Royal District Nursing Service (now known as Bolton Clarke), Forest Hill
Five Melbourne District Nursing Society nurses wearing grey coats and felt brimmed grey hats with a red cross applied to the hatband, about to board two vehicles outside the Nurses home at 39 Victoria Parade, Collingwood. The vehicles with their volunteer drivers belong to the Motor Auxiliary which was responsible for transporting nurses on patient visits
In 1929 Melbourne District Nursing Society formed a volunteer Motor Auxiliary to transport their nurses to make visits to clients who lived a distance away. At first wealthy people offered their car and chauffeur, but then the general public supplied their own vehicles. They operated on week days and gave a half day a month or fortnight or weekly if able. They could take up to three nurses at a time and collected them from the Nurses Home, 39 Victoria Parade, Collingwood, at 9 a.m. They did the rounds dropping each nurse at a client then picking them up and taking them to the next client before completing the morning round and returning to the Nurses Home at 1 p.m.. The nurses were able to double the number of visits they did each morning and did their afternoon visits on public transport. At its peak there were 60 volunteers but this fell off during World War 2. In 1944 the Red Cross were assisting, and by 1953 were taking out 16 nurses. Appeals for volunteers occurred over the years, particularly during the Tram and Tramway Bus strike in the 1950s, and when the Royal Women's Hospital had an influx of births and wanted to send the mothers and babies home on day four but could not do so if M.D.N.S. could not visit. During 1962 the Motor Auxiliary transported 34 nurses who preferred not to drive themselves, but as M.D.N.S. own fleet grew there was less need for their service and the Auxiliary was disbanded in 1971.