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Recovery: Women's Overseas Service in WW1


Wed 12 Jul 2017, 10:00am–4:00pm
Thu 13 Jul 2017, 10:00am–4:00pm
Fri 14 Jul 2017, 10:00am–4:00pm
Sat 15 Jul 2017, 10:00am–4:00pm
Sun 16 Jul 2017, 1:30pm–4:00pm

Where: Tairawhiti Museum, Stout St, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay / Gisborne

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Listed by: tairawhitimuseum

All welcome to attend the launch of this new exhibition and publication at 5pm on 24 March 2017. There will be a re-enactment, WW1 inspired food and floor talk as part of the launch.

Making visible the work that New Zealand women undertook overseas during World War One (WW1) is what this exhibition is about. I wanted to recover a range of New Zealand women’s work outside of New Zealand during WW1 as well as the research I undertook to recover their stories.

The women featured have connections to the East Coast. Between 1915 and 1919 they served with the armed services or as volunteers with 12 different service organisations within war zones in Turkey, Egypt, France, Serbia, Greece, Italy, Palestine, East Africa as well as in England. Many were highly decorated. All who served had their lives changed forever.

That so many women and men from the East Coast served overseas in WW1 is remarkable for the relatively small population at the time. The exhibition documents their bravery and self–sacrifice as well as their everyday work often interspersed with discomfort, danger and destruction. Wherever possible, their own words are used to describe their experiences of war. A number of descendants of the women have been involved.

Because only a sample of the women could be included in the exhibition I have written a 172 page illustrated book providing further detail plus annotated profiles of other women from the East Coast who served overseas in WW1.

This exhibition is the result of collaboration between the Tairāwhiti Museum, the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT), The Gisborne Herald and the Nurses and Midwives of Tairāwhiti (NAMOT).

Kay Morris Matthews.
The publication will be available at the museum from 24 March onwards, retail price $35.00.

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