Eva Constance AWMM
Also known as
Date of birth
Place of birth
Address before enlistment
Unknown AWMM 'Ohiti', Fernhill Post Office, Hastings, New Zealand AWMM
Post war occupation
Next of kin on embarkation
Mr James R. Mackay (father), 'Ohiti', Fernhill Post Office, Hastings, New Zealand AWMM
POW liberation details
POW serial number
Eva Mackay trained at Napier Hospital and was registered as a Nurse in 1926.
She became Principal Matron in November 1943 and Matron-in-Chief in February 1946 (Kendall and Corbett, p.159)
'Matron Mackay was the first New Zealand nurse to be honoured with the appointment as Honorary Nursing Sister to the Queen.' (Kendall and Corbett, p.159)
Ms Mona Corlett (nee Shaw), Sister NZ Army Nursing Service World War II (service Number 813461) has provided the following memories of Matron Mackay: "After reading recently of the death of Miss Eva Mackay my thoughts turned back to my time in Italy in the Army Nursing Service. Miss Mackay was our Matron-in-Chief, a well loved person, who always had the welfare of staff at heart. She regularly visited our hospitals attending to our needs and once during a freezing cold mid-winter period she declared warm battle dress was necessary and due to her efficency we were all outfitted in a short time.
I remember a time when kindness shone through efficency. Our Unit No 1 N Z General Hospital was stationed in the town of Molfetta waiting to be transferred to Senigallia where our Commanding Officer and staff were setting up a forward hospital. We had been there ten days, when two sisters, frustrated and impatient to move up, decided to take a little trip. One had an adored budgie which she had taken with her all through Greece and Crete and I was asked to look after him. They had been gone two days when we received our marching orders. Radio calls went out after Matron discovered the two were missing and when they failed to turn up, to my dismay, budgie and trunks were sent to base hospital. The rest of us proceeded to Ancona to board a ship to Senigallia.
Meanwhile the two sisters hitch hiking back to Molfetta after spending two days in Sicily were surprised when a staff car carrying our Matron-in-Chief, stopped. Miss Mackay alighted from the car and said "Are you aware your unit has moved - Get in!" Although our colleagues told us it was the longest and most silent trip they had ever had, their Matron-inChief did not take the matter further." AWMM
Date of death
Age at death
Place of death
Cause of death
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Eva Constance Mackay
- New Zealand Military Nursing - A History of the R.N.Z.N.C. Boer War to Present Day 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
- 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
- Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1950). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 16 (Embarkations from 1st January, 1946 to 30th June, 1948). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
- Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 2 (Embarkations to 30th June, 1940). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
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