Freda Airey

Discussion in 'The Women of WW2' started by BereniceUK, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. BereniceUK

    BereniceUK Well-Known Member

    The WW2 memorial plaque for Arnside, Westmorland, has the inscription Lieutenant Freda Airey but the CWGC database lists her as Sister. Which is her correct rank or are they both right?




    Rank: Sister

    Service No: 260226

    Date of Death: 12/02/1944

    Regiment/Service: Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service

    Panel Reference: Panel 22. Column 1.

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  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Panel from Brookwood attached

    Attached Files:

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  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    From Ancestry:

    Freda Airey
    Birth Jun 1920 in Westmorland, England
    Death 12 Feb 1944 in Indian Ocean
    On 5 February 1944 Khedive Ismail left Mombasa bound for Colombo carrying 1,324 passengers including 996 members of the East African Artillery's 301st Field Regiment, 271 Royal Navy personnel, 19 WRNS, 53 nursing sisters and their matron, nine members of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry .........................

    Early in the afternoon of Saturday 12 February, after a week at sea, KR 8 was in the One and a Half Degree Channel south-west of the Maldives. After lunch many of the passengers were below watching an ENSA concert, while others sunbathed on deck. At 1430 hrs the Japanese submarine I-27 positioned off Khedive Ismail '​s port side to attack. A lookout sighted I-27 '​s periscope and raised the alarm; Khedive Ismail '​s DEMS gunners opened fire on the submarine. At the same time I-27 '​s commander, Lt-Cdr Toshiaki Fukumura, fired a spread of four torpedoes, two of which hit Khedive Ismail.[40]

    HMS Petard depth charged, shelled, torpedoed and sank I-27
    The troop ship's stern was engulfed in flame and smoke and she sank in three minutes. As the convoy's merchant ships scattered for safety, Paladin lowered boats to rescue survivors and Petard released depth charges. The troop ship had sunk too quickly to launch any lifeboats, but her Carley floats floated free and some survivors were able to board them.[40]...............................

    Another image of her:

    I know this does not directly answer your initial question, but hopefully adds to the thread


    edited to add:
    She also appears on here but noted as a Sister -

    I also note in the Roll of Honour she is noted as a Sister:

    AIREY Freda Sister, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service
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  4. BereniceUK

    BereniceUK Well-Known Member

    It definitely does add to the thread; thank you very much, TD, and also CL1 - I was hoping someone could add her name as it appears on the Brookwood Memorial.
  5. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    As I understand it, after 1941 the QAIMNS rank for a nursing 'Sister' was deemed equivalent to the Army rank of Lieutenant. Thus, either description could apply especially if this lady had enlisted prior to 1941.
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  6. BereniceUK

    BereniceUK Well-Known Member

    Excellent. Thank you.
  7. RCG

    RCG Senior Member, Deceased

    Wiki says this.


    The initial ranking system used by the QAIMNS was as follows.

    QAIMNS rank Equivalent Army rank (from 1941)
    Staff Nurse
    Sister = Lieutenant
    Senior Sister = Captain
    Matron = Major
    Principal Matron = Lieutenant-Colonel
    Chief Principal = Matron Colonel
    Matron-in-Chief = Brigadier

    From 30 May 1941 QAIMNS personnel were granted emergency commissions and wore rank insignia corresponding to their equivalent Army rank.

    The TFNS/TANS ranking system was identical.

    On 1 February 1949 the women's forces were integrated into the armed forces. Initially, QARANC, along with the Women's Royal Army Corps, adopted the old Auxiliary Territorial Service ranking system, with the Matron-in-Chief holding the rank of Senior Controller, but in 1950 both corps switched to ordinary Army ranks. Professional titles were still used on the wards.

    Other Ranks were introduced in 1956.
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