Biography

Birth date: 25 February 1897
Birth place: Australia: Victoria, Melbourne
Death date: 28 March 1973
Death place: Australia: Victoria, Melbourne, South Yarra
Final rank: Colonel
Service number: V143893 - Second World War, 1939-1945

Sybil Irving, founder of the Australian Women's Army Service, was born at Victoria Barracks, Melbourne, on 25 February 1897. Her father was an Army officer; his many postings meant the family moved frequently and Sybil went to schools in most Australian states.

During the First World War, Irving served in a Voluntary Aid Detachment; in 1924 she became Secretary of the Girl Guides Association of Victoria. She was also involved in setting up the Victorian Society for Crippled Children, for which she worked as a volunteer for the rest of her life. In 1940 she left the Girl Guides Association to take up the post of Assistant-Secretary of the Victorian Red Cross Society. After just one year, however, Irving resigned, having accepted an invitation to establish and administer the Australian Women's Army Service. Her appointment began in October 1941 and she embarked on a round-Australia trip to recruit officers. The following January she was promoted to lieutenant colonel.

Having then been promoted to colonel in February 1943, Irving oversaw an organisation that, at its peak in 1944, comprised more than 20,000 women. Working across a range of professions, the Australian Women's Army Service gave many women the chance to engage in work normally denied them. Irving remained in charge until after the war, resigning on 31 December 1946. Despite her many years of military service, Irving strongly believed that women should not bear arms. She was an adherent of the view that women would become the mothers of children who would create the postwar Australia and based her command of the Australian Women's Army Service in large measure on her experience with the Girl Guides.

The year after her resignation, Irving became General Secretary of the Victorian Division of the Red Cross and in 1951 was given the rank of honorary colonel in the Women's Royal Australian Army Corps, successor to the Australian Women's Army Corps. After resigning from the Red Cross in 1959, Irving became an honorary life member of the society. In 1961, while on a long holiday in Europe, she resigned from the Army. On her return to Australia she worked as a consultant to the Victorian Old Peoples' Welfare Organisation, retiring in 1971.

Irving died in South Yarra, Melbourne, on 28 March 1973. Her friends raised funds for memorials to Irving that were duly unveiled in every Australian capital city between 1977 and 1979.

Rolls and Awards

Collection Items

Photograph

012599

1942-06-16. GENERAL SIR THOMAS BLAMEY, COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ALLIED LAND FORCES IN AUSTRALIA, SPEAKS TO THE WOMEN OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE DURING A REVIEW HELD AT THEIR HEADQUARTERS. WITH HIM IS LIEUTENANT COLONEL SYBIL H. IRVING COMMANDENT OF THE AWAS (NEGATIVE BY CRANSTONE).

012599

012996

1942-07-05. LIEUT COL SYBIL IRVING, DIRECTOR AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE. (NEGATIVE BY CRANSTONE).

012996

011727

1942-03-09. AUSTRALIAN WOMEN JOIN THE ARMY. AN INTERVIEWING BOARD INTERVIEWS WOMEN WHO DESIRE TO ENLIST. APPLICANT BEING INTERVIEWED BY LT. COL. SYBIL IRVING AND MAJOR JEAN WOOD (LEFT) MRS. JOHN BRAITHWAITE. (NEGATIVE BY E. CRANSTONE).

011727

060330

MELBOURNE, AUS. 1943-11-24. MEMBERS OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOWEN'S ARMY SERVICE SALUTING VX1 GENERAL SIR THOMAS BLAMEY, GBE, KCB, CMG, DSO, ED., AS THEY MARCH PAST THE EAST SIDE OF THE SHRINE OF REMEMBRANCE. ON THE DAIS ARE, LEFT TO RIGHT: VX1 GENERAL SIR THOMAS BLAMEY, GBE, KCB, CMG, DSO, ED., VF143893...

