Nurse Christian Farquhar Gordon Maclean, of Palmerston North, sent this letter in November 1915 asking for her superior's permission to join the hospital ship Maheno. Nurse Maclean began her military service on 17 January 1916. She would serve on the Maheno until November of the same year, when she would be invalided to England. Details of her illness are scarce. According to her military record, she was retained as staff at the British hospital she was transferred to. In March 1917, she is listed several Roll of Honour newspaper bulletins as "Not a Severe Case" - perhaps indicated she had succumbed to sickness once again. She returned home soon afterwards. She was promoted to Staff Nurse and retired the same day on 1 June 1917.


The letter reads: 

14 Ferguson St E
Nov 4th 1915

Mrs Aitchison
Secretary Palmerston North Nursing Guild

Dear Madam,
As I have been appointed to a position on the staff of the Hospital Ship "Maheno" leaving in January pending your permission. I beg to apply for six month's leave of absence. In view of this I have been successful in securing the services of Nurse Darling as Supply. Nurse Darling is in Wanganui at present and has lately come from the old country and is well qualified, holding the C.M.B certificate London and has also had experience in District Nursing. 

I am,
   Yours truly,
       Christian F Maclean


Nurse Christian Farquhar Gordon Maclean, née Liffiton

  • District Nurse with the St. John Ambulance Nursing Guild, Palmerston North prior to WW1
  • Trained in Wanganui in 1914
  • Service number 22/284
  • Served on No. 1 New Zealand Hospital Ship Maheno Union Steam Ship Company
  • Retired from nursing after her marriage in 1923
Untitled ("Maheno"), 1914-1914, maker unknown. Te Papa (C.010501)

Untitled ("Maheno"), 1914-1914, maker unknown. Te Papa (C.010501)

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