Sydney Local Health District
RPA Museum & Archives

Honour Restored

One hundred and sixty eight names were carved on the cool marble surface of the World War I honour roll constructed to honour those from the Royal Prince Alfred away at the front long before the end of the war. Men and women; Nurses, Doctors and lay staff; brothers, sisters, fathers, daughters, sons, husbands, wives and friends. Their titles and qualifications adorned each one, giving clues to their lives and in the case of asterisks that denote those who later fell, their deaths.

Constructed in 1916 two marble tablets were commissioned to honour those men and women that volunteered for service in the First World War. The Rolls were made possible by the kind donation of them by Mr S. Horden, the then Honorary Treasurer of the Hospital.

The war placed significant stress on the hospital and its ability to caring on the work that it had started at its in conception in 1882. In the quarterly hospital newsletter, The Gazette, as well as in the annual reports themselves, numerous implicit and explicit references are made to the high cost of food and essential medications, if indeed supplies where available at all. Due to these shortages the Royal Prince Alfred proposed a system, already in place in British Hospitals, whereby medication may be purchased co-operatively to reduce costs and ensure even supply.

With so many staff members overseas, finding effective personnel was also a struggle. The Hospital wished for the positions that staff members at the front to be held until their return and so a number of temporary appointments were made. These appointments however, were often filled by individuals with significantly less experience and often staff numbers, still fell short. In 1916 the Hospital had to request that a number of staff members be returned home, as they could equally do their duty on the home front that was suffering from a rise in cases of consumption (the white plague) and venereal disease since the beginning of the war. Thus at the end of 1915 the Hospital made a request to the Surgeon-General, Howse, for the return of Dr. H. J. Clayton, Sister Lowe (Matron's Assistant) and Mr. A. Wilson (Chief Operations Attendant) which was granted.

Nevertheless, the war continued and more and more qualified medical staff were needed at the front. As so many doctors were needed, recent medical graduates were sent immediately to Europe. Reports from Europe, however, were that these doctors were too young and lacked the experience needed in such circumstances. The RPA established a program whereby recent medical graduates were first sent to the Hospital to gain experience as doctors in the civilian setting before embarking for military services. Thereby getting to opportunity to learn from what senior medical staff remained on the home front and greatly improve the level of patient care they were able to provide. Every bit of experience was needed as medical staff were required to work 18 hour shifts often in the rain with minimal or no light and inadequate supplies, only receiving time off to eat and rest.
Many of the Hospital staff that served were not to return. Although the Hospital was fortunate to have many of their members return some were killed in action or died of illness. Dr Arthur Verge, Dr J. Froude Flashman, R. Smith, Dr H. E. Kirkland and J. E. Eldridge were all to lose their lives during the war. Dr Verge, the first to die of an undisclosed illness in Egypt and Dr Flashman was to succumb to pneumonia in 1917. R. Smith, Dr H. E. Kirkland and J. E. Eldridge were all killed in action.

Their presence on the Honour Roll not only denotes their presence in the war but speaks also of their absence from home: the emotional and professional gap they left behind, their names carved in marble holding vigil in the main hall until and if they return. Sadly, these tablets have been lost. However, fragments remain. These can be viewed at the Royal Prince Alfred Museum, located on the 8th floor of the King George V Building, Missenden Road.

Unfortunately the honour roll no longer exists. In 2015 we re-created the Honour Roll using a photograph. It has been hung on Level 3 of RPA, at the Gloucester House entrance.

Click on the names below to read brief biographies. We've completed information for the nurses and will add more as we can. If you find any mistakes or would like to contact us you can at

Names on the Board:

