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Ethel Mary Strachan



  • Title
  • Forenames
    Ethel Mary AWMM
  • Surname
    Strachan AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWI 52 AWMM
  • Gender
    Female AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    1884 AWMM LondonEngland AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status
    Unknown AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    Unknown AWMM Nurse AWMM
    LondonEngland AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment

Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Ethel Strachan trained at St Luke’s Hospital, Chelsea Infirmary, London, [1910?]; and nursed at Bolingbrooke Surgical Hospital, England

    She migrated to New Zealand with a friend, Sybil Kelly in 1910.

    She was a nurse at Wanganui Hospital and private nursing before enlistment

    When war broke out Ethel and her friend Sybil were not accepted for the NZ Army Nursing Service, which gave precedence to New Zealand trained nurses, so they paid their own passage to England to nurse with other New Zealanders at the Walton-on-Thames Hospital and were among first to nurse wounded soldiers from Gallipoli.

    In March 1916 Miss Strachan and Miss Kelly were selected to join the staff of the Anglo-Russian Hospital at Petrograd, housed in the palace of Prince Dimitri, and also served close to the frontline of battle. She was in Petrograd at the commencement of the revolution and later noted that “I became well mixed up in the intrigue when Prince Dimitri plotted the murder of Rasputin from his flat on top of the palace. I even nursed the murderer when he got a fish bone stuck in his throat.”

    Ethel and Sybil left Russia in April 1917 shortly after the March revolution and the abdication of Tzar Nicholas II. They returned to NZ aboard troopship ‘Tahiti’, which left England on 1 February 1918. She assisted as a theatre sister while en route. After the war the pair opened a private surgical hospital in Wanganui (financed by Govt rehabilitation loan). AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    20 August 1972 AWMM
    Age 88 AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Cremated at Purewa Cemetery and Crematorium, Meadowbank, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • References
    • New Zealand Military Nursing - A History of the R.N.Z.N.C. Boer War to Present Day AWMM
    • Service Women Project: Sponsorship to research this record was kindly provided by the Auckland Returned Services Association, Returned Servicewomen's Branch; Marjorie Traill, Dorothy Grant, Daphne Shaw and Margaret Woollett. AWMM
    • Mackrell, B. (n.d.). Papers. Auckland War Memorial Museum. MS 2003/107. AWMM
    • McNabb, S. (2015). 100 years New Zealand military nursing : New Zealand Army nursing service : Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps, 1915-2015. Hawke's Bay, N.Z.: Sherayl McNabb. AWMM
    • Harper, G., Clements, C., & Johns., R. (2019). For King and Other Countries: The New Zealanders Who Fought in Other Services in the First World War. Auckland, New Zealand: Massey University Press. AWMM
      p. 218 AWMM

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