Katy Beaufoy was born in Aston, Birmingham on the 20th December, 1868. Her father was the Superintendent of the Birmingham Post Office. She trained at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital in Devon starting on the 16th October, 1893. After qualifying she was Sister of the Operating Theatres for eighteen months, then Sister of the Male Wards for six months. She was Matron of the Exeter Sanatorium from 11th July, 1888 until she joined Princess Christian’s Army Nursing Service (Reserve) in July 1900 1.

Nursing Service in the Boer War

She served at Elandsfontein until she was invalided back to the UK 2. She then returned to civil nursing practice until returning to military nursing in 1914 as an Acting Matron in the QAIMNS(R) 1.

Nursing Service in WW1

Katy Beaufoy was posted to the Military Hospital at Devonport on the 17th August 1914 and then to Egypt on the 10th May, 1915 for service at No. 15 General Hospital at Alexandria. She was transferred to Ras el Fin on the 4th June, 1916, and then moved as Acting Matron to HMHS Dover Castle. She boarded the Dover Castle in Salonika on May 7th, 1917. When she arrived in Malta she was given leave to return home on the death of her father 1.

While in England she was admitted to hospital in July 1917 for an operation. After a medical board to make sure she was fit to return to duty she was sent instructions on the 24th October to report to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley, although these orders were then cancelled 1.

On the 1st November, 1917 she was sent a telegram “Prepare to embark on Hospital Ship as Matron” from the Matron-in-Chief. She was then sent instructions to report to Liverpool to embark in the HMHS Glenart Castle. Her record contained letters back and forth between her and the Matron-in-Chief organising the nominal roll of staff for the HMHS Glenart Castle. The next entry in her record was a letter from the War Office to her next of kin informing them that Katy Beaufoy was missing believed drowned after the loss of the Glenart Castle by torpedo. Further letters confirmed that there no hope of finding survivors and that Katy Beaufoy had died at sea. HMHS Glenart Castle left Cardiff on 25th February, 1918, bound for Brest to load wounded. At 03:47 the next day a torpedo struck her, she went down quickly, and only 38 survived from 206 on board 1.


  1. The National Archives: WO/399/494 Personal Record
  2. The National Archives: WO 100/229 QSA Medal Roll p91 created at No.20 General Hospital, Elandsfontein; dated July 15, 1901