R. M. Allport, M.B.
C. Badham, M.B.
Bailey, Nurse
J. R. Barriskill, M.B.
O. Barton, M.B.
Bass, Nurse
C. D. Bateman, M.B.
H. Bennett
C. B. Blackburn, O.B.E., B.A., M.D., Ch.M.,
E. V. Bradfield, M.B.
Gordon Bray, M.B., Ch.M.
L. Brown, Sister
H. B. Bruce, M.B.
Emma Buckley, M.B.
A.N. Burkitt, M.B.
Burkitt, Sister
C. Cantwell, Nurse
O. E. Carlson
Child, Nurse
Blythe Clarke, Nurse
Harry J. Clayton, M.B., Ch.M.
R. Clouston, Sister
C. K. Cohen, M.B.
Colless, Sister
A.J. Collins D.S.O., M.O., M.B., Ch.M.
Cook, nee Sheppard, Nurse
H. Cook,
L. Stanton Cook, M.B.
Gordon Craig, B.A., M.B., Ch.M.
R. Crocker
A. Cryer
F. Cryer
Cuthbert, Sister
E. Dark, M.B.
R. A. Dart, M.B.
T. E. Davis, M.B., ChM
E. Dawes
DeMestre, Sister, A.R.R.C.
R. C. Dent, M.B.
W. H. Donald, M.B., Ch.M.
Miss Dowling
*J. E. Eldridge
O. E. Ellis, M.B.
O. J. Ellis, M.B.
W. Evans, M.C., M.B.
E. W. Fairfax, M.B., Ch.M., M.R.C.S., L.R.C.R.
T. Farranridge, M.B.
J. W. Farrar OBE, M.B.
W. Fenwick, M.C., M.B.
M. R. Finlayson, M.B.
J. J. Firkin
Eric Fisher, M.C., M.B.
R. Fitzgerald, Nurse
H. Flack
*J. Froude Flashman, B.A., BSc., M.B., Ch.M.
Bryden Fletcher, Nurse
Leslie Foote
Alfred Frost
E. Gale, Nurse
J. Gallagher, Nurse
K. M Garrett, M.B.
L. Godfrey, Nurse
S. M. Graham, M.B.
Edward Gray
C. Hains, M.B.
L. Herschel Harris, M.B., Ch.M.
William Haswell
G. M. Hay, M.B.
C. O. Hellstrom, M.B.
E. Hewish
Hewlett, Nurse
John Higgins
E. Holland, M.B.
E. Holloway, Nurse
John M. Irvine
D. Johns, Nurse
A. Jorgenson
J. Joyce, Nurse
Keys, Nurse
King, Nurse
Kirkcaldie, Nurse
*H. E. Kirkland, M.O., M.B.
F. D LaTouche, M.B.
F. W Liggins, M.B.
Elaine M. Little, M.B.
Carlyle Low, Nurse
F. Lowe, Sister
G. B. Lowe, M.B.
Sir Alexander MacCormick, K.C.M.G., M.D., Ch.M., F.R.C.S.
Miss MacGregor,
A. Mackenzie, Nurse  
J. A. Mackenzie, Sister
C. MacLaurin, M.B., Ch.M.
J. M. MacLean, M.B.
S. D. MacLean, Nurse
V. K. Mason, Nurse
R. Mathew
L. May, D.S.O., M.C., M.B., Ch.M.
D. W. McCredie, M.C., M.B.
L. McDonough
H. McKenzie
McKibbin, Sister, A.P.R.C.
H. S. McLelland, M.B., Ch.M.
F. E. McMillan, Sister
A. E. Mills, M.B., Ch.M.
C. S. Molesworth, M.B.
E. Moors, Sister
A. C. Moran, M.B.
S. Moreau, M.B.
C. E. Morehead, Nurse
J. Morgan, M.B.
P. A. Morris, M.B.
John Morton, M.B., Ch.M.
Miss Morton
Moxham, Nurse
A.P. Murphy, M.C., M.B.
Murray, Sister
Newill, Matron

F. Noble, Nurse
H. M. North, M.B.
R. E. Nowland, M.C., M.B.
F. O'Donnell
S. V. O'Regan, M.C., M.B.
C. B. Packham, M.B.
W. R. Page, M.B.
T. L. Parr, M.B.
Hugh R. G. Poate, M.B., Ch.M., FRCS
Miss Radcliffe
Readford, Sister
N. Riordan, Nurse
Willberforce Robertson, Sister
H. Robinson
L. A. Robinson, Nurse
Reuter E. Roth, C.M.G., D.S.O., M.R.C.S
H. R. Sear, M.B., Ch.M.
L. M. Settle, Nurse
A. Sinclair, Nurse
M. Sinclair, Nurse
I. Smith, Sister
*R. Smith,
R. Steel, Sister
J. Stewart, M.B.
N. G. Sutton, M.B.
R. J. Taylor, M.B.
A. H. Tebbutt, D.S.O., B.A., M.B., Ch.M., D.P.H.
L. G. Teece, M.D., Ch.M.
C. G. Templeman, M.B.
H. E. Thomas, M.B.
C. W. Thompson, D.S.O., M.O, M.B.
Frazer Thompson, Nurse
E. T. Thring, D.R.C.P., F.R.C.S.
Timmins, Nurse
*Arthur Verge, M.B., Ch.M.
P. Voss, M.B.
J. C. Weelisch, M.B.
C. H. Wesley, M.B.
A. H. Wheatley
Wildash, Nurse
C. J. Wiley, M.B.
C. Williamson
H. H. Willis M.B., Ch.M.
A. Wilson
Wilson, Nurse
R. C. Winn, M.B.
Miss Wood
Miss Yates
H. C. Taylor Young, O.B.E., M.D., Ch.M.
J. H. Hornbrook, M.B., Ch.M.

