Elizabeth Kearey

Elizabeth Kearey

Date of Birth: 25 August 1882 Place of Birth: Sydney, NSW

Biographical details: Elizabeth Kearey was born on 25 August 1882, the daughter of James and Ellen (nee Doherty) Kearey. After completing her schooling, Elizabeth completed her nursing training at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney.

Military Service with the AANS: Elizabeth Kearey enlisted with the AIF and left Australia aboard HMAT Kyarra with No 2 Australian General Hospital on 28 November 1914. Kearey served with No 2 Australian General Hospital (AGH) in Egypt. On 26 March 1916, Kearey embarked,on the Braemar Castle bound for the Western Front, arriving on 4 April 1916, at Marseilles, and then served with No 2 AGH at Wimereux, France. In December 1916, Kearey went on leave to England for a fortnight and in January was transferred to duty in England. On 10 February 1917, Kearey was promoted to Sister and commenced duty with No 3 Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford. On 27 September 1917, Kearey returned to Australia on nursing duties with No 7 Sea Transport Service aboard the A29 Service. Kearey served briefly with No 2 Australian Auxiliary Hospital in Egypt. On 24 May 1918, Kearey embarked on the Indarra bound for Marseilles and finally disembarked at Southampton on 6 June 1918. Kearey returned to Australia aboard the Matatua as part of the nursing staff arriving in Sydney on 15 August 1918. Kearey reembarked aboard A7 HMAT Medic on 2 November 1918.

After World War 1, Elizabeth Kearey was appointed Principal Matron of No 2 Military District and in May 1937 she attended the coronation of George VI. The Australian nurses marched with the troops in London on the day of the coronation, received their coronation medals at Buckingham Palace and toured the battlefields of the Western Front. Each was outfitted with a uniform costing 11 guineas and they were given first treatment from the time they left Melbourne aboard the Orontes 16 March 1937 until they returned 5 months later. Kearey enlisted on 16 October 1939 and served in the Australian Army Nursing Service until 6 January 1944 reaching the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. In order to serve during WW2, Kearey listed her date of birth as 1885 rather 1882. Elizabeth Kearey died 17 January 1968 at the age of 85 and is buried in the Catholic section of the Macquarie Park Cemetery, North Ryde.


Australian War Memorial World War 1 Nominal Roll