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Hayter, Ellen Mary (1910 - 2000)


27 May 1910
Warra, Darling Downs, Queensland, Australia
September 2000
Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia
Community worker and Nurse
Alternative Names
  • Adams, Ellen Mary (maiden name)
  • Hayter, Mary (also known as)


Mary Hayter (known always more formally as Mrs. Hayter or, in wartime, as Lieutenant Hayter) was an active community worker and nursing sister who served with distinction in WWII.


Mary Hayter was the daughter of English-born Thomas Edward Adams and his Australian wife, Marion Bruce Gales. Aged 18, she began nurse's training at the Tenterfield District Hospital. She worked as a nursing sister at the Glendore Private Hospital, Gympie, Queensland, before enlisting for service in WWII (Service Number QX23505 (Q70253)). During the War, as Lieutenant Hayter, she was attached to 12 units and served in England, the Gaza Ridge, and Nazareth. En route to Singapore from Nazareth, the ship carrying her unit was diverted to Colombo and Bombay as news arrived of the fall of Singapore. The nurses spent over seven weeks on the water before reaching Port Moresby, and were subsequently shunted from port to port.

In 1944, Mary married Eric Herbert Barnard Hayter (1900-1988) at St John's Cathedral, Brisbane. They had one daughter, Erica Mary Hayter, born 11 November 1946. Mary was heavily involved in her local community, offering her time to the All Souls' Anglican Church; the Red Cross; the R.S.L, the A&I Society, the Poultry Society, Friends of Feros, the Church Army and St Luke's Private Hospital in Sydney. In 1974 she was awarded an MBE for services to the community.

Mrs. Hayter suffered from a stroke shortly after her 90th birthday, in June 2000, and passed away in the Byron Bay Hospital in September of that year.

Information for this entry was provided by Harold Bruce Edmonds, son of Hayter's cousin Dorothy Ada Edmonds (née Greaves, 1906-1989).

Barbara Lemon

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