Lydia Wilhelmina Falconer GRANT
Year of Birth: 1879
Place of Birth: Falcon Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland
Unit(s): Voluntary Aid Detachment
Died: 1 April 1918, Manchester, England
Lydia Wilhelmina Falconer Grant was born c1879 in Falcon Hall, Edinburgh to Peter George Grant and Emily Mary Graham Goertz. The family set sail for Australia and arrived in Brisbane on the “Egmont”, 25 November 1880, when Lydia was only 10 months old. After their arrival 3 more children were born, John MacDonald in 1883, Nancy Florence Letitia 1885 and Chesborough Grant Falconer 1887.
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.
Although the Electoral Rolls show her occupation as ‘home duties’, newspaper reports say that she trained as a nurse in the Mackay District Hospital and in 1914 was a Matron at the Emerald General Hospital. In the same year Nurse Grant enlisted as a member of the Australian Army Nurses Corps.
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, her brothers, who were serving in France, were sent for. Her condition deteriorated and Lydia died on the 1st April 1918 and is buried in the Manchester Southern Cemetery, Greater Manchester, England.
AWM Red Cross & Wounded
Daily Mercury (Mackay) 12 August 1914 p4
Cairns Post 29 October 1917 p4
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