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Online Cenotaph

Theresa Butler

  • Service number
    • WWI 22/17 AWMM
    • WWI 22/7 AWMM
  • Also known as
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Last rank
  • War
    World War I, 1914-1918 AWMM
Group, WW1, 3 Nurses taken on the T.Scotian by Miss C Young. Theresa Butler, at back right; Miss Harris and Miss Fricker are the other nurses. Mr Bell was supposed to be in the picture. It was taken on the 10 June 1915. (kindly provided by family) - No known copyright restrictions
Group, WW1, 3 Nurses taken on the T.Scotian by Miss C Young. … Read more


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Theresa AWMM
  • Surname
    Butler AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    • WWI 22/17 AWMM
    • WWI 22/7 AWMM
  • Gender
    Female AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion
    Church of England, Christian AWMM

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Date of birth
    • 8 October 1884 AWMM
    • 1884 AWMM
  • Place of birth
    Upper Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
  • Birth notes
    • Upper Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
    • WW1 Nurse AWMM
    • WW1 Nurse AWMM
  • Post war occupation
    • Plunket Nurse, Thames Te Aroha District AWMM
    • 16 Aug 1920 Assistant Matron Military Personnel file
      Trentham Military Hospital AWMM
  • Address before enlistment
    Unknown 163 Wellington Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    • Miss Butler, C/o Mrs Watts, 30 Leraud Street, Berhampore, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
    • Miss Mildred Butler (sister), C/o Mrs Watts, 30 Leraud Street, Berhampore, Wellington South, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    • Pre 08 Apr 1915 Single AWMM
    • Pre 26 Jun 1916 Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
    World War I, 1914-1918 AWMM
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    • WWI 22/17 AWMM
    • WWI 22/7 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) AWMM
      MBE. 1939 AWMM
    • 1914 Star (5th Aug-22nd Nov 1914 clasp) AWMM
    • British War Medal (1914-1920) AWMM
    • Victory Medal AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Enlistment
    • WW1 Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
    • WW1 Unknown AWMM
  • Age on enlistment


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    • Embarkation details
      • WW1 08 Apr 1915-18 May 1915 AWMM from Wellington, New Zealand AWMM to London, England AWMM Rotorua 8 April 1915 AWMM
        Vessel was Rotorua AWMM
        Nurse AWMM
        New Zealand Army Nursing Service Corps AWMM
        New Zealand Expeditionary Force AWMM
      • WW1 26 June 1916 AWMM from Wellington, New Zealand AWMM HMNZT 56 or HMNZT 57 AWMM
        Vessel was Tahiti or Maunganui AWMM
        Sister AWMM
        14th Reinforcements, New Zealand Army Nursing Service Corps AWMM
        New Zealand Expeditionary Force AWMM

    Prisoner of war

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    • Capture details
    • Days interned
    • Liberation date
    • POW liberation details
    • POW serial number

    Medical history

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    • Medical notes

    Last known rank

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    • Last rank
      Inter War 1 February 1920 AWMM
      Transfered to active Territorial list AWMM

    Biographical information

    Biographical information

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    • Trained Christchurch Hospital 1910.

      She was one of the first group of nurses, surgeon and dressers to arrive in Brussels in August 1914 – working for the Belgium Red Cross.

      She returned to New Zealand in December 1914 then departed from Wellington on the 8th April 1915 with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, she would go on to serve in Belgium, France and Cairo.

      Sister Butler was one of the first New Zealand nurses to serve in the war, and one of only a handful of New Zealanders to receive the 1914 Star.

      Listed as 22/7 in Nominal Roll and 22/17 in Military Personnel file.

      Staff nurse 8.4.15; Sister 18.2.21

      She served in Belgium, France and NZGH, Cairo.

      No. 1 New Zealand General Hospital "Brought to the notice of the Secretary of States for War for valuable services at home towards the successful conduct of the war and published in the press by the war office."

      Awarded the MBE in 1939. She was recommended for the Royal Red Cross decoration, but it was not awarded.

      "Sister Butler's experience is rather more varied. Holiday-making in England when the war broke out, she joined the Red Cross there, and was in Brussels a week before it was taken on 21st August, 1914, by the Germans. At the commencement they were nursing Belgians, and later Germans as well. Three weeks passed and Sister Butler with others commenced her return to England per dray to Ghent on the strength of an American passport. One German officer, who stopped their novel conveyance to examine passports - on this occassion they openly stated they were making for England- suggested that they should wait for three weeks until Germany had taken England , when he would be happy to escort them. The party had other views of the matter, however, and decided not to wait. In December, 1914, Sister Butler returned to New Zealand, but in April of the next year duty again called her, and as one of the first fifty N.Z. nurses supplied to the Imperial Government she returned on the "Rotorua" to England. Later the nurses went out to Egypt and Sister Butler, one of the twenty-five, was sent to Alexandria, the remainder of the party going to Cairo. On the "Willochra's' second return with wounded, Sister Butler again visited N.Z. but went back with her and took up duty in the N.Z. Hospital in Cairo. Now sister Butler is completing the double return once more - to N.Z. in the "Tahiti" from Egypt and this time per the "Maunganui" to -----!

      Long live the Nursing Sisters!" Source = The Kitbag ( a magazine published by the men on the troopship Maunganui, which left NZ on 26 June 1916.)

      Serial Number is incorrectly recorded as 22/7 on Nominal Roll AWMM
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    About death

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    • Age at death
      84 AWMM
    • Date of death
      13 November 1968 Military Personnel file
    • Cause of death
    • Place of death
      Auckland, New Zealand Military Personnel file
    • Death notes
    • Cemetery name
    • Grave reference
    • Memorial name
    • Memorial reference
    • Obituary

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    • This lady is my Great Great Aunt and I've been told she was one of the very first NZ woman to join the services and go to WWI
      Public - Sonia - Other Relative - 25 April 2015



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    25 April 2015SoniaAucklandOther Relative