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Abell, Lydia (1872–1959)

by Chris Cunneen

Lydia Abell, in uniform of Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve

Lydia Abell, in uniform of Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve

photo courtesy of Newcastle Museum

Lydia Abell (1872-1959) nurse

Birth: 13 June 1872 in Wallsend, Newcastle, New South Wales, daughter of Elijah Abell, born in Heage, Derbyshire, England, and Margaret Preston, née Brown, born in Parramatta, New South Wales. Death: 21 July 1959 at Lady Gowrie Home, Gordon, Sydney. 

  • Trained at Newcastle Hospital, graduating in 1898 and then worked there and privately for Thomas Cook, of Turanville, Scone, and at Sydney Women’s Hospital.
  • A foundation member of the Australasian Trained Nurses Association.
  • Left Australia in September 1915, and made her own way to England arriving in November 1915.
  • Served during World War I in Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve.
  • Staff nurse at a French hospital in Bordeaux, the Australian Voluntary Hospital in Wimereux, and in British military hospitals and casualty clearing stations.
  • Awarded the Royal Red Cross, 2nd class, which was presented to her by King George V at Buckingham Palace in May 1919.
  • Discharged in April 1919, she sailed from London in August 1919 on the Katoomba, which arrived in Sydney on 25 September.
  • Returned to nursing in Sydney. In 1921 joined staff of Lady Davidson convalescent home Turramurra, retiring in 1933.

Original Publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

Chris Cunneen, 'Abell, Lydia (1872–1959)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/abell-lydia-32509/text40347, accessed 29 May 2022.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012