Grace 2: What’s In A Name?

The name Grace:

Meaning:favor or blessing

Grace, a Latin girl’s name, comes from the word grâtia and means “favor” or “blessing.” Grace is a virtue name that was regularly used by Puritans in the sixteenth century to signify god’s love and divine grace. In Greek mythology, the Three Graces were goddesses of nature who personified flowering, brilliance, and joy.

There are many famous Graces that embody different aspects of the meaning of Grace but I have chosen just three to look at.

Grace Darling

When I was a young girl at school, our teacher read us the true story about the courage of Grace Darling and it struck a chord with me. It was unusual to hear about girls or women being brave in the 1960s and I found her story very impressive.

‘ Grace Darling was one of the Victorian era’s most celebrated heroines. On 7 September 1838, she risked her life to rescue the stranded survivors of the wrecked steamship Forfarshire, a feat of bravery which changed her life dramatically.

Her extraordinary act of bravery became internationally known, making front page news and even reaching Queen Victoria. Both Grace and her father were awarded medals for their bravery. 

Sadly Grace died 4 years later, aged 26, on 20 October 1842. Her funeral was a grand occasion, with hundreds of people crowding the little village of Bamburgh to say goodbye. Grace is still remembered for her courageous actions, and the bravery she demonstrated that night continues to inspire the values we hold today.’

Here is her story….

Grace Kelly

“You know, I just love Grace Kelly. Not because she was a princess, not because she was an actress, not because she was my friend, but because she was just about the nicest lady I ever met. Grace brought into my life as she brought into yours, a soft, warm light every time I saw her, and every time I saw her was a holiday of its own. No question, I’ll miss her, we’ll all miss her, God bless you, Princess Grace.”
― James Stewart

Grace Kelly was known for her beauty, elegance and grace and was known as a very glamourous woman that had an inner beauty to her.

‘Grace Kelly rose to fame as a leading Hollywood actress following her prominent role in High Noon. Along with her Academy Award-winning performance in The Country Girl, she starred in the Alfred Hitchcock films Rear WindowDial M for Murder and To Catch a Thief. Kelly left Hollywood behind after marrying Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956, thereby becoming known as Princess Grace. She died in her adopted home country in 1982, following a car accident.’

Grace Wilson

I only recently heard of Grace Wilson and her achievements are incredible.

‘ Born of Scottish stock in 1879’ (in Brisbane, Australia), ‘Grace Margaret Wilson entered nursing at the turn of the century at the age of 16 and qualified 3 years later.  She trained further in London and became matron of Brisbane Hospital in 1914 – a rapid rise indeed through the ranks.  She then joined the Australian Army at the same rank, and in 1915 was placed at Lemnos, where she improved the standards of the hospital and guided the treatment of the injured from Gallipoli.’ ‘Subsequently she served in Egypt, France and England.

Grace’s active military career ended temporarily in 1920, but from 1925 she retained army connections as Matron-in-Chief of the Army Nursing Reserve.  Her civilian appointments in the interbellum years were as matron of the Children’s Hospital, then at Somerset House (created by her) and from 1933 at the Alfred Hospital, all in Melbourne.  She was called up in 1940 and returned to the Middle East but was invalided out in 1941. 

Grace was a member and office-bearer for several Australian nursing organisations.  In 1929 she was a recipient of the Florence Nightingale Medal, founded by the Red Cross in 1912.  Grace died in early 1957, in the Repatriation General Hospital, Heidelberg, Melbourne, three years after her marriage to Robert Campbell.’   

In 2014 ANZAC Girls was made for TV. Caroline Craig played the role of Matron Grace Wilson. She talks about her real-life character in the video below.

Today, Tuesday 25th April is Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand so writing about Grace Wilson is very apt.

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