Ursula Mary Carter was born in Sydney in 1887 to Herbert James and Antoinette Charlotte Carter. She was working at Prince Alfred Hospital when World War I started, and was one of the first Australian nurses to offer her services to the AIF. Ursula enlisted on 1 October 1914, and embarked the following month, bound for Alexandria.
She nursed in Egypt, where she was promoted to sister in December 1915. After spending 15 months in Egypt, she was sent to France, but the constant exposure to cold and wet conditions resulted in her catching a severe case of laryngitis. Sick and rundown, she recovered in a London hospital.
In January 1917 she returned to Australia for extended leave and left Australia for the second time in May 1917. As the ship neared its destination, Sister Carter fell and injured her left knee. The injury proved so debilitating that she was unable to resume nursing service and was discharged and returned to Australia in October that year. When she was appointed to Orange District Hospital in August 1927 she had been matron of Queanbeyan Hospital for the past three years. She was matron of Orange District Hospital until 1930.
Ursula’s brother, Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Gordon Carter, married Orange nurse Kath King, with whom Ursula had nursed at Prince Alfred Hospital.
* Edwards, Elisabeth 2011, In sickness and in health: how medicine helped shape Orange’s history, Orange City Council, Orange, NSW