Army Nursing before the Boer War

Who was serving at the time of the Boer War?

The following table lists the nurses in the Army Nursing Service (ANS) before the start of the Boer War. The table draws on information from the Army Lists, Medal Rolls, Nursing Journals, and information in the Boer War Database. They are presented in alphabetical order by surname.

GradeTitleSurnameForenamesEnlistmentRRCArmy List 1898Boer WarMedal RollComments
SuperintendentMissADDAMS-WILLIAMSFlorence EllenOctober 1, 1885CanterburyYes
SisterMissANDERSONACL (Catherine)October 3, 1894Rochester RowYes
SisterMissBLOOMERCaroline AugustaDublin
SisterMissBONDNellie AugerNetleyYesWas serving at Netley in the Reserve. Married in 1898 (BMD) (Mrs Clarke).
Sister of Alice Sweeting BOND
SisterMissBONDAlice SweetingJanuary 27, 1892NetleyYesSister of Nellie Auger BOND
SuperintendentMissBROWNESidney JaneMay 20, 1887WoolwichYesSaw active service in Egypt (McGann)
SisterMissCAMERONAnna GardinerJune 13, 1891EgyptYes
SuperintendentMissCAULFIELDAnne EllenEgypt, TransvaalYesWO 100/61 p32 (Base Hospital Ismalia) Egypt 1882
SuperintendentMissCHADWICKClara MavesynOctober 10, 1882GosportYes
SuperintendentMissCOLEMary Cecil Florence KateJanuary 1, 1883EgyptChathamYes
SisterMissCOXElizabethJuly 22, 1892CurraghYes
SisterMissCOXEmily AgnesNovember 1, 1897NetleyYes
SuperintendentMissDE MONTMORENCYMLFebruary 7, 1898DevonportYes
SisterMissDOBBINRebecca RhodaFebruary 11, 1891CorkYes
SuperintendentMissDOWSEElzabeth AnnJuly 1, 1898GosportYes
SisterMissDRURYLaura Beatrice AliceDecember 19, 1896DublinYes
SisterMissFLETCHERMargaret FannyApril 13, 1891AldershotYes
SisterMissFORRESTMina MacLaverNovember 16, 1886EgyptYes
SuperintendentMissGARRIOCKAnnJuly 22, 1889WoolwichYes
SuperintendentMrsGRAYJane AnnSeptember 22, 1884Zululand, EgyptRochester RowYesSouth Africa 1877-79 WO 100/47 p636 Egypt 1882 WO 100/61 p32 (Base Hospital Ismalia)Active service in Egypt 1882 and Zululand & Ashanti Campaign 1896 (NRHW, 1899) Was awarded Royal Red Cross, 1st Class, 1883, South Africa Medal for Zulu and Basuto Wars 1877-79, Egyptian Campaigns Medal 1882-89, Queen's South Africa Medal 1899-1902, King's South Africa Medal 1901-02 and Khedive's Egyptian Star 1882-91. (National Army Museum)
SisterMissGRAYElizabeth WhiteMay 7, 1897Yes
SuperintendentMissGRISTAFOctober 21, 1886EgyptEgyptYes
SuperintendentMissHARDEMENTLynReserve until 1900DevonportYes
SisterMissHARPERMary EllenApril 12, 1889EgyptEgyptYes
SuperintendentMissHARTSarah FrancesFebruary 18, 1887EgyptCathamYes
SisterHILLMary GreenfellNovember 18, 1893AldershotYes
SisterMissHITCHMaud SarahNovember 1, 1890AldershotYes
SisterMissHOADLEYJaneSeptember 7, 1893WoolwichYes
SuperintendentMissHOLLANDElizaOctober 28, 1897PortsmouthYes
SisterMissJEFFCOTTMMJune 3, 1891EgyptYes
SuperintendentMissJERRARDIsabela JuliaSeptember 8, 1882Egypt, TransvaalCurraghYesEgypt 1882 WO 100/61 p32 (Station Hospital Alexandria)
SisterMissKEERCaroline HelenDecember 19, 1887DoverYes
SisterMissKINAHANIsabel Anna GerrardJuly 1, 1897Rochester RowYes
SisterMissKNOXMarianne Catherine SmithOctober 1, 1887AldershotYes
