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Dr Kirsty Harris on finding Australian nurses in WWI

  • Date recorded: 10 Aug 2015

  • Duration: 37:28

'Female names were often masculinised in records by accident.'

– Dr Kirsty Harris

About this video

In this 2015 Family History Feast presentation, Dr Kirsty Harris discusses challenges and tools for uncovering information about Australian military and volunteer nurses in WWI.

Kirsty outlines the complication of unearthing information about specific Australian nurses in WWI, including the plethora of records for each nurse, an absence of detail regarding rank and seniority, use of nicknames instead of first names on official forms, and the challenges of interpreting handwriting in primary sources.

Keen family historians with a WWI nurse in their family tree are encouraged to consult ship passenger lists, published examination results, nursing association records and local newspapers, among other sources mentioned by Kirsty in this video.

Hear more from Family History Feast 2015


Dr Kirsty Harris is an Honorary Fellow in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne. She was awarded the 2008 CEW Bean Prize for Military History for her PhD on the work of Australian women in WWI, published as More than bombs and bandages.