Was Australia’s longest serving recruit of the Great War in fact a woman?

Here’s a thought – Matron Ida Greaves RRC, graduate of Newcastle Hospital NSW, joined her unit (the Australian Voluntary Hospital) in London on 19 August 1914 and was demobilised 26 March 1919 (service record in National Archives of the UK).  Whilst it makes not a jot of difference to the value of her or anyone else’s military service, it is an intriguing thought.  Any advance on 4 years 7 months and 7 days in uniform?

Matron Ida Greaves and an officer.  Note the ribbon of the Royal Red Cross on the left side of the cape.  This photo was taken at No 7 Casualty Clearing Station, Ligny St Flochel, France on 21 August 1918 when Ida had been in uniform for 4 years.  Photo courtesy Greaves family archive.  Click on image to enlarge.

Matron Ida Greaves and an officer. Note the ribbon of the Royal Red Cross on the left side of the cape. This photo was taken at No 7 Casualty Clearing Station, Ligny St Flochel, France on 21 August 1918 when Ida had been in uniform for 4 years. Photo courtesy Greaves family archive. Click on image to enlarge.

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