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TRAINED NURSES, Issue 15689, 31 December 1914
OFFER FOR ACTIVE SERVICE WITH NEW ZEALAND TROOPS. A deputation of eight members of the New Zealand Trained Nurses' Association waited on the Hon. James Allen, Minister of Defence, this morning to ask that New Zealand nurses should lie sent on active service with the colonial troops. Dr Marshall Macdonald, president of the association, said there was a very strong feeling amongst the nurses that they should be allowed the chance of serving at the front. lie might point out that splendidly-equipped service*, had been sent from Canada and Australia. Australia had sent a hospital ship with two complete general hospitals tully equipped to accommodate 1.640 patients. They took with thsm doctors, nurse.,, orderlies, dispensers, X-ray attendants, carpenters, cooks, and torits. The nurses numbered some 200, and they were to serve in France. The Government'granted £ls for equipment to each muse, but that amount was more than trebled by public subscriptions. This was quite exe'usive of the Lady Dudley voluntary hospital, which was subscribed by Australians, and was the first foreign hospital set up in Fnuce. lie recognised that they could not ask the New Zealand Government to do so much as this, but he thought it only right that a number of nurses—say 15 from each large, centre—should be sent to Egypt to nurse the New Zealanders, who otherwise would have to depend on Arabs. The nurses would be ot great service, also, in ministering to the sick and wounded New Zealanders on the return voyage to New Zealand. It was essential that nurses should bo on these ships, and thero were none so well qualilied to nurse our troops as our own nurses. He thought, also, that the Hon. Mr Fisher, who was now in New Zealand, should be asked that New Zealand nurses might bo allowed to form part of his reinforcements for the colonial hospitals in France. l)r Macdonald said he hoped that Mr Allen would not be deterred from acquiescing in these proposals because the Home authorities were lukewarm mi this as in some other matters unueeted with colonial defence questions. New Zealand's sons were serving the Empire in the Held it was only right that he:daughters, who were able and willing, should b> allowed to do 'n. too. New Zealand was tho only part of the Empire except Canada where Slate registration for nurses existed, and t7i3 organisation of nursing matters generally mi Australasia was much ahead of that obtaining .it Hour. Colonial :nu'so> got a thorough and varied training, and they are. more adaptable in dillkilt circumstances. If their request was granted he suggested that tlie recommendation of nurse- lor active service be left the hand:- of the Trained Nurses' Assoeiation in rneh .'Mitre, and that in ail case- preference should be given to New Zealand-born and New Zealand-trained nurse-.
Miss Holford spoke, a, to the deaths from pnoumoiiiii. :ind said the nurses felt .'trough - that it woiW na .(• hem bet'.'' 1 !' for the men if they had been nni.-ed ; n the early stages of the illnes-. Further, if our men weie nursed only by Arabs ,t should It remembered that the A tabs do not ntir-e aftT sundown, and the critical time in -itch a case was usually after sunset. Mi's Holford also asked whether it would not he possible to have some trained nurses at- the Treutham camp, mi a' In prevent minor ailments from developing into serious ones. It had been said that the general pood health of our troops in Samoa wa< largely owino- to their being accompanied by competent nurses and looked after on the way thither, as well a? •when they arrived. Xuise Moie-on referred to some of I lie experiences in South Africa. Though the orderlies there, did good work they were not competent to attend to critical cases. Nurse Williamson fully endorsed what Dr Macdonald had said. It was absolutely necessary for the welfare of the men to have trained nurses on the troopship*, as well as in the hospitals on land. Mrs W. ('. MacOregor gave instances of the value of competent nursing on board ship. This was proved when we transported troops to South Africa. Mr Allen said in the course of his reply that he was glad to meet the nurses and hear what- they had to say, and he was pleased that the opnoituuiiy had .arisen foi him to say how much he valued the work done by the nuhses in Xew Zealand and elsewhere. He. realised that, ir was of the utmost importance, that, .all possible attention in the way of medical and nursing aid f-hould bo given to our soldieis '-1 hospitals or wherever nurses could serve them. JUit, lie had also to say tin's. In the. anaiigemenh- made with the Mother Country certain duties wpk> alloikd 10 ourselves and to Australia and Canada, and in allot tine our duties were verv detinitclv stated —moii) definitely, perhaps, than the duties of any other part of the bnipire. What, the an an, I ,'* inent- mad..' with Australia v, af. he did. rmi know exactly, imi it imiuded the providing ot a great deal of musing and ;: in hula nee ;im omnwid.at ion an«l equipment. So fa]' as Xe.v Zealand was concerned we had ordered in the Old Country £7.000 worth of ambulance and suchlike materia! for the u.