Staff Nurse Lillian May SETTLE, 1891 – 1966

Connection to the Hunter Valley – Staff Nurse Lillian Settle was from the Upper Hunter, her birth having been registered at Muswellbrook. She was living at Denman when she enlisted.  Her next-of-kin as stated in her service record was her mother, Mrs E Rose, Martindale Station, Denman.

Training and experience – trained at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Service – Australian  Army Nursing Service (AANS)

Service location –    India

Medals – Not eligible.  Staff Nurse Settle enlisted within 2 days of the Armistice and would not have arrived in India until several weeks later.  As a ‘late starter’ she nursed casualties in India until December 1919,  arriving home in Australia on 11 January 1920.

Lillian was notable for more than just her war service.  Lillian was a pioneer in nursing cancer patients.  She was sister-in-charge of the cancer clinic at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital – said to be the first cancer clinic in Australia – before her marriage in 1931.  During the 1920s she travelled to the US and Europe to learn about the use of radium in the treatment of cancer and during this time met and interviewed Madame Curie.  She is credited with designing equipment to protect nurses whilst administering radiation treatment.  See Sydney Morning Herald, 27 February 1931, p.4, for a photograph of Lillian.


National Archives of Australia B2455 SETTLE LILLIAN MAY

Embarkation Roll of the First AIF Australian War Memorial (AWM) AWM Nurses (July 1915 – November 1918)

Sydney Morning Herald, 27 February 1931, 13 March 1931, 25 March 1931, p.7

© Christine Bramble 2013

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