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Marama Hall

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This article was first published by the New Zealand Military Historical Society in the March 2011 Journal, The Volunteers. Sherayl McNabb has kindly ww100 agreed to allow it to be placed on this site for all those interested in military history.

Marama Hall

By Sherayl McNabb

As part of my New Zealand Army Nursing Service research I as pointed to the existence of a large commemorative board situated in Marama Hall at Otago University. This board lists all medical personnel who served aboard the New Zealand Hospital Ships during World War One.

Between the two New Zealand Hospital Ships (NZHS) a total of 9 Charters were sailed. The Charter dates as listed.

NZHS Maheno
*1st Charter 7 July 1915 – 1st Jan 1916
2nd Charter 25 Jan 1916 – 9 Dec 1916
3rd Charter 16 Jan 1917 – 20 Sept 1917
4th Charter - 20 Oct 1917 - 3 June 1918
5th Charter 7 July 1918 – 26 Mar 1919
*During the first voyage of this Charter, Maheno was one of the many
Hospital Ships that did many trips to and from ANZAC Cove
.

NZHS Marama
1st Charter 4 Dec 1915 – 22 Oct 1916
2nd Charter 7 Nov 1916 - 27 Aug 1917
3rd Charter 22 Sept 1917 – 14 May 1918
4th Charter 20 June 1918 31 Jan 1919

At the end of the war and with the service of the Hospital Ships complete the Executive of the Hospital Ship Fund, decided to use the surplus cash, with Government approval, to build a hall for Medical Students Training Corps at the Medical School at Dunedin.

The Hall was originally to be named the Maheno & Marama Hall but the name was changed to Marama Hall. The latest medical equipment was installed and it was then agreed by the four main centres that the building would not only benefit training of military but also civilian medical students.

Also in 1919 it was agreed the equipment from both the hospital ships, (which was the best of the times) would be distributed to the military hospitals in New Zealand. The equipment from the Marama went to the North Island and from the Maheno to the South Island.

Inside the foyer of Marama Hall on the right wall, is a huge board which lists (in gold lettering) every member of the Medical Corps, Dental Corps. New Zealand Army Nursing and Chaplains Dept. There are approximately 1100 names on the board.

The names listed on the board do not include service numbers, however I have included these in lists that follows and the names are in the order as per the board.
It is interesting to note that the Board is headed 1914-1918 when in fact the Charters began in 1915 to 1919.

The Medical School of Dunedin was a fitting place for such a tribute to those who served aboard these ships. These days the Hall houses the School of music.

 

The Foundation Stone

Marama Hall

Marama Hall
Designed by Edmund Anscombe (1874 -1948)

 

icons





 

 

The Three Icons

The foundation stone is situated to the far left of the entrance and iIt is fitting that the stone was laid by the person who compiled the books, The Voyages of His Majesty’s New Zealand Hospital Ships “Marama” and “Maheno,” the Governor General of New Zealand.

The three icons adorn either side of the front of building above the ground floor windows. They are the 2nd Battalion Wellington Regiment (centre) and the Medical Corps badges either side. It is unknown why the center icon was chosen.

The full size board is so large and the space to take photos was very limited, with no ability to take a photo directly facing the board. However this photo does give you an idea on its size and the foyer entrance to the right is about five steps below which also indicates how large the board is.

The full size board is so large and the space to take photos was very limited, with no ability to take a photo directly facing the board. However this photo does give you an idea of its size as the foyer entrance to the right is about five steps below which indicates how large the board is.

      sample

This link will take you to the Rolls of all Medical, Dental, Chaplains and Nurses who served on these ships, in the order as per the board above.
Marama Hall Board Rolls
NZHS Maheno
NZHS Marama
  The sample of the names listed shows how “close” the names are which indicates there was only a certain amount of space to work with to ensure all those who served were entered on the board.
This article is subject to Copyright and cannot be copied without the permssion of the author.
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Bibliography:
Sherayl McNabb: 100 YEARS - NEW ZEALAND MILITARY NURSING: New Zealand Army Nursing Service - Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps: 1915 - 2015. Published 2015.
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