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WW1 Australian Women service units

 
 The Forgotten Service of  Australian Women during WW1
 
 A Summary of Units in which  Australian  Women Served in  during WW1
 Research By Jennifer Baker
 
  Photo of My Nan - Alice White aged 16 in her Munitions workers   uniform during   WW1 in England 
    This site is dedicated to Her and the many other Women who     served in WW1 



 
 
 

The Forgotten Service of Australian Women during WW1



During World War 1, Australian women served in a number of ways
of which most has been forgotten or over looked
below is the list of units that I have been able to find details of Australian Women serving in during the Great War
 
 
If you wish to do a surname search for any records please go to our data base search site 
  



Contents

  1. 1 Military Nursing Services
    1. 1.1 Australian Army Nursing Service
    2. 1.2 Royal Australian Navy Nurses  (RAN Nurses)
    3. 1.3 Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Forces Nurses      ( AN&MEF) 
    4. 1.4 Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service
    5. 1.5 Territorial Force Nursing Service (TFNS)
    6. 1.6 Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC)
    7. 1.7 New Zealand and Australian Nursing Service
    8. 1.8 Australian Veterinary Hospital
    9. 1.9 New Zealand Army Nursing Service
    10. 1.10 Australian Military Masseuses
    11. 1.11 Hospital Transport Corps
    12. 1.12 Sea Transport Service 
    13. 1.13 Nurses in India
    14. 1.14 Salvation Army Nurses with AANS
  2. 2 Civilian /Red Cross Nursing & Hospital Services
    1. 2.1 British Red Cross & Australian Red Cross
    2. 2.2 French Red Cross
    3. 2.3 Blue Birds
    4. 2.4 The Mobile Hospital of Mrs Bordern Turner
    5. 2.5 Lady Rachel Dudley's Australian Voluntary Hospitals
    6. 2.6 First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY)
    7. 2.7 Allies Field Ambulance Corps
    8. 2.8 American Red Cross
    9. 2.9 Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD)
    10. 2.10 Scottish Women's Hospitals
    11. 2.11 Australian Women Doctors
  3. 3 Other areas of Support Work- Overseas Service
    1. 3.1 Australian Munitions Workers  Munitionettes – Overseas
    2. 3.2 Women's Army Auxiliary Corps / Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps
    3. 3.3 Australian Merchant Navy - Stewardess
    4. 3.4 British Merchant Navy - Stewardess
    5. 3.5 Women's Royal Naval Service
    6. 3.6 Women's Royal Air Force
    7. 3.7 Women's legion Motor Drivers 
    8. 3.8 Green Cross Society - Women's Reserve Ambulance
    9. 3.9 The New Zealand Volunteer Sisterhood ( NZVS ) 
  4. 4 Service Units in Australia
    1. 4.1 The Australian Women’s Service Corps (AWSC) & The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC)
    2. 4.2 The Women’s Khaki Defence Corps, the Khaki Girls
    3. 4.3 The khaki Women's Defence Corps
    4. 4.4 Women's Equestrian Corps
    5. 4.5 The Woman's Equestrian Corps also known as the Defence Girls were raising money for the Purple Cross Society.
    6. 4.6 Women’s Rifle Club – Brisbane 1914
    7. 4.7 Comforts Committees
  5. 5 Stowaways - 
    1. 5.1 women who tried to disguise them selves as men and go to the fight the War
    2. 5.2 References:



Military Nursing Services

Australian Army Nursing Service

Service History -
ARMY NURSING SERVICE – The Australian Army Nursing Service was formed in 1902.
A total of 2139 served abroad, of whom 25 dies. They attended to all wounded Australians in all major campaigns including Egypt, Salonika (Greece), Lemnos Island (off Gallipoli), England and France

Australian women known to have served with this unit –

2139 served abroad
364 nurses assigned for duty in British military hospitals at Salonika in Greece
320 nurses in  India from the AANS
423 served in Australia
388 were decorated
 

25 Deaths - Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) 

Ettie Barnett
Louisa Annie Bicknell
Emily Clare
Ruby Dickinson
Gertrude Agnes Grewar
May Hennessy
Hilda Mary Knox
Irene McPhail
Edith Ann Moorhouse
Letita Gladys Moreton
Norma Violet Mowbray
Gertrude Evelyn Munro
Lily Nugent
Amy Veda O'Grady
Rosa O'Kane
Katherine Lawrence Porter
Kathleen Power
Doris Alice Ridgway
Elizabeth Rothery
Mary Florence Stafford
Ada Mildred Thompson
Fanny Isobel Catherine Tyson
Jean Miles Walker ( Matron Jean Miles-Walker)
Beatrice Middleton Watson
Blodwyn Elizabeth Williams
 
