• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE6433

Bridges, Edith Lilian

(1862 – 1926) Lady Edith Bridges
  • Born 2 August, 1862, Yarragee, near Moruya New South Wales Australia
  • Died 1 October, 1926, Toorak Victoria Australia
  • Occupation Mother, War widow


Lady Bridges was the initial president of the Friendly Union of Soldiers’ Wives and Mothers, set up by her friend Lady Helen Munro Ferguson, wife of the Governor General, early in World War I to provide support for families of soldiers of the first AIF. The shock of the death of her husband, Major General Sir William Throsby Bridges, Commander of the first AIF, less than a month after the landing at Gallipoli and the prolonged and very public commemorative ceremonies associated with the return of his body to Australia and his reburial in Canberra, affected her health to the extent that the following year she retired from public life.

An adopted child, Edith’s life was punctuated by tragedy including the loss of her first-born son soon after birth, the drowning of one of her seven-year-old twin girls in a boating accident on Sydney Harbour and the death of a 17-year-old son at boarding school in England. During World War I in addition to the loss of her husband, she worried constantly about her son Major Noel Bridges DSO, who fought at Gallipoli and the Western Front and was wounded in Flanders in 1918. Born Edith Lillian Francis in 1862 near Moruya, Lady Bridges died in Melbourne in 1926, aged 64, and was buried in St John’s Churchyard, Canberra.

Read a longer essay on Lady Bridges in the online exhibition War Widows of the ACT: A Forgotten Legacy of World War I.

Archival resources

  • National Library of Australia
    • Papers of Sir Ronald Craufurd Munro-Ferguson
    • Soldiers, surveyors and selectors: a genealogy of the Cowley and Simpkins families and associated branches
  • Australian War Memorial Research Centre
    • Friendly Union of Soldiers' Wives and Mothers, Australian Imperial Forces

Digital resources

Related entries

  • Related Organisations
    • Friendly Union of Soldiers' Wives and Mothers: Australian Imperial Forces (1915 - 1946)