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    Sister Jean Keer (Jenny) Greer of Petersham, NSW (left), and Sister Betty Jeffrey of East Malvern, Vic,, 1945, courtesy of Australian War Memorial.
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Jeffrey, Agnes (Betty) (1908 - 2000)

OAM, RN

Born
14 May 1908
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Died
13 September 2000
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Occupation
Nurse, Nursing administrator and Author

Summary

Betty Jeffrey was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia on 8 June 1987 for service to the welfare of nurses in Victoria and ex-service men and women. Jeffrey was one of the members of the Australian Army Nursing Service who was captured by the Japanese after the fall of Singapore in 1942. Incarcerated in Japanese prisoner of war camps for three and a half years, after the war she wrote about the experiences in White Coolies (1954) which was later the basis for the film script Paradise Road (1999). After her return to Melbourne, and spending some time in hospital, Jeffrey and fellow survivor Vivian Bullwinkel travelled throughout Victoria raising funds towards a memorial for military nurses. The Nurses Memorial Centre was opened on 19 February 1950 and Jeffrey was appointed its first administrator. In 1986 she became the Centre's patron.

Details

Events

1935 - 1938
Completed nursing training at the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne
18 February 1941
Arrived in Singapore with the 2/10 Australian General Hospital
9 April 1941
Joined the Australian Army Nursing Service
12 February 1942
Evacuated from Singapore with approximately 300 people on the Vyner Brooke
17 February 1942 - 8 August 1945
Incarcerated in Japanese prisoner of war camps in Sumatra
18 October 1945
Arrived back in Australia
6 November 1946
Discharged from the Australian Army Nursing Service
19 February 1950
Appointed administrator of the Nurses Memorial Centre
1986 - 2000
Patron of the Nurses Memorial Centre

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Digital resources

Title
Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial Nurses
Type
Image

Details

Title
Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial
Type
Image

Details

Title
Sister Jean Keer (Jenny) Greer of Petersham, NSW (left), and Sister Betty Jeffrey of East Malvern, Vic,
Type
Image
Date
1945
Control
305369
Source
Australian War Memorial

Details

Title
Group portrait of Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) nurses, who were former prisoners of war (POWs
Type
Image
Date
18 October 1945
Control
P01701.003
Source
Australian War Memorial

Details

Anne Heywood

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

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

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ISSN 2207-3124