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    Sister Margaret Anderson, 27 March 1946, courtesy of Australian War Memorial.

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Anderson, Margaret Irene (1915 - 2009)


11 December 1915
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
17 April 2009


Margaret Anderson enlisted in the Australian Army Nursing Service at Dandenong (Victoria) on 19 September 1941.

On 12 February 1942, three days before the fall of Singapore, the freighter, Empire Star sailed from Singapore Harbour. The ship which normally had an allocation of space for 20 passengers was carrying over 2100 people. While on route to Batavia the ship came under enemy fire and received three direct hits. During one of the raids two of the Australian nursing staff on board, Sisters Margaret Anderson and Vera Torney, came on deck to attend to the wounded. They protected their patients by covering them with their bodies.

Staff Nurse Margaret Anderson was awarded the George Medal on 22 September 1942 for her bravery when the ship was attacked by enemy aircraft. Staff Nurse Vera Torney was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (Military).

On 4 June 1946 Lieutenant Margaret Anderson was discharged from the Australian Army Nursing Service.

Sources used to compile this entry: Adam-Smith, Patsy, Australian women at war, Nelson, Melbourne, 1984, 386 pp. p.153.; Bassett, Jan, Guns and brooches : Australian Army Nursing from the Boer War to the Gulf War, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1992, 261 pp. p.139..

Related entries

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Related Women

  • Torney, Vera Alexandra (1916 - 2006)

    Staff nurse in the Australian Army Nursing Service who was awarded a decoration for Bravery when the ship Empire Star was attacked by enemy aircraft

Archival resources

Australian War Memorial Research Centre

  • Honours and Awards - Recommendations for Immediate award Staff Nurse Margaret Anderson and Staff Nurse Vera Torney, 1942, 5192464; Australian War Memorial Research Centre. Details

Digital resources

Sister Margaret Anderson
27 March 1946
Australian War Memorial


Anne Heywood

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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