 
Unform Details:
The Australian Army Nursing Service, which was actually a reserve, was established on 1 July 1903. The Service was staffed by volunteer civilian nurses who would be available for duty during times of national emergency. Members of the Service served in both the World Wars, staffing medical facilities in Australia and overseas.
The Australian Military nurses had red capes (like the Regular British nurses in 1914 -1915). As they didn't have Reserve and Regulars, there was no difference 
 
 

Royal Australian Navy Nurses  (RAN Nurses)

7 RANS Nurses served with this unit on the Hospital Ship the Grantala  
 

 

5 RANS Nurses served on the HMAT Ceramic

see here for more details on this unit & nurses





Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Forces Nurses      ( AN&MEF) 


 
was a small volunteer force of approximately 2,000 men, raised in Australia shortly after the outbreak of the First World War to seize and destroy German wireless stations in German New Guinea in the south-west Pacific.

19  Nurses served with this unit



Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service

Australian women known to have served with this unit – 259 served abroad
 
7 Deaths - Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service
 
Myrtle Elizabeth Wilson
Charlotte Berrie
Florence Narrelle Jessie Hobbes
May Dickson
Agnes Beryl Corfield
Nellie M Saw 
(Alice) Blanche Atikinson
 
Hospital Ships - Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service
 
1 Deaths
Edith Blake  ( Blake St. Nurse: E., Q.A.I.M.N.S.R.  killed on HS Glenart Castle - sunk 26/2/1918 )
 
 

Territorial Force Nursing Service (TFNS)

Australian women known to have served with this unit – 15 Australian Nurses known to be in this unit 
 

 




Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC)

Australian Women who served with this unit - 4






New Zealand and Australian Nursing Service

Australian women known to have served with this unit – 2





 

Australian Veterinary Hospital

Australian women known to have served with this unit – 2





New Zealand Army Nursing Service

 
 
14 Nurse died in WW1

Lost - Transport Ship Marquette Torpedoed 23 October 1915

Marion Sinclair Brown

Isabel Clark

Catherine Anne Fox

Mary Gorman

Nora Mildred Hildyard

Helena Kathleen Isdell

Mabel Elizabeth Jamieson

Mary Helen Rae

Lorna Aylmer Rattray

Margaret Rogers

 

Died in Service

Ada Gilbert Hawken

Margaret Hepple Thompson

Esther Maude Tubman

Mabel Helen Whishaw

For further deatils on their deaths

 

Australian Military Masseuses

Australian Masseuses served in a number of units
  • Australian Army Massage Corps / Australian Army Nursing Service - 26 women, 1 death
  • Almeric Paget Massage Corps / Military Massage Corps - 4 women 

  • Blue Birds / French Red Cross - 1 women  

  • British Red Cross Society and Order of Saint John of Jerusalem - 2 women

  • Unit Unknown at this time - 4 women

  • Applicants to join Australian Army Massage Corps / Australian Army Nursing Service - 4 women 

  •  

  • 175 served in Hopsitals in Australia ( Both Men and Women)

    42 served overseas ( Both Men and Women)

    1 Masseuse was allocated to each Australian Hospital ship

    1 death -

                    BARNETT Ettie      Died 1921 in New Zealand    Known as Mother Anzac

 

 
 

Hospital Transport Corps

Australian women known to have served with this unit - 114 

  114 Australian Women are known as to have served as Hospital Transport Corps
  • 36 women who also served with AANS
  • 78 women - other ( who are not listed as AANS ) 
  • 5 Matrons
  • 3 Masseuses
  • 18 Sisters
  • 71 Staff Nurses / Staff Nurse Sisters
  • 15 Probationary Nurses / Staff Nurses / Ward Assistants
  • Stewardess (Seamstress)
  • 1 Temporary Sister
  • on 3 Hospital Ships - Orsova, Karoola, Kanowna






Sea Transport Service 

93 Australian Women served with this service unit

  • 2 Matrons
  • 8 Sister-Acting Matron  / Sister Temporary Matron / Sister in Charge
  • 24 Sisters
  • 55 Staff Nurses
  • 2 Masseuse






Nurses in India


Total of 478 Names

455 AANS Nurses
13 AANS - British India Service
1 British Indian Nursing Services 
4 QAIMNSR India
1 Voluntary Aid Detachments in India 
3 service Unknown



Salvation Army Nurses with AANS

Australian women known to have served with the Australian Army Nursing Service ( AANS)  – 9














Civilian /Red Cross Nursing & Hospital Services



British Red Cross & Australian Red Cross

A number of women served in under either the British Red Cross, French Red Cross or Australian Red Cross as either Nurses, independents or as Voluntary Aid Detachment
 
