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Gertrude Littlecott

Nurses at No 4 General Hospital of the Mooi River Camp: L-R: Gertrude Littlecott, Emily Jane Peter, Grace Webster & Annie Hiatt

Nurses at No 4 General Hospital of the Mooi River Camp

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  • Title
  • Forenames
    Gertrude AWMM
  • Surname
    Littlecott AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
  • Gender
    Female AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    1867 Public source (March 2016) LytteltonChristchurch Public source (March 2016)
  • Date of birth
    1/10/1867 Public - Gill - Other relative - 10 March 2016 - Lyttelton Times 15 October 1867 p2 Births
  • Place of birth
    Lyttelton, New Zealand Public - Gill - Other relative - 10 March 2016 - Lyttelton Times 15 October 1867 p2 Births
  • Birth notes
    daughter of Charles and Mary Ann Littlecott Public - Gill - Other relative - 10 March 2016 - Lyttelton Times 15 October 1867 p2 Births
  • Address before enlistment
    Christchurch Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 4 February 2016 - Research
  • Post war occupation
    ran a nursing home in Durban Public - Gill - Other relative - 10 March 2016 - Nursing Journal NZNJ, 43:5, August 1950, p.167 and 44:1, 1951, p.18. cited in accessed 10 March 2016 p 159
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Charles and Mary Ann Littlecott, parents Public - Gill - Other relative - 10 March 2016 - Lyttelton Times 15 October 1867 p2 Births
  • Relationship status
    • Married/South African AWMM
    • single
      6 Oct 1908 married Henry George Stanley LOXTON in TVL, Pretoria, St. Alban the Martyr Anglican Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 4 February 2016 - Research


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    South Africa Unknown AWMM Nurse AWMM
    ChristchurchCanterbury AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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  • Embarkation details
    • South Africa Vessel was Lincolnshire AWMM Nursing Sister AWMM
    • Another group to leave New Zealand was announced in the newspaper, the Otago Witness, January 18, 1900.
      Nurses for South Africa
      CHRISTCHURCH, January 15
      The following nurses have been chosen for service, and must be ready to start in the Lincolnshire on Saturday, provided that their services are accepted by the Imperial Government:- Nurses Peter , Webster, Littlecott, and Hiatt; dresser, Mr. Pierson.
      They duly sailed aboard the steamer Lincolnshire from Christchurch and arrived safely in Durb Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 4 February 2016 -

Prisoner of war

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

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Last known rank

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  • Last rank

Biographical information

Biographical information

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    • Trained Christchurch; Passage paid by Imperial Government; Returned to New Zealand May 1902; 2nd Tour from June 1902. General Hospital Pretoria to December 1904.

      Arrived Durban, March 1900 AWMM
    • The first four New Zealand nurses (Gertrude Littlecott, Emily Peter, Grace Webster and Annie Hiatt) are shown here outside a tent at No. 4 General Hospital of the Mooi River Camp in Natal. Like the troopers, prospective nurses had volunteered immediately, but there was little official support for them. These four, all from Christchurch Public Hospital, had their passages paid by the British government. Another seven who came from Otago and Southland were supported by public fund-raising. There were no more official groups, and the other New Zealand nurses who served travelled to London or South Africa as individuals and volunteered there. A total of about 35 New Zealand women served as nurses in the South African War Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 4 February 2016 -
      Sister Gertrude Littlecott, one of the nurses chosen in Christchurch for sevice in South Africa, writing to a friend in this city from the hospital ship H.M.S. Spartan, under date March 5th, on the eve of her departure for the Mooi river Hospital, about 40 miles from Ladysmith, states that the climate at Mooi is generally considered to be perfect. "The hospital," she continues, "is all under canvas, and contains one thousand beds, and is now lighted with electricity. We have just been buying ladies' gum Boots, celluloid cuffs, and shady hats. 0n the whole we may be glad we came to Durban and not to the Cape, as most nurses are required on this side, and there are many more than are needed at the Cape. We are going to visit the hospital ship Nubia this afternoon. It is by far the best fitted and arranged."

