Born 19 May 1881 Richmond.
Parents – Roderick and Alice McRAE (nee Moffat).
Siblings – Alice (b.1873), Roderick (b.1883, married Julia Burke), Cora (b.1885, married Norman Fulton), Rhoda (b.1887, married Daniel Frank Myers), and Philip (b.1890).
Isabella grew up in Richmond and lived on a property called Bonovoree, on Salisbury Road. She went to Richmond Girls School and then to Nelson Girls College in 1896. In 1905 Isabella began training as a Probationer at Nelson Hospital. She completed her training and passed the State exam as well as gaining the Nelson Hospital Certificate in 1908. Isabella then began working at Christchurch Hospital the same year as a Staff Nurse and in 1910 was promoted to Sister.
On 1 December Isabella enlisted with the New Zealand Army Nursing Service (service number 22/212) and embarked three days later for Egypt on the Hospital Ship “Marama” along with her sister Rhoda. Once arriving in Egypt Isabella was meant to remain on the ship but requested to be transferred due to constant sea sickness.
Isabella was assigned as Sister to the 31st General Hospital at Port Said. She was later transferred to No. 2 New Zealand General Hospital at Walton-on-Thames as a Sister and assistant to the Matron. By mid-1916 she was appointed Principal Matron.
In March Isabella was mentioned in dispatches for services rendered. She was then awarded the Royal Red Cross, second class in October. To top it off she received an Investiture by the King at Buckingham Palace on 24 October.
Isabella was transferred to New Zealand Officers Home, a convalescent home, at Brighton in February. She remained there for a number of months and on 19 September was sent back to No. 2 New Zealand General Hospital. Isabella was then posted as on duty on the Hospital Ship, “Ruahine” accompanying the injured back to New Zealand.
Isabella arrived in New Zealand from England on 20 January. She was appointed Sister in Charge of Chalmers Military Orthopaedic Hospital on 24 February.
In 1920 Isabella resigned from the Hospital and travelled to Australia with her sister Rhoda for a period of time. She had been discharged from service on 1 February 1920. From 1924 to 1943 Isabella was Matron of Mowai Home for Ex-Serviceman in Wellington. She retired at the end of 1943 and moved back to Nelson. Isabella died on 16 December 1961 in Nelson.