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Return of nurses to New Zealand


Like most units of the NZEF, the New Zealand Army Nursing Service did not come home as one body. Some groups of nurses were as small as two or three.

The largest contingent of nurses and VADs - 47 in total - arrived in Wellington on the Tainui on 29 April 1919. The ship also carried around 500 men, 50 wives and a number of children. Next day the significance of the nurses’ arrival was recognised when the Minister of Defence, James Allen, held a special reception at the parliamentary restaurant, Bellamy’s.

All returned nurses, including those from the Tainui, were invited to the function, which between 50 and 60 of them attended. Other groups also held receptions for nurses. The Trained Nurses’ Association, for example, had welcomed returned nurses at a function at Auckland’s YWCA clubrooms earlier in the month.

How to cite this page

Return of nurses to New Zealand, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated