Sister Mary Theresa MARTIN, c.1881 – 1929

Connection to the Hunter Valley – Sister Martin had worked at Newcastle Hospital before she enlisted.  Her next-of-kin was her cousin, J D Reid of Bolton Street, Newcastle.

Training and experience – trained at Rockhampton Hospital. On her return to Australia from active service she worked at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney.

Sydney Morning Herald, 26 October 1929, p21, retrieved from Trove 22 November 2012

Service – Australian  Army Nursing Service (AANS)

Service location – Egypt, France and UK.  Mary Theresa Martin was one of the first nurses to enlist.  She sailed on the Kyarra in November 1914.  An article in the Australasian Nurses’ Journal describing the departure of the ship (see references) includes a group photo of the nurses.

Medals – 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal

Sister Martin died suddenly in 1929 at the relatively young age of 48.  She is buried in the Roman Catholic section of Botany Cemetery.

Do you know more?


National Archives of Australia B2455 MARTIN MT

Nominal Roll of the First AIF Australian War Memorial (AWM) 133, 33-090

Embarkation Roll of the First AIF AWM 2 Australian General Hospital (November 1914)

Sydney Morning Herald, 26 October 1929, p.21, retrieved from Trove 9 August 2010

Newcastle Morning Herald, 28 October 1929, p.9

Australasian Nurses’ Journal, Vol XII No 12, 15 December 1914, pp.398-403

Ben Champion, Newcastle Hospital Register 1817-1915, the author, 1950, pp.375 & 412

Grave of Sister Mary Theresa Martin, Botany Cemetery, 2010.Photo:  A John Bramble

Grave of Sister Mary Theresa Martin, Botany Cemetery, 2010.  Click on image to enlarge.
Photo: A John Bramble

© Christine Bramble 2013

6 thoughts on “Sister Mary Theresa MARTIN, c.1881 – 1929

  1. Les de Belin

    In the BBC Documentary “Egypt;What Lies Beneath”, the host takes a look inside the burial chamber of one of the great pyramids. Clearly in the background, written in charcoal(?) can be seen “FIRST LADY TO EXPLORE THIS TOMB SISTER M.T.MARTIN 6/2/15”.

    1. Ailsa Town

      I saw this last night and noted the name. I looked up her records thismorning. Wonderful service. RIP
      Ailsa Town 27/08/2018.

  2. Great War Nurses from Newcastle & the Hunter Region

    Interesting … It is entirely possible that they are one and the same person – Mary Theresa was one of the first Australian nurses to arrive in Egypt (embarked on the Kyarra November 1914, see Australian War Memorial embarkation roll). Like the soldiers of the AIF, the nursing contingent took full advantage of the opportunity to go sightseeing. There are lots of photos of nurses on camels in front of pyramids etc.

  3. Les de Belin

    I would say the same person. The writing is identical to that of an Australian soldier Norman Promley who’s name also appears with hers, also dated the same date. No doubt they were exploring together, but I would presume Norman was the “graffiti artist”?

  4. Great War Nurses from Newcastle & the Hunter Region

    I’m sure the Matron-in-Chief wouldn’t have approved of one of her nurses writing on walls! Where did you come across the documentary, by the way?


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