Superintendent Miss Florence Ellen ADDAMS-WILLIAMS was born on April 18, 1859. She trained as a nurse at the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh1

Nursing Service in the Victorian Wars

She joined the Army Nursing Service on October 1st 1885, and in 1898 was serving at the Military Hospital in Canterbury2.

Nursing Service in the Boer War

The following is the nursing staff of the Seventh General Hospital, who will leave for South Africa shortly. Superintendent: Miss F. E. Addams- Williams Army Nursing Service; Nursing Sisters: Miss L. Basan, Miss; S. C. Chown, Miss A. N. Ferguson, Miss L. M. Fletcher, Miss E. M. Gardner, Miss M. L. Gordon, Miss M. 0. McNeill, and Miss E. H. Wilson, of the Army Nursing Reserve3.

She went to South Africa on the Norman, sailing on February 10, 19004, serving at No. 7 General Hospital, Escourt5 and in Pretoria6.

She is mentioned in some of the letters of Kate Luard.

After the Boer War

She was appointed to Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS) as Matron 17th February 19037. She was Matron at Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley, where “she did valuable work in reorganising the nursing … after the institution of QAIMNS”1. In 1905 she was awarded the Royal Red Cross:

… in recognition of her special devotion and competency in the nursing of the sick and wounded of His Majesty’s Army, and of her highly successful efforts in inaugurating the new Nursing System at Netley8.

She succeeded Miss Kerr as Principal Matron in South Africa1:

The position involves the general supervision and inspection of all military hospitals in the country, including the hospitals of women and children at the various military stations

She resigned as a Principal Matron in 19089.


  1. Tooley, SA. (1906) The History of Nursing in The British Empire. London: S.H. Bousfield & Co. Ltd. [] [] []
  2. The War Office (1898) The Army List September 1898 []
  3. Nursing Record & Hospital World, February 3, 1900, p93 []
  4. The Times, February 22, 1900 p5e []
  5. The National Archives WO 100/229 QSA Medal Roll p51 created at No. 7 General Hospital, Escourt; dated July 23, 1901 []
  6. The National Archives WO 100/353 KSA Medal Roll p1 created at Pretoria March 19, 1903 []
  7. The London Gazette, May 26 1903, p3364 []
  8. The London Gazette, 18 August, 1905; Issue 27828, Page 5695 []
  9. British Journal of Nursing, January 25, 1908, p.68 []