From the Collection: Sister Margaret Johnston, Ballinderry, Memorial Plaque

Sister Margaret Hessie JohnstonAlthough this might seem a little macabre, this Memorial Plaque commemorates Sister Margaret Johnston who dedicated her life to helping others.  Having trained at the Royal Infirmary in Sheffield, Ballinderry-born Margaret Johnston was employed as a district nurse before undertaking church missionary work in Turkey.  At the outbreak of war, she volunteered for service at Citadel Military Hospital, Cairo. Sadly, Nurse Johnston contracting typhoid and died in Egypt in 1915, her funeral was attended by General Maxwell, commander of British troops in Egypt.  She is buried in Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, 1915.  Sister Johnston is commemorated on Ballinderry War Memorial Hall and St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast.  This memorial plaque is extremely rare; only 600 women were awarded  them.

The story of Nurse Johnston is told in the museum’s major exhibition ‘The Somme: Our Story’.  The exhibition features the story of Nurse Johnston, along with a number of significant artefacts on loan from Lois Wilson and Mary McCann.