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Survivor's letters
Poppy's 1918 & Poppy's 1915 Letter

They Knew the Meaning of Sacrifice

The 'MARQUETTE' Angels - 23rd October 1915 - Aegean Sea

Christchurch Nurses' Memorial Chapel window. Photo taken by Bernard. 
The seven medals 

The thirty-one New Zealanders who died on Saturday 23 October 1915 when the Marquette went down are commentated on the Mikra Memorial. The Mikra Memorial, at the south end of Mikra British Cemetery, commemorates almost 500 nurses, officers and men of the Commonwealth forces who died when troop transports and hospital ships were lost in the Mediterranean, and who have no grave but the sea. They are commemorated here because others who went down in the same vessels were washed ashore and identified, and are now buried at Thessalonika. The three photographs directly below were kindly taken in 2005 by Nontas Meletiou of the Municipality of Kalamaria, Greece, for Victor Walter, Wellington, New Zealand, nephew of John Bruno Walter, a casualty of the Marquette tragedy.

The Mikra Memorial

To the glory of God and in reverent memory of the dead are inscribed her the names of one hundred and thirty five nurses officers and men of the United Kingdom and New Zealand drowned in the 'Marquette' transport torpedoed on the 23rd October 1915. Of eighty officers and men of the forces of the United Kingdom and India drowned in the 'Ivernia' transport torpedoed on the 1st January 1917. Of the eight officers and men of the Royal Army Medical Corps drowned in the hospital ship 'Britannic" sunk by a mine on the 21st November 1916. Of two men of the forces of the United Kingdom drowned from the hospital ship 'Braemar Castle' on the 23rd November, 1916 and of one sailor of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve who perished in the Aegean Sea on the 22nd January 1918.
All these have no other grave than the sea.
"He discovereth deep things out of darkness
And Bringeth out to light the shadow of death.

There is a error on the Mikra Memorial Wall. Private McGee not Magee.
Surname:			 McGEE
Given Name:		 James Michael
Category Nominal Roll:	 Vol. 1
Regimental Number:		 3/605
Rank:			 Private
Body or Draft:		 No 1 NZ Sta Hospital
Unit or Regiment:		 Medical Corps
Marital Status:		 S
Last NZ Address:		 C/- Mrs Melbourne Nelson
Next of Kin Title:		 B
Next of Kin Surname:		 McGEE
Next of Kin Relationship:	 Father
Next of Kin Address:		 C/- Mr F Cook, Runanga, Greymouth

The Mikra Memorial    Full view of the Mikra Memorial.

Nine New Zealand Registered Staff Nurses Missing, Believed to be Drowned are commemorated on the Mikra Memorial. 
22/ New Zealand Nursing Service

22/104  BROWN, Marion Sinclair. Mrs J S Brown, Waimatuku, Southland (mother)
22/108  CLARK, Isabel.  Miss Clark, Oamaru (sister) memorial stone
22/118  FOX, Catherine.  Miss M Fox, Auckland (sister)
22/73    GORMAN, Mary.  J Gorman, Waimate (father)
22/125  HILDYARD, Nona M.  Mrs B Hildyard, Lyttelton (mother)
22/130  ISDELL, Helena Kathleen, matron of Kumara Hospital.  Miss Isdell, Greymouth (sister)
22/133 JAMESON, Mabel Elizabeth.  Thomas Jameson, Kumara (father)
22/161  RAE, Mary Helen.  Rubina Rae, CHCH (sister) age 36. b. at Rae's Junction, Otago. Mary Helen Rae was born 29 Jan 1880 at Crookston and her parents James and Isabella Rae owned the Raes Junction Hotel.
22/160 RATTRAY, Lorna A
.  Miss A F Rattray, Dunedin

One other, Staff Nurse Margaret ROGERS, 22/175, her body was found in a lifeboat by a Royal Navy minesweeper, was identified by her wrist-watch, was buried in the Mikra British Cemetery, grave 1833, in Salonika, eight kilometres south of Thessaloniki, in the municipality of Kalamaria, Greece where she had a naval funeral. Many girls, nurses, often had their name etched on the back of their fob watches. Staff Nurse Rogers trained at Christchurch in 1911 -1915.


ROGERS, Nurse Margaret was a prominent member of St Andrew�s Presbyterian Church, Christchurch.  She was a student volunteer for Foreign Missions and had offered her services as a trained nurse for work at the New Hebrides to assist Dr Bowie, when the eruption there brought the work to a close and changed her plans.  She then took up district work under Nurse Maude. Thomas Rogers, Wainui, Banks Peninsula (father). In a recent letter Nurse ROGERS said There is no romance about war; it spells suffering, hunger, filth.  How thankful I am every day that I came to do what I could to help and relieve our brave boys. [AWN 11.11.1915] Margaret trained at the Christchurch Hospital and was recently with Nurse Maude.

Mary Helen Rae

With a few exceptions the nurses were from the South Island.  Upon the arrival of the various contingents of nurses in Egypt, the Auckland nurses were appointed to hospitals in Cairo and Alexandria and it was the nurses from Christchurch and Dunedin were given duty in Port Said, on the staff of the No.1 NZ Stationary Hospital.  Five nurses who died had close ties with Waimate, South Canterbury, New Zealand. A contingent of 100 nurses left Wellington, NZ by the hospital ship Maheno and nine of those missing belonged to that first contingent. Only 644 New Zealand nurses served overseas during WW1. 

Page 18


The following list gives the service numbers, names, with next of kin, of the men who are missing and believed to be drowned on the transport Marquette, which was sunk by a torpedo on 23 October:


Sgt Major     3/6   BAKER	  Geoffrey Hugh.  Mrs Blanche E Andrews, 273 Armagh St, Christchurch (sister)
Private 3/564 BIRD	  James Samuel.  James Bird, Waimate (father)
Private 3/638 HERDMAN	  Robert Bruce.  A D Herdman, builder, Timaru (father) [s/o Mr & Mrs PD Herdman]
Private 3/894 FRICKER	  Basil Saxe.  Misses M S & G Fricker, 316 Montreal St, Christchurch
Private 3595  KIRK	  Thomas Hugh . Mrs H Kirk, Lowestoft, England
Private 3/605 MAGEE	  James Michael.  Bernard Magee, Taihape (father) [CWGC has his surname as McGee]
Private 3/59  POLE	  Roland Alfred.  J S Pole, Otaki (father)
Private 3/916 PERRIN	  Clarence.  A Perrin, Rangitikei Line, Palmerston North (father)
Private 3/554 PICKERING	  William Campbell .  Mrs Emily Francis (sic) Pickering, 11 Taft St, Wellington (wife)
Cpl	3/614 PRATT	  Alfred Mason (Corporal).  J Pratt, Russell St, Invercargill (brother). S/o the late James Richard Pratt, of Herbert St., Invercargill. b. Wyndham. Age 29.
Private 8/ 1320   REID	  Herbert John.  Mrs C C Marsh, (formerly Reid),11 Duke St, Dunedin
Serjeant3/621 REMMETT	  Alfred Howard (Sergeant).  Mrs A H Remmett, 48 Cheltenham Rd, Devonport (wife)
Private 3/623 RICHARDS	  Peter Gilbert .  T F Richards, Queenstown (father). Son of Mrs. M. Richards, of Ness St., Invercargill
Private 3/622 RHODES	  Charles Victor - s/o Mr. A. Rhodes, late of Devonport, Auckland
Private 3/624 ROBINSON 	  William Balmer -  s/o James and Eleanor Robinson, (St Mary's Road, Ponsonby) of Epsom, Auckland. Age 29
Private 3/626 ROSS	  John Turnbull.  John Ross, 43 Walter St, Carisbrook, Dunedin (father)
Private 3/927 SMART	  William.  Mrs Smart, 26 Arthur St, Dunedin (mother)
Private 3/38  THOMPSON	  Clarence Dornford . H P Thompson, Upper Moutere, Nelson (father)
Private 3/39  WALTER	  John Bruno.  Mrs P E Walter, 42 Taft St, Brooklyn (mother)

WESTAWAY, Private Walter Richard 12/154, age 29. Son of Mrs. Elizabeth Westaway, of 34 Peter St., Ashton Gate. Bristol, England.

KIRK, Private Charles Ernest 10/1550  Robert Butler, 32a Ormond Rd, Gisborne (cousin)

DAVIS, Ernest
. John Davis, Clyde, Central Otago (father)

NICHOLSON, Claude Harold, NZ Medical Corps, fractured leg & arm -  Mrs John F Thorn, Princes St, Invercargill (sister) 
Private Claude Harold NICHOLSON 3/913 N.Z. Medical Corps died on Friday 29 October 1915, Salonika was buried at sea. Brother of Angus Nicholson, of Gisborne, New Zealand. Commemorated on the Mikra Memorial, Greece.

