New Zealand nurses and medical officers

New Zealand nurses and medical officers

New Zealand Army nurses and medical officers pose in front of the carved gateway of the New Zealand Stationary Hospital at Wisques, France.

Forty New Zealand nurses worked in the 1000-bed hospital at Wisques. The work was tough and constant: three hours off a day and a half-day's leave once every 10 days – unless there was a rush of wounded, and then all leave would be cancelled. This was one of the hospitals that treated New Zealanders wounded in Passchendaele during October 1917.

The New Zealand Army Nursing Service had been set up in 1915, largely at the urging of Hester Maclean (1863–1932). She had been made matron-in-chief of a proposed military nursing reserve in 1911, but she wanted New Zealand soldiers injured overseas to be nursed by New Zealanders. As head of the Army Nursing Service from 1915, she selected and equipped all army nurses. The first group of 50 sailed to Egypt in April 1915 with Maclean as escort. They later went to England, with 35–40 crossing to France in 1916 and Belgium the following year. 

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Posted: 07 Jul 2017

Nurse far right, third row from bottom standing next to an army officer is Sister Elsie Grey.

Lorraine Wilson

Posted: 06 Nov 2014

Does anyone have information on the link with St David's Presbyterian Church Khyber Pass and the nursing corp please?


Posted: 22 Nov 2013

I am trying to research the history of one :- Betty Britton, who served as Medical staff on the hospital ship "Oranje", during WW2.She was the girlfriend of my Mother in Law's brother, New Zealander, Flight Sgt John Charles Wilson, who was based in Lancaster, England, and is buried in Morcombe Cemetery, GB. Mum was fond of Betty, and at 90 years, she is wondering what became of her after the war.We believe she may have come from the North Island somewhere., though not sure. Thanks.


Posted: 22 Nov 2011

Hi. I am looking for information for Nurse Silvester of Frankton New Zealand My grandmother was a patient. She died in Awaikino/Marokopa on 10th August 1926. Her baby girl survived, but it has been told that she died with a second child. We are wanting to place a new headstone on her grave and need to know if she is buried with a child. Death details do not tell us. I thought if we could find old records that would clarify this.