Alice Margaret O'DONNELL

O'DONNELL, Alice Margaret

Service Number: VFX112194
Enlisted: 13 January 1942
Last Rank: Sister
Last Unit: Not yet discovered
Born: Myrtleford, Victoria, Australia, 15 June 1901
Home Town: Myrtleford, Alpine, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Nurse
Died: Killed in Action, At sea (off Brisbane, Queensland, Australia), 14 May 1943, aged 41 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Augusta Australian Army Nursing Sisters Monument, Australian Military Nurses Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Gold Coast - AHS Centaur Memorial, Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital Centaur Wing, Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital Memorial Rose Garden, Kapunda Dutton Park Memorial Gardens Nurses Plaques, Myrtleford A D Lowerson VC Memorial Square, Myrtleford Nurse O'Donnell Memorial Plaque, Myrtleford St. Paul's Anglican Church Memorial Window, Myrtleford War Memorial, Sydney Memorial (Sydney War Cemetery) Rookwood
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World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement VFX112194
13 Jan 1942: Enlisted Australian Army Nursing Service (WW1), Sister, VFX112194
13 Jan 1942: Enlisted VFX112194

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Alice O'Donnell was born in Myrtleford to a well known Myrtleford family and educated at the local State School. On leaving school, she was employed in banking. In 1928, she commenced training as a nurse and became a ward and theatre sister at several leading Melbourne hospitals. "In 1941, Sister O'Donnell joined the A.I.F. as a charge sister at Heidelberg Military Hospital and was then selected to join medical staff on the newly commissioned 3AG Hospital Ship Centaur. At 4.10 am on May 14, 1943, the unescorted Centaur was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine 60 kilometres off Brisbane, on its voyage north to retrieve wounded from the New Guinea campaign. Sister O'Donnell was one of eleven nurses lost in a total casualty list of 300. Only 64 crew and medical staff were rescued.
"At the time of Alice's death two brothers were prisoners of the Japanese and three others were serving with the A.I.F.