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New Zealand Nurses (at war)

14 Jul 2015

Our Subjects / Ā Mātou Kaupapa:

Where can I find information about New Zealand nurses who served overseas in different wars?

LEVEL: Intermediate / Secondary

Soldiers are not the only people who are involved in wars and conflicts. There are numerous support people who are also involved from logistics and transport staff to nurses and doctors.  

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand is an excellent starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa. If we scroll down to the bottom of the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable. Use the search feature and the keywords 'war nurses' and look through the results. If you are interested in a particular war, use that as your keyword instead, for example 'first world war nurses'.

HOT TIP: If you put speech marks " around a phrase, like "First World War" then Te Ara will only search for results that mention that phrase, rather than just the individual keywords. Look at the different in results between the two searches 'first world war nurses' and '"first world war" nurses'.

Te Ara also has a lot of biographies of nurses from New Zealand who served in different wars. Go to Te Ara's Dictionary of New Zealand Biography and then use the drop down box to search by occupation: Health. Another way to search is by using keywords, such as 'war' and 'nurse'.

NZHistory is another good place to look for New Zealand information. If we scroll down to the bottom of the page we can see that this website has a New Zealand Government stamp, and they are supported by the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.

Click on topics and then New Zealand at war, then choose the war you want to investigate. For example, if you want information about nurses in the South African War, click that link and then 'NZ Units in South Africa', then choose 'women at war'. The other way to search is by using keywords, so if you are not looking at any war in particular, try 'war nurses' again. 

Christchurch City Libraries has a page on how to find information about New Zealand Nurses in the First World War. This includes books as well as websites - check your local library to see if you can find these books, they're very good.

The New Zealand Nursing Review has written an article about New Zealand Nurses at War in World War One. This gives you an overview of the different kinds of things nurses had to do during the war and in different parts of the world like Egypt and the Wester Front. We like this article because it gives sources near the bottom of the article that explain where the information comes from. 

HOT TIP: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the ‘about us’ link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

EPIC is a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It’s put together especially for New Zealand school students and helps to answer questions like this. From the home page select Australia/New Zealand Reference Centre from the EBSCO list. Use war nurses as your keywords in the search box at the top of the page. You'll get lots of results so you might have to insert additional keywords like New Zealand into your search.

HOT TIP: To get to the EPIC databases you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or, you can log on to between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday, and one of the librarians can help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.

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