815135 Private Hilda Emily Elizabeth Hasse – Woman’s Auxiliary Army Corp  

Hilda Emily Elizabeth Hasse was born on 24th September 1910 the fourth of five children born to Emily Elizabeth and Herman (Harry) Rudolf Hasse[i]. It is probable that Hilda was born in Paekakariki where her father was working for the Wellington & Manawatu Railway Company[ii].

Both Harry and his brother Carl (Charles) Otto Hasse served in the NZ Mounted Rifles during the Boer War and it seems
at this time their German sounding names had been anglicised.

Harry and Emily moved to Porirua around the 1915/1916 with the three of the older children being enrolled at Porirua School in 1916. Harry was a motor mechanic and the family are listed as living in Main Road, Porirua.

On 18th May 1943 Hilda entered camp as 815135 Private Hasse, Woman’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC).[iii] Private Hasse’s military papers note her occupation as ‘Home Duties’ and living with her parents at Main Road, Porirua. Both Private Hasse’s parents are listed as next of kin. Private Hasse is credited with advanced certificate in First Aid and Home Nursing.

Following basic training Private Hasse embarked on 18th June 1943 for overseas service. On arrival in Egypt Private Hasse was posted to the 1st NZ General Hospital in the Voluntary Aid Division (VAD) and her military papers note a change of
title to nurse.  Nurse Hasse remained with the 1st NZGH, in Egypt until 27th September 1944 when she was attached to
the 3rd NZGH which was the first of the NZ General Hospital to be moved to Italy.

Nurse Hasse remained at Bari, Italy until the 4th October 1944 when she was attached to the 1st NZ Hospital Ship
‘on duty’ moving wounded back from Italy to Egypt. Nurse Hasse was awarded the Italian Star for serving in Bari.

It is not clear from the records if Nurse Hasse was also ‘on duty’ when she departed Egypt on 13th October 1944 returning to New Zealand.  Arriving in New Zealand on 22nd December 1944 Nurse Hasse went before a medical board was placed
as an out-patient of the Wellington Hospital while specialists reported on her breathing issues. Nurse Hasse went before
a medical board again on 27th March 1945 where it was determined she should be discharged with a 50% War Pension. Following taking her overseas services leave Nurse Hasse was finally discharged on 27th May 1945.

Hilda returned to live with her parents in Porirua but at
some stage she moved to Christchurch and married
Norman Hewertson[iv]. The couple had two children and
remained in Christchurch for the rest of their married life.

Norman Hewertson died in Christchurch on
25th February  1975 and Hilda in Titahi Bay, Wellington
on 12th September 1976. Both are buried in the
Old Porirua Cemetery.

The title of Nurse has been used as noted in military papers and
no doubt Hilda would have been nursing but Private is the WAAC 
SA8826 Trooper Herman (Harry) Rudolf Hasse – 10th Contingent
Hilda’s oldest brother served with the NZ Medical Corp during
WW2. 503812 Private Arthur John Rudolf Hasse. 

NZDF Archives: 815135 Private Hilda Emily Elizabeth Hasse
NZ Electoral Rolls 1926 – 1986
Ancestry.com: Norman Hewertson
Auckland Cenotaph database
PWS : SA8826 Trooper Herman (Harry) Rudolf Hasse

Hewertson graves – Porirua Cemetery (Melenai Macdonald)
1941 First Nursing Aids, NZ WAAC arriving in Egypt: J B McKinney - Medical Units of the 2nd NZEF 

[i] NZ BDM
[ii] NZ Electoral Rolls Otaki 1911
[iii] NZDF Military Records: 815135 Private Hilda Emily Elizabeth Hasse
[iv] Ancestry.com: Family tree Hewertson​
1941 First nursing aids, NZWAAC arrive in Egypt