*Killed in action/died in active service

Biographies of Nurses that served in World War I

Other RPA-trained nurses served but this list only includes those on the honour roll, i.e. those who were on the staff when they enlisted.

Ethel Ridgway Bailey, Nurse

Ethel Bailey was born in 1889 in Sydney. By the time she entered RPA as a Probationer on 14 February 1914 she listed her residence as "Brockleigh", Illawarra Road, Marrickville. Her father was a dentist. Miss Bailey left RPA on 19 February 1915 on completion of her training and entered the AANS in June 1915 at the age of 26. She married (Major Mckenzie) in February 1918. Back to top

Marie Madeleine Bass, Nurse

Marie Bass was born in 1891 and entered RPA as a Probationer on 4 April 1913 after completing 12 months of training at Lithgow Hospital. Her father was a jeweller and the family lived on Inkerman Street in Mosman. She left RPA on 6 June 1917 to join the AAN, aged 26. She served mainly in Suez and Salonika. Back to top

Leila Brown, Sister

Leila May Brown was born in 1889 and entered RPA as a Probationer on 18 April 1911. Before nursing she trained as a typist and clerk. Her father was a Journalist for the Sun. She identified as being of the Church of England religion. During her training she was noted as having consistently good work and received a distinction in her final exam. She left upon the completion of her training in 1916 to join the A.N.S when she was 27 years old. In 1965 Miss Brown donated her war medals to the RPA Museum (M184). Back to top

Dorothea Mary Agnes Burkitt, Sister

Dorothea Burkitt was born in Neutral Bay in 1888. She entered RPA as a Probationer on 12 July 1920. Her family lived in Newcastle and her father was the Inspector in the Department of Labour and Industry. Her nursing certificate was granted in 1914 and she left to go to the war on 30 June 1915 at age 27. She left the AANS in September 1916 to be married to "Gibson". Back to top

Gertrude Mary Cantwell, Nurse

Gertrude Cantwell was born in 1890 in Newcastle and but her family lived in Tamworth where her father farmed. She entered RPA as a Probationer in March 1913 and left on completion of her training in March 1917. She then joined the AANS at age 28. Before returning to Australia in 1919 she worked for 2 months at Mansions Motor Training Garage, London where she drove and maintained motor vehicles. After the war, Miss Cantwell settled in the Blue Mountains. Back to top

Mary Abigail Childe, Nurse

Mary Childe (Child on the Honour Roll) was born in 1888 in Worcestershire, England. She entered RPA as a Probationer in June 1911 and her address is c/o "Reverend Childe, North Sydney". She was educated in Switzerland and trained at a cottage hospital in Bristol, England prior to coming to RPA. She left RPA in March 1914 with a 3.5year certificate. Miss Childe's name cannot be found on the AANS lists and she may have served with Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (England). Back to top

Edith Adelaide 'Blythe' Clarke, Nurse

Edith Clarke, known as 'Nurse Blythe' was born in 1885. Her family lived at "Leura" on Upper Pitt Street, Kirribilli where her father was a ship chandler. Before coming to RPA in June 1911 she trained at ?Noland Institute. She left RPA in July 1915 to "go to the war" but her name could not be found on the AANS listings. Back to top

