The Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps was formed from the Royal Australian Army Nursing Service and the Australian Army Medical Women's Service. Since being established members of the service have served in many theatres of war and other operations including Vietnam, the 1991 Gulf War, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bougainville and East Timor.
1899 - 1902
The first nursing sisters to serve with Australian troops were those who travelled with the Colonial Military Forces to the South African (Boer War).
The General Order giving effect to an improved organisation for nurses was written in 1902 and promulgated on the 1st July 1903.
1 July 1903 - November 1948
The Australian Army Nursing Service Reserve, which formed the basis of the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps established.
1904 - 1914
A Lady Superintendent and Matron appointed to all states
1914 - 1918
A total of 2139 sisters served overseas and another 423 served in Australia. 25 sisters died and 388 were decorated for their service which included 5 CBE, 10 OBE, 42 RRC and 23 foreign awards
8 May 1916 - 1916
A Matron-in-Chief appointed to administer the service and advise the Director General of Medical Services (which controlled the Service) on service matters.
The Matron-in-Chief and Principal matrons from each state were sent to England with the Coronation contingent.
1939 - 1945
A total of 3477 joined the Service with 71 members losing their lives (23 battle casualties and 18 died as a result of accident or illness). 137 decorations were awarded including two George medals.
The Australian Army Nursing Service, formerly an auxiliary service, was incorporated as part of the Australian Military Forces.
Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, accepted the appointment of Honorary Colonel of the Australian Army Nursing Service.
In recognition of the service given in two world wars the title Royal was designated to the Service - now called Royal Australian Army Nursing Service.
Approval given to appoint female officers and enlist female Other Ranks into the Regular Army, to provide nursing staff for an overseas General Hospital and Camp Hospitals in Australia.
February 1951 - 1951
The Service was designated a Corps - now called the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps (RAANC). In the same year the Australian Army Medical Women's Service (AAMWS) was disbanded.
A Corps Badge with the motto Pro Humanitate - for Humanity was introduced.
1955 - 1969
Members served in Malaya
16 April 1957
Colonel A M Sage, CBE, RRC, FNM, was appointed as the first Honorary Colonel and Representative Honorary Colonel to the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps.
7 February 1958
Approval was granted for the adoption of a corps flag for the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps.
1966 - 1969
Nursing sisters sent to Papua New Guinea to care for the wives and families of the indigenous servicemen.
1967 - 1971
In total 43 Officers served in Vietnam.
The first Alice Appleford award was presented. The award is present annually by the Ex-AAMWS to a non-commissioned member for proficiency in service.
The first issue of the Corps Magazine "Grey and Scarlet" published. It is currently published annually.
Approval was granted for the traditional colours of grey and scarlet to be used for all Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps embellishments.
Nursing Officers sent as part of Australia's commitment to the United Nations force to the Gulf War.
1992 - 2001
Nursing Officers participated in all United Nations Deployments.
Head of Corps abolished.
Head of Corps re-appointed
1 July 2003
Ceremony, including a wreath-laying service and parade from the Nurses Memorial on Anzac Parade to the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier at the Australian War Memorial, held to celebrate the centenary of the RAANC and the RAAMC.
Australia. 1955-09-01. Six Sisters of the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps (RAANC) wave farewell from the gangplank of MV New Australia on embarkation for service in Malaya. The team, which was later increased to eight, served in British hospitals at Kamunting, Kuala Lumpur and in the Cameron Highlands, nursing not only Australians, but New Zealanders, British, Gurkhas and members of their families.
Victoria Barracks, Melbourne, Vic. 1951. Portrait of Sister Betty Crocker, Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps (RAANC), modelling the first RAANC uniform, worn with black stockings, black lace up shoes, black leather gloves and a black shoulder strap handbag. Tailored in Adelaide, this particular uniform was the very first one made to the new pattern and issued for the new RAANC (as distinct from its predecessor the Royal Australian Army Nursing Service). It was issued to Sister Crocker, the first Sister to enlist for Korea in South Australia. (Donor B. Lawrence)
Butterworth, Malaysia. 1968-10. Group portrait of officers of the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps (RAANC) prior to attending a trooping of the Colour Ceremony of the 8th Royal Australian Regiment (8RAR). Left to right: unknown, unknown, unknown, F4950002 Commandant Marie C. Hunter (later Boyle), Australian Red Cross (ARC), Thora Long and Coralie Gerrard (later became a Colonel, RAANC). (Donor M. Boyle)
Vung Tau, South Vietnam. 1968. Margaret Young, Australian Red Cross Field Force Officer (in bikini swimsuit at left), and Jan MacArthur, Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps (RAANC), nursing sister (right), hanging out the washing outside "Fort Petticoat", the accommodation block for nurses and Red Cross women at 8 Field Ambulance. (Donor M. Boyle)
The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954)Tuesday 19 May 1953 p 9 Article
... RAANC Chief Due Here Today Col. E. J Bowe, Matron-in-Chief, RoyalAustralianArmyNursing Corns ... 's visit is to discuss recruiting for the RAANC in the CMF. When the former MatronLn-Chief. Col. A. M. Sage ...
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The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)Thursday 30 October 1952 p 5 Article Illustrated
... appointment of Lieu tenant-Colonel E. J. Bone as matron-in-chief of the RoyalAustralianArmyNursingCorps ... designed in Vienna as protective clothing for a foundry worker. New MatronIn-Chief For R.A.A.N.C. The ...
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Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 - 1954)Friday 5 March 1954 p 11 Article
... ." The title "royal" was granted to the AustralianArmyNursing Service in November, 1948, in recognition ... the RoyalAustralian A rm y NursingCorps was presented to the Queen at Government House yesterday ...
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