060330

060336

MELBOURNE, AUS. 1943-11-24. GROUP OF AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE OFFICERS FROM THE VICTORIAN LAND HEADQUARTERS ON THE STEPS OF THE SHRINE OF REMEMBRANCE. THEY ARE, LEFT TO RIGHT: FRONT ROW: VF346533 LIEUTENANT N. M. CALLINAN; VF388389 LIEUTENANT M. J. WATTS; VF143893 COLONEL S. H. IRVING, MBE;...

060336

060337

MELBOURNE, AUS. 1943-11-24. GROUP OF AUSTRALIA WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE OFFICERS FROM THE VICTORIAN LAND HEADQUARTERS ON THE STEPS OF THE SHRINE OF REMEMBRANCE. THEY ARE, LEFT TO RIGHT: VF346533 LIEUTENANT N. M. CALLINAN; VF388389 LIEUTENANT M. J. WATTS; VF143893 COLONEL S. H. IRVING, MBE; NX110496...

060337

060338

MELBOURNE, AUS. 1943-11-24. VX1 GENERAL SIR THOMAS BLAMEY, GBE, KCB, CMG, DSO, ED., TAKING THE SALUTE AT THE MARCH PAST, OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE OFFICERS FROM THE VICTORIAN LAND HEADQUARTERS. ALSO SHOWN ARE: NX70918 MAJOR D. H. DWYER, AIDE-DE-CAMP (LEFT). VF143893 COLONEL S. H....

060338

062962

FAWKNER PARK, SOUTH YARRA, VIC. 1944-01-23. AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S SERVICE OFFICERS CRICKET TEAM SELECTED FOR THE MATCH AGAINST THE OTHER RANKS TEAM. THEY ARE: NFX77216 CAPTAIN F. MCNAB, AUSTRALIAN ARMY MEDICAL WOMEN'S SERVICE (1); VFX361 COLONEL A. M. DAGE, RRC, MATRON-IN-CHIEF, AUSTRALIAN ARMY...

062962

062964

FAWKNER PARK, SOUTH YARRA, VIC. 1944-01-23. VF143893 COLONEL S. H. IRVING, MBE., CONTROLLER, AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE, BEING CLEAN BOWLED AS THE WICKET-KEEPER CORPORAL J. SCOTT CLAIMS HER OUT DURING THE CRICKET MATCH BETWEEN THE OFFICERS AND THE OTHER RANKS OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S SERVICE.

062964

062968

FAWKNER PARK, SOUTH YARRA, VIC. 1944-01-23. VF143893 COLONEL S. H. IRVING, MBE., CONTROLLER, AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE, SNICKS A BALL DURING THE CRICKET MATCH BETWEEN THE OFFICERS AND THE OTHER RANKS OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S SERVICE.

062968

062969

Spectators watching the play during the cricket match between the officers and other ranks of the Australian Women's Services. Identified, left to right are: VF345014 Major (Maj) D L Madden, Australian Women's Army Service (sitting cross legged, wearing glasses with jacket over her shoulders);...

062969

062971

FAWKNER PARK, SOUTH YARRA, VIC. 1944-01-23. VF143893 COLONEL S. H. IRVING, MBE., CONTROLLER, AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE, SNICKS A BALL DURING THE CRICKET MATCH BETWEEN THE OFFICERS AND THE OTHER RANKS OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S SERVICE.

062971

062977

FAWKNER PARK, SOUTH YARRA, VIC. 1944-01-23. A SECTION OF THE SPECTATORS WATCHING THE CRICKET MATCH BETWEEN OFFICERS AND OTHER RANKS OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S SERVICE. IDENTIFIED PERSONNEL ARE: VF398095 LIEUTENANT F. M. H. IRVING, AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S SERVICE (1); VF143893 COLONEL S. H. IRVING, MBE.,...

062977

063414

MELBOURNE, VIC. 1944-01-22. INFORMAL PORTRAIT OF VF143893 COLONEL S. H. IRVING MBE, CONTROLLER OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE (AWAS).

063414

063415

MELBOURNE, VIC. 1944-01-22. INFORMAL PORTRAIT OF VF143893 COLONEL S. H. IRVING MBE, CONTROLLER OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE (AWAS).