Dr. Fergus Hay YOUNG, Lieutenant, attached to the 29th Div. Ammunition Col. Royal Army Medical Corps died on Saturday 23 October 1915 . Age 29. Son of John and Mary Young of "Fernbank", Kirkintilloch, Glasgow. After qualifying, he was in practice for some time in England, and afterwards proceeded to New Zealand. Kirechkoi- Hortakoi Military Cemetery, Greece. 

Robert RAE, b. February 3, 1889, Fettercairn, KCD, Scotland. Second Engineer, "Marquette" (West Hartlepool), Mercantile Marine died on Saturday 23 October 1915.  Son of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Rae. Remembered with honour Tower Hill Memorial. The Tower Hill Memorial commemorates men of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets who died in both world wars and who have no known grave. The memorial stands on the south side of the garden of Trinity Square, London, close to the Tower of London. 

Being single Robert gave his life to go below and open the sea cocks because the ship was going down at the bow. This meant the stern was out of the water and with the engines still going the propellers were turning and drawing lifeboats and survivors into the churning blades. By opening the sea cocks the stern would drop sink down again assisting the launch of lifeboats and the propellers would no longer be a problem. It is thought his parents received a citation from the King. Information courtesy of Ian Parrish. Posted July 13 2003.

HT 'Marquette'

The H.M.Transport S.S. Marquette, under command of Captain John Bell Findlay, left Alexandria Harbour, Egypt in the late afternoon on October 19 1915 for Salonica, Greece.  Her departure was not run of the mill.  A rousing send off with cheers and songs by British and French sailors manning warships in port was interrupted by a fault in the steering gear which caused the Marquette to suddenly swing round.  A fire in a case on the deck caused a further diversion until it was thrown overboard.  At dusk the transport was joined by its escort and the portholes were blacked out. The passengers and crew carried out lifeboat drills, as there were rumours there was German U-boats in the area.

On the evening of the fourth day the escort, the French destroyer "Tirailleur", left the convey. At 0915 the next morning, October 23th Capt. Dave N. Isaacs NZMC (the Quatermaster) was out strolling on deck with several nurses and drew their attention to a "straight thin green line about 50 yards away streaking through the water towards the ship", a periscope was seen cutting the water, and a terrific explosion on the forward starboard side signalled the ship had been struck by a torpedo.  At once the steamer Marquette began to list to port, but righted herself and then began to sink by the bow. Someone talked! Both in Cairo and Salonica the news that the Marquette had been struck was released some hours before the happening took place.  She sank in thirteen minutes with a heavy loss of life - 128 troops including (17 NZMC staff), 10 nurses and 29 crewmen.  Total loss 167. She had onboard 14 lifeboats and 35 rafts - combine carrying capacity 1196. Rafts and lifebouys were thrown overboard. No aeroplanes went to search, even though the Greeks who were not fighting had knowledge that the ship had been torpedoed down the Gulf of Salonica just in the entrance to the inner bay of Saloniki near the river of Axios. Why did the escort leave her?  Maybe because she was practically in the harbour.  She was due into port by midday on the 23rd. 

She was a legitimate target carrying 22 officers and 588 other ranks of the 29th Division Ammunition Column, Royal Field Artillery with its vehicles and animals, and staff (8 officers, 9 NCO's, 77 other ranks of the NZMC), equipment and stores of the No. 1 New Zealand Stationary Hospital including the thirty-six nurses of the NZANS as well as the HT Marquette crew (95). A total of 741. She was also loaded with ammunition and 541 animals including many horses and mules. She was torpedoed off Platanona Point, 30 to 36 miles (57.5 kilometres), south from the anti-submarine net at Salonica Bay, which would have meant safety, by the U.35 under Lt-Cdr Waldemar Kophamel.  [Wartime Disasters at Sea by David Williams]

The NZANS lifeboat stations were forward with eighteen allotted each side. Some lifeboats were not lowered efficiently and overturned as they were launched. One of the lifeboats on the port side fell on another already in the water, and the nurses from that boat spilled out in the confusion, Catherine Fox was flung into the sea. Acting-Matron Cameron was severely injured and never fully recovered from her injuries (seriously ill with broncho pneumonia and paralysed on left side) (Miss Cameron is an Australian; but has been in NZ for some years. She was at St. Helen's hospital for the past five years and secured leave of absence last May to go into active service). Eyewitnesses said Mary Gorman, a strong swimmer, saw this happen and knowing that her friend, Catherine, could not swim she jumped into the water to save her. They were not seen again. On the starboard side a boat filled with nurses was lowered at one end but not the other leaving it hanging vertically sending the occupants into the sea. This boat had to be abandoned as it had huge hole on one side. Other lifeboats were not seaworthy, as they had been damaged by the mules on board. Many of the deaths and injures to the nurses were due to inexperienced men (soldiers helping out as some crew members had not turned up at their stations for various reasons) lowering the lifeboats and the angle of the sinking ship. 

"When we were precipitated so suddenly into the sea we must have been drowned had we been without lifebelts.  A large hole was driven into our boat.  When we dragged ourselves into the lifeboat it soon filled and swamped.  All were tipped into the water again.  The sea was full of soldiers struggling for rafts and bits of wreckage.  We were swamped again and again until exhausted.  It was pitiful to see the nurses and soldiers tiring in their frantic struggles and finally releasing their grasp on the gunwale, floating for a few seconds and then slowly sinking without a murmur."

Only one lifeboat filled with nurses managed to get away and that was half filled with water. The survivors floated for hours in intense cold clinging to rafts, debris, etc, before being picked up utterly exhausted by rescue ships.

 "We clung to our boat seemingly for an endless period, suffering intensely from the increasing exhaustion and only holding on by sheer strength of will. Then a hospital ship steamed up and picked up the survivors."

By the time the ship was almost on her side the second officer shouted "Every man over the side." Some of the survivors were in the water until 1700 hours. "It was a long day," said one medical officer who was picked up by a French vessel. "Some died just as the ships were approaching." Major Acland who later became a prominent surgeon in Christchurch was picked up after seven hours. Survivors were given dry clothes, hot drinks and brandy.  It is said that one nurse was saved because her veil - the regulation head-dress - was seen floating on the surface of the water.  The New Zealand Nurses serving in World War One wore pantaloons, two petticoats, a starched grey dress with a long full skirt, long sleeves and a stiff collar and cuffs, a full length starched white apron, a red cape and a white veil and their NZRN medal and their NZANZS badge.  On 29 October the surviving New Zealand nurses left Salonika for Alexandria. 

The International Press circulated a story that the nurses had requested the rescuers to "take the fighting men first." It had great public appeal but it turned out that some of the nurses were taking turns keeping Alf a NZMC nursing orderly afloat as he was at the end of his tether! The wave from the rescue vessel "Tirailleur" [290] swept him away and the nurses were too exhausted to go after him so a nurse ask the sailors to "pick up that man first". They did and worked on him for three hours before he came round. The destroyer H.M.S. Lynn [170] and the French destroyer "Mortier" [90] also picked up survivors.  

Survivors gave evidence at the enquiry held at Salonika. What increased the chances of being torpedoed? 
a. The ship was outside territory waters
b. She was travelling only at 9 knots [max speed 14 knots]. U-boats travel at 9 knots submerged.
c. She was not zigzagging.
d. The escort left her three hours earlier.
e. Sailing instructions were not clear. Route A was changed to route B just before sailing from Alexandria
f. Was Lt. Colonel McGavin advised that the hospital was going to be travelling on an ammunition/troop ship through dangerous waters? 

"Private T. Hartigan somehow got a butter box on a plank and sat on the box blowing his bugle for all he was worth! It was a marvellous comfort, I can tell you." wrote  L.D. Haggett. 

The Marquette, official number 106972, was a 7,057 gross ton ship, length 486.5ft x beam 52.3ft, x31.3ft, one funnel, four masts, single screw, triple-expansion engines, 770 NHp and a speed of 14 knots. There was accommodation for 120-1st class passengers. Built in 1897 by A. Stephen & Sons Ltd, Glasgow as the Bodicea for Wilson's and Furness-Leyland Line, she was launched on 25th Nov.1897. She was then sold to the Atlantic Transport Line in 1898.  On 15th Sep.1898 she was renamed. Chartered to the Red Star Line with accommodation for 120-2nd class passengers.  She was then employed as a British war transport and painted grey. [North Atlantic Seaway by N.R.P.Bonsor, vol.3, p.1090] 

Salonika is 8km s. of Thessaloniki
Alexandria (Egypt) to Salonika (Greece) is a distance of 704 miles.
 Salonika is 8km s. of Thessaloniki

The tragedy of the incident was that it need not have happened. The British Hospital Ship "Grantilly Castle", commissioned 1st May 1915 at Malta as a hospital ship with 552 beds, left Alexandria the same day for Salonika and travelled EMPTY!  Many of the survivors were treated on board the "Grantilly Castle" at Salonika.  After this calamity all medical units were transported by hospital ship and this practice continued during the Second World War. 


