31 December 1916 : Staff Nurse Kate Rosina Sturt

Kate Sturt was born 17 September 1988 in Folkestone, Kent, England

Location of Folkestone in Kent in the far south east of England (cc OpenStreetMap)

Kate's parents were William Sturt (a retired Company Sergeant Major in the Royal Garrison Artillery) and Kate Jane Colebrook Sturt. 

Kate had a younger sister, Violet and a younger brother, Sidney. 

At the 1911 English census Kate was age 22 living at home and working as a machinist in a Baby Robes Factory.

The Poplar and Stepney Sick Asylum, Bromley-by-Bow: the street facade. Wood engraving, (c.1870?) by Arthur Harston (CC BY SA 3.0) The Wellcome Collection

The following year she enrolled to become a nurse at the Poplar and Stepney Sick Asylum, in Bromley-by-Bow. In May 1915 she joined Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve.

Hospital Ship in the Grand Harbour August – October 1915 (RAMC 1081/1/8 photo album of Pte Percy Roberts AIF).

In July 1915 she was posted to St Andrew’s Military Hospital, Malta. At this time wounded transported from Gallipoli would have had not medical intervention during the two to three day voyage and many would be suffering from sepsis. In 1916 soldiers were more likely to be suffering from disease and even frostbite (Malts Hospitals 1914-1918). 

4 Light Field Ambulance Malta 1915 – 1917. On 26 May 1915 (Courtesy J. Bird) From MILITARY HOSPITALS MALTA 1914 — 1918

Nurse Sturt returned to England a year later at the end of June 1916 and a month later was subsequently posted to Frensham Hill Military Hospital. This was run largely by nurses of Frensham Voluntary Aid Detachment with two full-time nurses (one for nights, one for days) - the role Nurse Kate would have filled. 

The Hill Hospital, Lower Bourne, near Farnham Description: Copyright: Rural Life Museum, Tilford CC BY-NC 3.0

On 25th August 1916 she was admitted to Vincent Square Hospital, where she died of Pulmonary Tuberculosis on 31 December 1916 

Brookwood Cemetery (c) Brookwood Cemetery Society 2021

Nurse Kate Sturt is buried in Brookwood Cemetery, Woking Borough, Surrey, England. 

Research by Jonathan Vernon based on initial details provided by 'Yvonne27542'. 

Sources: Lives of the First World War : Yvonne27542; England Census Returns 1891, 1901, 1911; Wellcome CollectionMilitary Hospitals Malta 1914-1918; Surrey in the Great War; The British Red Cross Museum & Archives (the Annual Reports (1914 – 1919) of the Surrey Branch of the Red Cross); Rural Life Museum, Tilford; Museum of Military Medicine; Queen Alexandra's Royal Nursing Corps; Brookwood Cemetery

Additional images added to 'Find a Grave' by Larry Hume and ‘Retired QA’