New Hampshire WWI Nurse: Margaret Mary Tymon of Rumney

Margaret Mary Tymon, from 1918 Passport Application

Margaret Mary Tymon was born 21 March 1879 in the small town of Rumney, New Hampshire, daughter of Andrew & Margaret (Mayer/ Meagher/Mahar) Tymon. Her parents were Irish immigrants who came to the United States about 1856 and settled at first in Salem MA (for 9 years).

Her family then moved to Rumney NH about 1872 where her father became a naturalized citizen (November1877), and she and a brother, Andrew were born.  Later the family moved to Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Margaret Mary Tymon had 3 siblings: (1) John Lawrence Tymon, born Salem MA, married in Manchester NH to Annie McCarthy. He served in Co A, 8th Rgt MA Infantry. He died 5 Feb 1956, and is buried in Gethsemani Cemetery, Lima, Ohio;  (2) Joseph Patrick Tymon, who married 1908 to Lena Rhoder in Boston MA; buried Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Bloomfield NJ; (3) Andrew F. Tymon born 1883 Rumney NH, married 7 Jan 1914 in Nashua NH to Leona Gagnon, dau of Thomas & Emilia (Malhoit) Gagnon. In 1917 living at 7 Blake Street, Westboro MA.

Nurse silhouette (wearing MHS cap) from a 1965 Massachusetts Hospital School of Nursing yearbook.

Margaret M. Tymon attended Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing, entering in 1904, graduating in the Class of 1907. Around 1911-1913 she was Assistant Superintendent at the Laconia Hospital, Laconia NH.

In 1915 she took an eight month’s course in district nursing and social service, which covered instruction in many branches of welfare work. Other work experiences included private duty nursing for 3-1/2 years, Cambridge Hospital 2 years, and public health work on Cape Cod MA for 2-1/2 years. She had also attended Simmons College for 1 year.

During WWI Margaret M. Tymon served as a Red Cross Nurse in the Foreign Relief Program in Greece, assigned there by Washington D.C. Red Cross to the Greek Commission for Public Health Work. On the Greek Peninsula centered at Athens, performing nursing service in the form of baby welfare working and in the establishment of a school of nursing….The infant welcome program included a bi-weekly baby clinic and instruction to mothers at the clinic and in their homes. As the nurse in charge she also conducted classes, the first of ten and the second of fifteen, to train young Greek women to assist in infant-welfare work. She was released from service on 29 July 1919. For her service she received a decoration from the Greek Government (Greek Medal of Military merit)

Example of WWI era Greek Medal of Merit awarded to Margaret Tymon.

When the war ended she returned to live in Boston MA where Margaret can be found living at 839 Boylston Street, as can be expected her profession of ‘Nurse.’ Unfortunately, like many other of the Red Cross Nurses who risked their lives working overseas during and following World War I, she was not entitled to any benefits. In a letter from the American Red Cross written in reply to her question regarding Army service: “According to the records on file at the National Headquarters of the American Red Cross, you were never assigned to war service as a reserve nurse of the Army Nurse Corps. Therefore, you were not Federalized and unfortunately the small group of nurses who went abroad directly under the American Red Cross, have never been allowed the Government privileges granted to those nurses who were assigned to the Army and the Navy and who having been Federalized were entitled to Federal and State bonuses and tax exemption, and the other privileges granted the ex- service men. According to our files you were assigned to services directly under the American Red Cross. On November 4, 1918 you were attached to the Greek Balkan Commission and were released from this service on June 30, 1919, when you sailed for the United States. There is no question of your honorable discharge. All records in this office are most satisfactory and we only regret that we cannot indicate war service so you would be eligible for this tax exemption. We have only recently been in correspondence with the Tax Commissioner in Connecticut on this very question....”

She worked many years for the VNA (Visiting Nurse Association).  In 1923 she moved to Hartford CT, in 1943 and 1945 in Bristol CT and in 1944 to New Britain CT. She also taught Red Cross Home Nursing classes.

In 1962 she was working at Cushing Hospital, Framingham MA.  One of the Massachusetts School of Nursing Quarterly newsletter notices stated: “Margaret Tymon (Class of 1907) celebrated her 86th birthday in March. She had been at Cushing Hospital for some years but expects to move to a nephew’s home at Hartford, Conn. in a few months.” [Editor’s note: Cushing Hospital closed in 1991].

She died September 1965 in Massachusetts.  She was a hero as much as all the others who served during World War I.  Let us not forget.

[Editor’s Note: this story is part of an on-going series about heroic New Hampshire men and women of World War I.  Look here for the entire listing].

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4 Responses to New Hampshire WWI Nurse: Margaret Mary Tymon of Rumney

  1. Amy says:

    How terrible that she never received benefits for her service.

  2. Pingback: New Hampshire World War I Military: Heroes of The Great War | Cow Hampshire

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