• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE6111

Ormiston, Isabel

(1882 – 1958)
  • Born 1 January, 1882, Albury New South Wales Australia
  • Died 1 July, 1958, Australia
  • Occupation Doctor


Dr Isabel Ormiston had been working with the Red Cross in London before enlisting in the war effort in World War I. She worked at the Queen of the Belgians’ Hospital at Ostend and La Panne (1914-1915), the Wounded Allies Relief (W.A.R.) Hospital Montenegro (1916-1917), British Red Cross Depot Egypt (1916), and the W.A.R. Hospital Limoges.

Dr Ormiston was awarded the Montenegrin Red Cross and Orders of Danilo and the Nile. She later took up the position of Senior Lady Medical Officer, Egyptian Ministry of Education and in 1928 was awarded an MBE.


A graduate of the University of Sydney, Dr Isabel Ormiston joined the Wounded Allies Relief Committee in London and set up in Ostend’s hydro-spa hotel, Le Kursaal, in late September 1914. She was in charge of 14 staff and a 60-bed hospital.

On October 15, Isabel, along with the English Matron and Belgian Dr Emile Van de Watte, remained at her post in The Kursaal as a 60,000 strong German army marched over the fine bridge that spanned the Ostend harbour. For her ‘conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty’ during these events, Isabel received the King’s medal, the Order of Leopold of Belgium.

In 1920, Isabel married Major (Maj) Chudleigh Garvice DSO, Commandant of the Alexandria Police. He died within a year of their marriage.

After the war, Isabel worked a senior medial officer for the Ministry of Education, Cairo, Egypt.


Archival resources

  • Australian War Memorial, Research Centre
    • Studio portrait of Major (Maj) Chudleigh Garvice DSO, Commandant of the Alexandria Police
    • Studio portrait of bride Dr Isabel Ormiston on her marriage to Major (Maj) Chudleigh Garvice DSO, Commandant of the Alexandria Police.
  • John Oxley Library, Manuscripts and Business Records Collection
    • Martha Isabel Ormiston
  • The National Archives, Kew
    • Medal card of Ormiston, Isabel Corps: French Red Cross Rank: Doctor