      367 Australian women are currently known to have served Overseas with the Red Cross 
   or Women who Served in an Australian Unit / Hospital
and 
20 Australian men are currently known to have served Overseas with the Red Cross 
   or men who Served in an Australian Unit / Hospital
 Red Cross Units & Places Index



 

French Red Cross

Number of Australian Women worked in the French Red Cross - there were two main units that Australian women served in
  1. Blue Birds
  2. The Mobile Hospital of Mrs Bordern Turner

 for a list of People who served in France - see For Dauntless France ( on line book ) 




 

Blue Birds

Australian women known to have served with this unit – 23 women  ( 21 Nurses, 1 Masseuse, 1 VAD, 1 Teacher)Served at
Rodez, France. 1917-06. French hospital no. 23, 4th section, region 16 in Rodez, in the Midi
Rodez, France. 1917-12. A hospital ward in the French hospital 23 in the Midi
Beziers, France. 1918-03-20. French hospital no. 46 in southern France
The Mobile Hospital of Mrs Bordern Turner - Hospital Chirurgical Mobile No. 1, situated first at Beverau
Sent by the NSW Govt. to Aid France and sponsored by Australians
  
 



The Mobile Hospital of Mrs Bordern Turner

Australian women known to have served with this unit – 4 (Blue Bird Nurses )
Served at
The Mobile Hospital was established by Mrs Bordern Turner, a rich American woman, to operate behind the lines on the Western Front.
In 1917-18 she employed, through the Australian Red Cross, four Australians to nurse wounded French soldiers at her Hospital Chirurgical Mobile No. 1, situated first at Beverau, twenty miles from Dunkirk
 
 




Lady Rachel Dudley's Australian Voluntary Hospitals

in Wimereux & St Nazaire (France)
Australian women known to have served with this unit – 63 as Nurses
Also known as
RAMC No 32 Stationary Hospital
Australian Volunteer Hospital
Lady Dudley’s Field Hospital
This was a independent Field Hospital setup by Lady Dudley but staffed with Australian Volunteers – Doctors & Nurses and funded by Australians
The Australian Voluntary Hospital - known Staff - 208
Australian women known to have served with this unit - 63
Australian Men known to have served with this unit - 152
 
 
 
 

First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY)

Australian women known to have served with this unit - 10

 






Allies Field Ambulance Corps

Australian women known to have served with this unit - 1
 
Olive Kelso King    for more info on her
 




American Red Cross

One Australian woman is known to serve with this unit - Miss Douska Kahan





Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD)

D00783Voluntary Aid Detachments were established during World War I by members of the Australian Red Cross and the Order of St John. Members received instruction in first aid and home nursing from the St John Ambulance Association. Initially they worked without pay in hospitals and convalescent homes alongside doctors and nurses. After the war the voluntary service continued. Recruits were drawn from the local area by invitation from a serving member.
 

AWM D00783 Sutton Veny, England. Group portrait of the Commandant, Superintendent, and members of General Staff Voluntary Aid Detachment, No. 1 Australian General Hospital (1AGH). 

 
Australian women known to have served overseas with this unit – 120 
but only the names of 91 are known 
served abroad chiefly Australians in the British service, employed through the Australian Red Cross Society

thousands more served here in Australia
 

5 Deaths - Voluntary Aid Detachments (VAD)

Louise (Louie) Blanche Riggall
Lydia W F Grant
Kathleen Adele Brennan
Amy Maud Augusta Parrott
Annie Alexander
 

Possible VADS and other Ladies – Mrs & Miss entries in the AWM12 file

 

Series AWM12 - Australian Imperial Force Headquarters (London), Administrative registry medical/personal files

Series AWM12 is a collection of registry files from the First World War. This particular registry was set up in London as part of Australian Imperial Force (AIF) Headquarters to handle all incoming inter-departmental and external correspondence that related to individual members attached to medical units

Contents date range: 1914-1920

 





Scottish Women's Hospitals

The units that made up the Scottish Women's Hospital were:
 

Abbaye de Royaumont

Ajaccio, Corsica

America Unit

Calais Contingent

Canteen units at Creil, Crepy-en-Valois and Favresse

Girton and Newnham Unit

London Units

Sallanches, Haute Savoie

 

Units in Serbia during the early days of the war, which are given in the lists as:

Mladonovatz

Kraguievatz

Valjevo

 
 
Australian women known to have served with this unit – 13
( 5 as Doctors – 5 as nurse and 6 as other ranks )
 
Scottish Women's Hospitals - A to Z of Personnel





Australian Women Doctors


25 Australian women Doctors went to WW1 
 For More info on these women and their units

1. Women's Hospital Corps - Endell Street Military Hospital
The Women's Hospital Corps established hospitals in Paris and at Wimereux near Boulogne. Eventually the War Office gave permission for Garrett Anderson and Murray to establish the Women's Military Hospital in Endell Street, London
Australian women known to have served with this unit – 5 Doctors