      Writing from Mooi river on March 16th, Nurse Littlecott says: —"We have not been here a fortnight, and yet we have lived a year in the time. I wish I could tell you half the stories that are told to us by the poor fellows coming down from Ladysmith. One can never realise the suffering and hard-hips our brave soldiers go through, and they are so uncomplaining and patient. They, one and all, say that they could not have held out another week—many of them were absolutely starving. Two men of the Dragoons are said to have shot themselves through starvation. The poor fever patients lived on horseflesh. Many that we have here are absolutely skeletons. Thank God! indeed that it is over. The country here is very pretty. The hospital is camped on rising ground on one side of the river, the village, comprising two stores, a hotel, and a few Kaffir huts on the other side. The hospital is divided into surgical and medical. The are rows of marquees containing six to eight beds in each. Twelve marquees, four deep, form a line on both sides. These marquees are filled with good beds and mosquito curtains. The sides of the tents are rolled up when the day is fine so we "have the full' benefit of the air. The ground is covered with tarpaulins, and all the fittings for each tent are very complete, considering the difficulty of transport. We have breakfast at 8 o'clock, and need not so on duty before unless we like. Most of us do like, indeed, we would not get through if we did not go and get temperature and pulses, etc.. taken. The weather here is fine usually in the morning, and in the afternoon come the thunderstorms with heavy rain, nearly every day. Then is the time to see us! The rain literally comes down in torrents, and we slop around in gum boots and mackintoshes with lanterns bobbing in and out of our tents and tumbling over tent pegs. From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., when we come down to supper - hot one fortunately for us — picture us sitting down in hats, with our feet in pools of water, sometimes too tired to remove our mackintoshes. We gather up what food we require and then you hear cries from our Black boy, 'John!, 'Ben!' 'Sydney!'—-to all of which, he answers for things we want. It is expected that this hospital will remain a permanent one for some years after the war is over, though we may be moved at any time. By the appearance of the arrangements I should think we maybe here some time, and it does not seem as if there would be much more fighting. I wonder how many of our brave New Zealand boys are lost to us. All the hardships are really bravely borne by nearly all. It is glorious work to be here nursing them. I would not have missed it for worlds, and the "Tommys" are so grateful. They think we are so good to come so far." Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 4 February 2016 - A CHRISTCHURCH NURSE AT THE FRONT.
      Press, Volume LVII, Issue 10649, 7 May 1900, Page 6
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About death

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  • Death
    1959 Public Source
  • Date of death
    1959 Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 4 February 2016 -
  • Age at death
    93yrs Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 4 February 2016 -
  • Place of death
    Durban South Africa Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 4 February 2016 -
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
    Kwazulu-Natal, DURBAN, Stellawood, Cemetery and Crematorium Public - Lorraine M - Researcher - 4 February 2016 -
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
    New Zealand History online. New Zealand in the South (Boer) War
    Further Reference
  • References
    • Service Women Project: Sponsorship to research this record was kindly provided by the Auckland Returned Services Association, Returned Servicewomen's Branch; Marjorie Traill, Dorothy Grant, Daphne Shaw and Margaret Woollett. AWMM
    • Stowers, R. (2009). Rough riders at war : history of New Zealand's involvement in the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902 and information on all members of the 10 New Zealand contingents. Hamilton, N.Z.: R. Stowers. AWMM
    • McNabb, S. (2015). 100 years New Zealand military nursing : New Zealand Army nursing service : Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps, 1915-2015. Hawke's Bay, N.Z.: Sherayl McNabb. AWMM


Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
09 January 2017Lorraine MGisborne, NZResearcher
10 March 2016GillWellington, New ZealandOther relative
04 February 2016Lorraine MGisborneResearcher

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