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Procession of nurses to honour one of their own

She never had a family of her own, remaining unmarried her whole life, but Sister Edith Edleston Williams devoted herself to her career as a nurse.

She was taken on as a probationer in 1890 at the Adelaide Hospital, where she received her training as a nurse. In 1897 she took on the role of Night Superintendent of Nurses.

Procession of nurses at Edith's funeral. Photo courtesy North Road Cemetery Facebook.

For the next 22 years Sister Williams carried out her duties with great kindness and skill. She even took on the role as Matron when her superior, Matron Margaret Graham left to serve during the Great War.

As a charge nurse in 1895 Edith confronted the Adelaide Hospital board stating the general management of the hospital was good but charge nurses shouldn't have to report in, as they should be trusted with their work. At the current time, if a charge nurse was late for their shift by 10 minutes, they were reported.

Sadly, during the influenza pandemic Edith fell victim to the bug and died from the very illness from which she was nursing her patients. She was 52 years of age.

The final burial place of Miss Edith Edelston Williams. Photo courtesy North Road Cemetery Facebook page.

The funeral procession was made up of over 50 nurses and wound its way from the grounds of the Adelaide Hospital to the North Road cemetery where she was laid to rest. She was held in such high regard that the nurses helped fund the headstone and tilework on her grave.

The Adelaide Hospital Board at their next meeting, passed a resolution of sympathy at the nurse's death.


  • 'North Road Cemetery', Facebook, accessed 4th August, 2023,

  • 'Obituary', Chronicle, Saturday 7 June 1919, Page 43

  • 'Personal', Daily Herald, Tuesday 3 June 1919, Page 2

  • 'The Hospital Commission', South Australia Chronicle, Saturday 18 May, 1895, Page 7

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