Nursing Sister Alice Ross-King

Birth Date 05 August 1887
Birth Place Australia: Victoria, Ballarat
Death Date 17 August 1968
Death Place Australia: New South Wales, Sydney, Cronulla
Also known as Alice Appleford, Alice Ross-King, Appleford, Alice
Final Rank
Units
Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 24 January 1918 on page 83 at position 73
London Gazette 28 September 1917 on page 10038 at position 71

Alice Ross-King was born in Ballarat, Victoria, on 5 August 1887 to Archibald and his wife, Henrietta. When Alice was still young the family moved to Perth, where as the result of an accident Alice's father and two brothers were drowned in the Swan River. Soon after this Alice and her mother returned to Victoria. Before the war Alice Ross-King trained as a nurse, and she became a theatre sister in charge of a private hospital in Collins Street, Melbourne. She enlisted in the Australian Army Nursing Service in November 1914. During 1915 she served in hospitals and on hospital transport ships in Egypt and the Suez. In early 1916 she moved to France where she served with No. 1 Australian General Hospital and a stationary hospital before joining No. 2 Australian Casualty Clearing Station (2CCS), located close to the trenches at Trois Arbres near Armentieres.

On the night of 22 July 1917 2CCS was attacked by German aircraft. Witness accounts describe nurses running to tents shattered by bombs to rescue patients, either carrying them to safety or placing tables over patient's beds in an effort to protect them. Alice and three other nurses, Dorothy Cawood, Mary Jane Derrer, and Clare Deacon, were awarded the Military Medal for their actions during the attack.

Alice Ross-King served as a nurse until the end of the war, upon which she returned to Australia. She married a doctor, Sydney Theodore Appleford, whom she met on the return journey in 1919, and they settled in South Gippsland and had four children. In the 1930s Alice was involved in training Voluntary Aid Detachments (VADs) and during the Second World War she enlisted for full-time duty with the VADs. By 1942 the VADs had developed into the Australian Army Women's Medical Services and Alice Appleford was commissioned as a major and appointed senior assistant controller for Victoria. She was awarded the Florence Nightingale medal in 1949 by the International Red Cross.

Alice Appleford died on 17 August 1968 at Cronulla, Sydney. An annual award is presented to a serving member of the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps by the Ex-AAWMS Association to perpetuate her memory.

Honours & Awards

  • Honours and Awards:

    Award/Honour
    Royal Red Cross (2nd Class)
    Classification
    Royal Red Cross
    Unit
    No. 1 Australian General Hospital
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Sister
    London Gazette
    3 June 1918 on page 6475 at position 4
    Commonwealth Gazette
    7 November 1918 on page 2111 at position 125
  • Honours and Awards:

    Award/Honour
    Mention in despatches
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Unit
    Australian Army Nursing Service
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Sister
    London Gazette
    28 December 1917 on page 13568 at position 127
    Commonwealth Gazette
    18 April 1918 on page 845 at position 105
  • Honours and Awards:

    Award/Honour
    Military Medal
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Unit
    No. 2 Australian Casualty Clearing Station
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Nursing Sister
    London Gazette
    28 September 1917 on page 10038 at position 71
    Commonwealth Gazette
    24 January 1918 on page 83 at position 73
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Award/Honour
    Royal Red Cross (2nd Class)
    Classification
    Royal Red Cross
    Unit
    Australian Army Nursing Service
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Sister
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Award/Honour
    Military Medal
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Unit
    Australian Army Nursing Service
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Sister

Timeline

Date of birth 05 August 1887
Date of death 17 August 1968

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