Taken from The Green Room Pictorial, 1 March 1924, p. 18.
M. S. Armstrong i(12 works by) (a.k.a. Millicent Sylvia Armstrong; Millicent Armstrong; Sylvia Millicent Armstrong)
Also writes as: Emily Brown ; Pejar
Born: Established: 1 May 1888 Waverley, Bondi area, Sydney Eastern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales, ; Died: Ceased: 18 Nov 1973 Goulburn, Goulburn area, Southern Highlands - Southern Tablelands, Southeastern NSW, New South Wales,
Gender: Female
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BiographyHistory

Armstrong held a B.A. (1910) from Sydney University with first class honours in English. Enlisting in 1916, she served as an orderly during World War I writing pieces for performance and using her colleagues and patients as cast members. Posted to France in 1917 Armstrong was awarded the Croix de Guerre for her bravery in rescuing wounded soldiers while under fire. She embarked for Australia on the Osterley on 21 May, 1919.

None of her war plays is known to have survived. 'The ephemeral nature of theatre put on for troops during the war means that few records remain of performances, let alone scripts (where they existed) for such productions' (Cullen, p.164). Armstrong briefly owned and operated the Amber Tea Rooms at Goulburn; then, in 1921, she took up a farming block - previously owned by her brother-in-law - under the Returned Soldiers' Settlement Scheme. Her sister Helen settled on an adjoining block. They both struggled financially despite their large land holdings and family support. After Helen's death in 1939, Millicent moved to a grazing property at Kirkdale, Yarra. By 1953 she was living at Goulburn.

Notes

  • Armstrong's service record in the National Archives is under Armstrong, Sylvia Millicent.

Awards for Works

Drought Prize One-Act Plays , Plays in One Act , 1924 single work drama

After years of drought, selectors Joe and Ellie have reached their breaking point. In fact the struggle has brought them to the brink of madness. The pair argue and reminisce about everything and nothing before Joe finally decides in a moment of clarity that Ellie should leave and go back to her family in the city. Although she is somewhat hesitant Joe begs her to go quickly before his sanity leaves him. Ellie gathers a few possessions and walks to the door. As she is about to leave she notices that the sky is getting dark. 'Clouds cranking' up a bit I expect,' says Joe, in reference to the smoke from the incessant bushfires. Ellie leaves and shortly afterwards Joe turns his rifle on himself. At the same time he fires the gun a crack of thunder is heard, followed by the sound of wild rain. Moments later his wife rushes in....

The play is set entirely within the livingroom of a bush shanty situated near the Bogan River, New South Wales.

1923 winner Rupert Brooke Prize
Fire 1923 single work drama Murderer turned war hero salvages his reputation in a tragic cleansing by fire.
third prize Sydney 'Daily Telegraph' drama competition With Mrs Coulson Davison's Sorrell
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