Elsie Cook, neé Sheppard, Nurse

CookElsie Sheppard was born in February 1889 in Darlinghurst to a father who was a grain merchant. When she started her probationary period at RPA in February 1911 the family address was "Kassala", Burwood. Although nurses were not usually permitted to be married she did marry in September of 1914 to her fiancé Lieutenant Cook who is noted in the Matron's records as having been "eager to be wed as he was going to war". After her wedding she returned eight days later and requested to leave permanently as she wished to join the nursing service.  Mrs Cook finished her training in 1914, with distinction. She enlisted as a staff nurse in October 1914 and served at the 2nd Australian General Hospital. When the army found out that she was married, she was forced to resign and join the Red Cross Society (see image). Back to top

Maud Hopper Cuthbert, Sister

Maud Cuthbert entered RPA as a Probationer in December 1899 at the age of 23. She was born in Surrey, England but in 1899 her family address was "Stanley", Albert Road, Strathfield. Miss Hopper had previously nursed at the Hospital for Sick Children, Glebe Point. She completed her RPA training in 1903 and stayed at the Hospital until March 1904 when she was appointed Matron of the Narandera Hospital. She returned to RPA in April 1911 as the Outpatient Sister and left in September 1917 for "active service," at 41 years of age. Back to top

Sarah Melanie deMestre, Sister, A.R.R.C.

Sarah deMestre joined the RPA in February 1901. Before nursing she was a teacher at Miss Liggins School, North Sydney. She finished her training in 1905 and stayed at RPA until November 1912 when she left to become Matron of Armidale Hospital. In May 1914 she returned to RPA as "relieving Sister" but left again in August 1914 to serve on the Grantala. She enlisted with the AANS in April 1915 at age 38. After the War, Miss deMestre returned to RPA, where she worked until 1929 when she resigned to start a private nursing home in Chatswood. Back to top

Ruby May Fitzgerald, Nurse

Ruby May Fitzgerald was born in 1886 in Melbourne. Upon entering PA in 1912 her address is listed as "Edithville" Avenue Road Mosman. Miss Fitzgerald finished her training in 1916 and left RPA in order to "have a long rest before joining the AANS which she did in May 1917 at age 30. Her Hospital work was noted as "good" and in her final exam she received a distinction. Back to top

Lillian Ella "Bryden" Fletcher, Nurse

Lillian Ella Fletcher, known as Nurse Bryden, was born in 1887. When she entered RPA in 1910 her family address was "Melton", Toowoomba, Queensland. Her father was a pastoralist and the family was Presbyterian. Prior to her enrolment she had been educated by a Governess and had been employed as a companion. Her work at the Hospital was judged to be "good" and she received a credit in her final examination. She left to go to the war in July of 1915 at age 29. Back to top

Elsie Jane Gale, Nurse

Elsie Gale came to RPA from Nyngan in June 1912. She was born in 1891 and her father is listed as "land owner". She completed her graining in June 1916 and joined at the AANS in May 1917 at age 25. Back to top

Janet Gallagher, Nurse

Janet Gallagher was born in 1885 and joined the RPA as a Probationer in June 1911. Her family came from Queanbeyan where her father was a Grazier. Before coming to RPA she worked at a Private Hospital for 6months and St Joseph's Hospital Auburn for 9 months. Miss Gallagher completed her training in June 1914 and was appointed Charge Nurse in October 1915. She left RPA in March 1916 to join AANS at age 35. Back to top

Leila Bowie Godfrey, Nurse

Leila Godfrey, born 1892, entered the RPA training school in March 1913. Her family lived in Kensington and her father was a teacher. Miss Godfrey completed her training in March 1917 and immediately enlisted in the AANS at age 25. She travelled to Suez on the HMS Mooltan and later worked in Salonika. Miss Godfrey, later Mrs Edginton, donated many items to the RPA Museum in 1968. Included in her donations are her nursing certificates, war medals, RSL medal, red nursing cape, letters and other memorabilia. (photos: Miss Godfrey in the RPA grounds, 1914, Miss Godfrey's war medals) Back to top

Freda Hewlett, Nurse

Freda Hewlett was born in 1888. When she entered RPA in November 1910 her family address is listed as "Chelsea", John Street, Stanmore. Her father was a Merchant. Miss Hewlett worked at St Ronan's Private Hospital, Manly for 2.5 years before coming to RPA. She finished her training in November 1914 and received a 'distinction' in her final examination. She left in July 1915 to join "go to the war". She was "mentioned in despatches" on Christmas Day 1917. See image. Back to top