WAIMATE NURSES - 2015 memorial

This plaque use to hang in the Marquette Ward, the women's ward, at Waimate Public Hospital. 

Grey River Argus, 4 November 1915, Page 8
WAIMATE, November 3. Five of the missing nurses from the transport Marquette are well-known in Waimate. Nurse M. Gorman belonged to Kapua (Waimate), and trained in the Waimate Hospital, which she left four years ago and became sister at the Wellington Public Hospital. Nurse Fox belonged to a well-known Studholme family, and was trained in the Dunedin Hospital. Nurse M. S. Brown left Waimate about six months ago for the front, being then in charge of Dr. Barclay's Private Hospital. She belonged originally to Waimatuku, Southland. Nurse Hilyard is a sister of Mrs. Geo. Pitcaithly, headmaster's wife. She was trained at the Christchurch Hospital. Nurse Isabel Clark is also believed to be a Waimate nurse. Nurse W. E. Jamieson belongs to Auckland, and is a cousin of Nurse Jamieson, of Waimate. James Bird, of Waimate belonged to the No. 1 stationary hospital staff. His name is not in the list of survivors. Flags are half-masted to-day and there is quite a gloom over the town.

Photo taken at the Waimate Cemetery in January 2010 by Bernard Hempseed 

Staff Nurse Marion Sinclair BROWN 
22/104 N.Z. Army Nursing Service
who died on Saturday 23 October 1915 
Daughter of Mrs. J. S. Brown, of Waimatuku, Southland 

Staff Nurse Marion Brown had trained at the Riverton Hospital in 1908, was for some time on the staff of Palmerston North Hospital; later was in charge of Dr Barclay's Private Hospital, Waimate. Nursed for a year in Waimate - for six months at the Public Hospital and for six months in charge of Dr Barclay's Shearman Street hospital, leaving the latter to enlist. For years a photo of Marion Brown graced the entrance to the Fiord (Riverton) Hospital. Survivors Annie Johanna McKay trained at Riverton and Nurse Looney trained at Southland (Invercargill) Hospital.

Southland Times 10 November 1915, Page 6
Nurse Marion Brown, of the No. 1 N.Z. Stationary Hospital Staff, reported as missing when the Marquette was torpedoed, though born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, was brought up in Waimatuku, where her parents now reside. She was trained at the Riverton Hospital under Dr Trotter. After leaving Riverton she was for a time in the Palmerston North public hospital, but left there to fulfil some private engagements as nurse at home. A little over a year ago she took charge of Dr Barclay's private hospital at Waimate. From there she volunteered for the front, and on being accepted left New Zealand in the hospital ship Maheno. Nurse Brown was everywhere respected and beloved, and the cutting short of such a useful and promising career (for it is to be feared that in this case missing means lost) is just one of the thousands of tragedies of this great war. The last letter received by the family showed that she was at Port Said in the canvas hospital there, and the letter was stamped by the censor of the Indian Expeditionary Force. Two brothers are at present in training at Trentham.

Staff Nurse Isabel CLARK
22/108 N.Z. Army Nursing Service
who died on Saturday 23 October 1915
Sister of Alexander David Clark, of Ardgowan, Oamaru 

CLARK, Nurse and FOX, Nurse, were both engaged in private nursing in Auckland for some time prior to their departure for service abroad. [AWN 11.11.1915]  

Staff Nurse Clark was a Waimate girl who had trained in the Oamaru Hospital in 1912-1915 but nursed privately in Waimate as early as 1909. A good deal of nursing in private homes was done in those days and it is fairly certain that in addition to this type of work she also served on the staff at the Waimate Hospital. When the news of the sinking of the Marquette reached Waimate the town was stricken with sorrow. The bells tolled, flags were flown at half- mast. To commemorate the nurses the Waimate Hospital Committee named the women's ward, "Marquette". The Waimate Hospital closed in 1995 but still stands.  The Waimate Museum was gifted all of the plaques from the Waimate Hospital. They also have a very large portrait of Nurse Gorman. Nurse Isabel Clark left New Zealand with the Maheno contingent of doctors and nurses, and on arrival at Port Said immediately entered one of the hospitals there. She received her training at the Oamaru Hospital, which institution she left three years ago in order to enter a private hospital at Dunedin. Subsequently Nurse Clark joined the staff of an Auckland private hospital, from which she resigned in order to volunteer for service abroad.

Staff Nurse Catherine Anne FOX 
22/118 N.Z. Army Nursing Service
who died on Saturday 23 October 1915 

Sister of Miss M. Fox, of Hallenstein's Buildings, Auckland. Born in Central Otago. Staff Nurse Fox was Mary Gorman's close friend had enlisted on 6 July 1915. The daughter of Mr & Mrs John Fox of Studholme. Catherine was born in Central Otago, trained at Dunedin Hospital for four years, and afterwards nursed at Waimate, Christchurch and Auckland.  She was nursing privately at the time of her enlistment so at the outbreak of hostilities she volunteered for services. So anxious was she to serve and fearing she might not be accepted at once she made arrangements to pay her own passage to England to volunteer for service in France. However, she was accepted by the New Zealand Government and sailed in the hospital ship Maheno. For some time she was attached to the Hospital in Port Said. Sister C.A. Fox name also appears of the Wanaka War Memorial on the Upper Clutha District plaque.

Staff Mary Gorman - Photo held at the Waimate Museum.Staff Nurse Mary GORMAN
22/73 N.Z. Army Nursing Service
who died on Saturday 23 October 1915 
Daughter of John and Catherine Gorman, of Arno, Waimate, Timaru

Nurse Gorman's family farmed a property at Kapua on the south side of the Waimate Gorge. The family had originally come from Ashburton when Mr Gorman Snr. had been transferred to Studholme as a ganger on the railway. The family drew a block when Waikakahi was cut up and commenced farming there, the father moving there when he retired from the Railway. During the days Miss Gorman nursed at the Waimate Hospital she was a well known figure biking from Waimate to Waihao Forks on her days off. Completing her training at the Waimate Hospital. For over four years a Sister in the Wellington Hospital. Staff Nurse Gorman enlisted in the Army Nursing Service on 20 May 1915. Immediately left New Zealand, 21 May, one of the contingent of 31 nurses, and embarked at Wellington for Egypt on the 'Marama' and was there to welcome the other nurses from the 'Maheno.' 

Evening Post, 18 July 1912, Page 8
THE SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATES. The following candidates were 1 successful in passing the recent examination for the State registration of nurses (names appear in the order of merit) : E. Beauchamp, Timaru; M. Geddes, Timaru; E. Spring, Ashburton; M. Gorman, Waimate.

Staff Nurse Nona Mildred HILDYARD 
22/125 N.Z. Army Nursing Service
who died on Saturday 23 October 1915. Age 28. 

Daughter of Betsy Ann Hildyard, of Lyttelton, Christchurch, New Zealand, and the late William Hildyard. Staff Nurse Hildyard was also associated to the town, a sister to Mrs Edith Mabel Pitcaithly, the wife of the them headmaster of the Waimate District High School and she had spent much of her childhood at their home. She was born in Christchurch, trained in Christchurch, did private nursing and enlisted in Wellington. She apparently was and excellent nurse. Nona's brother Sydney was in army.

Private James Samuel Bird

Also on board the Marquette was Waimate man Private James Samuel Bird, 3/564 N.Z. Medical Corps born in Waimate, and trained by the Queen Street chemist, F. Akhurst. After he qualified he went to the North Island to work, enlisted on 20 April 1915, and on arrival in Egypt was posted to No. 1 Stationary Hospital, Port Said. He died on Saturday 23 October 1915, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Bird, of Nortons Reserve, Painstown, Waimate. Commemorated on the Mikra Memorial Greece. James's brother Arthur Joseph Bird, Rifleman 23/364, 1st Bn. 3rd, NZ Rifle Brigade, was killed in action at Somme, France, Friday 15 Sept.1916 aged 29. Painstown [Paynstown] was originally was a small settlement on the outskirts of Waimate but like most places when Waimate expanded it merged. Today the only remnant is Painstown Road, although old timers remember it as such.

