The National Archives publishes
a very useful research guide, British
Army: Nurses and Nursing Services which gives an overview
to the subject of military nursing, along with a list of records
held both at The National Archives and elsewhere.
The National Archives holds various sets of records for nurses
who served in the British Army.
- QAIMNS: First World War Service. May contain details of service,
enrolment and discharge papers, and correspondence relating
to the period of service. List gives forename and surname.
- QAIMNS: Professional qualifications and recommendations for
appointment of staff nurses (1903 - 1926) WO
- Territorial Force Nursing Service (some only): may contain
details of service, enrolement and discharge papers, and
correspondence relating to the period of service (1914-18) WO
- National Aid Society. Name and seniority rolls; service records
(1869 - 1901) WO
The catalogue reference for the service record of Mary Ann Brown
A search on The
National Archives Catalogue using
just her name did not produce any results. The series that lists
the service records for QAIMNS nurses is WO 399 and it contains
15792 individual files. Even if you are able to
is too many files to order and search by hand.
The records are in alphabetical order so it is possible to make
repeat searches and narrow the number range to work out where
the B, then the Br, records will be.
For example: WO 399/1 is the service history of ABBOTT Ada,
WO 399/2 ABBOT, Alice, 399/3 ABBOTT, Caroline etc.
If you are able to visit the National Archives you can order
and view the original records.
To obtain copies of documents held at the National Archives
if you are not able to visit in person you can search
The Catalogue and then order copies of documents.
Mary Ann Brown was awarded the Associate Royal Red Cross medal.
The National Archives houses medal rolls that give information
Medal, from 1883, and bars, from 1917.
1869-1891 Royal Red Cross: award to nursing sisters of the NAS WO
1883-1994 Royal Red Cross Medal roll WO
145/1 , WO
145/2 and WO
1899-1902 Queen’s South Africa Medal roll for nurses WO
1899-1902 King’s South Africa Medal roll for nurses WO
1914-1918 Campaign medals for First World War. There is a microfiche
index for nurses. WO
The document WO145/1 which covers the period Brown served is
very difficult to obtain as it is in high demand.
Mary Brown's Diaries. Imperial War Museum, Department
of Documents. Ref: 88/7/1
Opens in a new window (50k)
The Wellcome Library has a PDF on
their website that lists papers held by the Imperial
War Museum's (IWM) Department of Documents (http://library.wellcome.ac.uk/collections/pdf/ImpWarMus.pdf).
A search using google for
the name "M.A. Brown" returned an entry in the PDF to the diary
of M A Brown, a QAIMNS nurse.
To view the diary contact the IWM Department of Documents to
order the documents and then visit the IWM reading room. For
You can access the Imperial War Museum Department of Documents'
catalogue online at http://www.iwmcollections.org.uk. The online
collections include photographs, paintings, sound clips and information
about documents held by the department.
Imperial War Museum Department of Printed Books
The Women's Work Collection and other Department of Printed
Books materials can also be viewed in the Imperial War Museum
reading room. For more information see http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/ref-books.htm
Formed in 1907 the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) are the
oldest uniformed women's organisation in the world. We are also
the only women
only uniformed group in
The A2A database contains catalogues describing archives held
throughout England and dating from the 900s to the present day.