2. Scottish Women's Hospitals
Australian women known to have served with this unit – 13
( 5 as Doctors – 5 as nurse and 6 as other ranks )

3. Royal Army Medical Corps - Medical Women attached Royal Army Medical Corps
Australian women known to have served with this unit – 7 (as Doctors )

4. French Red Cross
Australian women known to have served with this unit – 3 (as Doctors )

5. Wounded Allies’ Relief Committee - typhus hospital unit
Australian women known to have served with this unit – 1 (as Doctors )

6. Other Doctors – Units & Details Unknow
Australian women known to have served with this unit – 4 (as Doctors )

7. Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps / Women's Auxiliary Army Corps
Australian women known to have served with this unit – 3 (as Doctors )

8. Australian Red Cross
Australian women known to have served with this unit – 2 (as Doctors )

1 Death - Dr Laura E. FORSTER





Other areas of Support Work- Overseas Service


Australian Munitions Workers  Munitionettes – Overseas

Australian women known to have served with this unit – Unknown number of women ??
known 3 Australian Women 
 See here for more information on these ladies & on Munitionettes

1 Death - Australian Munition Worker
Rose Roseman  
(note:  it now thought that this could be a mistack in the name abd could be infact Ross Roseman )
 


 

Women's Army Auxiliary Corps / Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps

Australian women known to have served overseas with this unit – 35

 




Australian Merchant Navy - Stewardess

Australian women known to have served with this unit – 3
 
3 Deaths
Clara Louisa McMillan
Edith Keighly Newton
Jean Robertson
 


British Merchant Navy - Stewardess

11 Australian Women and 2 children are known to have served with this unit





Women's Royal Naval Service

 Australian women known to have served with this unit – 1

 





Women's Royal Air Force

Australian women known to have served with this unit – Unknown number of women ??
1 known women served with this unit Dora Ashley

1 Death  Dora Ashley
 

Women's legion Motor Drivers 

 Australian women known to have served with this unit – 2

 


Green Cross Society - Women's Reserve Ambulance

 Australian women known to have served with this unit – 6




The New Zealand Volunteer Sisterhood ( NZVS ) 

Australian women known to have served with this unit – 1  Ettie Rout

New Zealand Women - 7 










Service Units in Australia

 
 

The Australian Women’s Service Corps (AWSC) & The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC)

Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) branch here in Australia which had over 700 women serving in it Australian women known to have served with this unit – ??  no names are known yet
  

The Women’s Khaki Defence Corps, the Khaki Girls

The Khaki Girls which were a semi-official ('officially tolerated') group of female employees of the Commonwealth Government Clothing Factory (CGCF), Melbourne, raised in 1917/1918 

Australian women known to have served with this unit about 200 served in this unit
Khaki Girls of 1918
During the last war about 200 girls working at the Commonwealth clothing factory formed themselves into a group , known as the "Khaki Girls," and divided into a bugle band, a rifle squad, a physical culture squad and a dancing squad. Each section did excellent work for funds to help war time activities, giving concerts and entertainments, or taking part in functions all over the countryside. 
Khaki Girls of 1918
The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954) Wednesday 7 February 1940 p 6 Article
 

The khaki Women's Defence Corps

in Perth, Western Australia, who marched on Reinforcement Day.
(Copied from a photograph in the Western Mail).
Australian women known to have served with this unit – ??  no names are known yet
  

Women's Equestrian Corps

The Woman's Equestrian Corps also known as the Defence Girls were raising money for the Purple Cross Society.



Women’s Rifle Club – Brisbane 1914

Australian women known to have served with this unit – ??  no names are known yet
 
 

Comforts Committees

 



 

Stowaways - 

women who tried to disguise them selves as men and go to the fight the War

2 women are known to try and enlist, of which one did successfully serve in the war
 
Georgina Josephine Elliott
Maud Butler 
 



 

 
 

References:

Just to put this list together it took 9 months of going thru the
British Nursing Journals archive - http://rcnarchive.rcn.org.uk
Commonwealth War Graves - http://www.cwgc.org/
Australian War memorial - www.awm.gov.au/ 
 
 
also my other notes on World War 1 - Australian Women service
 
During the Great War they gave their All - 38 Australian Women gave their lives in WW1
 
Australian Women Doctors who served in WW1
 
 
 
I have started a Facebook cause to help raise the awarness of these ladiesRemember the Ladies as well as the Men – the forgotten Australian Women of WW1
 
Please join and help achieve this
 
 
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