The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Sister (Lieutenant) Julia Anderson

Ancestor Details

Ancestor's Name: Julia Anderson

Ancestor's date of birth: 30/11/181869

Ancestor's date of death: 08/10/191954

Cause of Death: Senile Myocardial degeneration and obesity

Service and Life Before the Boer War: Julia Anderson was born 30 November 1869 in Young, New South Wales. She was one of four daughters and George and Bridget Anderson. Tracking Julia down has been quite confusing as a number of erroneous details have crept into records about her throughout her life. At some point after her birth, the family moved to Grenfell in central western New South Wales. Julia Anderson began training as a nurse at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney in either 1891 or 1892. Here the first confusion creeps in, as she was registered as Mary Julia and her age does not tally with her birth certificate. It is not clear why that happened, perhaps someone in authority at St Vincent's did not feel that Julia was a good enough Catholic name. After graduation in 1894, Julia moved to Melbourne where the time of the Boer War she was head nurse in the Women's Hospital.

Service Number: Nursing Sister, no number.

Colony or State of enlistment: VIC, Place of Enlistment: Melbourne

Unit: Victorian Nursing Group

Rank attained in Boer War: ST (LT), Date Effective: 1900

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): No evidence of another military rank.

Murray Page: 241

Contingent: Third Victorian

Ship: SS Euralyus, Date of Sailing: 10/03/1900

Memorial details: Buried in the United Kingdom

Awards/Decorations/Commendations: Queen and King's South Africa Medals with clasps.

Personal Characteristics: A dedicated health professional

Reasons to go and fight: To tend for the sick and wounded

Details of service in war: Julia Anderson was chosen as one of the nurses of the Victorian contingent. Here again some confusion crept in as she is always referred to as Julia B Anderson. It is not clear why this should be so as she never had a second name, perhaps somehow her mother's name of Bridget was attached to hers.

Victoria, whilst not having a nursing reserve, essentially created one, as its nursing group headed by Marianne Rawson, as superintendent was fully recognised by Victoria Barracks Melbourne and backed by the Commandant, General Downes, although their passages were paid for by public subscription. The group of ten nurses from Victoria went on the Euryalus with the 3rd Victorian Bushmen contingent on 10 March 1900. The Sisters opted to remain with the Victorian Contingents and travel with them to Rhodesia.The Victorian nursing sisters travelled overland from Beira via Marandellas to Salisbury by train then stagecoach to Bulawayo, to set up a Base Hospital (Hillside Camp hospital). The Nursing sisters were restricted to 40 ponds of luggage each, so had to travel in their normal nursing uniforms (sounds like economy travel). Like other Victorian nurses she was sent out to nurse as required and spent a good deal of time at Charter in Rhodesia.At Charter she had no other medical assistance and she was on her own and often the only European woman in the area. It was in this type of situation that one of her colleagues, Fanny Hines, died. The Rev James Green, Chaplain to the New South Wales Citizen's Bushman made special mention of her work at Charter in a dispatch to Australian newspapers in 1900. By 5 July 1900 and she was back in the Hillside Camp Hospital, Bulawayo, having returned there via a rather hairy coach trip.

She was also heavily involved with Marianne Rawson in the set up of the Military Base Hospital at Hillside. (see the extended biography in the soldiers section)

Service and life after the Boer War: She returned to Australia during 1901 and visited her mother in Grenfell. Whilst there the citizens of Grenfell presented her with a piece of jewellery believed to be a gold brooch in the form of medal which was to be inscribed with her name. She then returned to South Africa.

Whilst in South Africa she met a doctor serving the British Army. This was Dr John Ignatius Worgan Morris, born in India but moved at a young age to Tasmania where he was educated at Launceston Church of England Grammar School. He then completed his medical training in Britain and joined the British Army. For part of the Boer War, he was the regimental medical officer of the 2nd Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment. The couple married in Kimberley, South Africa in approximately 1904. Following completion of service in the British Army about 1910, the couple moved to England where Dr Morris took charge of Kelling Sanatorium at Holt in Norfolk. He held this position except for war service in World War I until his death in 1936. Julia apparently worked along side him in this enterprise. Julia is said also to have served in World War I but it seems likely that this was on home service in England in repatriation hospitals.

Julia Anderson received the Queens South Africa medal and the Kings South Africa medals. She died 8 October 1954 at Crossing Lodge, Upper Maze Hill, St Leonards on Sea, United Kingdom.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Vanessa Cassin, Baulkham Hills NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Great Great Niece

Name of Descendant: Peter Wall, Tanunda SA
Relationship to Ancestor: Great Nephew


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