Lydia Abell - Australian nurse in Wimereux, France, 1916 :: Genealogy
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Lydia Abell - Australian nurse in Wimereux, France, 1916

Journal by Vince7609

I'm looking for any information about an Australian nurse named Lydia Abell, who served with the 32nd Australian Voluntary Hospital at Wimereux in France during the First World War. She was a Staff nurse with Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve.

Hope you can help.

Surnames: ABELL
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by Vince7609 Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2008-05-19 15:07:55

Vince7609 has been a Family Tree Circles member since May 2008. is researching the following names: MURPHY.

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by spison on 2011-01-16 17:29:01

Hi Vince,
We 'spoke' when you contacted my mother about Lydia a couple of years ago. Since this time the Australian TROVE newspapers from NSW has scanned the NSW papers. I have tagged all the articles I can find about Lydia and you may like to read them.

by Aussie1947 on 2011-01-16 19:28:50


There is a Nursing Sister Lydia Abell on NSW Electoral Rolls during the 1930's & 40s.

1930 & 1933 Electoral Roll
Lydia Abell, Lady Davidson Home,Turramurra,nurse.

1936 Electoral Roll
Lydia Abell, Burbank, Wentworth Falls, nursing siater.

1936 & 1937 Electoral Roll
Lydia Abell, Red Cross Farm, Exeter, nurse.

1943 Electoral Roll
Lydia Abell, 123 Prince Edward St Malabar, home duties.

1954 Electoral Roll
Lydia Abell, 79 Boundary St, Roseville, no occupation.

Arrival in England on November 15th 1915 on the "Arabia" from Sydney to Tilsbury.
Travelling 2nd class, Lydia Abell, Nurse, 43.


by spison on 2011-01-19 14:54:01

Thanks for the references Gerry. (How are you?)
Lydia was my G-G-Aunt. She never had children. Have a read about her on TROVE. She was a wonderful woman. Vince has found references to her in British servicemen's diaries and has complied much information about her service. Australia wouldn't allow her to enlist because they believed she was too old so she took herself to England and joined the Red Cross. She worked immediately behind the lines in Flanders. She was honoured by the king at the end of the war. She moved to Sydney from Newcastle after WW1. I'm very lucky to have a few trinkets that she brought back from France and Belgium.

by Aussie1947 on 2011-01-19 17:46:00

Hi Jane, I'm going ok, I'm originally from around Newcastle having been born at Belmont with my parents living at Valentine before moving on when I was a child. I came back later and was married in Newcastle before moving on again, I now live in Queensland.

I did have had a look at Trove and I even saw Lydia's Newcastle Nursing results plus other great references.

Nice to see that you have some trinkets plus her service records with the Red Cross, the enlisting requirements with the Australian Army were fairly strict in the first couple of years of the war with the upper age limit set at 35.

There is probably more information about Lydia that hasn't been unearthed yet, maybe in official war diaries and official records in the UK.

I think Lydia was a remarkable determined woman.

All the best.

by Christine1 on 2011-12-03 01:27:13

To all of you researching Lydia Abell, how exciting to make contact with her descendants! - the Royal Newcastle Hospital Graduate Nurses'Association recently published my book "Sisters of the Valley - First World War Nurses from Newcastle and the Hunter Region". Lydia gets more than a few mentions in it, and there is a chapter on the Australian Voluntary Hospital at Wimereux where some of her colleagues from Newcastle hospital nursed. You may find some additional references in the book to what you already have - for instance, in the Australasian Trained Nurses Jounral (in the Mitchell Library). There are copies of 'Sisters of the Valley' in quite a few libraries around the country including Newcaslte Local Studies Library, the Australian War Memorial and the National Library.

Needless to say, I would love you to read what I have written about Lydia and let me know if you have anything to add - and whether there is anything I have got wrong. I did check all the family history v carefully but there are many traps in studying genealogy!

Best wishes, Christine Bramble

by ngairedith on 2011-12-03 04:20:17

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