Paintings mark nursing corps centenary
Artist and army reservist Matt Gauldie, from O¯ taki, has completed five paintings to mark the centenary of the New Zealand Army’s Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps (RNZNC).
The paintings, which depict current serving nursing officers in period uniforms, have been presented to the New Zealand Defence Force’s Chief Nursing Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Lee Turner.
Captain Gauldie said he had a lot of admiration for the work nursing officers do, and he enjoyed painting their portraits.
“They sourced all their own uniforms, and were very patient when I was spending time getting the detail right.”
He took photographs of each nurse in their period uniform, and completed the portraits from the photographs over several months.
The New Zealand Army has officially included nurses since the First World War, although a small team of New Zealand nurses served with the British Nursing Service in South Africa before that.
Since World War I, the army’s nursing officers have served in every major conflict New Zealand has been involved in.
More than 500 nurses served in World War I and more than 600 joined the World War II effort, serving in the Pacific, Egypt, England, Greece, Crete, Syria, Tunisia and Italy.
In 1953 the New Zealand Army Nursing Service became the Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps (RNZNC), and the first RNZNC officer was later sent to Vietnam to work with the Australians at Vung Tau.
In 1991 New Zealand sent a medical team to the Gulf War, and RNZNC officers have served throughout the world in different conflicts.
Major Hayley Claridge (left), with a portrait of herself in a First World War nursing uniform, Captain Lauren Miller with a portrait of Lieutenant Majken Margetts in a Second World War uniform, Major Debbie Cromie with a painting depicting Captain Megan Shaw in a Vietnam-war era uniform, Major Ian Barrett with himself in the uniform he wore in East Timor, and Lieutenant Jolie Colliar with a contemporary portrait of Major Vanessa Leigh.