SisterMissMACINTYRERTFebruary 24, 1897GosportYes
SuperintendentMrsMACKAYLJJanuary 23, 1886Egypt, TransvaalEgyptYes
SisterMissMAKEPEACEMary RidleyOctober 15, 1894ShorncliffeYes
SuperintendentMissMARKAGJuly 25, 1895EgyptMaltaYes
A/SuperintendentMissMARTINEthel JaneAugust 2, 1893ColchesterYes
SisterMissMcCURDYHarrietNovember 25, 1886GibraltarYesActive Service during the Ashanti Campaign 1895 (NRHW, 1895)
SisterMissMILNEBWRochester RowYes
SisterMissMURPHYAgnes AnnieMay 23, 1894DublinYes
SisterMissMURPHYAgnes AnnieMay 23, 1894DublinYes
SisterMissNEALEHelen LouisaOctober 5, 1894CanterburyYes
SisterMissNIXONAmyOctober 1, 1894WoolwichYes
SisterMissNOBLEElizabeth TreacherJune 4, 1891PortsmouthYes
Lady SuperintendentMissNORMANHelen CampbellNovember 1, 1889EgyptNetleyYesSuakim Expedition (Sudan) 1885 (Nurs Rec, 1893)
SuperintendentMissORAMSarah ElizabethMay 8, 1889EgyptDoverYesDongola Expedition 1896 (NRHW, 1899)
SisterMissOTTLEYJEMay 12, 1891EgyptYes
SisterMissPOTTERWilheminiaNovember 15,1897CanterburyYes
A/SuperintendentMissPOTTSCaroline HuttonJanuary 6, 1897ColchesterYesActive Service during the Ashanti Campaign 1895 (NRHW, 1895)
SisterMissROSEMCRochester RowYes
SisterMissROSE-INNESAnnie RoseDecember 6, 1894AldershotYes
SuperintendentMissRUSSELLMayNovember 15, 1893ColchesterYes
SuperintendentMissRYANEJune 18, 1891CreteMaltaYes
SuperintendentMissSAMMUTAJFebruary 21, 1893ShorncliffeYes
SisterMissSAUNDERGertrude ElizabethDecember 27, 1893CurraghYes
A/SuperintendentMissSNOWDENSellina YsibellaJanuary 6, 1894DevonportYes
SisterMissSTEELEClara Kathleen EmilySeptember, 1, 1896CorkYes
SisterMissSTEENLavinia Eliza CarolineMarch 13, 1897WoowichYes
SuperintendentMissSTEWARTLouisa MaryDecember 16, 1889GibraltarYesEgypt 1882 WO 100/61 p32 (Hospital Ship Carthage)
SisterMissTAITAlice EmilyApril 18, 1896WoolwichYes
SuperintendentMissTHOMASMarthaNovember 10, 1885EgyptAldershotYes
SisterMissTRIPPDorcas DouglasOctober 6, 1894ChathamYes
SisterMissTULLOHLouisa WatsonSeptember 18, 1887WoowichYesActive Service Assouan (Sudan) 1889 (NRHW, 1899)
SuperintendentMissVAUGHANSarah BlancheJuly 1, 1889GibraltarYes
SuperintendentMissWEBBSarah EmilyOctober 8, 1898EgyptEgyptYes
SisterMissWILSHAWSarah LucyOctober 6, 1887EgyptEgyptYes
SisterMissWILSONJanet WalkerJuly 1, 1895MaltaYes
SisterMissWILSONMaryOctober 12, 1897NetleyYes
SuperintendentMissWRIGHTENovember 14, 1889GibraltarYes
SisterMissWRIGHTMariaJune 20, 1889MaltaYes
SisterMissBECKEthel Mercy (Mary)March 6, 1899Yes
SisterMissBODYEdithDecember 11, 1898Yes
SisterMissBROWNINGSophia MargaretMay 8, 1899Yes
SisterMissCULVERWELLLucy MatildaApril 4, 1899Yes
SisterMissGUTHRIEAlexinaMarch 1, 1898Yes
SisterMissHARDINGMary EthelMarch 3, 1898Yes
SisterMissMACLEANEdithSeptember 1, 1898Yes
SisterMissMAGILLGeorgina AdelineMay 1, 1899Yes
SisterMissMARKMarthaOctober 10, 1898Yes
SIsterMissPALMERDorothy FrancesFebruary 28, 1898Yes
SisterMissPHILLIPSGrace MargueriteAugust 21, 1899Yes
SisterMissPOCOCKHilda FrancisMay 11, 1899Yes
SisterMissTODDLucy MaryMarch 6, 1899Yes
SisterMissTODDEdith Mary ElizabethJune 23, 1898Yes
SisterMissYOUNGHenrietta TarletonMarch 1, 1899Yes

