Ethel, the daughter of Louis and Christina Bregenzer, was born at Bundarra NSW where she spent her early life until her family moved to Tamworth. During 1913 she completed her four year nursing training at Tamworth and passed the Australian Trained Nurses Association examination the same year.
Following her enlistment for overseas service in June 1917, she left Australia for Abassia in Egypt, on the ship RMS Somali, arriving after a long voyage via Durban and Bombay. Ethel returned to Australia in 1919 on the ship Port Sydney which was quarantined upon arrival due to influenza.
Ethel was mentioned in Despatches for her ‘Services Rendered’ during the War. Her brother Louis served with the 25th Battalion and was killed in action at the Battle of Fromelles in 1916.
Shortly after her arrival home in 1919 Ethel married Captain (Dr) Wilmot Fenwick, MC in Sydney. They had four children and lived at Grenfell NSW. Ethel died in 1963.