Bertha Christine ROSSOW

Female 1920 - 1939  (19 years)


Personal Information    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Bertha Christine ROSSOW 
    Born 27 May 1920  Gympie, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 26 Jul 1939  Kingaroy, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Cause: (1) General Peritonitis (2) Pelvic Cellulitis (3) Cervical laceration 
    • Died at Kingaroy Hospital shortly after having been transferred from Boondooma Private Hospital at Proston.

      "LANDSCAPES OF CHANGE - A History of the South Burnett"
      by Dr Tony Matthews PhD Volume 2 (pp 885, 886)

      Apart from these hospitals there was another small cottage hospital in the region, the Boondooma Private Hospital at Preston. In 1934 the press reported: Work has now commenced on the erection of the new private hospital at Proston. The hospital is situated on the property recently purchased by Dr Rundle from Mr C. Hansen and is on the main road to Hivesville just about two hundred yards outside of Proston.(21) The hospital was run by Matron Gladys Annie Gersekowski, a nurse who held four nursing certificates, general, midwifery, child welfare and mental. The matron operated the hospital in partnership with Celia Iris Hafner, the holder of three nursing certificates. This hospital, like almost all the other small private hospitals that functioned in towns such as Murgon and Goomeri, was poorly equipped by modern standards and run by only a small number of staff, One of the more notable moment's in this hospital's history occurred in 1939 when a considerable controversy erupted over the treatment one of the hospital's patients had received while being treated there.

      The affair followed statements made by a hospital patient. Mrs Bertha Christina Rossow, who had been admitted to the hospital for an operation in July 1939. On 1 July Mrs Rossow had consulted the region's medical practitioner, Dr R.L.G. Elcoate, who, following an examination, had diagnosed that Mrs Rossow was suffering from acute inflammation of the kidneys and advised her to have her husband arrange for admission into the Proston Hospital. However, Mrs Rossow evidently did not strictly follow that advice and soon afterwards the doctor received a message that Mrs Rossow was suffering from fits at her home. The doctor was himself suffering from influenza at the time, and as it was raining that night he thought it circumspect not to see her in her home. He sent a message to the hospital asking the matron to arrange for Mrs Rossow's admission.

      Doctor Elcoate was at the hospital when Mrs Rossow subsequently arrived there, he again examined her and discovered that she was suffering from severe fits. He ordered her confinement. believing that if she did not receive hospital treatment she would die. After Mrs Rossow had been admitted and placed on a bed the doctor remained with her for about one and a half hours. During the following day he visited Mrs Rossow on two occasions and over the next few days saw her at least once each day. Apparently Mrs Rossow underwent some form of operation while at the hospital. The patient made a remarkable recovery and after twelve days she was able to leave the hospital

      At seven o'clock on 24 July Doctor Elcoate was informed by the matron of the hospital that Mrs Rossow had again been admitted. The doctor was unable to attend to her that day as he was engaged in other work, but soon afterwards he visited the cottage hospital and examined his patient. He then diagnosed that she was suffering from gastric influenza. The following day Mrs Rossow complained of pains on both sides of her abdomen, and the doctor, suspecting peritonitis, instructed the matron to arrange for his patient to be transferred to the larger public hospital at Kingaroy. This transfer was quickly carried out but soon afterwards Mrs Rossow died.

      The controversy surrounding her treatment erupted when Leonard William Rossow, soon after the death of Mrs Rossow, stated that after Mrs Rossow had been released from the hospital following her first confinement there, she had told him that while in hospital she had been very poorly treated, she claimed that a week after she had undergone an operation at the hospital she had been made to get out of bed and walk about. Mrs Rossow had also claimed that during the nights when she was in pain and screaming, the nurse or matron would put a hand over her mouth and hit her, telling her to be quiet so that the other patients could sleep.

      During the subsequent enquiry, held before the district coroner, C.W. Knowles, Matron Gersekowski denied the allegations and claimed that the patient had been having fits and hallucinating. (22)

      Doctor Elcoate, the medical practitioner mentioned in this case, lost his son, Flying Officer Terry Elcoate, two years later when he was killed in an aircraft crash in Victoria.(23)

      The hospital closed in 1940, having been in operation for only six years, it became a home for boys during the Second World War and was later transformed into a guest house. The Wienholt Hospital Board later began a nursing service at Proston, in 1941 the press claimed that the first nurse under this scheme was Sister Patterson who had arrived on 26 April that year.(24)

      Notes and Sources Chapter One Hundred and Fifteen Medical Care at Wondai

      21. SBT. 21 September, 1934.
      22. SBT. 17 November, 1939, p. 2.
      23. SBT. 16 July 1942, p. 5.
      24. SBT. 3 October, 1940, 1 May, 1941, and letter to the author from Joyce Penman, dated 28 September, 1996.
    Buried 28 Jul 1939  Memerambi Cemetery, Cemetery Road, Memerambi, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Person ID I540  Colston & Wenck families in Australia
    Last Modified 29 Sep 2018 

    Father Leonard William ROSSOW,   b. 8 Jan 1893, Blantyre, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Jan 1949, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 55 years) 
    Mother Bertha ALBRECHT,   b. 28 Jul 1894, Tallegalla, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Jan 1980, Gympie, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years) 
    Married 8 May 1913  Grandchester, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F55  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Norman Edward ROSSOW,   b. 21 Jul 1912, Memerambi, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Aug 2012, Miles, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 100 years) 
    Married 2 Jun 1938  Kingaroy, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5
    Last Modified 29 Sep 2018 
    Family ID F56  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 27 May 1920 - Gympie, Queensland, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 2 Jun 1938 - Kingaroy, Queensland, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - Cause: (1) General Peritonitis (2) Pelvic Cellulitis (3) Cervical laceration - 26 Jul 1939 - Kingaroy, Queensland, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 28 Jul 1939 - Memerambi Cemetery, Cemetery Road, Memerambi, Queensland, Australia Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend Address Cemetery Farm Town Parish City County/Shire State/Province Country Region Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S2] Queensland: Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages, Death registration: Bertha Christina Rossow, Death date: 26/07/1939, Mother's name: Bertha Albrecht, Father/parent's name: Leonard William, Registration details: 1939/C/3607.

    2. [S138] Queensland Cemetery Records Series #33 Cemeteries Burial Register Index, (Brisbane, GSQ, 1994), Memerambi Cemetery Burial Index page 7.

    3. [S98] Dern Index Queensland, Monumental Inscriptions, DERN, David & Julie, (David & Julie DERN 1999), MI Memerambi.

    4. [S2] Queensland: Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages, Marriage Certificate 1938/002186.

    5. [S2] Queensland: Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages, Marriage registration: Norman Edward Rossow, Marriage date: 02/06/1938, Spouse's name: Bertha Christina Rossow, Registration details: 1938/C/2186.