Eye-opener for Winton nurse
Jean Porteous saw a bloody war.
She enlisted with the New Zealand Army Service and served as a nurse on board the hospital ship Maheno.
A 29-year-old small town nurse from Winton who was used to helping a doctor treat common illnesses or broken bones, she had never seen the wounded on a grand scale before.
She was sent to Walton-on-theThames Hospital in England to help heal and comfort thousands of wounded and sick soldiers.
The hospital, which was built to take 350 patients, constantly overflowed.
In an effort to accommodate an ever-increasing casualty rate, marquees and four hutted-wards were added.
Casualties mounted after the battle of the Somme.
Wounded and sick soldiers arrived at the hospital in droves.
They were forced to convert the nearby historic hotel of Oatlands Park into a medical clinic for the limbless and tuberculosis cases.
In September 1917, Porteous was sent to France and worked at St Omer Hospital.
After being promoted to the rank of sister, she fell ill with influenza.
She was able to fight off the disease and continued her service at the hospital until the end of the war.
Porteous returned to New Zealand in January 1919.
She continued to carry out her nursing duties on board the vessel that carried her home.
Porteous was awarded a special Mention in Despatches (M.I.D) for distinguished and gallant duty. Second Lieutenant
a bush foreman from Colac Bay, served in the 1st Contingent New Zealand Native company.
After surviving the Gallipoli bloodbath with a mere gunshot wound to the wrist, Coupar was sent to recover in Egypt. Almost a year later, Coupar was listed as unaccounted for seven days before being located in a desert hospital. On recovery he was sent to France with the newly formed New Zealand (Maori) Pioneer Battalion.
On June 29, 1916, he was killed in action. He is buried at the Cite Bonjean military cemetery, Armentieres.