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Officer Ranks

Qaranc Officer

Commissioned officer ranks of QARANC army nurses

British army nurses who have the Queen's Commission hold the following officer ranks:

Officer Cadet
Second Lieutenant
Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant General
Field Marshall

I have published a book which tells the story of The Grey Lady Ghost of the Cambridge Military Hospital which reveals her origins in the QAIMNS and where she meets a QA veteran of Afghanistan. She still walks her wards and tells her story by taking Scott Grey, a QARANC nurse, to the battlefields of World War One and beyond. This is the first in the series of Grey and Scarlet Novels by CG Buswell. Read the first chapter for free.

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The first QA Officer to be gazetted to the rank of Brigadier in the British Army was Dame Anne Thomson the Director Army Nursing Services (DANS) and Matron-in-Chief (Army) in 1950. Prior to her promotion the first member of the QAs to become a Brigadier was Dame Katherine Jones who held the rank during an emergency Commission (cited in the book Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (Famous Regts. S) by Juliet Piggott).

Army Officer Ranks

The last four army officer ranks are for general staff officers and no QARANC officer has been promoted to this level.

It might seem strange having officer ranks of Lieutenant Generals being above Major Generals since a Major outranks a Lieutenant but a Major General is traditionally a shortened version of Sergeant Major General. A Lieutenant outranks a Sergeant Major.

It should be noted that though the Officer Cadet is a rank the holder does not hold the Queen’s Commission.

The first non nursing officer commissioned to the QARANC was Lieutenant Margaret Stephenson in March 1959. Her previous rank and service was WOI in the WRAC (cited in the book Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (Famous Regts. S) by Juliet Piggott).

She trained as a clerk and served at Hindhead, Aldershot and GHQ Singapore

Then in 1958 authority was given for the creation of a small cadre of Non Nursing Officers to support and relieve nursing staff from onerous clerical duties. She was selected to spearhead this and appeared before the Regular Commissions Board and completed the Officer course at Hindhead. She was appointed MBE for services to Non Nursing in 1976. Posting and positions included CMH Aldershot, DKMH Catterick and the QA Centre as Adjutant, Admin Officer, Deputy Commandant and Chief Instructor. She died peacefully at home on the 24 May 2012 (cited in The Gazette Vol 14 No 6).

For non commissioned ranks of The Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps please go to the junior ranks page.

UK Army Officer establishment figures for the Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps for 2004 was at a strength of 260.

For the Other Ranks figures please see the QARANC Junior Ranks page.

The photograph below shows some QARANC Officers enjoying a visit from Santa in the Far East. Read more about this and view more photos from this collection on the BMH Singapore page.

QARANC Officers

Field Marshal

The rank of Field Marshal was last held by Sir Peter Inge (later Lord Inge and then the Right Honourable Lord Inge) in 1994 when he was appointed Chief of the Defence Staff. Field Marshal Inge served until his retirement in 1997. Since then no Field Marshals are to be appointed during peace time, though the rank of Field Marshal is conferred for life.

By tradition members of the Royal Family are Field Marshals. This includes Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.

Forces War Records

Forces War Records are a genealogy site where you can find military records of over 6 million British Armed Forces personnel cross matched with over 4000 Regiments, Bases and Ships. This link includes a free search and a special discount of 40% off membership offer for visitors who use the discount code AF40 if they decide to become a member.
Search Now. A unique feature is their WW1 Soldiers Medical Records section.

If you would like to contribute to this page, suggest changes or inclusions to this website or would like to send me a photograph then please e-mail me.

Official QARANC webpage.

QA Association website.

In The Company of Nurses Book.


The Grey Lady Ghost of the Cambridge Military Hospital Novel - a Book by CG Buswell

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