NAA: B2455, HOLLWAY E STAFF NURSEEdith Hollway, Nurse

 Edith Hollway came to RPA in 1891 from Newcastle, where her father was a dentist. She started her training in November 1912 and left four years later, at age 25, on the completion of her training. Most of Miss Hollway's war service was in England. After the war she stayed there with relatives.
(pictured: letter from Miss Hollway to her Matron, asking to stay in England) Back to top

Dora St Martin Johns, Nurse

Dora Johns was born in 1890 and entered RPA as a Probationer in January 1912, before which she was a governess. Her family home was in Homebush and her father worked in Boot Manufacturing. She completed her training in December 1915 and her work was "excellent". She was made a Charge Nurse in March 1916. She left to join the AANS in December 1916 at age 26. Back to top

Josephine Nugent Joyce, Nurse

Josephine Joyce was born in 1885 at Kangaroo Valley, NSW. She entered RPA as a Probationer in March 1913 coming from a Private Hospital in Goulbourn. Her family lived in "Kent Villa", Cowper, Street, Goulbourn and her father was a manager of Farmer's Association. Miss Joyce received a 'satisfactory' mark on her examination and left RPA on completion of her training to join the AANS in March 1917 at 32 years of age. Back to top

Lilian Constance Keys, Nurse

Lilian Keys was born in 1890 In Young. Her father had been a school teacher. By the time she entered RPA in June 1911 her family was loing in Yass. Miss Keys worked as a sewing teacher before taking up nursing. She left RPA in September 1915 to "volunteer for war nursing." She returned in January 1916 as a relief nurse and left again to "do army nursing work at Randwick." She later worked on the Hospital Ship Madras. Her service was terminated in December 1918 when she married "Carruthers" at Vancouver. (The Madras ran between Vladivostock and Vancouver.) Back to top

M1928 (4)Lydia Kate King, Nurse

Lydia King was born at Orange in 1886. She entered the RPA as a Probationer in March 1910. She finished her training in March 1914 and was appointed Charge Nurse in June 1914. Her work was "very good" and her examination "satisfactory". Miss King resigned in November 1914 to join AANS. She served most of her time in Egypt, Anzac, Malta and Alexandria. She resigned in January 1917 on her marriage to Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Carter. Afterwards, she did VAD duties at Hareford Hospital from June to December 1917. Mrs Carter donated many photographs to the RPA Museum in 1962. The loveliest donation she made was the diary she kept during the war. Included in diary are her thoughts for 25 April 1915- ANZAC Day. Gordon Carter became the Mayor of Wahroonga. Back to top
(photo: Sister King with a few of her favourite patients, October 1915)

Rosa Angela Kirkcaldie, Nurse

Rosa Kirkcaldie was born in 1887 and entered the RPA training school in March 1910. Her family came from Homebush and her father was the Assistant Commissioner of Railways. She was one of the seven RPA Sisters to serve on the Grantala in August 1914. She left RPA at this time and received the Medal for Proficiency. Miss Kirkcaldie joined the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (England). Her memories are recorded in a 1922 publication, In Gray and Scarlet. The Museum has 2 original copies of this rare book. Back to top

Charlotte Gertrude "Carlyle" Low, Nurse

Charlotte Low, known as Nurse Carlyle was born in 1892 at Pambula. Her father was a police constable and the family lived in Penrith. Before nursing Miss Low was an assistant in a photographic studio in in Parramatta. She entered RPA as a Probationer in March 1913 and left in June 1917 to join the AANS, aged 24. Back to top

Frances Louisa Lowe, Sister

M354.jpgSister Lowe trained at RPA from 1900-04 and remained on the staff until 1933. Sister Lowe entered RPA as a Probationer in October 1900 when she was 26 years-of-age. Her address at the time was Dutruc Street, Randwick.

She was Assistant Matron for 21 years. She was given leave of absence to join the Australian Army Nursing Service during WWI. Sister Lowe donated her medals to the hospital: 1 x 1914-15 Star; 1 x the Victory Medal 1 x British War Medal; 1 x hat pin; 1 x Australia pin; 1 x identification disc on an Egyptian coin.

