Force: Australian ANSC
Ethel was born in Sydenham Christchurch 30 April 1882 to George David Dement and Mary Ellen (nee Hill).
Ethel won a scholarship to attend Nelson College for Girls starting in February 1897.
In 1907 she started her training at Wellington Hospital passing her state exams as a Registered Nurse by 1910.
On 1 April Ethel left Wellington bound for Sydney on the ship "Ulimaroa". She travelled as an enlisted nurse (service number 22/54). On 13 April after completing attestation formalities as an Australian nurse she embarked as part of the Australian Nursing Division, one of 12 New Zealand nurses who answered a call for volunteers from Australia. They were headed for Egypt and established the 1st Australian General Hospital in a Presidential Palace at Heliopolis. Amongst the wounded she tended was her brother William George Dement.
On 13 April she was detached from No.1 AGH for duty with British Hospitals at Le Treport near Rouen in France.
She continued to serve on the Western Front.
On 7 April she was ‘mentioned in dispatches’ by Sir Douglas Haig for conspicuous service on the Western Front.
On 19 July she was presented the Royal Red Cross 2nd Class by His Majesty the King in London.
Ethel remained in London for about 6 months training in massage (the new practice of physiotherapy) before returning to Nelson via Australia. She married William Thomas in September 1925 at the age of 43. Her husband was a teacher, first in Taumarunui then for many years in Levin. William died in 1946 and Ethel remained in Levin untill her death in 1955.