063415

061781

FAWKNER PARK, VIC. 1943-12-25. VF143893 COLONEL S. H. IRVING, MBE (1) CONTROLLER OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE IN A HAPPY MOOD AT THE LAND HEADQUARTERS SIGNALS CHRISTMAS DINNER AT FAWKNER PARK.

061781

056201

MELBOURNE, VIC. 1943-09-03. COMBINED SERVICE FOR THE NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER AT VICTORIA BARRACKS. SHOWN ARE:- NX110496 LIEUTENANT-COLONEL (LT-COL) A. E. BURGESS, CAMP COMMANDANT, LAND HEADQUARTERS (1); VFX138505 MAJOR R. M. DAVIDSON, AUSTRALIAN ARMY MEDICAL SERVICES (2); SFX30364 LT-COL M. S....

056201

056474

ST KILDA, VIC, 1943-09-06. MRS F. D. (ELEANOR) ROOSEVELT CHATTING WITH AN OFFICER DURING HER INSPECTION OF THE 2ND AUSTRALIAN BASE POST OFFICE. SHOWN ARE: QX6392 GENERAL E. C. P. PLANT DSO OBE (1); LIEUTENANT GENERAL R. L. EICHELBERGER, UNITED STATES ARMY (6); VF143693 COLONEL S. H. IRVING MBE,...

056474

065844

MELBOURNE, VIC. 1944-04-25. GROUP PORTRAIT OF SENIOR AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE PERSONNEL WHO ARE IN MELBOURNE FOR A CONFERENCE AT THE AUSTRALIAN MILITARY FORCE HEADQUARTERS. FRONT ROW, LEFT TO RIGHT: NF278217 MAJOR L. BYRNE, ASSISTANT CONTROLLER, AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE, WEST...

065844

066581

GUESTS AT THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE 4TH AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S SERVICE SENIOR ADMINISTRATION SCHOOL AT GRONG GRONG ENJOYING A QUIET TALK. IDENTIFIED, LEFT TO RIGHT: QF124358 CAPTAIN E. MCKINNON, AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE (1); VF143893 COLONEL S.H. IRVING, MBE., CONTROLLER OF THE AUSTRALIAN...

066581

066807

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA. 1944-06-13. VF143893 COLONEL S.H. IRVING, MBE., CONTROLLER OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE (3), COLONEL M.A. BROWN, STAFF DIRECTOR, UNITED STATES WOMEN'S ARMY CORPS, SOUTH WEST PACIFIC AREA (1) AND CAPTAIN C. KELLY, EXECUTIVE OFFICER TO THE STAFF DIRECTOR,...

066807

080914

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA. 1944-10-10. VF143893 COLONEL S.H. IRVING, MBE, CONTROLLER OF AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE, LAND HEADQUARTERS (1), CONGRATULATES WF90727 SIGNALWOMAN P. SELBY WHO WAS AWARDED THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF'S CARD FOR HER DEVOTION TO DUTY ON SERVICE WITHIN AUSTRALIA.

080914

089078

ENOGGERA, QUEENSLAND, 1945-04-26. THE CONTROLLER OF AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE, COLONEL S. H. IRVING, INSPECTING NO. 4 PLATOON OF 68 AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE BARRACK WHO WERE ON OVERSEAS DRAFT FOR NEW GUINEA.

089078

089079

ENOGGERA, QUEENSLAND. 1945-04-26. THE CONTROLLER OF AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE COLONEL S.H. IRVING, (4), INSPECTING NO. 5 PLATOON, OF 68 AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE BARRACK, WHO ARE ON OVERSEA DRAFT FOR NEW GUINEA.

089079

089081

ENOGGERA, QUEENSLAND. 1945-04-26. A GENERAL VIEW SHOWING THE CONTROLLER OF AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE COLONEL S.H. IRVING INSPECTING NO. 10 PLATOON OF AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE BARRACK WHO ARE ON OVERSEA DRAFT FOR NEW GUINEA.