Most of her war service was in France. Miss Lowe also donated her certificates, books, a WWI diary and photographs. These items were passed on to the Museum by Matron Nelson in 1973. (photo: Sister Lowe, front centre and patients, WWI) Back to top

Annie Isabella Mackenzie, Nurse

Annie Isabella MacKenzie was born in 1883 in Grenfell, NSW. She started as a Probationer at RPA in January 1913. Notably, Miss MacKenzie did not have one sick day during her entire training. She finished in January 1917 and joined the AANS at age 34. Her work and exam were noted as "good". She served with the AANS from May 1917 and was finally discharged in May 1920. Back to top

J. A. Mackenzie, Sister

We had trouble finding this nurse in our records. It is probably Jessie Agnes who entered RPA in April 1901, aged 27. She came from Moony Ponds, Victoria. Miss MacKenzie left in 1905 "to take up private nursing – not strong enough for general hospital." We can't find a listing for Miss MacKenzie in the AANS records. She may have returned to RPA sometime between 1905 and WWI. More research is needed. Back to top

Sarah Donaldina MacLean, Nurse

Sarah MacLean entered the RPA as a Probationer in June 1913. She was born in 1886 and came from Wagga Wagga and had 14 months of prior nurse training at the Kogarah and Young Hospitals. She left in July 1917 to join the war service. We didn't find a record for Miss MacLean in the AANS records. She may have served with the British Nurses. Back to top

Vera Kathleen Mason, Nurse

Vera Kathleen Mason was born in 1892. Her father was a building contractor and the family home was at Inverell. Her work at RPA was listed as good and she received satisfactory results in her exam. She left to join the AANS in July 1917. During the War she served in India and Malta. Back to top

Annie McKibbin, Sister, A.P.R.C

Annie McKibbin came to RPA as a Probationer in April 1903, age 27. Before this, she had been a companion for 10 months. She completed her training and left in 1907. Her record stated, "left - was a loss to the staff as she was an earnest, conscientious worker." She returned as "Sister" in 1912 and left again to join the with Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (England) in May 1915.

We believe that she returned to RPA after the War. Back to top

Florence Elizabeth McMillan, Sister

Florence McMillan was born in 1882. Her father was a merchant and the family lived on Old South Head Road, Waverly. She entered RPA as a probationer in February 1909 and completed her training in 1913. She received honours for her exam and 'very good' for her work. After nursing on the Grantala with the Australian Navy, Sister McMillan joined the AANS in April 1915. She served in Cairo, England and France. She returned to RPA and was the Sister-in-charge of the Children's Ward. Back to top

M1924 (1)Elsie Margaret Moors, Sister

Elsie Moors became a Probationer at RPA in 1898 when she was 20 years old. Her family address was "Bank of New South Wales, Haymarket". When her training finished, Sister Moors worked at RPA with brief breaks to take care of her mother and have an operation. In 1917, at age 39, she joined the war effort. The photograph shows Sister Moors in her RPA uniform, ca 1910s Back to top

Clara Emily Morehead, Nurse

Clara Morehead was born in June 1889 in Luddenham, NSW, where her father was a dairy farmer. She was educated at public school and came to RPA as a probationer in June 1913. She left as soon as she completed her training to join the AANS and she served in the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital. Back to top

Hilda Moxham, Nurse

Hilda Moxham was born in Sydney in 1880 on the 25th of April (which would later become ANZAC day). She was from a Church of England family and her father was a merchant. In her training records her address was listed at "Boston" Nicholson Street, Balmain. Before coming to RPA in December 1910, she completed 18 months of nurse training at Heathfield Private Hospital. She left RPA in May 1915 to join the AANS and served in Heliopolis, Egypt in the 1st Australian General Hospital. She resigned in February 1916 to marry "Harlock". Back to top

Muriel Murray, Sister

Muriel Milne Murray was born in 1882. Her father was an accountant and at the time of her entry to RPA for nurse training in 1909, the family lived in Hobart, Tasmania. It is noted twice on her that her work was good but she appeared to take no interest in it. It is also noted that her supervision of juniors was unsatisfactory. Nevertheless she became a charge nurse in August 1913 and a sister in November of the same year. She left in July 1915 "to go to the war" and did not want her post kept open for her. She served on hospital ships. Back to top

