Home 
 
WW1
 
 
22/274 Staff Sister Elizabeth Mary Findlay – New Zealand Army Nursing Service
 
 Elizabeth Mary Gallagher is reported to have been born in Westport, New Zealand. Mary’s military records give a
birthday of 20th March 1883 and her death certificate as 17th March 1881.[i]   There is no official entry in New Zealand Births, Deaths and Marriages.
 
Elizabeth obtained nursing qualification and was nursing at Waikato Hospital by 1912.[ii] Elizabeth also was in the Army Training Reserve prior to 1914.[iii]
 
On the 28th July 1915 Elizabeth May Findlay married, in Wellington, William Farquhar Findlay.[iv] William Findlay was a doctor who worked in Rotorua in 1914. It is probable that Elizabeth meet her future husband while he was working in Rotorua.  
 
The couple had moved to Wellington in 1915 where Dr Findlay was employed at the Porirua Mental Institute.
Dr Findlay enlisted as 3/883A Captain Findlay in the New Zealand Medical Corps in August 1915. He did not travel on a troopship his military file notes ‘he travelled privately.’[v] The private travel was because Elizabeth was travelling with him and would not have been allowed on a military vessel.
 
In October 1915 Captain Findlay was located in Egypt and was attached
to the No 2 New Zealand General Hospital. In the early 1900’s it was usual
for newly married women to stop working and possible Elizabeth was not
employed when she arrived in Egypt. However in December 1915 Elizabeth
was appointed as a staff nurse in the New Zealand Army Nursing Service.
The nursing magazine Kai Tiaki noting on the 1st January 1916[vi]
 
 
          ‘Mrs Findlay, late Nurse Gallagher, whose husband is on
the staff  at the New Zealand General Hospital, Cairo, has
been appointed a member of the NZANS ‘
 
 
 
 
Patients, nurses and hospital staff Cairo c1916
 
 
 
22/274 Staff Nurse Findlay was taken on the staff on the New Zealand General
Hospital in Cairo and remained there till June 1916. Staff Nurse Findlay in June
1916 was transferred in the hospital ship  HMNZHS Marama. On arrival in
England Staff Nurse Findlay was moved to the No 2 New Zealand General
Hospital based at Walton on Thames.
 
Staff Nurse Findlay served at the No 2 New Zealand General Hospital until28th February 1918 when she was discharged
‘ at her own request’ from the NZANS.[vii] Mrs Findlay was pregnant and remained in England giving birth on 20th September 1918 to a son. The birth of John Farquhar Findlay son of Captain and Mrs Findlay was registered at Chertsey Registry Office.[viii] Chertsey is a registry office close to Walton on Thames where Captain Findlay was working following his return from service in France.
 
The Findlay family remained in England until April 1919 when they returned to New Zealand on the SS Carinthia.[ix]  The Findlays moved to Dunedin after Captain Findlay was discharged from the Army. The Findlay family then moved to Wellington where Doctor Findlay too up the roll of Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health. The couple were living in Wellington when Elizabeth’s husband died in 1936.[x]
Elizabeth Mary Findlay died, in Dannervirke,  on the 8th September 1973 her death was reported to the NZ Defence Department by her son. [xi]
 
Notes
 
John Farquhar Findlay also trained as a doctor.
 
References
Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 22/274 Staff Nurse Elizabeth Mary Findlay
Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 3/883A Captain William Farquhar Findlay
NZ BDM Online
Papers Past Online
UK BDM Online
 
Photos
Patients, Nurses and Hopital staff Cairo c1916: Private colletion
Ward No 2 New Zealand General Hospital – Walton on Thames:  Google Photos
 
 
 
 
 
[i] NZ BDM Deaths 1973/33375 Findlay Elizabeth May
[ii] My wanderings – Waikato Times – 5th October 1912
[iii] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 22/274 Staff Nurse Elizabeth Mary Findlay
[iv] NZ BDM Marriage 1915/4816 Elizabeth May Gallagher – William Farquhar Findlay
[v] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files; 3/883A Captain William Farquhar Findlay
[vi] News of Our Nurses in Egypt, 1st January 1916 – Kai Tiaki
[vii] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 22/274 Staff Nurse Elizabeth Mary Findlay
[viii] Free UK BDM Chertsey 2a 86 Findlay John F
[ix] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 22/274 Staff Nurse Elizabeth Mary Findlay
[x] Obituary Dr Findlay, Evening Post 23rd January 1936
[xi] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 22/274 Staff Nurse Elizabeth Mary Findlay
 
 
Ward 4 No 2 New Zealand General Hospital - Walton on Thames C1916