Lavinia Badger was born on the 4th October, 1869, in Rotherham, Yorkshire, daughter of William and Anne. William was a Mechanical Engineer1 2 3. She trained at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast and joined Princess Christian’s Army Nursing Service (Reserve) in 1899.

Nursing Service in the Boer War

Most of her time in South Africa was at the hospital in Kimberley4. She was appointed as a Staff Nurse in the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (Reserve) on the 24th March, 1906, and was mobilised at the start of the First World War.

Nursing Service in WW1

She served at 13 General Hospital at Boulogne from the 17th July, 1916 and then moved to No. 1 Casualty Clearing Station (CCS) in February 1917, where she served for nearly a year. She was awarded the Associate Royal Red Cross (ARRC) on the 1st January, 19175. Her report from this unit stated,

Sister L Badger ARRC QAIMNS(R) has performed the duties of Sister-in-Charge in this unit since 24/2/1917. I am very sorry to lose her from that post, to which she has shown capability and energy. She is a hard worker, keen in the interests of her patients, and careful of the well being of the nursing sisters. She will be found to give satisfaction in a post of even higher responsibility than she has filled here4.

She then served in a number of units in France including 41 Stationery Hospital, The Nurses Hospital at Abbeville, 2 Stationery Hospital, and 55 CCS. In this photograph of nurses in their chapel built from logs ready for Sunday service at the 25th Stationary Hospital at Rouen, she is the Matron sitting at the front on the right hand side6.

Matron Lavinia Badger
© IWM (Q 8112). Miss Badger is right front

She was admitted to 32 Stationery Hospital on the 3rd of November 1918 with influenza. Two days later she was placed on the Seriously Ill List (SIL) with pneumonia. By the 17th of November she was well enough to be taken of the list. She returned to duty at 25 Stationery Hospital, where her confidential report stated:

Miss L Badger has shown herself to be a good organiser. She is thoroughly conversant with all the administrative details and routines of the Matron’s department of a hospital. Under her directions the wards are well run and the nursing services efficiently carried out. She is helpful and most considerate to her subordinates and takes great interest in their comfort and welfare. She is recommended for substantive promotion to a task and position which she will fill with ease4.

She returned to the home establishment having been awarded the Royal Red Cross on the 1st January, 19197 8 (conferred by The King, at Buckingham Palace, December 17, 19199), and was posted to the Military Families Hospital in the Curragh. She had an extended period of unpaid leave in 1920. When she returned to her post she became a member of the newly formed Queen Alexandra’s Military Families Nursing Service (QAMFNS). She was made Sister in Charge at the Curragh Military Families Hospital in 1921. A year later she moved to the Military Families Hospital at Chatham4. She was placed on retired pay on the 8th January, 1923 after a total of 22 years service and received a military pension until her death (aged 80) in 194910.


  1. The National Archives England Census RG10; Piece: 4706; Folio: 28; Page: 6
  2. The National Archives England Census RG11; Piece: 4675; Folio: 70; Page: 13
  3. The National Archives England Census RG14; Piece: 28082
  4. The Nation Archives War Office WO 399/257
  5. The London Gazette, 29 December 1916, Supplement: 29886 Page 46
  6. Imperial War Museum, First World War Official Collection, Q 8112
  7. The London Gazette, 31 December 1918 Supplement: 31092, Page 33
  8. The British Journal of Nursing, January 11, 1919, page 17
  9. The British Journal of Nursing, January 3, 1920, page 5
  10. England & Wales, Death Index, 1916-2007, 820, 2c