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.
Sister Ann[ie] Isabella ALLARDICE
Staff Nurse Lilian Elizabeth BRAYE
Staff Nurse Gertrude Alice BURNS
Staff Nurse Gertrude May CALLOW
Staff Nurse Catherine Mary DOOHAN
Sister Sophia Hill ‘Sophy’ DURHAM MID
Sister Gertrude Helena FADDY ARRC
Staff Nurse Leila Bowie GODFREY
Staff Nurse Susan Ethel GREAVES
Staff Nurse Annie Elsie HOCQUARD
Staff Nurse Genevieve Nimmo HOCQUARD
Staff Nurse Ilma Emily May LOVELL
Sister Eva Isabel MacDONALD ARRC
Staff Nurse Mary Ann May MARTIN
Staff Nurse Alma Alberta McKNIGHT
Staff Nurse Eileen Lilian McNAMARA
Sister Minnie Victoria MEARS ARRC
Staff Nurse Sarah Avaline MEARS
Staff Nurse Aimée Christina MICHIE
Staff Nurse Annie Beatrice MILLIGAN
Staff Nurse Ethel Rachel NEWBY
Staff Nurse Violet Amy Florentine REID
Staff Nurse Ivy Louise ROBBINS
Staff Nurse Lillian May SETTLE
Sister Wilhelmina Jane SOLLING MID
Staff Nurse Helen[a] STEWART (registered at birth as Ellen Stewart)
Staff Nurse Catherine Bevan THOMAS
Staff Nurse Dorothy Maud TRAILL
Staff Nurse Gertrude Gordon WILKINSON
© Christine Bramble 2013
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.
June, there are some artefacts and photos relating to the Lowrey sisters’ war service in a section about the region on the world stage.