Sister Jane Gray
Sister Jane Gray is an example of a nurse in the ANS who served before and during the Boer War.

Although my research shows that few of the nurses that served in the Boer War had any military experience, there were some who had experience of military nursing in Africa as well as other parts of the world. At the start of the Boer War Sister Jane Gray was the Matron of the Guards Hospital, Vincent Square, London. She was the senior nurse in the service having entered the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley in 1873 after training at the Royal Infirmary, Liverpool.

She served in the Zulu War, and in the first Egyptian Campaign in 1882, in a hospital less than 12 miles from Tel el Kebir. She was away from home for nearly four years as she followed the Gordon Relief Expedition up the Nile and nursed soldiers at Wadi Haifa during a cholera epidemic.

In 1896 she was one of the three Sisters (Sister McCurdy and Sister Potts being the others) who went out to the Gold Coast on the HS Coromandel. Superintendent Sister Sidney Browne (later to be the first Matron-in-Chief of the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS)) gave her a bouquet of chrysanthemums. The sisters on the Coromandel had no wounded to deal with as this was a bloodless campaign, but had many soldiers to care for, who had malaria.

So by the start of the Boer War she had seen service in Egypt and Sudan, the Zulu War, and the Ashanti campaigns on the Gold Coast.


  1. War Office (1898) The Army List , September 1898. London: HMSO
  2. McGann, S. (1992) The Battle of The Nurses. London: Scutari Press
  3. The National Archives: WO 100/61 p32 Medal roll for Egypt (Base Hospital Ismalia)
  4. The National Archives: WO 100/47 p32 Medal roll for South Africa 1877-79
  5. The National Archives: WO 100/61 p32 Medal roll for Egypt (Base Hospital Ismalia)
  6. Nursing Records & Hospital World (1896) Interview with Sister Gray. Nursing Record & Hospital World Mar 7. pp. 188-189
  7. National Archives: WO 100/61 p32 Medal roll for Egypt (Station Hospital Alexandria)
  8. Nursing Record & Hospital World (1896) Interview with Sister Gray. Nursing Record & Hospital World Mar 7. pp. 188-189
  9. The National Archives: WO 100/61 p32 Medal roll for Egypt (Station Hospital Alexandria)
  10. Nursing Record & Hospital World (1895) Nurses of Note: Superintendent Sister J.A . Gray. Nursing Record & Hospital World Dec 14. pp 428-429
  11. Nursing Record (1823) At Home: Miss Norman at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley. Nursing Record. July 6, 1823, 329-331
  12. The National Archives: WO 100/61 p32 Medal roll for Egypt (Hospital Ship Carthage)
  13. The National Archives: WO 100/61 p32 Medal roll for Egypt (Hospital Ship Carthage)