhelm Domrow (1854 – 1940) and Wilhelmina Christina Auguste Berlin (1856 – 1944)

Siblings: 4 brothers and 5 sisters

The electoral role shows Augusta Wilhelmina Domrow – nurse, living in John Street 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1925, 1928, 1929, 1943, 1954.

(Note: Wilhelmina Christina Domrow, born 1882 is her sister. She married Paul Schumann in 1904. Misidentified in this image on Picture Ipswich.)

Sign on building: Private Hospital – Nurse Domrow, Ladies’ Nurse. Nurse Domrow on steps.
Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich, Ipswich City Council

In the early part of the settlement at Rosewood, it is most likely that a maternity patient would be transported to Ipswich hospital or attended to by a midwife in their own home.  Some midwives rode on horseback out to the farms and some midwives were untrained farmers’ wives.

Nurse Domrow set up a two roomed cottage in John Street, referred to in the Catholic Advocate in May 1929 as the Elite Maternity Home, Rosewood. It states she had been practicing her profession in Rosewood for a period of 19 years, which puts the date of her setting up the home around 1910. The article also said, ‘During that period Catholic mothers and others have received her attention and nothing but the highest gratitude and praise have been extended to her for the considerate and skilful service she has rendered to every patient coming under her charge.’

Until the early part of the 20th century, nursing homes differed from private maternity hospitals and in general only the midwife attended the birth. In Rosewood it is quite common to find a doctor was also in attendance and the birth certificate of notable Rosewood resident Gordon William Wesley Chalk (leader of the Queensland Liberal Party 1965 – 1976) on 16 May 1915 recorded Dr Wallace attended his birth.

Private maternity hospitals gradually replaced nursing homes, which were later superseded by free maternity wards attached to public hospitals. Funds from the Golden Casket funded the maternity wards.

The first reported birth with Nurse Domrow in attendance is from the Queensland Times, Thu 27 Apr 1911,  Page 4,  in Family Notices.  BIRTH. JUILLERAT.—On April 26, at Nurse Domrow’s Private Hospital, Rosewood, the wife of E. Juillerat, of a daughter.

The first advertisement that can be found advertising Nurse Domrow’s services as a midwife in Rosewood is from 1914.
Wanted Known – Nurse Domrow, Registered Certificated Midwife ; In-Patients received, Out-Patients attended daily. Rosewood. Advertising (1914, April 11). Queensland Times p. 2 (Daily).

A number of newspaper articles refer to bereavements with Nurse Domrow in attendance, so it is obvious she was not only operating as a maternity hospital, even though her advertisement states that she was a registered midwife.
Mr. JOHN HENDERSON, Sen., and FAMILY desire to tender their Heartfelt THANKS to Dr. Caldwell and Nurse Domrow, of Rosewood, for their kind and unremitting attention to their late Wife and Mother during her prolonged illness. Queensland Times Oct 1911

Also in 1911 in the Darling Downs Gazette, Friday 24 February 1911, page 5

DROWNING FATALITY. A sad drowning accident occurred at Rosewood, on Tuesday, when a little boy aged 2 1/2 years, the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Gus Zoring, lost his life. The boy and his sister, aged 6 years, were throwing sticks into the creek, playing with a dog, their father being in close proximity, attending to farm duties. Suddenly the boy fell in to the creek. The little girl gave the alarm to her father, and Mr. Chas. Mason, who was passing at the time, ran to the spot, where he secured the body which was then supposed to have been five or six minutes in the water. Nurses Domrow and Miller rendered first aid, and applied other restoratives, until the arrival of Dr. Allen shortly afterwards. The latter, on arrival, pronounced life extinct and stated that death occurred as much from heart failure as from drowning. Great sympathy is felt for the parents.

From February 1920 the Queensland Times reports: W. J . BENNETT and FAMILY, of Rosewood, desire to express their heartfelt THANKS to all those kind friends, who sent wreaths, letters of condolence, or other messages of sympathy in connection with their recent bereavement, and to specially Thank Nurse Domrow, for her indefatigable attention to their deceased wife and mother, Matilda Bennett.

Advertisement from 1933 showing range of ailments treated.
Medical, etc. SUFFERERS. Blood Pressure, Headaches, Dizziness, Loss Memory, Shortness Breath, Sleeplessness, Heart Attacks, Stomach Ailments, Adenoids, Tonsillitis. Asthma, Catarrah, Gall Stones, without operation, Rheumatism, Gravel, Womens’ Ailments, (No poisons used) Swiss Remedies, Write for month’s treatment £1/10, post free. Register to Agent Nurse Domrow, Rosewood. P.O. 46.
Advertising (1933, November 25). Queensland Times), p. 1 (DAILY.).

And in 1940 in the Queensland Times we have Mr. J. G. ARNDT AND FAMILY, of Matthew-street, Rosewood, wish to THANK Dr. Little of Lowood; Mr. and Mrs. Trewick, Nurse Domrow, and all kind relatives and friends for their kind expressions of sympathy in their recent sad bereavement.

One report says the building burnt down 29 March 1995. (Some reports say 1970’s or 1980’s. If anyone has exact information, please let us know.) It was half destroyed, and someone was squatting in it for a while. John Turner bought the block in 1998 and built his house on it in 2003. It was situated on the corner of John Street and Walloon Road, Rosewood. The land is now covered in gardens. An historical marker on the site of Nurse Domrow’s house was installed on 22 June 2009 by the Ipswich City Council.


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