Mabel Newill, Matron

Mabel Newill trained at King's College Hospital, London, Manchester Maternity Hospital and the London Obstetrical Society, completing in 1897. She then travelled to North America for four weeks where she learnt the methods used by leading hospitals there. In July 1904, she took up the position of Matron at RPAH. In 1917, despite the hospital urging her to stay on Miss Newill applied for a 12-month leave of absence. She joined the Australian Army Nursing Service and helped with the war effort. Badly affected by her experiences, Miss Newill remained in England after being discharged (from the AANS) as "medically unfit to continue her service". After her 12 months leave lapsed, Miss Newill wrote to RPAH and formally resigned from her position as Matron. Pictured are Miss Newill's belt buckles. They were donated to the Museum in 1964 by Miss Steel and can be seen in pictures of Miss Newill from the 1910s. Back to top



Frances Noble, Nurse

Frances Noble was born in 1891 to a Methodist family. Her father is recorded as a produce merchant and the family lived in Epping. She began her nurse training in April 1913 and joined the AANS exactly four years later. She was granted 3.5 months leave of absence from the AANS to study Domestic Science at South Western Polytechnic in Chelsea, London. Back to top

Myra Jessie Readford, Sister

M1929 (1)Myra Readford was born near Blacktown NSW where her father was a Grazier. Before coming to RPA in December 1904 she was a probationer at Wyalong Hospital and Burrangong Hospital. She received her nursing certificate in 1909 and remained on the staff until 1917. She enlisted in the AANS in May 1917 when she was 39 years old. She was mentioned in despatches in June 1919 for "gallant conduct and distinguished services rendered during the period from the 1st March to the 1st October, 1918". Pictured is Sister Readford in about 1911 as a Charge Sister at RPA. Back to top

Ellen (Nellie) Riordan, Nurse

Nellie Riordan came from the Richmond River area where her father was a dairy farmer. She came to RPA as a Probationer in 1911 and left in 1915 to take a post at Crown St Hospital. However by June 1915 she had joined the AANS. She is listed on the RPA Honour Board even though it seems that she wasn't here when she enlisted. Back to top

Margaret "Wilberforce" Robertson, Sister

Margaret Robertson came to RPA at the age of 22 with no previous experience or previous education listed. Her address was "Linton", Milsons Point, North Sydney. She began her probationary period in January 1903 and received her certificate in 1908. On her record the Matron notes that Miss Robertson was "a sensible, nice woman and seems to like her work." During her time at the hospital she spent much of her time in the Emergency Department and as a night nurse. Her work was "good and rather casual in manner". After being granted certificate she left for "a long rest" before being appointed a full Sister in 1909 she was appointed a full Sister. In 1910 she left. In her records Matron Newill states "left much to my regret for she was a good Sister with much tact". To be included on the RPA Honour Roll, Miss Robertson must have returned to the Hospital. She joined the AANS in 1917. Back to top

Lucy Arabella Robinson, Nurse

Lucy "Christie" Robinson was born in December 1888. Her father was contractor and the family lived in Chatswood. She was educated at public schools and was previously a probationer at a Private Hospital. She started her probation at RPA in July 1913. She left to join the AANS in July 1917 and disembarked at Devonport. She was then transferred to London and then Southall where she served at the 2nd Australian Auxiliary Hospital, located there. The 2nd AAH specialised in the fitting of artificial limbs. Back to top

Lillian May Settle, Nurse

M230Lillian Settle was born in August 1890. Her father was a manager at the heat works and the family lived at Muswellbrook. Previous to coming to RPA she was a probationer at an unnamed private hospital. She started at RPA in July 1913. She did not take her first year exams at the usual time due to her contracting smallpox and her mother's illness. However she continued to progress in her education and passed her exams so she was appointed as a charge nurse on the 24th of July 1917. In the same year she received her dispensary certificate. Her work was described by the matron as good but slow. She left to join the A.M.C on the October 18th 1917. Her military records show that she joined the next day on the 19th of October 1917 when she was 26 years of age. During the war she served in India. After the War, Miss Settle returned to RPA where she became the Hospital's first Radium Sister (pictured). Back to top

Alice Sinclair, Nurse

Alice Sinclair was born in September 1891. Her address was Selma Mathoura NSW where her father was a Grazier. She started at RPA in September 1912 and received a distinction in her first, third and fourth year exams. She enlisted in the AANS army in March 1917 when she was 25 years old and served in Salonika. Back to top

