Staff Nurse Mary Ellen BRIGGS 1874 – 1930

Connection with the Hunter Valley – Staff Nurse Briggs was born in Newcastle and trained at Newcastle Hospital.

Sydney Morning Herald, 1 January 1931, p8
Sydney Morning Herald,1 January 1931, retrieved from Trove 7 October 2012

Training and experience – graduated Newcastle Hospital 1901 (According to Ben Champion she worked at Newcastle Hospital after training and was a “skilled trachaeotomy nurse”.)

Service  – Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS)

Service location – Egypt and hospital transport.  See group photo of Australian nurses in Egypt on Staff Nurse Helen[a] Stewart‘s page.

Medals – British War Medal and Victory Medal

        More detail and references:

Enlisted – 26 June 1917, age 39                                                    

Residence before embarkation – Moree             

Port of embarkation, vessel and date – Melbourne / Runic / 13 September 1917 

Return to Australia – Embarked at Suez on H.T. Burma, 26 July 1919; disembarked 1 September 1919

Next-of-kin as indicated in service record – Mother, Mrs Margaret Briggs, High Street, Newcastle

Discharged – October 1919                                                        

Honour roll – The Capt. Clarence Smith Jeffries (VC) and Pte. William Matthew Currey (VC) Memorial Wall, Sandgate         

Parents / where born – James and Margaret Briggs / Newcastle

Marital status / married surname – Single

Religion – Roman Catholic

Mary Ellen was killed in a car accident in Glebe Road, Newcastle in December 1930. 


National Archives of Australia B2455 BRIGGS M E

Nominal Roll of the First AIF, Australian War Memorial (AWM) AWM133, 05-149

Embarkation Roll of the First AIF, AWM Nurses (July 1915 – November 1918)

Newcastle’s Hospital by the Beach.  Some photographic memories, Royal Newcastle Hospital,  [n.d.]

Audrey Armitage, A Golden Age of Nursing, Royal Newcastle Hospital Graduates’ Association Book Committee, Newcastle, 1991

Ben Champion, Newcastle Hospital Register 1817-1915, The author, 1950

© Christine Bramble 2013

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