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Dame Louisa Wilkinson
Born (1889-12-11)11 December 1889
Died 4 December 1968(1968-12-04) (aged 78)
Place of birth Sunderland, England
Place of death Crowborough, England
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1914–1948
Rank Matron-in-Chief
Commands held Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (1944–48)
Battles/wars First World War
Second World War
Awards Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Royal Red Cross

Dame Louisa Jane Wilkinson, DBE RRC (née Lumsden; 11 December 1889 – 4 December 1968) was a British military nurse and nursing administrator who served as Matron-in-Chief of the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS) from 1944 to 1948.[1] She also founded Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC), and was also president of the Royal College of Nursing.[2]

Early life[edit | edit source]

Wilkinson was born Louisa Lumsden in Sunderland, the daughter of merchant seaman James Lumsden and Louisa Lumsden (née Benskin). She was educated at Bede Collegiate School in Sunderland and Thornbeck Collegiate School in Darlington.[2]

Nursing career[edit | edit source]

The 22-year-old Lumsden began her nursing training in 1911 at the Royal Infirmary in Sunderland. She had just finished her training when the First World War began in August 1914, and she promptly enlisted as a reserve in Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS). On 20 December 1917 she married Captain Robert John Wilkinson of the Royal Irish Fusiliers at the Fulham register office, but her husband was killed in action barely six months later in France on 2 July 1918.[2][3]

Wilkinson became a regular member of the QAIMNS, and saw service during both World Wars. She was appointed Matron in Chief from 1944–48, and after retirement was named Colonel Commandant.

Dame Louisa Wilkinson founded the QARANC Association in 1947. She died in 1968 in Crowborough of a coronary thrombosis.[2]

Honours[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Piggott, Juliet (1990) (in en). Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps. Pen and Sword. p. 113. ISBN 9781473817395. https://books.google.com/books?id=OIejAwAAQBAJ&pg=PT113. Retrieved 14 July 2017. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Cohen, Susan L.. "Wilkinson [née Lumsden], Dame Louisa Jane (1889–1968), military nurse". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. Digital object identifier:10.1093/ref:odnb/52050.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. Ireland, Casualties of World War I, 1914–1922
  4. "No. 31281". 8 April 1919. p. 4679. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/31281/supplement/4679 
  5. "No. 35204". 27 June 1941. p. 3751. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/35204/supplement/3751 
  6. "No. 36033". 28 May 1943. p. 2426. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/36033/supplement/2426 
  7. "No. 37598". 4 June 1946. p. 2769. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/37598/supplement/2769 
  8. "No. 38161". 30 December 1947. p. 10. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/38161/supplement/10 

External links[edit | edit source]

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