Nurse Violet McCosh Smith

Nurse Violet M'Cosh Smith is a daughter of the Rev. J. M'Cosh Smith, of Naseby, now a runholder at Becks, and she is a sister of Mrs M. Stevenson, of Dunedin. Miss M'Cosh Smith received her training in nursing at Naseby, from where she went to Masterton, and later to the Timaru Hospital, in which institution she was sister- n-charge of the men's surgical ward for two years, until she left to join the Maheno.

Other nurses from the Waimate district 

There were other nurses from the Waimate district who served overseas during WWI. Sister Margaret Watt, a Waimate trained nurse, Sister Violet Trott, Sister Hilda Flynn, Sister Annie Buckley and Staff Nurse Marie Wilkie who left with the First Contingent of nurses to go to London under the Matron-in-Chief, Miss Hester Maclean, were mentioned in despatches on 16 March 1916. Both were awarded the Royal Red Cross, 2nd Class. Staff Nurse Wilkie (later Mrs James Hargest) trained in Dunedin. She served at No. 1 NZ General Hospital, Cairo, until she embarked for New Zealand on duty on the hospital ship Willochra in September 1915, and returned in January 1916, on duty on the hospital ship Marama. She was at No. 1 New Zealand General Hospital at Brockenhurst, but in September 1917, she resigned to be married to (then) Major Hargest, who later after a distinguished military career in World Wars 1 and 11, ranked Brigadier Hargest, C.B.E., D.S.O. and two bars, M.C. 

Violet Trott's headstone in the Timaru Cemetery and the transcription on the headstone is wrong. Violet was NOT awarded an OBE (confirmed this day with the Honours Unit, DPMC). Her only entitlement to post nominal letters is A.R.R.C. - she was awarded the Associate Royal Red Cross (2nd Class) for her service on the NZ HS Marama during WW1. See attached 1919 London Gazette entry.

The dependents of those nurses who have lost their lives are provided for under the War pensions Act. The Minister of Defence said any allotments of pay to dependents made by those nurses who lost their lives would be continued.

LOST TRANSPORT  [AWN 04.11.1915] 
The staff of No.1 NZ stationary hospital, under Surgeon Colonel McGAVIN, was aboard the British transport Marquette, which was torpedoed and sunk in the Aegean Sea on October 23. [Spelling differs according to articles.]

 Nurses Saved: The names of the hospitals at which the nurses saved were they trained are given in the following list: CAMERON, Marie O, acting matron, ANS, Christchurch (seriously ill, she was paralysed during the launching of the lifeboats)
, was the matron in charge of the contingent of 31 nurses who left Wellington in May.   She was trained in the Ovens District Hospital, Australia, and the Women�s Hospital, Melbourne.  She was on the staff of the Waikato Sanatorium from 1909 to 1910, when she was appointed matron of St Helens Hospital, Christchurch, a position which she held until her departure for Egypt.  [AWN 11.11.1915]    
ABBOTT, Fanny, Christchurch
ANSTEY, Winifred E., Christchurch
BESWICK, Mary B, Christchurch
BLACKIE, Catherine, Tauranga
CHRISTMASS, Mary J, Christchurch 
COSTER, Ina Nellie, Dunedin
ERWIN, Jean N., Christchurch
GOULD, Mary E, Christchurch
GRIGOR, Mary, Christchurch
GREGOR, Nurse  was a native district nurse under the Public Health Dept, with headquarters at Hamilton, and Nurse BLACKIE was also a native district nurses with headquarters latterly at Tauranga.   Nurse METHERELL was on the staff of Erinholme Private Hospital, Auckland. [AWN 11.11.1915]
HASTE, Maude W, Christchurch 
HODGES, Emily, Christchurch
HOOKER, Hilda V, Napier
LOONEY Mary Frances, South Hillend [WALKER, Mary, Invercargill]
McCOSH-SMITH, Violet, Naseby
McKAY, Annie  Johanna, Pahia
[McLEOD, Edith]
McLEOD, Lucy, Christchurch
METHERELL, Gladys M, Christchurch
NICOLL, Susan L., Christchurch 
POPPLEWELL, Edith, Ballarat  22/158
ROONEY, Mary F, Southland
SINCLAIR, Jeannie, New Plymouth
Elizabeth WILSON, Timaru (slightly sick)
WILKIN, Edith L., Dunedin
WRIGHT, Mabel, Dunedin (slightly sick)
YOUNG, Elizabeth B., New Plymouth
Spelling differs depending on newspaper and article.

The name of Sister Edith McLeod appears as a survivor as reference by the books 'Cloud Over Marquette' and 'While You're Away -New Zealand Nurses at War 1899-1948'. Edith was from Masterton.

Male Survivors: italics NZMC officers

***HAN, S D, Private
ABBEY, G, Private
ACLAND, H T D, Major
ALLAN, W E, L/Corporal
BELL, B, Private
BENJAMIN, A R, L/Corporal
BRITTAIN, N C, Private
BROODS, I, Private
BROOM, J J, Private
BURRIDGE, H N, Captain Chaplain
CAPPER, C H, Private
CLARKE, S J, Private
CLAYTON, E W, Private
COLLEY, F, Private
COOPER, E, Private
CROUCHER, E W, Private
CULLING, A, Private
DEMPSEY, G W, Private
GILLETT, J. B, Private 3/79
EDWARDS, A R, Sergeant
ELLIOTT, L E, Private
ENGLAND, C W, L/Corporal
FAWCETT, J, Private
FELL, W J, Private
FERGUSON, P B C, Captain
FERGUSON, R A, Sergeant
FINCH, L, Private
FISHER, I W, Private
GOLDSWAN, ? R, Private
HAIGH, W D, Private
HANNA, G L, Sergeant
HANNILL, G, Private
HARDLOW, ? S, Private
HARRISON, T, Captain
HARTIGAN, J F, Private
HAZARD, P, Private
HONORE, D A, Private
HAGGETT, L D, Corporal
HYDE, H S, Sergeant
INKSTER, J L, Private
ISAACS, D N, Captain
JACKSON, A, Private
JONES, S G, Corporal
JUDGE, A W, Private
KAY, V J, Private
KEAT, J S, Private
KINGSFORD, A R, Corporal
LEEHY, J P D, Captain
MALVERN?, R C E, Private
MARCHANT, T, Captain
MARTIN, R B, Private
McCALL, W A, Private
McCONNELL, Sergeant
McGAVIN, D.J. Lt Colonel
McGRATH, W, Private
McGREGOR, R, Private
McINNES, A, Sergeant
McLAREN, P M, Sergeant
MEREMITH, A G, Private
MIRFIN, M, L/Corporal  3/58
MOORE, F, Private
MOSELEN, W, Private
MUNRO, F S, Private
PETERS, ? C, Private
PETTIT, H. L/Corporal  3/612
PREATINKEE (sic), A Sergeant
RAINE, S, Private
ROACH, N R, Corporal
ROOTS, Private
SANDER, S F, Private
SHEEHAN, ? C, Sergeant
SMITH, P, Private
STEVENS, K M, Private
STONE, W F, Private
STOUT, T D N, Captain
(a brilliant Dr., mountaineer, Mt Teichelmann in the Southern Alps is 3,160m is named after him d. 1938)
TENNANT, W, Private
WATSON, J, Private
WILLIAMS, J W, Private
WILSON, A W, Private
WILSON, A, Private
WILSON, L T, Sergeant
WYLIE, D S, Major

The list of those who were rescued includes several well known Aucklanders.  The only Auckland doctor is Captain J L FRAZER-HURST who was medical superintendent of the Whangarei Hospital until he went into camp in March of this year.  Sergeant J L HANNA is a son of Mr S D Hanna.   Lance Corporal A Roland BENJAMIN is a son of Mr N L Benjamin, manager for P Hayward & Co.   Private F E COOPER is a son of Mr F J Cooper, Victoria Street, and Private E W D CLAYTON is a son of Mr E Clayton of Parnell and a grandson of Captain M T Clayton of Manurewa.   Private Charles Victor RHODES, member of No.1 NZ Stationary Hospital, missing and believed to be drowned on the transport Marquette was a resident of Auckland.   Private William Balmer ROBINSON, No.1 NZ Stationary Hospital, who is missing and believed to be drowned on the transport Marquette was a resident of Auckland.  He was the eldest son of Mr & Mrs J Robinson of St Mary�s Rd, Ponsonby and was 29 yrs of age.  After serving his apprenticeship, he served with several chemists in Auckland, Wellington & Wanganui.    [AWN 11.11.1915]   

REMMETT, Sergeant Alfred Howard, a member of No.1 NZ Stationary Hospital, missing, and believed to be drowned, was in Auckland for three years prior to his departure for the front.  He came from Birmingham, England, and took up a position in Auckland with a firm of jewellers.  He was about 33 years of age and had a wife and child.  For some time he was stationed at Port Said and word was received recently that the hospital was about to shift quarters.