089081

089085

ENOGGERA, QUEENSLAND. 1945-04-26. AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE BARRACK, WHO ARE ON OVERSEA DRAFT FOR NEW GUINEA, MARCHING DURING AN INSPECTION BY THE CONTROLLER OF AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE, COLONEL S.H. IRVING.

089085

088672

INDOOROOPILLY, BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND. 1945-02-19. SIGNALWOMAN J. BALLARD THROWING FOR GOAL IN RECREATIONAL BASKETBALL TRAINING DURING THE VISIT OF COLONEL S.H. IRVING, CONTROLLER AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE, TO INSPECT THE TRAINING OF AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE MEMBERS CONCENTRATED AT 2...

088672

088673

INDOOROOPILLY, BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND. 1945-02-19. LANCE-CORPORAL H. FROGGART, (3), SCRAMBLING FOR THE BALL DURING RECREATIONAL BASKETBALL TRAINING DURING THE VISIT BY COLONEL S.H. IRVING, CONTROLLER AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE TO INSPECT THE TRAINING OF AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE PERSONNEL...

088673

088675

INDOOROOPILLY, BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND. 1945-02-19. AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE PERSONNEL AT RECREATIONAL BASKETBALL TRAINING DURING THE VISIT BY COLONEL S.H. IRVING, CONTROLLER AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE TO INSPECT AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE PERSONNEL CONCENTRATED AT 2 AUSTRALIAN...

088675

088676

INDOOROOPILLY, BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND. 1945-02-19. COLONEL S.H. IRVING, CONTROLLER AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE, (11), WITH NSW MEMBERS OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE OVERSEAS DRAFT WHILE VISITING 2 AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE BARRACK TO INSPECT TRAINING.

088676

088677

INDOOROOPILLY, BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND. 1945-02-19. COLONEL S.H. IRVING, CONTROLLER AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE , (8), WITH QUEENSLANDERS OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE OVERSEAS DRAFT WHILE VISITING 2 AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE BARRACK TO INSPECT TRAINING.

088677

088678

INDOOROOPILLY, BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND. 1945-02-19. COLONEL S.H. IRVING, CONTROLLER AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE, (1), WITH VICTORIANS OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE OVERSEAS DRAFT WHILE VISITING 2 AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE BARRACK TO INSPECT TRAINING.

088678

088679

INDOOROOPILLY, BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND. 1945-02-19. COLONEL S.H. IRVING, CONTROLLER AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE, (1), WITH WEST AUSTRALIANS OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE DRAFT WHILE VISITING 2 AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE BARRACK TO INSPECT TRAINING.

088679

088680

BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND. 1945-02-19. COLONEL S.H. IRVING, CONTROLLER AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE, (1), WITH SOUTH AUSTRALIAN MEMBERS OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE OVERSEAS DRAFT WHILE VISITING 2 AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE BARRACK TO INSPECT TRAINING.

088680

088681

BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND. 1945-02-19. COLONEL S.H. IRVING, CONTROLLER AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE, (5), WITH TASMANIAN MEMBERS OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE BARRACK TO INSPECT TRAINING.

088681

088682

BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND. 1945-02-19. AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE OFFICERS ON DRAFT FOR NEW GUINEA WITH COLONEL S.H. IRVING, CONTROLLER AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE, (2), DURING HER VISIT TO 2 AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE BARRACK TO INSPECT TRAINING.

088682

088683

BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND. 1945-02-19. LIEUTENANT-COLONEL E.K. FISK, (3), IN DISCUSSION WITH COLONEL S.H. IRVING, CONTROLLER AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE, (2), AND SENIOR OFFICERS DURING HER VISIT TO INSPECT AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE PERSONNEL CONCENTRATED AT 2 AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE...

088683

087060

MELBOURNE, VIC. 1945-03-03. PERSONNEL ATTENDING THE OPENING OF THE NEW OFFICERS' MESS, 33 AWAS BARRACK, LAND HEADQUARTERS SIGNALS IN FAWKNER PARK. IDENTIFIED PERSONNEL ARE:- CAPTAIN P G PITT, (1); COLONEL S H IRVING, CONTROLLER AWAS, (2); LIEUTENANT D CHRISTENSON, (3); LT R FRAZER, (4); LT C...

087060

083865

DARLEY, VICTORIA. 1944-12-08. COLONEL S.H. IRVING, CONTROLLER OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S SERVICES OFFICERS' SCHOOL, (2), WITH SISTER WHITE, (1); MAJOR DAVIDSON, (3); AND CAPTAIN CAMPBELL, (4), AT THE PASSING OUT CEREMONY, LHQ, AWSOS, NO. 7 AREA.

083865

084421

CAMP PELL, VIC. 1944-12-25. COLONEL S H IRVING, (3), FOLLOWS TRADITION AS SHE WAITS ON GIRLS DURING DINNER AT 4 AWAS BARRACK. IDENTIFIED PERSONNEL ARE:- PRIVATE MACLEAN, (1); PTE MCAULIFFE, (2); GUNNER CLEARY, (4); PTE MARSHALL, (5).

084421

084423

CAMP PELL, VIC. 1944-12-25. COLONEL S H IRVING, (3), LUNCHING WITH 4 AWAS BARRACK MEMBERS IN THEIR MESS. IDENTIFIED PERSONNEL ARE:- LIEUTENANT M. STOCKDALE, (1); LT C BROMLEY, (2); SERGEANT V. KIDDELL, (4); SGT LAVERACK, (5); SGT A TURNER, (6).

084423

084424

CAMP PELL, VIC. 1944-12-25. COLONEL S H IRVING, (3), AT 4 AWAS BARRACK DISHING CHRISTMAS DINNER. IDENTIFIED PERSONNEL ARE:- CAPTAIN E MCKINNON, (1); LIEUTENANT STOCKDALE, (2); LT RAMSAY, (4); CAPT BROWNE, (5); LT MCCRACKEN, (6).

084424

084730

MELBOURNE, VIC. 1944-12-29. COLONEL S H IRVING, CONTROLLER, AWAS (1), WITH LIEUTENANT COLONEL E PARRY, DEPUTY CONTROLLER, AWAS, (2), AT AWAS HEADQUARTERS, 578 ST KILDA ROAD, DURING A CONFERENCE OF ASSISTANT CONTROLLERS.

084730

107704

1944. Portrait of VF143893 Colonel Sybil H. Irving MBE, Controller, Australian Women's Army Service (AWAS).

107704

107705

1944. Portrait of VF143893 Colonel Sybil H. Irving MBE, Controller, Australian Women's Army Service (AWAS).

107705

099643

LAE, NEW GUINEA, 1946-01-19. COLONEL S. H. IRVING, CONTROLLER, AWAS, LIEUTENANT-COLONEL I. V. MURPHY, DEPUTY ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL WOMEN'S SERVICE, VISITED AWAS HQ FIRST ARMY, PRIOR TO THE DEPARTURE TO THE MAINLAND OF THE FIRST DRAFT OF AWAS TO SERVE WITH HQ FIRST ARMY. SHOWN, COLONEL IRVING...

099643

099644

LAE, NEW GUINEA, 1946-01-19. COLONEL S. H. IRVING, CONTROLLER, AWAS AND LIEUTENANT-COLONEL (LT-COL) I. V. MURPHY, DEPUTY ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL WOMEN'S SERVICE, VISITED AWAS HQ FIRST ARMY, PRIOR TO THE DEPARTURE TO THE MAINLAND OF THE FIRST DRAFT OF AWAS TO SERVE WITH HQ FIRST ARMY. SHOWN,...

099644

099645

LAE, NEW GUINEA, 1946-01-19. COLONEL S. H. IRVING, CONTROLLER, AWAS AND LIEUTENANT-COLONEL I. V. MURPHY, DEPUTY ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL WOMEN'S SERVICE, VISITED AWAS HQ FIRST ARMY, PRIOR TO THE DEPARTURE TO THE MAINLAND OF THE FIRST DRAFT OF AWAS TO SERVE WITH HQ FIRST ARMY. SHOWN, COLONEL...

