Elizabeth McRae was born near Cootamundra in 1878 to John and Margaret McRae. She completed her training at Orange District Hospital between 1903 and 1907, specialising in general and surgical nursing. She went on to nurse at hospitals in South Sydney, Kurri Kurri and Campbelltown.
Nurse McRae was living in Minto when enlisted for service on 26 April 1915, the day following the Gallipoli landing. She embarked for overseas service three weeks later and served on hospital ships and military hospitals in France, Egypt and England. In May 1916 she was hospitalised with measles, and again in 1917, suffering from appendicitis.
After several years of service Nurse McRae returned to Australia, disembarking in Colombo en route to visit relations in India. She was welcomed home with a celebration at Campbelltown Town Hall in 1920, where she was presented with a gold brooch. She was one of the last local veterans to return from the war.
Elizabeth died in January 1967, aged 89. In April 2014 Elizabeth McRae Avenue in Minto was named in her honour.