Sister Frances Emma Hines was part of the Victorian 3rd Bushman's Contingent to Rhodesia, South Africa during the Boer War.
Australia was not yet a nation when the Boer war broke out in 1899. Prior to Federation in 1901, each of the current six states was a colony of Britain, and each sent troops to fight as part of the British forces against the Boers in South Africa, over 16,000 in all.
For three years, around 60 Australian nurses scattered in small groups throughout South Africa, worked in British hospitals. Unmarried and mostly aged between 25 and 40 they were well educated women from middle class families, considered "desirable persons to enter a service composed of ladies."
Sister Fanny Hines was one of ten Victorian nurses who accompanied the Victorian 3rd Bushman's Contingent to Rhodesia, South Africa in March 1900. The nurses found themselves sent in different directions, posted wherever the need was greatest. Hospitals were primitive and overcrowded, with many men suffering from fever, dysentery and pneumonia.
Her friend Sister Ellen Walter wrote from Bulawayo on 15 July 1900, "Sister Frances Hines is at Enkeldoorn, but we expect her here soon. She has been a long time there alone". However, overworked and sick, Fanny died alone on 7 August 1900. Sister Julia Anderson wrote,
"She died of an attack of pneumonia contracted in devotion to duty. She was quite alone, with as many as twenty six patients at one time, no possibility of assistance, or relief and without sufficient nourishment."
After her burial with full military honours, a marble cross was erected on her grave in Bulawayo cemetery by the Victorian nurses and Bushmen's Contingent.
She was the only Australian nurse to die during service in the Boer War.