-e of the Xou Zealand' is alone. Though not c.xpresM d in the contract mad" with Xew Zealand, he pici-umi'd it was intended by l he Homo authorities that Australia should provide th-> anihalanee and that N'ow Zealand should furnish a greater pioportjon of men and horses and guns. What, tie' War Otherexactly wanted from Xew Zealand in icspeef, 'to field ambulance he did not know, hut we had done some-thin.:. As 10 nursi s a< companying the troopships, that was a ipicstion that- had been carefully thought oil!. and lie iv;ij advitvd that female muses need not ho cent-, it being pointed out that, muses would be available a-- soon as the in-•!' landed, and thai during their Ifciln ■ •a the ships they would have the h--)) id the. many men who had be-'ii trained as students and otherwise. Kcfcreuoc had been mail" to the deaths from pii'-utnonia. bin he. would answer that the number of Mich cat-es had been Mnelie: amongst our men than amom:.M the t!r„,,, s fiom Australia--he would not say on account of th" miming ot\ th" way, but probably boiause --mr .men wow in' U-t|ei ■ •-on-11l 101). Tl.eee was no need to ea-t ■•"llectious upon ourselves with icspect t-> l-.okin-.' afier our tik-ii on the shi|s. The v,-hole matte]' had boon considered, and upon c.-ir.'iul tliou-h: it was f.ccu iJiat it. would be a d'lHeuh th'inw to hare i< nrih. nurse-, in ships that were crowded, l.e-idcs •alnVli tin re wa* information fiom the Mother Coin.'iy from whic'n. it- was intoned that there wen- phnty of niiu.s available ihere for sending upon artivo service. The -Tk-iVnce atithoi ilics here had been in all thine:* complying w illi the request- of the War Oliico as far as possible. What the War Orliee want, d fiom us w;if> as many lp.-n and gun« and horses and ammunition as we- cuuid icasunahh .send, and Xew Zealand had more than ..'one ] 1.■ 1* sliaie with lespeel f.o aii thc.-c. He could quite midoistand tiie feclines <t the Xew Ze.'daiid nurses. Th y piubahly fob that- th."y had not had 'th- <.pp*.iIt.nitv ■>] ast-ie,: ine; as nnich w th" Dominion generally had assisted. All he <ouhl say as t. the. pre<-'nt jequott was that until the Aijtlur Countiy ask d u.s to ]uovi.le nr.r;-'"*. it would be almost a. piesunijition to send tliem. It- would looklike intetK-ritii with tiie Imperial arrans---jnenfs. What he would be ,:;lad to <io would lje to inform the Mother Country thai, many qualified nurses in Xew Zealand were prepared to serve, and ask if the Moth'';- Country d*i=ir?d that they fhonld ho sept. He'couid not go further than that at He presumed that mere were Englifh nur.-e-e already in Esvy.t. He would find out for eert-am. As' I" the retui'nir.a: oi our siek and wotin-dtyl, all that had been, thought out. We had not. only made provieion for our own men, but had offered to take cbaree of other sick and wound-'d if it were denied advisa'Jle to feud thorn here, but the Mother Country said it would not be convenient to fend them. Af to the suj-pe-stion that he should communicate with Mv Fisher and anl: if lw would accept offers from Xew Zealand nurse* to join the reinforcements. be would be ver\ kli-(! to do Fa, and if Ihe ' Commonu-ealth replied that such services would be accepted no doubt there would be many applications. lie might point out that as the law itood at
present, if nurses were, enrolled it would not ba as part of our military organisation, but that need not stand in the way of enrolment He approved of the suggestion that if names were enrolled the selection should he by the Nurses' Asfociation. He had not until to-day heard the suggestion that nurses should be attached to tho camp ;il Trentham, and oil-hand he war. not prepared to say whether it was a proper thing to do. TTe would ask the advice of the chief medical officer. Trentham was near Wellington, and he did not just at the moment see what object would be served by stationing nurses at. the camp. But ho would inquire ahout it. He did not want to damp the ardor of the nurse'. but he must be guided largely as to the greater question bv what were the wishes of the. War Office.' So far the War Office had not asked for nurses to be sent, ivit ho would inquire for instructions, and say that many were prepared to go, and if tho offers were accepted he would facilitate their going. Many nurses had already pone on their own account, and tho shipping companies had generously given some cheap passages. Rut he would prefer that if our mir=.es went it should bo as part of our scheme.
Dr Marshall Macdonald, in thanking Mr Allen for his " crumb of comfort," suggested that the Minister should not merely ask if our nurses might go. but put it to tho Home people, that ho was anxious to send them.
TRAINED NURSES, Issue 15689, 31 December 1914
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