Lydia Wilhelmina Falconer GRANT

Year of Birth:  1880

Place of Birth:  Falcon Hall, Morningside, Edinburgh, Scotland

Rank:  Sister

Unit(s):  Voluntary Aid Detachment

Died:  1 April 1917, Manchester, England


Sister Lydia Grant. Photo courtesy of


Lydia Wilhelmina Falconer Grant was born January 22, 1880 in Falcon Hall, Morningside, Edinburgh to Peter George Grant and Emily Mary Graham Goertz. At the time of Lydia’s birth, her father’s occupation is given as a Land Surveyor.


Lydia Grant’s Birth Certificate. ScotlandsPeople


Peter Grant and Mary Goertz married in Brisbane, Queensland, November 30, 1878. Nine months after the birth of Lydia, the family returned to Australia arriving in Brisbane on the “Egmont”, 25 November 1880.  After their arrival 3 more children were born, John MacDonald in 1883, Nancy Florence Letitia 1885 and Chesborough Grant Falconer 1887. Although “William” is given as Lydia’s second name on her birth certificate, during the years Lydia lived in Cairns, she is listed on official documents as Lydia Wilhelmina.

Lydia’s father Peter George was a Police Magistrate and so the family moved around Queensland arriving in Cairns c1908.  Both of Lydia’s brothers enlisted in the AIF.

Lydia Grant then joined the V.A.D., Voluntary Aid Detachment.  At the start of the First World War, Australian VADs were restricted from travelling overseas and so many chose to travel on their own initiative and join British detachments, often in Australian hospitals. In 1916 however, the policy was changed and the first detachment of thirty official Australian VAD’s to serve overseas left Australia in September 1916.

It is believed that Lydia Wilhelmina Falconer Grant was amongst this first detachment of 92 Australian women and Lydia was one of 5 deaths that were recorded.

Lydia contracted measles and was treated at the 2nd Western General Hospital Mancester, her brothers, who were serving in France, were sent for. Her condition deteriorated and Lydia died on the 1st April 1917 and is buried in the Manchester Southern Cemetery, Greater Manchester, England.


AWM Red Cross & Wounded


Cairns Post 29 October 1917 p4


Online Resources

Queesnland Birth Death & Marriage Index

Australian War Memorial; Red Cross Wounded and Missing

Australian War Memorial, VAD

Cairns Post Wednesday 16 May 1917 p7

Cairns Post, Monday 29 October 1917 p4


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