099645

099646

LAE, NEW GUINEA, 1946-01-19. INSPECTION OF THE LIVING QUARTERS AT AWAS BARRACKS DURING THE VISIT OF COLONEL (COL) S. H. IRVING, CONTROLLER, AWAS AND LIEUTENANT-COLONEL (LT-COL) I. V. MURPHY, DEPUTY ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL WOMEN'S SERVICE PRIOR TO THE DEPARTURE TO THE MAINLAND OF THE FIRST DRAFT...

099646

117420

DARLEY, VIC. 1945-10-18. CADET G. E. ALEXANDER, AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE, RECEIVING HER COMMISSION FROM COLONEL S. H. IRVING MBE, CONTROLLER, AWAS, LAND HEADQUARTERS, DURING THE MARCHING OUT CEREMONY AT THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S SERVICE OFFICER'S SCHOOL. IDENTIFIED PERSONNEL: MAJOR D. J. SKOV,...

117420

117421

DARLEY, VIC. 1945-10-18. COLONEL S. H. IRVING MBE, CONTROLLER, AWAS, LAND HEADQUARTERS, TAKING THE SALUTE DURING THE MARCH PAST AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE MARCHING OUT CEREMONY AT THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S SERVICE OFFICERS SCHOOL. IDENTIFIED PERSONNEL ARE:- MAJOR D. J. SKOV, AWAS, COMMANDANT, AUSTRALIAN...

117421

117423

DARLEY, VIC. 1945-10-18. GRADUATES OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S SERVICE OFFICERS SCHOOL GIVE EYES RIGHT AS THEY MOVE PAST THE SALUTING BASE WHERE THE CONTROLLER OF THE AWAS, LAND HEADQUARTERS, TAKES THE SALUTE AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE MARCHING OUT CEREMONY.

117423

117426

DARLEY, VIC. 1945-10-18. CADET B. F. JESS, SALUTES AFTER RECEIVING HER COMMISSION FROM COLONEL S. H. IRVING MBE, CONTROLLER, AWAS, LAND HEADQUARTERS, DURING THE MARCHING OUT CEREMONY AT THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S SERVICE OFFICERS SCHOOL.

117426

117430

DARLEY, VIC. 1945-10-18. COLONEL S. H. IRVING MBE, CONTROLLER, AWAS, LAND HEADQUARTERS, ADDRESSING NEWLY GRADUATED OFFICER CADETS DURING THE MARCHING OUT CEREMONY AT THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S SERVICE OFFICERS SCHOOL.

117430

117431

DARLEY, VIC. 1945-10-18. COLONEL S. H. IRVING MBE, CONTROLLER, AWAS, LAND HEADQUARTERS, CONGRATULATING CADET E. M. WHITE AFTER AWARDING HER COMMISSION AT THE MARCHING OUT CEREMONY AT THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S SERVICE OFFICERS SCHOOL.

117431

P00622.001

ADELAIDE, SA. 1946. AWAS OFFICERS FAREWELL COLONEL SYBIL IRVING AT KESWICK BARRACKS. L-R: LIEUTENANT BERYL COSTELLO; LIEUTENANT M. GRAY (POSSIBLY); LIEUTENANT JOAN MELTON; LIEUTENANT MARJ LEACH; LIEUTENANT PEG CRASKIE; MAJOR MARGARET BERRY; COLONEL SYBIL IRVING. NEWS AND MAIL PHOTOGRAPH. (DONOR:...

P00622.001

P00775.001

1942-11-16. MELBOURNE, VIC. LEADERS OF THE WOMENS SERVICES WHO MET IN MELBOURNE OVER THE PREVIOUS FEW DAYS TO DISCUSS WOMEN'S SERVICE CONDITIONS. LEFT TO RIGHT: GROUP OFFICER CLARE GRANT STEVENSON, DIRECTOR OF THE WOMENS AUXILIARY AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE (WAAAF); FIRST OFFICER ANNETTE OLDFIELD, WOMENS...

