BRAY Ethel

Category: Nurse/Medical
Rank: Sister/Nurse
Regiment or Ship: Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Order of Nurses
Occupation: Qualified Nurse
Date of Birth: 10.05.1878
Place of Birth: St Leonards
Date of Death: 1966
Place of Death: Hastings Address: Buckhurst Road, Bexhill

Photos and newspaper articles

Family Information

Father: Mr John Bray, born 1844, widower by 1914, Alderman of the Borough. Founder of John Bray and Sons, auctioneers and estate agents. Had a stroke in 1918, died 1921.

(Sources: Bexhill Observer, various dates: John Bray & Sons. 1872-1972 A centenary history. Copyright John Bray & Son’s Estate Agents, verbal permission to use given).


  • Nursing Sister Cicely Evelyn, (known as Evelyn), born 1885, married name Garrod.

See “BRAY, Cicely Evelyn, (Sister)” for more information.

Nursing Sister Mary Francis married Edward Clayton      N0005 BRAY Mary Francis (Sister)

  • Margaret Sybil, known as Peggy, died July 1916. Funeral St. Barnabas Church
  • Gertrude, married Walter Charles Morgan in 1916
  • Isabel, engaged to Major French, RAMC
  • Agnes, married Dr. John Shemmonds in 1915


  • Commander John Bray, RNVR, FAI, served on destroyers and on Admiral’s staff.  W0072 BRAY John (Brother)
  • Charles Reginald Bray, Served in Army Service Corp.


First World War Experience

Pre-war service

Trained: Hampstead General Hospital , worked there 1904-1912. Member of Incorporated Society of Trained Masseuses 1912.
Private Nurse between 1912 and 1914, no details known.

War service.

Mobilised to No2 General Hospital Colchester 08.08.1914. Sent to France, with Dame Maud McCarthy, 1914. Nursing on hospital ships, Astorias and Nevasa, 1914-1916.

In charge of Military Hospital, Ranleigh Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, 1918. Demobbed 16.05.1919 to nurse father after stroke.

For more information please see:

Never wounded but Hospital ship Astorias was attacked by a submarine and narrowly avoided being torpedoed.  See “N0001 (2) BRAY Ethel (Sister). Brave Nurse. Transcript 5th August 1916 Chronicle”.

“Recommended for exceptional service and devotion to duty whilst serving in the M. Hospital Ship Nevasa M.8. F. in Gallipoli from August to December 1915.” R. N. Hunt Major RAMC, o/c of HM Hospital Ship Nevasa, Oct 12th 1915” (Military record of service in QAIMNS, National Archives)


  • Remained on reserve of QAIMNS until 14.07.1938. Called up to Military Hospital in Shorncliffe but requested release from service.
  • Nursed her father until his death 1921.
  • Private patient: Lady Francis Legge, The Lodge, Bexhill 1924
  • P&O ship Narkunda 1929-1937, to Australia, etc.
  • Private patients Miss Agnes Thorncroft & Miss M. P. Wilborn 1937

See: N0001 (12)BRAY Ethel (Sister). Transcription. Letter re. joining P and O Liner.
N0001 (13) BRAY Ethel (Sister). Transcript. Letter requesting to stay on reserve after age 1937

Firm of John Bray and sons, now in Hastings, have no contact with Bray family. Their centenary leaflet in 1972 gives some family history but from Hastings perspective. Bexhill office in Devonshire Place or Terrace was open from 1893. There was also an office in Sackville Road still open in 1972.

Search again

Back to WW1 Individuals directory
Scroll to Top