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Bowe, Ethel Jessie (1906 - 1961)


27 May 1906
Maldon, Victoria, Australia
13 October 1961
Repatriation General Hospital, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
Nurse, Servicewoman and Matron



1927 - 1929
Nursing training at the Royal Melbourne Hospital
Completed midwifery training at the Queen Victoria Hospital, Melbourne
Joined the Australian Army Nursing Service Reserve
1931 - 1935
Sister on staff at the Royal Melbourne Hospital
1936 - 1939
Sister tutor at the Perth Hospital, Western Australia
19 December 1939
Appointed Sister in the Australian Army Nursing Service
March 1940
Called up for service with the Australian Imperial Force
May 1940
Posted senior sister of the 2/2 Australian General Hospital (AGH)
May 1940 - November 1940
Served in England
November 1940 - February 1942
Served in the Middle East
April 1941 - June 1941
Appointed temporary matron
September 1941
Appointed matron
March 1943
Appointed deputy Matron-in-Chief
1 January 1945
Awarded Associate Royal Red Cross
February 1945
Appointed Principal Matron
April 1945 - November 1945
Based on Morotai Island in the South West Pacific
Appointed matron of the 115 Military (Repatriation General) Hospital, Heidelberg
March 1947 - January 1948
Appointed principal matron, Southern Command
Awarded the United States of America's Bronze Star for her services
Matron of the Austin Hospital, Heidelberg
June 1951
Rejoined Australian Military Forces
17 September 1952
Appointed matron-in-chief and granted the rank of honorary colonel
Awarded a Florence Nightingale medal
1 January 1955
Awarded the Red Cross Medal
Appointed honorary nursing sister to Queen Elizabeth II
Gave the eighth annual oration for the New South Wales College of Nursing
31 December 1960
Appointed Officer to the Order of the British Empire

Sources used to compile this entry: Alexander, Joseph A (ed.), Who's Who in Australia 1950, 14th edn, The Herald, Melbourne, 1950, 816 pp; Bassett, Jan, Guns and brooches : Australian Army Nursing from the Boer War to the Gulf War, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1992, 261 pp; Bassett, Jan, 'Bowe, Ethel Jessie (1906 - 1961)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006,

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