P00775.001

099648

LAE, NEW GUINEA, 1946-01-19. COLONEL (COL) S. H. IRVING, CONTROLLER, AWAS AND LIEUTENANT-COLONEL (LT-COL) I. V. MURPHY, DEPUTY ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL WOMEN'S SERVICE, VISITED AWAS HQ FIRST ARMY PRIOR TO THE DEPARTURE TO THE MAINLAND OF THE FIRST DRAFT OF AWAS TO SERVE WITH HQ FIRST ARMY. SHOWN,...

099648

065513

KOOYONG, VIC. 1944-04-17. BRIGADIER (BRIG) R.G.H. IRVING, OBE., DIRECTOR OF MILITARY TRAINING, LAND HEADQUARTERS, BACK ROW, STANDING, LEFT (1), WITH SENIOR AUSTRALIAN ARMY OFFICERS AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE OFFICIAL OPENING CEREMONY OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE, NO. 3 SENIOR ADMINISTRATION...

065513

066313

MELBOURNE, VIC. 1944-05-24. HER EXCELLENCY LADY ZARA GOWRIE, WIFE OF THE GOVERNOR GENERAL OF AUSTRALIA (4) SHAKING HANDS WITH A CAPTAIN OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE (AWAS) AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE FAREWELL PARADE OF MEMBERS OF THE AWAS AT LAND HEADQUARTERS. IDENTIFIED PERSONNEL ARE, LEFT...

066313

066309

MELBOURNE, VIC. 1944-05-24. LADY ZARA GOWRIE, WIFE OF THE GOVERNOR GENERAL, CENTRE (1) SAYING FAREWELL TO MEMBERS OF THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ARMY SERVICE, LAND HEADQUARTERS AT 'GRONG GRONG' PRIOR TO HER DEPARTURE TO ENGLAND. IDENTIFIED PERSONNEL ARE, LEFT TO RIGHT:- VF143893 COLONEL S.H. IRVING,...

066309

Film

Wesley College on parade, MGO branch

March past and inspection of Ordnance Branch by the Master General of Ordnance Major General L E Beavis, CBE, DSO, on 15th March, 1943, in the grounds of Wesley College, Melbourne, Vic. Also identified: VF143893 Colonel S R Irving MBE.

F07043

Heraldry

WRAAC badge brooch : Colonel K A L Best

Custom made brooch of silver, diamonds and silver gilt, plated with 18 carat gold in the shape of the badge of the Women's Royal Australian Army Corps. The obverse is surmounted with the Queen's Crown above a wreath of eucalyptus leaves that surrounds five diamonds in the form of the Southern Cross...

REL/19938

Timeline

Date of birth 1897-02-25 Melbourne, VIC.
Other 1924 Became secretary of the Girl Guides association of Victoria.
Other 1935 Became foundation member of the Victorian Society for Crippled Children (and Adults). She continued to work for the society until her death.
Date of honour or award 1939-01-02 Member of the Order of the British Empire, for social welfare services in Victoria.
Other 1940 Left the Girl Guides Association to take up the post of assistant secretary of the Victorian Red Cross Society.
Date and unit at appointment (Officers) 1941-10 Resigned from Red Cross to establish and adminster the Australian Women's Army Service.
Date promoted 1942-01 Promoted to lieutenant colonel.
Date promoted 1943-02 Promoted to colonel.
Other 1946-12-31 Resigned from the command of the Australian Women's Army Service.
Other 1947 Became general secretary of the Victorian Division of the Red Cross.
Other 1951 Was given the rank of honorary colonel in the Women's Royal Australian Army Corps, successor to the Australian Women's Army Corps.
Other 1959 Resigned from the Red Cross and became an honorary life member of the society.
Other 1961 Consultant to Elderly Citizens Clubs, with the Old Peoples Welfare Council in Victoria, later called Victorian Council on the Ageing.
Other 1961 Irving resigned from the army.
Other 1971 Retired from Victorian Council on the Ageing.
Date of death 1973-03-28 South Yarra, VIC.