The Nurses

Detail of Wallsend Citizens’ Memorial. Photo: A John Bramble 2010

At least 80 nurses from the Hunter region served with Australian or British army medical units between 1914 and 1919.  The names of the 80 are listed below, each with a link to a page for that woman. Scroll down to view the list. Do you know of others?

The official Australian medical history of the First World War states that 2,139 women served overseas with the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) and 130 with the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve (QAIMNSR).  However later research by Doctor Kirsty Harris indicates that at least 2,498 Australian nurses were sent overseas with the AANS and approximately 720 nurses and masseuses served with other Allied units.

Nurses who joined the AANS were in the vanguard of women in the Australian military.  They were aged 21 to 40, unmarried (mostly) and had completed three years’ approved hospital training. The AANS was the only arm of the Australian military that would accept women throughout the First World War. In contrast, the armed services of Great Britain eventually accepted women in other support roles including medicine, driving and clerical – the first party of 14 women of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps arrived in France in March 1917 and eventually 9,000 British women were to serve there.

Some Australian women paid their own way to England to join the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve (QAIMNSR), the British equivalent of the AANS, or happened to already be in Europe in 1914.

The stories of these nurses and their experiences of the inglorious face of warfare are a reminder of the cost of military action, lest we forget.

Staff Nurse Lydia ABELL ARRC

Sister Ann[ie] Isabella ALLARDICE

Sister Susan[nah] ARNOLD


Staff Nurse Lilian Elizabeth BRAYE

Staff Nurse Mary Ellen BRIGGS


Staff Nurse Gertrude Alice BURNS

Sister Kathleen BYRNE

Staff Nurse Gertrude May CALLOW

Sister Amy Sarah CANN


Sister Jessie COBB

Sister Minnie Agnes COWAN

Sister Minnie Isabel CRAWFORD


Sister Agnes Ross CUTHBERTSON

Staff Nurse Catherine Mary DOOHAN

Sister Jean Dick DOUGLAS

Sister Kathleen Lillie DOYLE

Sister Sophia Hill ‘Sophy’ DURHAM MID

Sister Gertrude Helena FADDY ARRC

Sister Dorothy Mary FENELEY

Nurse Janet FORBES

Staff Nurse Leila Bowie GODFREY

Staff Nurse Ida May GRAHAM

Matron Ida Mary GREAVES RRC

Staff Nurse Susan Ethel GREAVES

Sister Ellen Mary HAMILTON

Staff Nurse Ada Irene HARVEY

Sister Emily Beryl HENSON

Staff Nurse Annie Elsie HOCQUARD

Staff Nurse Genevieve Nimmo HOCQUARD

Staff Nurse Ethel HOLL[O]WAY

Sister Ethel Janet LACKEY

Sister Florence LEE

Staff Nurse Ilma Emily May LOVELL

Sister Bessie LOWREY

Nurse Joyce LOWREY

Sister Olivia Ann LOWREY

Sister Violet Hazel LOWREY

Sister Eva Isabel MacDONALD ARRC

Sister Alice Allen MacDOUGALL

Staff Nurse Mary Ann May MARTIN

Sister Mary Theresa MARTIN

Sister Amy Holloway MATHEWS

Staff Nurse Alma Alberta McKNIGHT

Staff Nurse Eileen Lilian McNAMARA

Staff Nurse Kathleen McNAMARA

Sister Minnie Victoria MEARS ARRC

Staff Nurse Sarah Avaline MEARS

Staff Nurse Aimée Christina MICHIE

Staff Nurse Annie Beatrice MILLIGAN

[Sister] Ellen MULHERON

Sister Annette Mary MURPHY

Staff Nurse Ethel Rachel NEWBY

Sister Pearl Hilda NOWLAND

Staff Nurse Hannah PANKHURST

Sister Stella Edith PINES MID

Staff Nurse Violet Amy Florentine REID

Staff Nurse Ivy Louise ROBBINS

Sister Edith Danson RUSH ARRC

Staff Nurse Ellen SCOTT

Staff Nurse Lillian May SETTLE

Sister Jessie Elizabeth SLACK

Sister Elsie May SMITH

Sister Wilhelmina Jane SOLLING MID


Staff Nurse Helen[a] STEWART (registered at birth as Ellen Stewart)

Sister Louisa STOBO RRC

Sister Emily Beatrice TAYLOR

Staff Nurse Catherine Bevan THOMAS

Sister Kitty Hughes THOMAS


Staff Nurse Dorothy Maud TRAILL

Matron Margarita VEENMAN ARRC

Staff Nurse Gertrude Gordon WILKINSON


Staff Nurse Annie Ruth WILSON

Staff Nurse Mabel WOOD



© Christine Bramble 2013

2 thoughts on “The Nurses

  1. June Young OAM, JP

    Could you please advise me if Newcastle Museum is holding a section honouring the Lowry Sisters from World War 1. I am a great niece of the family and am doing research.

    1. Great War Nurses from Newcastle & the Hunter Region Post author

      June, there are some artefacts and photos relating to the Lowrey sisters’ war service in a section about the region on the world stage.


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