Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

Skip to content
  • Click to view this Image

    Sister Ellen Savage, 1943, courtesy of Australian War Memorial.
    Details

Use Trove to find more resources by/about this Woman

  • Trove

Savage, Eleanor (1912 - )

GM

Born
17 October 1912
Quirindi, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation
Servicewoman

Summary

For lifesaving after the ship Centaur was attacked by a Japanese submarine, Lieutenant Ellen Savage was awarded the George Medal on 22 August 1944.

Details

Ellen Savage joined the Australian Army on 18 November 1941. She was one of 12 nurses posted to the hospital ship Centaur. At dawn on 14 May 1943, while sailing between Sydney and Port Moresby, the ship was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine off the Queensland coast. Only having time to grab a lifejacket, Lieutenant (Lt) Savage jumped into the sea before the ship went down. Managing not to be sucked into the whirlpool, she found a piece of debris to help her stay afloat. She and other survivors drifted until they were able to tie-up with other rafts. During the thirty-four hours that they floated, before being picked up by the US destroyer Mugford, Lt Savage attended to the wounded without disclosing the extent of her own injuries.

For her courage Lt Ellen Savage became the second Australian woman to be awarded the George Medal.

Sources used to compile this entry: Bassett, Jan, Guns and brooches : Australian Army Nursing from the Boer War to the Gulf War, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1992, 261 pp; Escott, Beryl E, Twentieth-Century Women of Courage, Sutton Publishing, Gloucestershire (UK), 1999, 282 pp.

Digital resources

Title
Sister Ellen Savage
Type
Image
Date
1943
Control
ART22196
Source
Australian War Memorial

Details

Title
Sister Ellen Savage
Type
Image
Date
May 1943
Control
044428
Source
Australian War Memorial

Details

Anne Heywood

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

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

© Copyright in The Australian Women's Register is owned by the Australian Women's Archives Project
and vested in each of the authors in respect of their contributions from 2000

http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/AWE0488b.htm

The Australian Women's Register is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License

The Australian Women's Register is published quarterly by the Australian Women's Archives Project
ISSN 2207-3124