• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: PR00087

Ambrose, Ethel Murray

(1874 – 1934)
  • Born 23 September, 1874, Mitcham South Australia Australia
  • Died 17 February, 1934, Pandharpur Poona India
  • Occupation Missionary


Trained in Adelaide, Dr Ethel Ambrose applied to the Poona and Indian Village Mission established by Tasmanian evangelist Charles Reeve. Ambrose worked at the mission hospital in Nasrapur from 1905, moving to Pandharpur in 1909 where she led fundraising efforts for a hospital. By the time of her death in 1934, the mission’s medical program had reached over 300 Indian villages.


Ethel Ambrose was the daughter of William and Helen Ambrose, both of whom died when she was young. Her grandparents, Pastor and Mrs Finlayson, were Scottish Baptists who lived in Adelaide in order to carry out Aboriginal mission work. Ethel was raised by the Finlaysons and educated at Unley Park School and the University of Adelaide, where she completed her medical studies in 1903. She attended the Zion Chapel.

An active member of the University Christian Union, Ambrose applied to the Poona and Indian Village Mission along with her sister Lily, a trained nurse. She travelled to Nasrapur in Poona, India, after completing residencies in Perth and Melbourne in 1905. From 1909 Ambrose was concentrating on medical care for women and children in Pandharpur, and conducted fundraising campaigns in Australia to raise money for a hospital there. Ambrose was back in Adelaide in 1919 working as the RMO at the temporary influenza hospital.

By the time of her sudden death in 1934, the medical mission program had reached over 300 Indian villages and was employing Indian staff.


Published resources

  • Edited Book
    • The Australian Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, Dickey, Brian, 1994
  • Resource
    • Trove