Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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    Miss Grace Wilson, c. 1942, courtesy of Australian War Memorial.


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Wilson, Grace Margaret (1879 - 1957)


Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


During World War I Grace Wilson was Principal Matron of No 3 Australian General Hospital serving in Egypt, Lemnos and France. She was appointed a Commander (Military) of the Order of the British Empire on 1 January 1919 for army nursing service in France. Grace Wilson was mentioned in dispatches five times as well as being awarded the Royal Red Cross Medal (2 May 1916) and the Florence Nightingale Medal.


After being educated at Brisbane Girls' Grammar School, Grace Wilson commenced her nursing training at Brisbane Hospital and continued at Queen Charlotte Hospital (London). Upon completion she became a sister at Albany Memorial Hospital (London) and then returned to Australia to be Matron at the Brisbane Hospital.

During World War I Wilson was Principal Matron No. 3 Australian General Hospitals in Egypt, Lemnos and France. She then became temporary Matron-in-chief for the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF). Wilson was mentioned in dispatches five times, awarded the Florence Nightingale Medal and Royal Red Cross Medal as well as being appointed a Commander (Military) of the Order of the British Empire on 1 January 1919 for army nursing service. In 1937 she led the A.I.F. Nurses' Contingent to the Coronation.

During her career Wilson was matron at Rosemount Military Hospital, Brisbane, and the Children's Hospital, Melbourne, and was sister-in-charge at Somerset House Private Hospital, Melbourne. From 1933 to 1940 she was matron at the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, and at the outbreak of World War II became matron-in-chief of the Australian Army Nursing Service (A.A.N.S). From 1940 to 1941 Wilson was matron-in-chief of the Nursing Service with the A.I.F., before becoming executive officer with the Nursing Control Section at the Manpower Directorate.

Matron Grace Margaret Wilson died in 1957.

Sources used to compile this entry: Alexander, Joseph A (ed.), Who's who in Australia 1944, 12 edn, The Herald and Weekly Times, Melbourne, 1944, 906 pp.

Digital resources

Miss Grace Wilson
c. 1942
Australian War Memorial


Anne Heywood

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