Auckland Museum - Collections Online

Predicate Object 15 Aug 2001 2001-08-15T00:00:00.000Z 2001-08-15T00:00:00.000Z 2001.25.62 Brent Mackrell Collection, Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira, 2001.25.62 2006-07-06T00:00:00.000Z 1 2020-12-21T10:05:32.891Z 7G 40 70 nursing/wars Medal of Gratitude for Army Nurses (Médaille de Reconnaissance pour les Infirmières de l’Armée), WW1 Sister Emma Louise Bennett Awarded: Bruxelles 15 December 1919 Copy of Certificate on file NZANS, French Red Cross, QAIMNSR. Served: WW1: with French Red Cross then British Red Cross at Calais, then with QAIMNSR, NZANS in Egypt, UK. Received decorations from 3 countries. Emma Louise Bennett served with the French Red Cross, the British Red Cross, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS), and finally with the New Zealand Army Nursing Service (NZANS) in Egypt and in the United Kingdom, and attained the rank of Matron. She received decorations from three countries - she was awarded Associate Royal Red Cross (ARRC), the Medaille de la Reconnaissance Francaise 2 July 1919 3rd Class (France), and the Médaille de la Reine Elisabeth (Belgium). Emma Bennett trained in Christchurch, graduating in 1898, and received her NZ Registered Nursing Certificate in 1902. she was in Paris when war broke out and joined the French Red Cross. Sydney Herald article (2 July): “Miss Louise Bennett, who is at present staying at the Edith Cavell Home for Nurses, Summer Hill, is among the women who gave signal service as a nurse to the Empire during the Great War. The official recognition that Miss Bennett received for such service includes the Royal Red Cross, the 1914 Star and the General Service Medal [British War Medal], the Victory Medal, La Reconnaissance Francaise and the Belgian Medallion. Miss Bennett was in Paris when the war broke out. She Returned to England, joined with Lord Kitchener’s troops, and later was with a Red Cross unit at the clearing station at Calais. Or the next five years Miss Bennett’s life was lived in the midst of war, and the aftermath of war. She was at Wimereux, then later on the Gloucester Castle which she joined shortly after the landing at Gallipoli, and remained with until after the evacuation. The Gloucester Castle conveyed wounded men from Gallipoli to Malta, Alexandria, and made one trip to England. The ship went up close to the beaches, and within range of fire. Miss Bennett’s recollection of those days is linked with her memory of many Australian and other dominion troops. Miss Bennett became matron of the Khedival Clearing Station for nurses at Alexandria a little later in her career. Her health gave way after she had been some time at this work, and she Returned to England, where after a rest, she engaged in hospital ambulance work, and travelled many thousands of miles in the British Isles. Another period of service at Alexandria, and as acting matron of the Citadel Hospital at Cairo filled in the later years. After the war Miss Bennett was matron of the hospital at St Helens. She had been in New Zealand for some time before her arrival in Sydney.” Medal of Gratitude for Army Nurses (Médaille de Reconnaissance pour les Infirmières de l’Armée), WW1 Awarded to Emma Louise Bennett, Bruxelles 15 December 1919 no ribbon obverse: uniformed head of a nurse facing left and looking downwards, with index finger of left hand to her lips, inscribed ‘L’ARMEE A SES INFIRMIERES’ (The Army to its Nurses) around the left-hand edge reverse markings: raised letters: central medallion inscribed ‘MA’ with space for attribution engraved: BENNETT medal, service
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