MAGEE, Private James Michael, NZ No.1 Stationary Hospital, reported missing and  believed to be drowned on the Marquette, had an adventurous career.  Born in 1879 at Nelson Creek, Westland, he was educated at the convent school, Brunnerton.  He served for several years in the British Navy at practically every naval station in the world and at the time of the Box rising in China he was one of the British landing party.  Pte Magee was in the navy during the Boer war and he also served on American transports at the time of the Spanish-American war.  He was shipwrecked twice on the Alaskan coast.  During recent years he was employed as a telegraph linesman at Waipukurau, Hastings, Christchurch and Nelson.  He was a keen member of the St John Ambulance Society.  He was one of a family of nine sons, four of whom are with the NZEF.    [AWN 18.11.1915]   

FITZGIBBON, Sergeant David Patrick, NZ Medical Corps, was one of the survivors of the ill fated Marquette.  He was at Limestone Island for many years and is well known in Whangarei.  He is a justice of the peace.   [AWN 25.11.1915]    

BURRIDGE, Rev H W, of Invercargill, and who was on Transport No. 147 which returned to NZ in March 1918, was chaplain on the hospital ship Marquette when she was torpedoed in the Mediterranean.  He has returned on furlough and is accompanied by Mrs Burridge who has been engaged in YMCA war work in London.  [AWN 21.03.1918]

ACLAND, Hugh Thomas Dyke     C.M.G. In recognition of valuable services in connection with the war. 8 Aug. 1917


[note this is not the 'Marquette'  but a letter from a 'Marquette' survivor is on another web page.] 
AUCKLAND WEEKLY NEWS  28 October 1915  Page 18  




Further details of the torpedoing of an Australian transport are contained in a letter received yesterday by Mr R W Gallaugher of Auckland, from his son, Private Neil M Gallaugher, a despatch-rider attached to the headquarters staff, NZFA, fifth reinforcements. 

I have been through the event of my life since my last letter says the writer.  I am not allowed to mention names, places or date, or you would not receive this letter.  We left ----- for ----- 10 days ago and when we were within three hours sail of our destination we were torpedoed by a submarine.  We had a large number of troops on our transport and you can quite imagine what the scene was like when we were hit.  The first torpedo hit us forward and blew that part of the ship to atoms.   A second one was fired at us and missed  very luckily for us.  We all stood to the lifeboats and the troops were very orderly.

Our boat tipped up with all of us in it as it was being lowered and it landed in the water upside down on top of us.  I ended up underneath the boat and I am very lucky indeed to be here writing to you today.  I am perfectly well and have quite recovered from the shock and have only a few cuts and bruises, which will be healed in a few days.  A lot of men were killed and drowned but I cannot tell you the exact number.  The headquarters of the NZFA were the only New Zealanders on board and it was only due to the fact that I could swim that I was saved.  I was eventually picked up by a raft and after two hours more was on a French torpedo-boat destroyer.  The French who rescued us treated us royally.  Of course we lost everything but what we stood up in.�  


The No 1. New Zealand Stationary Hospital NZMC

 Organised at Trentham Camp, Wellington with Lt Col. D.T. McGavin as commanding officer and Acting Matron Marie Cameron as senior NZ Army Nursing Service (NZANS) and was initially stationed at Port Said as a five hundred bed convalescent hospital under canvas, receiving casualties from Gallipoli, including Bernard Freyberg.  The hospital was loaded on to a special train and arrived at Alexandria at 0300 and loaded on the Marquette, headed to service British troops at Salonika, in Greece. When the transport ship Marquette was torpedoed in the Gulf of Salonika, several members of the unit were lost. The hospital staff returned to Alexandria on Oct. 29, were re-equipped and returned to Salonika during the winter of 1915-16 without the NZANS staff, then joined the New Zealand Division at El Moascar on the Suez Canal. It followed the division to France and was stationed at Amiens behind the Somme front.

Doctors at Trentham Training Camp


[AWN 27.4.1915]

FREYBERG, B C, Brigadier General, DSO, the hero of Beaucourt, is 27 years of age and probably the youngest General in the British Army. He has the distinction of having risen from Lieutenant to his present rank in 2 1/2 years. When the war broke out he was in America where he had practised as a dentist and had served as a soldier in Mexico. He immediately went to England and went to Antwerp with the Naval Division. There he was injured through coming into contact with a wire. His next service was at the Dardanelles where he was awarded the DSO for his gallant action in swimming ashore in the Gulf of Xeros, towing lighted flares and reconnoitering the enemy's positions. His next achievement, which gained for him the Victoria Cross, was at Beaucourt in France where he led the attack and though wounded rallied his men and consolidated positions. He was wounded four times before leaving the line. He rejoined his regiment last March when he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in command of the 173 Infantry Brigade. [AWN 11.10.1917]



1916The white ships  - Hospital ships

Also commemorated on the Mikra Memorial are the victims from Hospital Ship "Britannic", of the White Star Line, sunk by mine [or ignition of coal dust in the reserve bunker] on 21 November 1916 in the Kea Channel between Greece and the Cyclades, on her way from Naples to the island of Lesvos to pick up casualties. Britannic sank so quickly, taking only 57 minutes from the time of  the impact until all traces of the ship were lost. A solitary note pealed from the ship's alarm bell, minutes before the funnels collapsed onto the upper deck and the liner plunged to the depths of the Aegean. Rescue ships answering the SOS call arrived expecting to find the stricken British ocean liner. Instead, they saw only a line of lifeboats making their way slowly towards the island of Kea. Only 28 people perished, while 1,106 survived. The Britannic was on her fourth trip from Southampton.

 Timeframes has some good photos. Search under "hospital ship"

Hospital ship Maheno during World War I. Built at Dumbarton, 1905.
 New Zealand's Gift

New Zealand had two hospital ships during WW1, the 'Maheno' and the 'Marama', both Union Steam Ship Co. ships. On arrival in Egypt, the majority of the nurses were posted to No. 1 Stationary Hospital within a few days of each other. The 68 nurses including Jean ERWIN from Christchurch left New Zealand 10th July 1915 aboard the NZ hospital ship "Maheno."  The TSS, 5,282 tons, liner Maheno was converted to a hospital ship and painted white with a red band and a red cross with, surgeon, James Sands Elliott as the medical commander.  The Maheno was wrecked on Fraser Island, QLD 8 July 1935 when under tow to Japanese ship breakers. A cyclone broke the tow rope.  The "Maheno" was built by William Denny & Brothers of Dumbarton, near Glasgow, in 1905.

Gala Day at Nelson, N.Z. 2.5.1915 The Hospital Ship Maheno.

The Marama, twin screws, launched at Greenock, Scotland in 1907 of 6,437 tons for the trans-Tasman horse-
shoe route, used later to Vancouver. Used as a Hospital Ship during World War One, were fully equipped with operating theatres and a full staff of medical personnel, including nursing sisters. Sailed under the Union Company flag. Sold to Shanghai in 1937 and scrapped in Japan in 1938.

GIBSON, M(a)cKenzie, b.7 May 1859 Bristol Gloucestershire died 07 Nov 1940. 1882 arrived Wellington Norman McLeod. 1890 locum tenens Timaru. 01 Jun 1896-1914 vicar Waimate. 1915-1919 chaplain hospital ship Marama 2nd New Zealand General Hospital.

22/154 Staff Nurse Kathleen Mary Noonan, NZANSC. Trained at Timaru Hospital and qualified in 1907. Appointed a nurse, 10th July 1915 and joined the NZ Expeditionary Force, 18th August 1915 as a Staff Nurse. Lived at Wellington before departure. Departed New Zealand on the HS Maheno Served in Egypt with the Imperial Forces and at the NZ General Hospital, Cairo July 1915 to July 1916. Also served on the Hospital Ship the Maheno. Invalided to NZ and posted retired 20th October 1916. NOK:  Mrs B. BARKER, sister, Duvauchelle Bay Akaroa

During the Dardanelle campaign there was a large number of casualties which lead to serious overcrowding making the hospital ships unsuitable as base hospitals. Instead they became casualty clearing stations (CCS), transferring the wounded out of the battle zones back to shore bases. Between 1914 and 1918 nine passenger vessels were converted into naval hospital ships. Passenger liners and hospital ships were subject to attacks by enemy submarines. They were suspected of carrying troops and supplies as their cargo. The Casualty Clearing Stations at Mudros on the Greek island of Lemnos were the first stop for many of the soldiers wounded in World War I, these advanced surgical stations were located as close to the action as possible. 


