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Superintendent Ethel Hutchings Royal Military Hospital Ministry of Pensions Rockfield St. Michael and All Angels Blackrock Dublin Ireland


Pictured is Ethel Hutchings, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service, on the back of the photo is inscribed "Ethel with her men at Blackrock, Dublin." She also saw service with the QAIMNS in Alexandria, Egypt, and at the Bombay Presidency General Hospital. She was also stationed at the Sassoon Hospital in Poona, India.

Royal Military Hospital Ministry of Pensions Rockfield St. Michael and All Angels Blackrock Dublin Ireland



In 1917 she received the Royal Red Cross for her nursing service during the Great War. A newspaper clipping of the time read:

Decorated by the King
Nurse Honoured

Sister Ethel Hutchings, who has been invested by the King at Buckingham Palace with the Royal Red Cross for devotion to duty, was afterwards received by Queen Alexandra at Marlborough House, who gave her a book with autograph and picture. Sister Hutchings is a daughter of the late Reverend. Edgar Fitzhenry Hutchings (and his wife Adeline Beatrice Gregg), rector of Heynestown, and a sister of the present rector and of Mrs. John Boyce Macartney (nee Maud Eleanor Hutchings), 28 University Square, Belfast, and Mrs. Barcroft (nee Irene Hutchings), The Rectory, Sixmilecross. She was formerly at Mercer's Hospital, Dublin, but since the outbreak of the war has been engaged at the Military Hospital, Curragh.

Superintendent Ethel Hutchings QAIMNS

Ethel never married. She worked for the Ministry of Pensions for many years.

Ethel Sarah Hutchings was born in Queensland, Australia, on 9th January1880. Her parents and family had moved there from Ireland in about 1878, but they returned to Ireland and were living at Markethill in Armagh at the time of the 1901 census.

British Nursing Registers show that Ethel was certified as a nurse between 1907 and 1911 at the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary in England. 1911 England census shows she was working as a hospital nurse.

For her World War One service she was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

On 29th September 1929, Ethel wrote in a letter to a relative in which she said:

I trained as a hospital nurse and during the war was made Superintendent of Royal Military Hospital and have been here ever since, but it is now under the Ministry of Pensions."

The letter was sent from Rockfield (St. Michael and All Angels), Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Irish Free State.

A newspaper item from the Somerset County Herald, dated 14th June 1947, reported that Miss Hutchings, Matron with the Ministry of Pensions Hospital at Musgrove, Taunton, had received the award of M.B.E. (Civil Division) (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire).

Similar ones appeared in The Northern Whig (Monday 23rd April 1917), The Belfast News-letter (Monday 23rd April 1917) and in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph" (Monday 16th April 1917).

These describe Miss Hutchings as being Australian born and now has relatives living in Dorset and has been a matron for 30 years. She was an Army matron from 1917 until 1920 and since then has been a matron at the Musgrove since the hospital was taken over in February1946.

Ethel died on the 26th February1965 at Wandsworth, London, England.

With grateful thanks to contributor: Janice Moerschel, who is the first cousin, twice removed, of Ethel.



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Buried in Grief

What if the loss of a child was not every parent's worst nightmare?

Hamish and Alison wake to some awful news from the police banging at their door, but what if their trauma was only just beginning?

Read how these former army nurses copes with their grief through to a terrifying ending.

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