Sister Ethel Beatrice Lloyd

Sister Ethel Beatrice Lloyd

Ethel Beatrice LLOYD (known as Beatrice), was born in Lewisham, Kent in 1874 1. Her father was a ‘Tea Broker’ 2 3. She trained at The London Hospital 4. Beatrice was one of the second group of nurses from the London Hospital to be chosen to go to South Africa:

It is an open secret how deeply the gentle heart of the Princess of Wales has been moved by the suffering of the sick and wounded during the war, and rumour has it that neither she nor the Duchess of Argyll have been satisfied by existing methods of organisation for providing nursing care for our brave soldiers. We were not surprised to learn that the Princess of Wales was anxious to send out more nurses, and that on Friday last she paid a private visit to the London Hospital, where a pretty and touching ceremony took place in the nurses garden, where 100 nurses were assembled. The Hon. Sydney Holland, Chairman of the Hospital, presented 20 nurses selected from the hospital staff for service in South Africa, at the expense of funds at the Princesses disposal. The Princess spoke to the nurses in turn, and, after tying round their arms her own badge, presented to each a warm Shetland shawl and rug. Each nurse will take with her a box filled with medical necessities for typhoid. The Princess is also sending with them two large boxes of presents for soldiers whom they may have to nurse.

The 20 nurses selected sailed for the Cape in the transport Assaye on Wednesday last, their names being:- Miss H.O. Luckie, Sister-in-charge and Misses M.S.Baines, E.Baldrey, L.Bristow, E.Fry, A.Gore, C.Hanbury, M.M.Holloway, L.Humphreys, I.Lawson, B.E.Lloyd, E.E.C.Marsh, K.Parminter, M.E.Tate, C.E.A.Thorpe, A.Thomas and E.Whistler5.

Miss Luckie (late Sister Gloucester) was placed in charge during the voyage, and for so long as our twenty Nurses remained together, with the understanding that Miss Lloyd – one of the Office Sisters – would assist her, or act for her, in the event of illness, or other necessity arising6.

Nursing Service in the Boer War

We have not found Sister Beatrice LLOYD on the medal rolls, but a Letter written to her brother indicates she was at the ‘Distillery Hospital’ at Eerste Fabrieken, outside Pretoria. This hospital was not mentioned in the medal rolls, but was likely to have been a detachment of No.2 General Hospital. The hospital in Eerste Fabrieken was mentioned by a war corespondent who was there:

So serious was the position considered that even the local military hospital was depleted of its inmates, and some 50 patients armed and ordered into tho trenches. It was pitiful to see so-called convalescents marched out towards our lines of defence. Some were emaciated and weak, others becoming stronger after attacks of enteric and malarial fever, but all anxious to take part in defending the position. These men, though they should have been in warm cots in a comfortable hospital, moved forward with swinging step, chatting and laughing, never dreaming of uttering one word of complaint, anxious to meet the foe, and referring in a jocular way to tho number of Boers they hoped they would account for if the worst came and the positions were wrested from them7.

The hospital would have been in the Hatherley Distillery which is now derelict. Beatrice collected a number of photographs of herself and other nurses in South Africa. In this photograph she is standing, with other nurses, outside a bungalow. In a recent photograph of the derelict Hatherley Distillery, similar bungalows are visible.

Sister LLOYD contracted enteric fever and died on April 24, 1901. She was buried in Pretoria.

The death of Sister Ethel Beatrice Lloyd, Army Nursing Service Reserve of enteric fever in South Africa, has added another to the list of lives laid down in the countries service by our devoted nurses. To die on duty is so good an end that, whilst sympathizing with those who are left to mourn, one cannot commiserate the brave spirits thus released from the weariness of the flesh8.

We cannot forget, however, how saddened we were last spring when news arrived of the death of one of the brightest Sisters amongst the number who were eager to go to South Africa – Miss Beatrice Lloyd. She had made herself greatly beloved out there, as she was among her fellow workers at home, but she fell a victim to a sharp attack of enteric9.

When she died, her fellow sister’s collected money for a memorial clock which is still at The London Hospital.


  1. England and Wales FreeBMD Birth Index 1837-1915
  2. The National Archives: England Census 1881 RG11/ 738/ 53/ 34
  3. The National Archives: England Census 1891 RG12/ 526/ /39/ 3
  4. War Office (1900) Nominal Roll of Princess Christian’s Army Nursing Service (Reserve) as at 30th September
  5. The Nursing Record and Hospital World Army Nursing Notes July 21, 1900 pg 55
  6. Matron’s newsletter No. 8 March 1901 The London Hospital
  7. Shaw, JA. (1900) The Boer War. Otago Daily Times, October 27, 1900: p2
  8. Nursing Record & Hospital World Pro Patria May 4 1901 pg 35
  9. Matron’s newsletter No. 9 March 1902 The London Hospital