Frances Emma (Fanny) HINES

HINES, Frances Emma

Service Numbers: SN Nurse, Nurse
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Sister
Last Unit: Victorian Nursing Sisters
Born: Apsley, Victoria, Australia, 26 August 1864
Home Town: Inglewood, Loddon, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Nurse
Died: Pneumonia, Bulawayo, South Africa, 7 August 1900, aged 35 years
Cemetery: West Park Cemetery and Crematorium, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Memorials: Apsley War Memorial, Australian Military Nurses Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Ballarat Boer War Memorial (Queen Victoria Square), Inglewood War Memorial, Kapunda Dutton Park Memorial Bullwinkel Memorial
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Boer War Service

1 Oct 1899: Involvement Sister
10 Mar 1900: Embarked Australian and Colonial Military Forces - Boer War Contingents, Sister, SN Nurse, Victorian Nursing Sisters, Embarked from Port Melbourne on "Euryalus" to disembark at Beira in Portuguese Mozambique. Then entrained there for service in what was Rhodesia.
7 Aug 1900: Involvement Australian and Colonial Military Forces - Boer War Contingents, Sister, Nurse, Victorian Nursing Sisters
7 Aug 1900: Discharged Australian and Colonial Military Forces - Boer War Contingents, Sister, SN Nurse, Victorian Nursing Sisters, D.O.D. in Bulawayo Hospital.

Death of Sister Hines

Sister M Rawson, writing to Dr. R. H. Fetherston, says:—
"Since my letter to Colonel Fetherston, written at Zeerust, you would have heard of the death of Sister Hines. This news was a terrible shock to us. and I had received such good reports of her that I was not at all anxious, nor would I have left her if I thought that there was any danger. Then the lines of communication were somewhat interfered with, and it took some time to get a message through to Zeerust. It was only the matter of a brief period sister’s illness (pneumonia) and when the sad news reached me 1 could not believe it. I miss her dreadfully;
she was so good and so unselfish. When I was leaving Bulawayo she said, “Sister, do get me on with you,” and I promised to arrange it when I got things settled. Fortunately, we were not all scattered. Five of the ‘sisters’ were at Bulawayo, and they alternately, day and night, nursed her. Nothing could exceed the kindness of the house surgeon and the matron, also the staff of the Bulawayo (Memorial) Hospital. They could not have done more had Sister Hines been their relation. Dr Strong, of Bulawayo, sent a wreath, and also sent one for the ‘sisters’ on the day of the funeral. Everybody has been so kind and thoughtful. Sister had a military funeral. Sisters B Smith and Langlands, who had come on from Umtali a few
days previously were present, also Sisters Thomson’and Anderson, also Tiddy. Sisters Ivey and Dorothy Smith will by this time have reached Victoria, in Matabeleland, where they will be looking after the Yeomanry principally, as they are stationed there, and Sister Walter is with me. I believe that all particulars have been sent on to Mrs Hines from Bulawayo, both by the matron of that hospital and by our own sisters.’

The Ballarat Star Wednesday 03 October 1900 page 4

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Biography contributed by John Edwards

"Sister Frances Emma Hines was part of the Victorian 3rd Bushman's Contingent to Rhodesia, South Africa during the Boer War. Australia was not yet a nation when the Boer war broke out in 1899. Prior to Federation in 1901, each of the current six states was a colony of Britain, and each sent troops to fight as part of the British forces against the Boers in South Africa, over 16,000 in all.
For three years, around 60 Australian nurses scattered in small groups throughout South Africa, worked in British hospitals. Unmarried and mostly aged between 25 and 40 they were well educated women from middle class families, considered "desirable persons to enter a service composed of ladies."

