Matron Margaret Graham

In 1891 Margaret Graham was appointed as a probationer nurse at the Adelaide Hospital, completing her training in 1894. In 1898 Margaret Graham was appointed Matron of the Adelaide Hospital, a position she held for 22 years.

As a member of the Australian Army Nursing Reserve in South Australia (formed in 1904) she was granted leave from the Adelaide Hosptial to join the nursing contingent which accompanied the Australian Imperial Force to Egypt, late in 1914.

In the first year of the conflict that was to become World War 1, the November before the Gallipoli landing, 30 South Australian Nursing Staff made their way to Port Melbourne as part of the Second Australian General Hospital (1st to 16th and Special Reinforcements). They embarked on the H.M.A.T. Kyarra departing Port Melbourne on the 4th Dec 1914.

This photo taken on the Kyarra, December 1915. Lucretia Smart second nurse from right, Matron Graham fourth from right, Nurse Perrin second nurse from right.

These were not young women, new to the nursing profession. Matron Margaret Graham, 52 years old at embarkation, 14 Nursing Sisters of the average age of 38 years and 15 Staff Nurses with the average age of 29 years, joined nurses on the Kyarra from New South Wales, Tasmania, Queensland, and Victoria.

Matron Graham returned to the Adelaide Hospital in 1918. A full history of Matron Graham is detailed in her biography, contact the Heritage Office.

This photo is from the personal collection of Nurse Henrietta Perrin. The nurses at this time were allocated to English hospitals before transferring to hospitals in Europe. Matron Margaret Graham is in the back row at left, with Nurse Perrin seated at front right.