- Born 25 February, 1897, Victoria Barracks, Melbourne Victoria Australia
- Died 28 March, 1973, South Yarra Victoria Australia
- Occupation Servicewoman
Sybil Irving was the founder and Controller of the Australian Women’s Army Service. On 2 January 1939 she was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire, for social welfare services in Victoria. Throughout her life Irving was a faithful member of the Church. Her Funeral Service on 30 March 1973, and a Memorial Service on 23 February 1975 were held in Christ Church, South Yarra, Victoria.
The eldest child of army officer Major General Godfrey George Howy and Ada Minni Margueritha (née Derham) Irving, Sybil Irving’s education was conducted at the various postings her father obtained. This included attending Lauriston Girls’ High School, which had been founded by her aunts Margaret and Lillian Irving.
During World War I Irving was a Voluntary Aid Detachment member with the Australian Red Cross. From 1924 until 1940 she was secretary of the Girl Guides’ Association, Victoria. In 1940 she was appointed assistant-secretary of the Australian Red Cross Victorian Division. Invited in 1941 to establish and head the Australian Women’s Army Service, Sybil Irving held this position until 1946. She later became Honorary Colonel of the Women’s Royal Australian Army Corps. After the war Sybil Irving became general secretary of the Victorian Division of the Red Cross. Upon her retirement in 1959 she was made an honorary life member of the society.
Sybil Irving died on 28 March 1973 and was buried at Fawkner cemetery with full military honours.
2039 - 2039
Appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
1935 - 1973
Foundation member of the Victorian Society for Crippled Children (and Adults). Sybil Irving’s was one of the two original signatures on the Articles of Association, and she continued to work for VSCCA all her life.
2042 - 2042
Promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel
2043 - 2043
Promoted to Colonel
1947 - 1959
General Secretary of the Australian Red Cross, Victorian Division. Awarded Honorary Life Membership and the Medal for Meritorious Service.
1951 - 1961
Honorary Colonel of the Women’s Royal Australian Army Corps (WRAAC)
2041 - 2046
Controller of the Australian Women’s Army Service (AWAS). Appointed to establish and administer the Service which subsequently numbered 26,000.
1924 - 1940
Secretary of the Girl Guides’ Association, Victoria. Tragic results of Poliomyolitis led Miss Irving to use her talent for needlework to teach the physically handicapped through the Girl Guide Extension Branch.
1940 - 1941
Assistant Secretary of the Australian Red Cross, Victorian Division
1961 - 1971
Consultant to Elderly Citizens Clubs, with the Old Peoples Welfare Council, Victoria (later Victorian Council on the Ageing).
- Edited Book
- Australian women at war, Adam-Smith, Patsy, 1984
- Sybil Howy Irving, M.B.E. : 1897-1973, Irving, Sybil Howy, 
- Soldiers of the Queen : women in the Australian Army, Bomford, Janette, 2001
- Colonel Best and her soldiers: The Story of the 33 years of the Women's Royal Australian Army Corps, Ollif, Lorna, 1985
- A Stroll down memory lane, WRAAC Association, 2001
- You'll be sorry!, Howard, Ann, 1990
- Irving, Sybil Howy (1897-1973), Bassett, Jan, 2006, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A140610b.htm
- IRVING, SYBIL HOWY, Department of Veterans' Affairs, http://www.ww2roll.gov.au/script/veteran.asp?ServiceID=A&VeteranID=584987
- Trove: Irving, Sybil Howy (1897-1973), http://nla.gov.au/nla.party-753079
- State Library of Victoria
National Archives of Australia, National Office, Canberra
- IRVING FREDA MARY HOWY : Service Number - VF398095 : Date of birth - 16 Sep 1903 : Place of birth - MELBOURNE VIC : Place of enlistment - MELBOURNE VIC : Next of Kin - IRVING SYBIL
- IRVING SYBIL HOWY : Service Number - V143893 : Date of birth - 25 Feb 1897 : Place of birth - MELBOURNE VIC : Place of enlistment - MELBOURNE VIC : Next of Kin - IRVING F
Australian War Memorial, Research Centre
- [Papers of Lieut Gen Sir Iven G Mackay:]
- [Inspections - General - Report on Australian Women's Army Service visit by Colonel Sybil H Irving - Letter to Major-General E C P Plant]
- Group of Australian Women's Army Service officers from the Victorian Land Headquarters on the steps of the Shrine of Remembrance
- Two senior members of the Australian Women's Army Service (AWAS) taking a wreath into the Shrine of Remembrance during the Armistice Day ceremony
National Archives of Australia, Various Locations
- Christmas message from Colonel Sybil H IRVING (honorary Colonel of the Corps HONCOL) and Colonel Kathleen BEST (Director, Women's Royal Australian Army Corps DWRAAC)
- Speech by Colonel Sybil H Irving (honorary Colonel of the Corps) made at the opening of the Kathleen Best Memorial Gates, Women's Royal Australian Army Corps (WRAAC) School, Mosman, NSW, 6 November 1959
- National Archives of Australia, Melbourne Office
- State Library of New South Wales
Related Cultural Artefacts