World War 2
Below is a searchable listing of those who served in the Australian Army Nursing Service, the Royal Australian Air Force Nursing Service, and the Royal Australian Naval Nursing Service between 1939 and 1946.
This listing is the most comprehensive available and includes names not currently listed by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs ‘nominal roll’ listings or in books already published. Files exist for:
3583 AANS members – – a figure higher than the number used by DVA of 3477.
74 RAN members
637 RAAF members
Notes on searching:
Personnel files/service records held at the National Archives of Australia and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs online Nominal Roll may list a nurse by their maiden name, their married name or, if, they married more than once, another married name. There appears to be no standardisation as to how a nurse was recorded. This database gives three options for finding the name – Last Name on Enlistment, Other Known Last Names or Married On Service name. The last category means the nurse married during the war, and while they were still on service. It is potluck as to which name is used as some nurses who married during their service are recorded under their maiden names. Some nurses also enlisted under a married name, so not all names on enlistment are maiden names. Names in lower case means that there is unlikely to be an official file with this name.
An example: Marcelle Watson Forsyth married during the war and became Mrs Kerr. She later remarried and became Mrs Guy. Her official personnel file is listed online under the name Guy, however she trained and enlisted under her maiden name of Forsyth.
The date of the nurse’s qualification is indicative. It is mainly given as the date they passed their association or board exam which qualified them as a nurse; it may not be the date they finally finished their period of training at their hospital. Many hospitals lack the history of their nurses’ training.
Select an option from the drop down list to begin your search. Click on the Last Name on Enlistment for more information.
RAN nurses did not have a service number.
At present, most of the personnel files for WW2 are digitised by the National Archives of Australia https://www.naa.gov.au/.
If you wish to use information from this database for an individual, please cite:
Kirsty Harris, WW2 ADF nurses database, 2021, viewed on XXX, at https://kjhh.net.au
As this database is copyright, if you wish to publish any data, please obtain written permission from me in advance.