U 35

U 35 was launched from its shipyard on 18 April 1914 and commissioned into the German Imperial Navy on 4 November 1914. Submerged speed 9 knots. She had four 19.7 inch (500 mm) torpedo tubes (two bow, two stern). There were different types of torpedoes carried but all were capable of over 30 knots and carried between 360 and 440 pounds of explosive.  A copy of the war log (KTB) of U 35 is on microfilm at the  U.S. National Archives.  Guides to the Microfilmed Records of the German Navy 1850-1945, No. 1, US National Archive and Records Service, Washington, DC, 1984.  Most troopships are sunk in the eastern part of the Mediterranean, off Alexandria, off Italy, or in the Aegean. From August to November 1915, German reinforcements had reached the Mediterranean to assist the struggling Austrians and Turks. The Germans sank a lot of ships - U 35 is the top scoring submarine ever - but a lot of the sinking was done by gunfire (or torpedo) after the crew had gotten off. Escorts in very short supply. Convoys were introduced later. There was another U-35 in World War Two. The total sinking of ships from February to August 1915 amounted to 120,000 tons with further results for September to December 1915 amounting to 551,000 tons. 
'Der krieg sur see' 
18 October, Italian steamer D. Sicily where sunk by the U-boats artillery off the Greek island Kalymnos, 1220 NRT.
23 October, English Marquette sunk by a torpedo off Saloniki, 7057 NRT (Net Registered Ton)
3 November, English steamer Wolwich sunk south of Crete, fosfat and tin in cargo, 2936 NRT


July 2013The Nurses' Memorial Chapel 1927 Architect; J.C. Collins
The Chapel is this country's only memorial built specifically to commemorate New Zealand women killed in war. It was once part of the old hospital.
Slate and brick from the old hospital which was demolished in 1991 was used to construct a porch for the Nurses' Chapel. The beautiful and peaceful interior features fine stained glass windows, photographs and memorabilia. The Nurses Memorial Chapel was cracked during the quake Sept. 2010 quake and has been closed to the public. Located on Riccarton Ave by Christchurch Hospital and the Botanic Gardens, the beautiful chapel with ten stained glass windows, four by Veronica Whall, and wood cravings by Frederick Gurnsey is a war memorial built as a memorial to three of the nurses who died after the Marquette was torpedoed in 1915. They had trained at Christchurch Hospital. It is also a memorial to two Christchurch nurses who died in the flu epidemic. The people of Canterbury raised money to have the inter-denominational chapel built with the initial collection being gathered at St Michael's 15th November 1915. The foundation stone was laid by the Duke of York on March 15 1927, but has the Duchess of York's (later HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother) name on it. She was ill that day.

Nov. 12 2009. Photo taken by me, Olwyn

Braced and still closed, July 2013.
Braced and still closed, July 2013.

To the Glory of God in Memory of,
Nona Hildyard
Lorna Rattray
Margaret Rogers
Who made the supreme sacrifice for others
in the loss of the transport of Marquette. October 23rd 1915.The 12m. woollen runner depicts three nurses holding hands with a night sky, the medal of the Christchurch Hospital nurses, the red is a long plait of hair and ends with three flowers.

The chapel was the instigation of the hospital chapel building development in New Zealand. Community groups stepped in to help make sure the chapel was not demolished and now the chapel and grounds have been a historic reserve since August 1989.  The Historic Places Trust have tried to gather as much information as possible about the Marquette and have have numerous newspaper clippings and journal articles. The tragedy is also included in their new video of the chapel which can be viewed in the converted vestry and depicted in the beautiful carpet runner up the aisle of the chapel. Friends of the Chapel are responsible for the day-to-day care of the chapel have recently produced a plaque with the names of the Christchurch nurses who were on the Marquette was torpedoedMary Beswick, a Marquette survivor, has her sister commemorated at the Nurse's Chapel. Grace C. Beswick died from influenza on the 25th November 1918 aged 25. She had just completed her training.

Annual Event Calendar
Anzac Day Sunday 25th April 10am Service each year.
Marquette Day Saturday 23rd October A special display of flowers at the Chapel to mark this anniversary

The Marquette Memorial Plaque

This plaque serves to perpetuate the memory of those members of the Christchurch Hospital staff who were on the troopship Marquette when it was torpedoed off the Greek Coast on the 23rd October 1915 with heavy loss of life.

Those who perished were Sisters N Hildyard, L Rattray, and M Rodgers. Amongst those who survived were Sisters MB Beswick, M Christmas, JN Erwin, ME Gould, NW Hastie, E Hodges and S L Nicoll. Nurse Susan Nicoll a former resident of Springston left early for the war. She was rescued after several hours in the water.

The role of the Marquette disaster in relation to the chapel and the quality of the stained glass windows saved this building from demolition. The chapel is used for services, weddings, and other events and is available to patients, staff and visitors at the Christchurch Hospital. Open daily 1 pm to 4 pm.  

The descendants of Marie Cameron, an Australian nurse who survived the sinking of the troopship Marquette in World War 1, have donated the five war medals to the Christchurch Nurses' Memorial Chapel September 11 2008 in a ceremony at the chapel.


To all who contributed material for this web page thank you, especially Jackie, Gail, Ken, and Lorraine.
Suggested reading, reference material and links:
New Zealand Army Nursing Service - Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps

Commonwealth War Graves Commission provides personal and service details and places of commemoration for the 1.7 million members of the Commonwealth forces who died in the First or Second World Wars

Auckland Weekly News 28 October 1915 page 18, November 4 1915, 14 November 1915 Page 31. The eleven day delay in reporting the full event in the New Zealand newspapers was to allow the authorities to notify the next of kin but the press reported a "Hospital Ship" had been sunk which was incorrect and reports were subjected to censorship. 

Photographs in the AWN Information from the AWN courtesy of Jackie Walles. Thanks Jackie.
11 Nov 1915 p.50: Nurse C A FOX
18 Nov 1915 p.40: Nurse Nona M. HILDYARD, Nurse Helene K. ISDELL, Nurse Mabel E. JAMIESON (trained Palmerston North Hospital and sister in Greymouth Hospital), Nurse Lorna RATTRAY, Privates BIRD, RHODES, THOMPSON, MAGER
25 Nov 1915 p.47: Nurse Isabel CLARKE Nurse Mary H RAE (trained Dunedin Hospital belonged to Christchurch)
Privates: KIRK, C E., KIRK, T H., HERDMAN, R B., FRICKER, B. Saxe, WALTER, John Bruno, PERRIN, Clarence, MALONEY, Rev. Father.
2 December 1915 p.50: Nurse Mary GORMAN

The Galveston Daily News - Wednesday Oct. 27 1915 - American newspaper 
London, Oct. 26. An official announcement made public tonight says "The British transport Marquette has been torpedoed in the Aegean Sea. It is understood that only ninety-nine of the personnel of the vessel are unaccounted for." No further details have been received. 

Evening Post, 17 February 1915, Page 3 NURSES FOR THE FRONT
NEW ZEALAND CONTINGENT. FORTY-SEVEN CANDIDATES CHOSEN The Imperial Government some weeks ago agreed to accept the services of fifty New Zealand nurses for service in the military hospitals at the front in Europe. Of these, forty-seven have now been chosen, upon the recommendation of Mrs. H. Maclean, Matron-in-Chief of the New Zealand Army Nursing Corps. Their names are as under :
Alice Searell, Timaru
Isabella Scott, Timaru ...

p.32 NURSES FOR THE FRONT [AWN 18.02.1915]
New Zealand nurses for service under the direction of the British War Office:
BUCKLEY, Annie (Waimate)
SCOTT, Isabella (Timaru)
SEARLL, Alice (Timaru)

Evening Post, 6 July 1915, Page 8
NEW ZEALAND NURSES LEAVING BY HOSPITAL SHIP NAMES OF THOSE SELECTED. Sixty-nine New Zealand nurses for service in the military hospitals in England are leaving on Saturday in the Hospital Ship. This completes the quota of 100 which this Dominion was asked to raise, and of which number 31 left on 21et May for service in Egypt and the Dardanelles.
Helene K. Isdell, trained Kumara and Napier hospitals. Matron of Kumara Hospital since 1912.
Mary Looney, Southland, matron, Gore Hospital
Marion Brown, Riverton, private hospital staff
Lorna Rattray, Christchurch, Christchurch Hospital staff, belonged to Dunedin
Maud Haste, Christchurch, Christchurch Hospital staff
Nora Hildyard, Christchurch, Christchurch Hospital staff
Victoria M'Cosh - Smith, Naseby, Timaru Hospital staff
Isabel Clark, Oamaru, private nursing
Catherine Fox, Dunedin, private nursing
Kathleen Noonan, Timaru, private nursing
Fanny Abbott, Christchurch, private nursing
Edith Popplewell, Ballarat, private nursing
Elizabeth Wilson, Timaru, trainee, St. Helens
HOSPITAL SHIP STAFF. In addition, the following have been selected for the staff of the hospital ship :
Violet M'Cosh-Smith (Timaru).