​Embarked for Cape Town 10 March 1900 per 'Euryalus'


Sister Fanny Hines was one of ten Victorian nurses who accompanied the Victorian 3rd Bushman's Contingent to Rhodesia, South Africa in March 1900. The nurses found themselves sent in different directions, posted wherever the need was greatest. Hospitals were primitive and overcrowded, with many men suffering from fever, dysentery and pneumonia. Her friend Sister Ellen Walter wrote from Bulawayo on 15 July 1900, "Sister Frances Hines is at Enkeldoorn, but we expect her here soon. She has been a long time there alone". However, overworked and sick, Fanny died alone on 7 August 1900. Sister Julia Anderson wrote,

"She died of an attack of pneumonia contracted in devotion to duty. She was quite alone, with as many as twenty six patients at one time, no possibility of assistance, or relief and without sufficient nourishment."

After her burial with full military honours, a marble cross was erected on her grave in Bulawayo cemetery by the Victorian nurses and Bushmen's Contingent. She was the only Australian nurse to die during service in the Boer War." - SOURCE (


Biography contributed by Maurice Kissane

Frances Emma Hines was born in Apsley, Victoria in 1864. Her parents were Francis Patrick Hines (1827-1891) and Eleanor Mary Caroline nee Brewer (1834-1873). Hence her father, survived both his daughter Frances, and his wife, Eleanor. He had named his daughter Frances. This was the female version of his own male name, Francis. His daughter never married. For serving as a Nuring Sister was seen as a vocation.


Frances dedicated her life to her vocation and died as a consequence.  For this was a time before antibiotics and modern medicine.  About one half of the Boer War fallen died from disease. Frances was at a higher risk than those on the velt from contageous disease. For she alone had to care for all the cases at Enkeldoorn.      

The Victorian Nurses, including Frances had embarked from Melbourne on the "Euryalus" Troopship on 10 March 1900. They had sailed with the 3rd Victorian Bushmen Contingent. 3BVC was sent to Rhodesia to be regimented with 3rd W.A. Bushmen. The combined unit became 3rd Australian Bushmen Regiment, Rhodesian Field Force. The Victorian Nurses had accompanied 3BVC from Melbourne to to disembark with them at Beira in what was then Portuguse Mozambique. Frances or "Fanny" as she was known by her collegues, then entrained for service in Rhodesia. 


The Victorian Nurses were disributed to different hospitals to assist medical teams. Sister Hines was sent to Enkeldoorn to run that hospital by herself.


Frances had more that twenty five chronic cases to nurse. In addition to caring for her charges, Frances had to cook and clean for them. In August 1900, Frances who was suffering for the effects of her solitary role was sent to Bullawaya Hospital. Frances succumbed there on 7 August 1900 and died. Her death on Active service meant that her Fellow Sisters had to bury their esteemed comrade in the war against disease. Her Fellow Sisters and the Victorian Bushmen ensured that she was buried with suitable honours. Likewise they contributed to a fitting and impressive memorial to be placed on her grave in what is now Zimbabwe.      


Mum's grandad was a Victorian Bushman. He would have met Sister Frances "Fanny" Hines while outward bound on the Troopship "Euryalus". 3BVC Troopers were very grateful that Sisters had embarked with them to care for their sick and wounded comrades.  


Hence, when I reactivated the Vice-Regal Boer War Commemoration in Western Australia back in 2012 for the 110th Anniversary of the Peace Accords. I ensured that our Boer War Nurses were both remembered and duly commemorated. The Boer War Nurses and the scarifice of Sister Frances Emma Hines is now part of the reactivated Boer War Commemorations in the six former colonies that are now six states. These services were reactivated to ensure that what was then the proposed Boer War Memorial on Anzac Parade in Canberra would materialize. That came to pass. Hence Boer War soldiers and nurses are now memorialized in Canberra in the first spot at the beginng of Anzac Parade. Symbolically this is at the beginning of all the memorials to conflicts that followed Federation.


Australia was Federated and became a Commonwealth during the Boer War. Hence what began as a colonial conflict, ended with the raising of the Commonwealth Horse Battalions. The Australian Army Medical Corps was formed a month after the signing of the Boer War Peace Accords.   


Sister Frances Emma Hines was the only nurse from Boer War medical units, raised in Australia and sent  overseas, to die on Active Service. Lest We Forget.