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ROACHE Harriet (Ettie)

Service: Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service
Service number: (British) 201293
Locality on Enlistment:
Duration of Service: Sep 1939 – 16 Apr 1946
Prisoner of War: No
Honours: Associated Royal Red Cross
Date and Place of Birth: 9 Jan 1900 Laang Victoria
Parents: Patrick ROACHE and Margaret RYAN
Spouse: Not married
School/s: Nalangil SS, Presentation College, Windsor
Occupation: Nurse
Date and Place of Death: 29 Mar 1985 Colac
Place of Burial: Colac Cemetery


Trained in Sydney and having worked in some Melbourne hospitals, Harriet “Ettie” Roache then sailed to England in March 1938 to gain overseas nursing experience. Unable to return when war broke out, Ettie enlisted with the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service. Ettie was posted to British Government Hospitals in Alexandra, Jerusalem, Beirut and Syria before being transferred to Palestine. After returning to the UK for leave, Ettie was posted to a unit as part of D Day, working at the 20th General Hospital in Bayeux – Normandy. She also served for three months on the Hospital Ship “Dorsetshire” and finished her service at Chester Military Hospital until she was released to return to Australia. Ettie returned on “HMT Rangitata”, a war bride ship, in April 1946, possibly signing on as a nurse for the voyage. It is believed that she wasn’t eligible to be repatriated to Australia because she had enlisted with the British Nursing Service and Britain was considered to be her home.