Kai Tiaki: the Journal of the Nurses of New Zealand, October 1915
Third Contingent of Nurses from New Zealand
Owing probably to the extension of the war are a of our armies into Servia, the War Office has intimated through the High Commissioner that another 100 trained nurses would be gladly accepted in Egypt.
Training School.
Miss E. Richardson .. Timaru
Miss B. Rawlings .... Timaru
Miss E. McKenzie .... Timaru
Miss M. Templer .... Timaru

The Times, Monday, Aug 12, 1918; pg. 10
Nurses' Services In The War. Recognition Of Home Hospital Work.
The names of the following ladies have been brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War for valuable nursing services rendered in connexion [sic] with the war:-
Allen, V.A.D. Nurse Miss M., No. 2 New Zealand Hosp. Walton-on-Thames
Cunningham, V.A.D. Nurse Miss M.W., No. 2 New Zealand Hosp. Walton-on-Thames
Lethbridge, V.A.D. Nurse Miss G.M., No. 2 New Zealand Hosp. Walton-on-Thames
McLeod, V.A.D. Nurse Miss M.R.K., No. 1 New Zealand Hosp. Brockhurst
Mudford Nurse Miss G.E., No. 2 New Zealand Hosp. Walton-on-Thames
Stead, V.A.D. Nurse Miss H., No. 1 General New Zealand Hosp. Brockhurst
Turner, V.A.D. Nurse Miss R., No. 3 N.Z. Gen. Hosp. Codford

New Zealand Nursing Service
Burke, Sister Miss L.A. No. 2 New Zealand Hosp. Walton-on-Thames
Fulton, Sister, Mrs A. No. 1 General New Zealand Hosp. Brockhurst
Gerrard, Charge Sister Miss G. No. 3 N.Z. Gen. Hosp. Codford
Jeffery Sister Miss M.J. No. 2 New Zealand Hosp. Walton-on-Thames
Mackay, Sister Miss A.J. N.Z. Conv. Hosp., Hornchurch
Mitchell, Sister Miss M. No. 2 New Zealand Hosp. Walton-on-Thames
Moore, Staff Nurse Miss D. No. 1 N.Z. Gen. Hosp. Brockhurst
Porteous, Staff Nurse Miss E.A. No. 3 N.Z. Gen. Hosp. Codford
Smalles, Sister Miss E. No. 1 N.Z. Gen. Hosp. Brockhurst
Thurston, Matron-in-chief Miss M. N.Z.E.F., HQ., London
Westoby, Sister Miss A.C., No. 3 N.Z. Gen. Hosp. Codford
Wilson, Matron, Miss F. No. 2. N.Z. Gen. Hosp., Walton-on-Thames

The Times, Monday, Mar 05, 1917; pg. 6
War Office, March 3, 1918. The names of the following ladies have been brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War for valuable nursing services rendered in connexion with the war:-
Anderson, C., A.R.R.C., Sister, NZ Army Nursing Service
Beswick, M.B., Staff Nurse, NZ Army Nursing Service
Grigor, M., Staff Nurse, NZ Army Nursing Service
Haste, M.W., Staff Nurse, NZ Army Nursing Service
Mackay, A.J., Staff Nurse, NZ Army Nursing Service
Maclean, V.M.K., A.R.R.C., Staff Nurse, NZ Army Nursing Service. No.1 N.Z. Gen. Hosp.
McCrae, I,M,, Assistant Matron, NZ Army Nursing Service, No.2 N.Z. Gen. Hosp. Walton-on-Thames
Metherell, G.M., Staff Nurse, NZ Army Nursing Service
Popplewell, E., Staff Nurse, NZ Army Nursing Service
Stucker, E.E., V.A.D., New Zealand

The Times, Tuesday, Jan 02, 1917; pg. 4
Nursing Services.  Royal Red Cross, 1st class Matron - Miss F. Price.
Royal Red Cross, 2nd Class Sisters - Miss A. Buckley, Miss F.H. Speedly
                                            Staff Nurses - Miss K. Davies, Miss E. Hodges (acting sister)

The Times, Saturday, Jun 02, 1917; pg. 7
Investiture To-Day. Ceremony In Hyde Park., List Of Recipients.
The Royal Red Cross (Second Class)
Sister Annie Buckley, New Zealand Nursing Service
Sister Kathleen Davies New Zealand Nursing Service
Nursing Sister Fanny Speedy, New Zealand Nursing Service

The Times, Monday, Jul 14, 1919; pg. 15
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (Military Division)
Matron-in-Chief Mabel THURSTON, New Zealand Army Nursing Service.

The Times, Tuesday, Jun 01, 1920; pg. 18
Florence Nightingale Medal. First List Of Awards.
Miss Heather Maclean, R.R.C., matron-in-chief, NZ Army Nursing Service

The Times
, Thursday, Nov 11, 1915; pg. 4
New Zealand Nursing Service
The following casualty in the New Zealand Nursing Service is reported under the date October 28:-
Hawken, 123 Staff Nurse A.G.

Sixteen New Zealand nurses fell during the Great War.

Photo taken by Bernard, Feb. 2010.
Nurses Memorial in the Christchurch Cathedral

One Hundred years later. Remembering the Marquette Nurses.
The Play �Roses of No Man's Land� was written and directed by Elayne Buckler and performed by students of St Margaret�s College. It was a beautiful commemoration of those nurses who died in the sinking of the Marquette as well as those who died in conflict and in nursing those struck down in the 1918 influenza epidemic. The play was a dramatized version of events telling the stories of some of the brave young nurses who perished and some who survived the disaster. Some funds from the play performances were donated to the restoration of the Nurses� Memorial Chapel. The play was performed exactly 100 years on from the sinking. The play was a lovely combination of acting, singing and photos of the time. There were very few props to distract. A powerful play. Ref.: Canterbury Branch NZGS newsletter October 2015.

CHCH Library
Active service 1915 31 Nurses left on May 21st.

The Waimate Museum Archives holds an article put together in 1965 for a Jubilee Reunion Memorial at Christchurch in addition to other items and holds the copyright to the The Fifth Schedule. Thank you Gail.

Shackleton, Bernice E. The Fifth Schedule / the story of Waimate's Open Community Hospital. Craigs Publishers, Invercargill, 1984, ISBN 0908629125

Royal New Zealand Medical Corps Museum, information compliments of Ken Treanor. The RNZAMC Museum is located at the Health Services School at Burnham Camp, Canterbury, New Zealand and is open Mon - Fri 9am to 4pm. It may be opened at weekends by arrangement with the Chief Instructor at the School. It is basically open when the School is open.

Nursing War service references

War Work

Friends of the Chapel pamphlet. P.O. Box 29 323, Christchurch. 
A Reading of the Design of The Runner made for the Aisle of the Nurses' Memorial Chapel by Nicola Jackson
Canterbury Museum, Christchurch has the cape, medal and a letter written by Edith Popplewell in the Ina Coster's papers.

Lorna Aylmer Rattray and the nurses of the Marquette commemorated in the Christchurch Nurses' Memorial Chapel / compiled by Shannon, Lorraine. Publisher : Christchurch, NZ: Lorraine Shannon, 2001 Rattray, Lorna Aylmer, 1875-1915. 50pp : ill.  Nurse Rattray left NZ with the hospital ship Maheno. She left the Maheno at Portland and had been on the hospital staff since so far as is known.  Sister of Mr. C. W. Rattray, of Crawford St., Dunedin 

Great Days in New Zealand Nursing by Joan Rattray. Published 1961 by Reed's. On the dust jacket is a b&w photo of the interior of the ChCh Nurse's Chapel.

One of the best sources of information is the book 'Cloud over Marquette': the epic story of those who sailed in the ill-fated troopship Marquette : the tragedy - the aftermath  written by John Meredith Smith in 1990. Includes bibliographical references, page 223p ill, maps publisher (Auckland) J.M. Smith. Includes a chapter on the enquiry, photo of the Marquette, U 35, H.M.S. Talbot, H.S. Maheno, Captain Findlay, Wylie, Frazerhurst, Acland, Isaacs, Stout & McGavin Nurses Fox, Gorman, Clarkm Cameron, Isdell, Jamieson, Brown, Gould and other photos of the NZ Stationary Hospital.