Margaret Sinclair, Nurse

Margaret "Rowe" Sinclair was the older sister of Alice Sinclair. Like her sister she came from Mathoura, NSW and was educated at PLC, Melbourne. She started at RPA in April 1913. She passed with a distinction in her first year and with credits each year after. She left RPA to enlist in the AANS in April 1917 at age 27. She was posted to Bombay to serve in the Welsh Hospital. Back to top

Isobel Rose Smith, Sister

Isobel "Everett" Smith was born in 1884. Her father was a pastoralist and the family lived at Billabong Crescent, Parkes. She was educated at public schools and began her probationary period at RPA in February 1911. She passed with honours in her first year and in her second. In her third year she received a distinction. She was appointed a Charge Nurse in March 1915 and a Sister in August 1915. In December 1916 she left to join to AANS, at the age of 32 and embarked for England in May 1917. She disembarked in Plymouth and went on to serve in England and France. Back to top

Ruth Allardyce. Steel, Sister

M1924 (3) Ruth Steel came to RPA in April 1907at age 24. Her father was a Presbyterian Minister and the family home was Manse, Campbelltown. (In 1990, this property became an aged care facility.) In 1907 the Matron noted that Steel "promised well". She achieved her nursing certificate in July 1911 and was appointed as Charge Nurse He work was noted as being "excellent" and her exam "satisfactory". She enlisted in May 1917 and embarked for Suez on the 9.6.17 aboard the "Mooltan". After Suez she was transferred to Alexandria where she boarded the "Huntsgreen" for Salonika. Unfortunately during service she contracted severe Malaria and was discharged from service. She returned to Australia and to RPA where she worked until about 1937. Back to top

Lillian Frazer Thompson, Nurse

Lillian Thompson was born in September 1887. Her Father is was being a Grazier. At the time of her entering RPA in 1911, the family address was listed as Brewongle. She was sick a few times during her training, including measles over the Christmas and New Year of 1914-1915 preventing her from taking her exam in sick children. However she received a credit for her final mark and her work was listed as good. She received her dispensary certificate in December 1915 and left the same month, upon completion of her training. We couldn't find her name in the National Archives of Australia. She may have served with British nurses Back to top

Ilma MayTimmins, Nurse

Ilma Timmins was born in September 1886. She was from the lowlands vicinity, near Moree, NSW. Her Father was a Grazier. Miss Timmins came to RPA in May 1911. Her work was consistently recorded as good despite her eyesight which the matron noted was poor. She contracted Chicken Pox in 1912. She left to go to Egypt nursing on June 6th 1915 and was stationed at Heliopolis, Egypt (a district of Cairo). She then moved to the 14th Stationary Hospital at Wimmereux. In October 1917 she was moved to London to serve at the AIF Headquarter. Back to top

M252_ShellElise Caroline Wildash, Nurse

 Elise Wildash was born in May 1886 at Narrandera, NSW. Her father was a Station Manager. Miss Wildash was educated by a Governess at home. Before coming to RPA in October 1910 she had been a probationer for 5 month at Northshore Hospital. In 1911 she contracted Scarlett Fever, Mumps in May, and Measles in July. She was sent to the Coast Hospital (infectious diseases). In 1913 she was sick on 3 more occasions.

Nevertheless she received a distinction for her overall exam mark and work that the matron noted was good. She became a Charge Nurse in April 1915 and left to go to the war in July 1915 at age 29. Miss Wildash served on hospital ships transporting the sick and injured. The shell pictured here, from Gallipoli, was given to Miss Wildash (Mrs Alford) as a wedding gift. It was donated to the RPA Museum in 1976 Back to top

Agnes Mary Wilson, Nurse

Agnes "Taite" Wilson was born in January 1890 to a Presbyterian family. Her father was a Grazier. She was educated by a Governess and at the Presbyterian Ladies College. She came to RPA in March 1911 and her address was listed as "Zealandia" Ocean Street, Bondi. She finished her training with a distinction for her exam and good for her work. She left to join the AANS in July 1915 at age 25.

She first served at the 1st AGH in France then the transferred to Southall then again back to the 1st AGH at Rouen, France. In 1918 she was posted to the 3rd Casualty Clearing Station Field. She received honours for conspicuous service. Back to top

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Page Last Updated: 13 August, 2021