Nina May AWMM
Also known as
May Palmer AWMM
Date of birth
Place of birth
Address before enlistment
WW1 Unknown AWMM Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
Post war occupation
Next of kin on embarkation
2nd Embarkation AWMM
POW liberation details
POW serial number
Worked on the staff of Wellington Hospital 1883-1895
Graduated as a registered nurse with no. 19 on the New Zealand Register in 1902
Opened a private hospital, with her sister Clara Palmer and funds from her father, in Davis Street, Thorndon, Wellington until about 1909.
She was travelling abroad with her mother in ?? and became involved in the Balkan wars as a nurse as a result of an appeal from Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark (also known as Princess Alice of Battenberg). May Palmer wrote about her nursing in Salonika for the nursing journal Kai Tiaki, published October 1914, p. 173-174. She described the conflict and the very difficult conditions in a "comparatively small hospital" (an annex of the second military hospital) where, "before it could really be made ready to receive the wounded, 950 streamed in, all requiring more or less immediate attention". The staff amounted to 4 surgeons for operating, 3 assistants for the wards, and the nursing staff was 2 Danish sisters and May Palmer. Other help, May wrote, was from volunteer Red Cross, and school girls and school boys.
January 1912. May was resident in Rome and the engagement to Medical Army Officer, Capitano Dottore Boriani, attached to the War Office in Rome was announced in Kai Tiaki.
July 1914. Kai Tiaki reported May's visit to New Zealand. Her "mementoes" (sic) from service in the Balkans are described as "a beautiful Maltese red cross and a gold badge from the Queen and Princess of Greece."
October 1914. p. 166 Kai Tiaki reports that May is on her way as a volunteer to join the French Red Cross in Marseilles.
January 1915. p. 29 Kai Tiaki reports receiving letters and postcards and published May Palmer's article "Under the French Red Cross" in which she describes her voyage on the Morea to Malta and then overland to Marseilles.
Once arriving in Marseilles she very quickly found work at the first hospital of the Red Cross (Croix Rouge) a hospital with 500 beds for wounded soldiers. May Palmer writes of her day duty in a ward of 39 beds for "Tommies" who mostly came from fighting in Verdun a train journey of 2 days away from the Marseilles Red Cross hospital.
October 1916. p. 201 Kai Tiaki reports that another sister has met May Palmer on staff of the Hospital Ship Asturias
January 1917. p. 7 May Palmer is reported in Kai Tiaki as on leave from the Hospital Ship Asturias
April 1917. p. 89 Kai Tiaki publishes "The outrage on the Red Cross Hospital Ship Asturias" as the ship was torpedoed March 20 1917. Kai Tiaki refers to May Palmer's long time service on the Hospital Ship.
Known as May Palmer AWMM
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Nina May Palmer
In my history class we've been studying WW1 I didn't realize how important nurses were without people like Nina May Palmer more men would have been left out in the fields dead .
Public - Cathy - Researcher - 24 March 2017
- Kai Tiaki : the journal of the nurses of New Zealand. Wellington, N.Z.: Watkins. AWMM
- New Zealand Military Nursing - A History of the R.N.Z.N.C. Boer War to Present Day AWMM
- New Zealand Nursing Journal AWMM
Obituary: Miss Nina Palmer. (1962). New Zealand Nursing Journal, 56 (11), 22. AWMM
- 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
- Harper, G., Clements, C., & Johns., R. (2019). For King and Other Countries: The New Zealanders Who Fought in Other Services in the First World War. Auckland, New Zealand: Massey University Press. AWMM
p. 54, 176,179 AWMM
|24 March 2017||Cathy||Auckland, New Zealand||Researcher||
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