The New Zealand Hospital Ship Maheno The First Voyage July 1915 to January 1916 by Earl Of Liverpool, Arthur William de Brito Savile Foljambe,1870-1941, published by Whitcome & Tombs. In this small book I have endeavoured to compile a brief account, composed of extracts from the ships official dairy, of the doings of the Maheno on her first cruise, as I think that such might prove of interest to the people of New Zealand, who so generously provided her equipment, and that of the Marama." 59 pages

The voyages of His Majesty's New Zealand hospital ships 'Marama' and 'Maheno' / compiled by the Earl of Liverpool. Auckland, N.Z. : Whitcombe and Tombs, 1917-1919. 

New Zealand Military Historical Society magazine 'Volunteer'. HMT MARQUETTE - 1915 by  Haigh J. Bryant Vol.22 No.2 Nov 1996

While You're Away: New Zealand Nurses at War 1899-1948. By Anna Rogers, Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2003, 352 pages, paperback, NZ$39.95. Contains one chapter on the "Marquette." "This tragedy soured relations between the NZ government and the British, because the British had made the decision to transport a hospital without the customary Red Cross markings that would have prevented a German attack."

May Tilton, The Grey Battalion, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1933, p. 87. WW1 female participation. 310 p.  The author was an Australian Army Nursing Sister from 1915 to 1918 in Egypt, England and France.

Another book that has a chapter about the "Marquette" is 'Growl you may, but go you must' compiled by Sister Mary Damian. 1968,  Reed (Wellington, Auckland, etc). 231 pages

Fiftieth anniversary: sinking of the H.M.T.S. Marquette on 23 October, 1915. A tragic story. Maclean H. NZ Nurse J. 1965 Oct;58(10):5-6.

The Other Anzacs: Nurses at War 1914-1918, Peter Rees, 2008

NZ Military Nurses
Returning Nurses 1916
1915 - Nursing Staff for Hospital Ship Marama (Third contingent)

NZ nurses with the Australian contingents who have received decorations
NZ Nurses WW1
Military Nurses
Women and WW 1

Nurses on board the RMS Rotorua 1915
ANZAC Day - the Nurses

Canadian Nurses in World War I

Carbery, A. R. D. The New Zealand Medical Service in the Great War, 1914--1918 Auckland 1924
Kelly, M. J. New Zealand Servicewomen, World War I. 3 vols. Auckland 1992
Kendall, Sherayl & David Corbett New Zealand Military Nursing.; A History of the Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps Boer War to Present Day. Auckland 1990
Quote. p.45 - 48. New Zealand nurses arriving in Egypt were sent to the following hospitals; No.15, No.17, No.19 and No.21 General Hospitals were in Alexandria. Ras-el-tin a small hosp in Alex.  Lady Godley's Hosp. convalescent home in Alex with a trained nurse in charge and staffed by Red Cross. Citadel Military Hospital, Cairo, & Nasarieh Schools, Heliopolis Palace Hospital, Imperial Infectious Diseases Hospital, Shoubra near Cairo. No.1 & 2 Auxiliary hospitals, Cairo. Egyptian Govt. Hosp & Schools Hosp. at Port Said. No.1 NZ Stationary Hosp. Salonika No.2 NZ Stat. Hosp. Pont de Koubbeh. The Aotea Convalescent Hospital at Heliopolis was equipped by the patriotic residents of Wairarapa, Wanganui, and Rangitikei and Wellington. Accommodation was for 100 patients. Convalescent centre for the NZ Mounted Brigade. It functioned from 1915 to 1919 and run by Matron Early, Sisters Kate Booth and Nora Hughes, and several VAD workers. The book includes names of all military nurses up to Vietnam. 240pg large format.
The Other Anzacs: Nurses at War 1914-1918‎ -by Peter Rees - History - 2008 - 363 pages. Review on Google books

New Zealand became the first country to have separate legislation for the registration and regulation of nurses with the Nurses Registration Act on 12 September 1901. The Marquette Memorial Service for Nurses was held on 28 October 2001 at the National War Memorial, Wellington, to remember New Zealand nurses who died in the service of their country and in humanitarian causes.  

Go ye forth ever mindful of the sick and the suffering.
The Timaru Hospital Chapel window. 

Sister Ellen Scott

An infectious disease brought Len and Ellen Skelton together, but a more potent force - love - has kept them happily married for the last 60 years. Relaxing in the conservatory of their Timaru home, the couple said it was hard to believe they were celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary. "The time has gone very very quickly," Mr Skelton said. Mr and Mrs Skelton met during the Second World War. Mrs Skelton (nee Scott) was from Fairlie and Mr Skelton from London. A sergeant with the British army, Mr Skelton had contracted typhoid and was admitted to a military hospital in Syria where Mrs Skelton was working as a nursing sister. "The sisters use to take the patients up into the hills for walks and one day she took me," Mr Skelton said. The 85-year-old said he was instantly attracted. "I was fascinated by her. She looked nice and trim in her uniform," Mr Skelton said. "After we became more familiar I popped the question," he grinned. The pair exchanged wedding vows on February 17, 1943, at the hospital where they had met. "It was a glorious wedding," Mr Skelton said. A few months after the wedding Mr and Mrs Skelton went to London, where they lived for three years before moving to New Zealand. On Sunday, Mr and Mrs Skelton celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with family and friends. Three children, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild later the couple said a number of factors had contributed to their long marriage, one of which was having a sense of humour. "It's also about about being in love," Mr Skelton said.

Skelton, Ellen Jessie (1913 -2004). Memories : nursing years, Ellen Scott 1934-1946
An autobiographical account of Ellen Skelton's training and activities as a nurse between 1934-1946. Prior to World War Two Ellen worked for the Dunedin Hospital until she volunteered when war broke out. Her following experiences saw her serving in several North African posts (Cairo, Tripoli, Syria) until she moved on to London. She married, in North Africa, to Len Skelton in 1943. Pub. 2000. pbk. 17p., ill. ; 30cm

In 1935 Ellen Scott commenced training at Dunedin Hospital. When war broke out in 1939 she applied for War service. The Matron objected, but Ellen left Dunedin doing six months maternity training first at Wanganui, followed by another six months at the Willis Street Maternity Hospital in Wellington. She reapplied for nursing duties overseas, going into camp at Waiouru, before departing in 1941, with the 6th Reinforcements on the troopship Aquitania, bound for the Middle East.. She was stationed there for two years until the end of 1943 having married in February 1943 in Beirut, Leonard Skelton, a soldier in the British Army. Ellen travelled on the first convoy through the Mediterranean to London, and continued District Nursing in London until the end of 1946. Ref. From Connie Rayne's book, Sherwood Downs and Beyond, 1991.

Timaru Cemetery - At work we still see spouses dying within a short period of each other.
Ellen J. Skelton Str
45237 2nd NZEF NZANS
Died 23 Sept. 2004.
Aged 91 years
Leonard A. Skelton
2194528 Royal Engineers
34160 RNZE
Died 24 Oct. 2004
Aged 86 years.

"When you began your nursing training during the Second World War, you get the sort of experience that cannot be taught in a classroom, tending to wounded soldiers brought by hospital ships to New Zealand. I grew up very fast, dealing with that kind of trauma on a daily basis."

A Veronica Whall window

In memory of Sybilla Emily Maude, died July 12th 1935 - ChCh Nurses Chapel

The Register was established in 1902. Each New Zealand Registered General and Obstetrical Nurse medal issued has the nurse's name and date of graduation inscribed on the back.The stained glass window at the top of the page features seven nursing medals. Nursing medals - starting at the bottom and going clockwise.
1. The Florence Nightingale Medal is a medal instituted in 1912 by the International Committee of the Red Cross. It is the highest international distinction a nurse can achieve and is awarded to nurses or nursing aides for "exceptional courage and devotion to the wounded, sick or disabled or to civilian victims of a conflict or disaster" or "exemplary services or a creative and pioneering spirit in the areas of public health or nursing education".
2. The Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps (RNZNC) badge on the left has been worn since 1953.Two gold plated ferns with a crown on top.  
4. The top (Blue) is a decoration is the CBE awarded to Mabel Thurston.
3. The Gold with the red cross is the one presented to Janet Williamson by the people Otago, Boer War nurse. The seven nurses who went away in her group were presented with that medal.
5. Royal Red Cross, second class, in silver, was instituted during the Great War of 1914-1918. Recipients are called associates and can use the letters ARRC after their names. Faith, hope and charity appear on the reserve.
6. The Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps (RNZNC) cap badge worn on the uniform today.
7. The NZRN medal in the middle. History.

Created April 25th 2002, updated 25 June 2009, June 2013, October 2015 by Olwyn, NZRN 

The runner is 12 metres in length, it runs from the chapel door to the altar and is representation the three Christchurch nurses, Rogers, Hildyard and Rattray, who lost their lives aboard the Marquette in 1915. The carpet runner was made by Nicola Jackson from Dunedin in 1994.

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project